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'Levels of finish' for flush stopped linings

From the Resene paint and decorating problems solver

'Levels of finish' define the quality required for flush-stopped joints in plasterboard, fibrous plaster and fibre cement sheets.

The aim is to provide a surface that coated will satisfy the customer's requirements. AS/NZ 2589.1 details the six levels of finish and their appropriate selection, a copy of which appears in the following 2 tables:

Levels of finish'

Finish level

Expected quality and areas of use

Level 0 Unstopped sheets.
Level 1 Suitable only in plenum areas above ceilings, in attic spaces, in areas where the paint will be concealed from view or in areas of a building not open to public view, such as plant rooms and service corridors.
Level 2 Suitable for garages, warehouses, storage or other similar areas where surface appearance is not of primary concern. Minor ridges and tool marks are acceptable.
Level 3 Suitable for appearance areas that are being finished with a heavy or medium textured finish before final painting, or where heavy grade wallcoverings are being applied. This level of finish is not generally acceptable for painted finishes or for light-to-medium weight wallcoverings.
Level 4 Suitable for areas where light textures and wallcoverings are being used, where economy is of concern, or where a flat or low sheen paint finish is being used in areas of non-critical light conditions. The finished stopping must be smooth and free of all tool marks.
Level 5 Suitable for use where gloss, semi-gloss, low sheen or non textured flat paints are being applied or where critical light conditions exist. To achieve a level 5 finish on plasterboard and fibre-cement, a thin skim coat is applied to the entire surface of the sheets. For fibrous plaster linings, the final compound application is trowel polished.

From: AS/NZ 2589.1

The type of finish applied to the wall or ceiling has a significant impact on the end result:

  • Defects show up more clearly on ceilings than on walls.

  • Textured finishes, such as Resene Sandtex (see Data Sheet D71), and/or flat finishes, such as Resene SpaceCote Flat (see Data Sheet D814), help hide surface imperfections.

  • Variations in the surface, such as recesses, help to break up the surface area and hide imperfections.

  • Some paint application techniques, such as applying a product like Resene Sandtex using a crows foot technique, help disguise imperfections more than others.

  • Lighter colours are more likely to hide imperfections than dark colours due to their higher reflectivity.

  • Rolling is recommended to give a slight orange peel effect to minimise the effect of critical light.

Resene Broadwall Surface Prep & Seal (see Data Sheet D807) and Resene Broadwall 3 in 1 (see Data Sheet D810) are superior surface preparation products designed to give a smooth, uniform finish on paperfaced plasterboard, allowing contractors to achieve a level 5 finish. The full surface of the boards and stoppings must be fully coated in Resene Broadwall Surface Prep & Seal or Resene Broadwall 3 in 1 to ensure a level 5 finish is achieved. If stopping or board is visible through the skim coat, a level 5 finish has not been achieved.

Resene Broadwall 3 in 1 may also be used as a sealer, surfacer and finish coat on ceilings in dry areas.

For spray application use Resene Broadwall 3 in 1, for roller application use Resene Broadwall Surface Prep & Seal.

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