Types vs Levels of Drywall Finish

If you’re thinking of doing some drywall work around the house, you may have heard talk about types and levels of drywall finish. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional, knowing the difference may help you decide what option is best for your vision. Let’s explore:


Types of finish refers to the kind of texture added to drywall. It can add interest and act as a mask for imperfections.

Here are some types of finish:

Popcorn Texture


  • Hides imperfections and has noise dampening qualities
  • Spray on the Homax Spray Texture for small repairs and match the existing commonly used popcorn texture.

Orange Peel Spray Texture

Orange Peel

  • Easy to clean and hides imperfections
  • Spray on using the Homax Spray Texture

Knockdown Spray Texture


  • Hides imperfections
  • Spray on using the Homax Spray Texture, then knock down (scrape) using a drywall knife for the finished look

Circle Brand Texture Brushes

Brush Finish (stipple, slap brush, crows feet, etc)

Venetian Finish

Venetian Finish

Some other textures include: mud swirl, skip trowel, smooth, comb, spray sand.

Not every drywall surface needs a level 5 finish. You might want want to stop at a lower level of finish if the drywall in question is going to be hidden from view (by location, by appliances, by wainscotting, etc.) or if you want to texturize the drywall. Which leads to our next question:


Levels of finish can be thought of as steps in the drywall finishing process. There are 6 levels of finish:

Levels of Finish

Level 0

  • Drywall is fastened to framing

Level 1

  • Drywall tape has been embedded

Level 2

  • 1st coat of joint compound is applied
  • Fasteners are covered
  • Stop here if you’re applying tiles or if the drywall is in a space appearance isn’t a priority like an attic or garage.

Level 3

  • 2nd coat of joint compound is applied 
  • No ridges or markings
  • Stop here if you’re applying a heavy or medium textured finish

Level 4

  • 3rd coat of joint compound is applied
  • Stop here if you’re applying flat finish paints, light textured finish, or wallpaper.

Level 5

  • Skim coat is applied to the entire surface area, not just on and around taped areas.
  • Best option for glossy and semi gloss paints

Levels of Finish

Now that you know what levels and types of finishes are, the hard part is: which type of finish will you choose?

Have a question? Feel free to reach out!


Call us Monday to Friday between 6 AM and 4 PM at (905) 761-5611

Email us anytime at info@csrbuilding.ca

Follow and share your work with us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok!










Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published