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Professional drywall finishing in progress on a ceiling in a Dallas home.

Drywall Finishing 101: What Is It? What are the Levels? What Else Should I Know?

How much time do you spend thinking about Dallas drywall finishing services? If you're a typical Dallas property owner, it rarely crosses your mind—even though you probably spend the majority of your time surrounded by the results of professional Dallas drywall services. That makes perfect sense though, because drywall is not exactly the most fascinating building material.

But, if you need Dallas drywall finishing services after a repair or new installation, it may be on your mind more than usual—and you probably have some questions. The best person to ask is a Dallas handyman. We’re here to answer common questions for Dallas homeowners and commercial business owners.

If you need complete Dallas drywall finishing services, you can count on the professionals at Mr. Handyman of Dallas to get the job done right, with quality workmanship and exceptional customer service. We also offer dozens of other reliable handyman services to get your property in ideal condition. We’re your local handyman experts!

What Is Drywall Finishing?

Drywall, which is also known as Sheetrock, comes in sheets or panels that are made of gypsum, a soft sulfate mineral, encased in layers of thick backer and facer paper. Once the sheets have been hung and screwed on to your wall frame, the work is actually just beginning. In order to get a smooth, even surface, your wall needs to be completed.

Drywall finishing involves taping over the joints between the edges of panels with paper tape or fiberglass tape, then covering the tape and filling in the screw holes with drywall compound to create a smooth surface. It may sound simple, but it requires a practiced hand to make the finished surface look even, with no ripples, bumps, or dents. This process is often referred to as taping and mudding.

What Are the Levels of Drywall Finishing?

Great Dallas drywall finishing requires professional skill and craftsmanship to get the job done right. It is a bit more complex than many people suspect, and there is a set of professional standards that divides the process into five levels—or six, if you count zero. These standards were developed in part because some drywall surfaces don't need every step, depending on the type of room and what will be going over top of walls.

The levels are:

  • Level 0: The drywall sheet is hung and fastened in place on the walls or ceiling, but nothing else has been done. There are almost no scenarios in which walls would be left like this unless they’re being used as temporary dividers that are only in place during construction.

  • Level 1: All joints and angles are covered in drywall tape, which is embedded in joint compound. Again, it is uncommon for walls to be left at this level, but you may see level-one in non-habitable areas like attics.

  • Level 2: A skim coat of mud is applied over top of tape, then your Dallas handyman will cover the metal corner bead with compound and fill screw holes. If you are planning to install tile, such as for a shower remodel, this is as far as your finishing needs to go.

  • Level 3: An additional coat of drywall mud is applied to the drywall taping on joints and angles, and the corner bead and screws get another layer of compound as well. If there will be texture applications on the surface, there is no point in proceeding on to level four.

  • Level 4: This is actually the level of finish you're most accustomed to seeing in homes and commercial properties in Dallas. Yet another layer of joint compound is applied to joints, angles, and screw holes, then once it has dried, the compound is sanded down to eliminate any bumps or uneven patches. It can then be painted or covered with wallpaper.

  • Level 5: Ultimately, a finish coat is applied over the entire installation to create a flawlessly smooth surface. It can be applied with a drywall knife or roller, or by spraying.

When Is Level 5 Necessary?

To be completely honest, level-five is never strictly necessary for practical purposes in Dallas. Once you've reached level-four, you've got a perfectly presentable surface that is sturdy and protective against fire and noise. Level-five is a premium finish that admittedly does give you a beautiful looking surface, but it's usually not part of a typical process in Dallas.

One area where you're more likely to see a level-five finish is for drywall on ceilings. Because of how light plays across your ceiling, it highlights imperfections such as bumps and dents that can be literally smoothed over by a level-five finish.

Can You Finish Sheetrock Without Tape?

Technically you could do that, but it would look terrible and not meet basic professional standards for Dallas buildings. The problem is that joint compound shrinks when it dries. Without tape covering the joints and angles, the compound would dry unevenly, and it would be very noticeable and unattractive.

Do You Paint Directly on Drywall?

Once your walls have a level-four finish, you can apply paint directly on to them. However, the best practice is to apply a coat of primer first. Primer helps the paint adhere to the wall. Without it, the paint can begin to peel sooner rather than later, especially in a relatively humid climate like we have here in Dallas.

Can I Do Dallas Drywall Finishing Myself?

You can try, but you will likely find yourself wishing you hadn't. This process is a lot more time-consuming and laborious than it seems on the surface (pun intended). While it may sound simple, it requires a lot of experience and a practiced hand to make it look good.

In all probability, you don't have the equipment you need just sitting around in your garage, so you'll need to pay the additional cost of buying the correct tools. If you get halfway through and realize you're not up to the task, it'll be even more time and work to repair what you've done before a professional can take over. You'll save yourself time, money, and stress by letting your local Dallas handyman take care of Sheetrock repairs and finishing from the beginning.

How Long Does It Take to Complete?

There is no real way to answer that without knowing more about your specific project. The length of time it takes will depend on the size of the area that needs to be finished, the type of finish you're going for, and other factors. However, even the tiniest patch of finishing in Dallas will take at least two days, because joint compound needs to dry before it can be sanded, and it takes about 24 hours to dry.

Mr. Handyman of Dallas is Skilled with All Levels of Drywall Finishing

Whether you're in Dallas or a nearby community such as Lancaster, Garland, or Rowlett, you can count on the experts at Mr. Handyman of Dallas for professional drywall finishing services. We pride ourselves on always delivering outstanding workmanship and customer service.

Pick up the phone today and give us a call at 972-627-4518 to request service or to chat with our friendly customer service staff about what we else we do for property owners in Dallas.