Use our guide to the different levels of finish available when installing and stopping (plastering) plasterboard.

Level 4:

  • is the New Zealand default standard of finish unless specified otherwise.
  • is the most common finish specified in residential home construction.
  • is used where non-critical lighting falls on gloss, satin, flat or low sheen paints or wallpaper.

Level 5:

  • is typically for use where gloss, semi-gloss or dark tone paints are specified
  • is used when critical lighting conditions occur on high-gloss, satin, flat matt or low sheen paints.

Should you choose level 4 or level 5 finish? What is the difference?

  • The key difference between levels 4 and 5 is that level 5 requires the entire surface
    of the wall or ceiling to be covered in a thin layer special compound called a ‘skim coat’, to remove surface textures and porosity.
  • Level 5 helps to conceal joints and fix points with a more even texture. Stricter framing and installation requirements are needed to ensure a level 5 finish is achieved.
  • Due care and thought should be considered in the lighting design and layout as this can greatly affect any level of finish.
  • The skim coating process for a level 5 finish can add extra labour costs for extensive labour time and material.

Level 5 plastering finish – details and tips

  • Level 5 should be specified at the planning stage to ensure building tolerances are met in the sub-straight/framing.
  • Level 5 is difficult to achieve and always requires the cooperation of the architects and designers, builders and framers, plasterboard fixers and installers, and plasterers and painters to achieve a suitable standard of finish for the given project. Some minor imperfections may still be visible in a level 5 finish.