Level 5 finish is recommended for areas where severe lighting conditions exist and areas that are to receive gloss, semi-gloss, or enamel paints. Level 5 requires all the operations in Level 4. Additionally, a thin skim coat of joint compound, or material manufactured especially for this purpose, is applied to the entire surface. (This definition is referenced to Terminology, Section II, Page 2 of GA-214 to make the description of "skim coat" clear to all.) The surface is smooth and free from tool marks and ridges. Before final decoration it's recommended that the prepared surface be coated with a primer prior to the application of final finishes. The Level 5 finish is required to achieve the highest degree of quality by providing a uniform surface and minimizing the possibility of joint photographing and/or fasteners "burning through" the final decoration.
Complete Drywall & Taping, Inc. has tried all the level five knock off products on the market. We have determined those products cause more issues than good. We believe the only true level five finish is using pure drywall mud. Depending on the job we apply either by knife, spray, or by rolling it on. Regardless of how we apply it, the end result is the absolute best finish drywall can provide. You have a uniform surface ready for paint that will absorb paint the same throughout the wall or ceiling.