When new plasterboard interiors are installed, how they’re coated for the first time will have a major impact in determining the quality of the finished job.
The industry as a whole has set specific minimum requirements for painting plasterboard walls, and, adhering to these standards is important in achieving a higher quality, longer lasting finish that your clients will enjoy for years to come.
Plasterboard walls, before being coated, are two different surfaces, with different porosity and it’s the job of the paint to create a single, unified surface that is the final piece in bringing a design to life, ready for the occupants to personalise and enjoy.
Before the plasterboard walls are installed, knowing the paint that will be used will determine the finish level of the boards. Where it isn’t specified, a Level 4 finish is the Australian Standard for painted walls.
For surfaces that will be painted in gloss paint or dark colours, a Level 5 finish is the recommendation. This is because high gloss finishes and dark paints will highlight any imperfections in the plasterboard wall, especially in situations of glancing light. The full surface coat of a Level 5 finish provides an additional texture that evens out most of the imperfections and provides a unified base across the whole surface of the wall.
Whether you’re applying paint to a Level 4 or Level 5 finish, the Australian Standard for painting (AS/NZS 2311) nominates a three-coat system consisting of a good quality sealer undercoat, followed by two coats of paint in the desired colour. If painters don’t adhere to this standard, you can expect an inferior result. Although, in cases where the finish isn’t important, for example in some commercial projects, the standard allows the specifier to select a different paint system. It’s important to note that the Knauf 10 year warranty requires the installation document to be followed, which includes the requirement for a quality three coat paint system.
The AS 2311 requirements apply to paint finishes in all interior situations, including kitchens and bathrooms, where there is a high level of moisture. Any deviation from the standard could result in issues, such as gloss banding, where the plasterboard joints have variability of gloss level in comparison to the overall surface.
Although many construction projects are under pressure to be completed quickly, the temptation to deviate from the standard requirements in the painting finish of plasterboard walls, could ultimately cost more in reparation. Providing a good quality painted finish and following the industry standards not only provides your clients with a space they can enjoy, it will give you peace of mind that you’ve provided them with the best result that will last years.