Levels of Surface Preparation & Finish Appearance

The following levels are used to establish a clearly-communicated standard as to what has been agreed upon and what is to be expected with regards to the different levels of surface preparation and the quality of appearance of the finished surface. They are a summary of the actual standard based on PDCA (Painting & Decorating Contractors of America) Industry Standard P14-06.

  • Level 1 – Basic: Cleaned, No Patching

    Requires only basic cleanliness of surfaces to ensure the adhesion of new finishes, with less concern for the adhesion of existing paint and quality of appearance. Obvious loose paint will be removed, but no smoothing of the existing surface profile will be done. Includes washing or hand cleaning. No Warranty

  • Level 2 – Standard: Basic Patching

    Requires all of Level 1 as well as the examination of existing coatings to assess their adhesion. With this level of surface preparation, good adhesion and longevity of finish are of primary concern and appearance is of secondary concern. Includes basic patching, filling, dulling of glossy surfaces, spot priming, caulking, and light sanding/abrading to address surface profile differences exceeding 1/8 inch. Excludes matching texture and taping cracks.

  • Level 3 – Superior: Detailed Patching

    Requires all of Levels 1 and 2 with added emphasis on the quality of appearance of finish painted surfaces. Includes detailed patching, filling, properly taping cracks, approximate matching of textures, and thorough sanding to address surface profile differences exceeding 1/16 inch.

  • Level 4 – Supreme: Touch & Feel

    Requires all of Levels 1, 2 and 3 with even more emphasis on the quality of appearance of finish painted surfaces. The criteria for inspection and acceptance may include smoothness to “touch and feel” on interior handrails, doors and easily accessible trim. Includes thorough filling & sanding to address surface profile differences exceeding 1/32 inch.

  • Level 5 – Restoration/Resurfacing: Back to Original

    This type of surface preparation is required when existing conditions indicate that the surfaces are severely deteriorated (where damage to the coating is widespread). Includes complete or nearly complete removal of existing paint through various stripping methods. Substrate (underlying surface being painted) may need to be completely replaced, repaired or resurfaced.