When I first started buying USG first coat, my SW rep told me it provided a level 5 finish; I didn’t believe him. Sure enough, the bucket said level 5 “like” finish. I used it a pretty good bit. After finishing jobs to level 4, turns out it gives a decent finish on top of a good clean job. It doesn’t give a level 5 finish. I’m just a guy who has skimmed a few walls to level 5 the hard way…I don’t know anything. I told my SW rep this feedback later on and he said “oh yea, you didn’t know they downgraded it to level 4 finish?” I actually told this story to the district manager for SW when he was trying to sell me a Planex and he was trying to get me to shut up, eventually telling me I could get a few five gallon buckets on their dime if that would make me feel better. Yep, the buckets now read level 4…
If the painter is willing to tell you what his high build primer is, I’ll be willing to test it for you and tell you my thoughts, maybe even post a couple pictures?
USG First Coat or something similar might be a good shortcut, depending on the application. If it’s a commercial job requiring true level 5, not gonna pass. Residential that you want to make look great and doesn’t get too much harsh light, yea, might just do it for ya. They aren’t paying me to say this, never even took any free primer
I accepted a contract a few years ago for 5 building condominium complex, each building had 20 stories, every floor had 6 units with about 240 4x12ft drywall sheets hang and 220 sheets level 5 finish.
They wanted them done very fast and were willing to pay for speed and quality so we used a material called spray plast to reduce dry and sand times.
We had to leave a very nice level 4 finish and then spray a light coat of this drywall / primer mixture called spray plast then do a very light brush on the walls to get them smooth. They were never quite as smooth as a joint compound glaze but they looked good enough for everyone involved to be happy.
There were a few ups and downs, this spray didn't let the tile/ floors bind to the concrete so that was a hassle haha. We had to buy REALLY heavy duty graco sprayers since this stuff would mess up a normal spray rig after 6 months of use.
We bought an HTC 2030 complete plus (gas) (14k usd) and used an ames/ graco continue flow pump (electric) (13k usd) as well.
I've got a lot of experience using these weird materials they're expencive and don't leave quite as good a finish but they save a lot of time (application, drytime, sanding) and labor so you dont quite save money but you're a lot more competitive in how fast you work.
Anyway these primers to replace level 5 can work but you need to know there are ups and down to using them. A lot of trade offs.
Man I wrote a lot but didn't get to the point, these drywall/primers save a lot of time and labor but are so expencive the material cost evens out the savings in labor. What you end up with is more competitive bids as far as time goes.
You need heavy equipment (sprayers) that can handle these caustic materials. A normal paint sprayer will wear out really bad in 6 months even if it was new. You'll have insane down time as far as repairs go.
You need to factor in repairs for these heavy and expencive rigs, also small stuff like spray tips wear out very fast. You'll probably need to invest in some kind of floor protection. I used a big roll of roll roofing myself and cut to size. And rolled up and reused.
You also need to consider you'll be learning a new materials so you might waste some time and effort learning to use the stuff.
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