Imagine you’ve just finished a client’s front door with a bold cherry-red paint. The last thing you want is for it to fade to salmon pink within a few years. Unless salmon is suddenly the color du jour, there will be some disappointed faces — and touch-ups will be tricky.
“Poor color accuracy has to do with the degradation of the paint film and the color pigments changing form,” Cooper says. Paint needs fade-resistant pigments and a coating with tough polymers to lock them in. He also champions water-based paints; oil-based paints degrade as the oils break down. “Chalking can occur: You rub your hand across the paint surface and it turns white,” he says. Water-based paints also emit little or no potentially harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and they also have shorter drying times.
When paints are tougher and more UV-resistant, the original color lasts longer, no matter how bold or dark it is, Cooper says. You don’t have to sacrifice color for durability, meaning you can confidently use any hue your clients request, inside and out.
The right viscosity allows paint to easily glide onto walls, whereas the wrong one can mean a mess that wastes time and money. Colorants play a key role in a paint’s viscosity and have evolved over time. “A colorant is a dispersion of colored pigment in its simplest form,” Cooper says. “It’s similar to taking a colored pigment and grinding it into water or oil.”There used to be only one kind of colorant system — the Universal Tinting Colorant (UTC) — and that’s where things got sticky. “Some UTC components affected application qualities when added to water-based paint,” Cooper says. “If you put UTC into a base to achieve a deep red, for instance, it could get very watery.” The reverse could also be true, resulting in a thick, gluey consistency.These issues were caused by the wrong kinds of surfactants — the chemicals that stabilize paint, Cooper says. Surfactants, as well as thickeners, also affect a paint’s leveling and flow. “Paint has to go on smoothly and quickly so you don’t have to spend time going over it,” Cooper says. “Good flow and leveling give you a glassy surface, where you don’t see brushstrokes or stipples.”
High-tech paint manufacturers now use surfactants, paint bases and resins that produce good viscosity, leveling and flow. This means you can achieve the look your clients expect and cross things off your to-do list more quickly.
Walls have a tendency to acquire unwanted additions, whether it’s a crayon mural from a young artist or mystery marks from who knows what. The number of coats it takes to properly cover a wall (the hide) affects a paint project’s efficiency and cost.“Good hide depends on the amount of titanium dioxide and how well it’s spaced within the paint,” Cooper says. “The right surfactants help keep the pigment particles apart.” When you step back and compare a wall with varying hide to one with uniform hide, the difference is pretty clear, he adds. Using paint with good hide lets your team get in and out faster, helping your clients’ dream space become a reality sooner.
A gorgeously painted room deserves to stay that way, no matter what life throws at it. Eventually your clients are going to need to wipe down their walls and will expect the paint to stay put. The wrong kind of formula in a medium to deep color could easily transfer to a cleaning cloth during washing, Cooper says.High-tech paints solve this problem with the right colorants and polymers. “You need to have enough polymer to keep the pigments encapsulated, so when you run the cloth against the wall, it’s not getting to the pigments,” Cooper says. You also don’t want leachable surfactants.“At the end of the day, the consumer will determine whether it is, and continues to be, a good experience,” Cooper says. Count on paint innovations to exceed your clients’ needs and knock their socks off.
More: To learn more about paint and color technologies and how they can help your business, visit Benjamin Moore’s website