4 FM quick reads on paints
1. Paints and Coatings: Match Substrate and Surface
This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor — Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is matching the right substrate to the proper surface.
The type of surface and condition determine the best paint and coatings option. Is the surface concrete or masonry? Wood? Drywall? Metal? Is the surface bare? Is it previously painted? Is the project a touch-up involving color-matching?
The key to ensuring an effective match between the paint and the substrate is understanding label and material safety data sheet information, which is available from the vendor. The paint must protect the substrate while meeting a facility's need for proper air quality and sustainability. Products with high pigment percentages are more costly but offer greater surface protection and better hiding qualities.
Managers might have other objectives, though. For example, with the emphasis on energy efficiency, the goal might be to use paint with a ceramic additive, which provides insulation by adding an invisible, radiant-heat-reflecting barrier. For a high-visibility reception area, managers might need to specify a surfactant to reduce surface tension and smooth out brush marks.
New rheology modifier additives that are free of volatile organic compounds are formulated to improve pigment dispersal, provide good leveling, and resist sagging. They also prevent misting and paint scatter during application.
Biocides — preservatives and fungicides — are additives to latex paints used for exterior or high-moisture interior applications. Manufacturers add defoamers to prevent air entrapment so the surface is free of pinholes. They also are developing multi-tasking additives, such as defoaming-coalescing agents.
Matching the texture of the surface to be painted requires using the same application method — brush, spray or roller — as used originally. Another technique is using clear spray-on sand or orange-peel coating before applying the final coat.
2. Performance of Green Paints
Low- and no-VOC paints have sometimes had a bad reputation for poor durability and performance. In the past, the sudden push for green products has driven some manufacturers to formulate paints that sacrifice performance and durability for green features.
Paint manufacturers have worked out many kinks however and are now developing better formulas for more durable low- and no-VOC paints. Most of the third-party green paint certifications include stringent performance standards. Look for paints that are certified by the Master Painters Institute, ASTM, Green Seal or Greenguard. All will ensure you're buying a high quality, high-performance, green product.
3. Green Paints Becoming More Durable
Low- and no-VOC paints have sometimes had a bad reputation because the push for green products has driven some manufacturers to formulate paints that sacrifice performance and durability for green features.
Paint manufacturers have worked out many kinks however and are now developing better formulas for more durable low- and no-VOC paints. If you’re still dubious of a green paint’s durability because you’re planning on using it in a mechanical room or industrial area, you may still want to consider traditional paint formulas. But using green paint in all other applications should give you a long-lasting, durable coat.
4. Assessing the Performance of Green Paints
This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is the impact of VOCs on paint performance.
The relationship between volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and the performance of paints and coatings used to be very strong. The three main sources of VOCs in paints were the resin system - or the base of the paint - pigment, and the solvent that mixes everything together.
Shifting from oil-based to water-based paints has lessened the number of chemicals in paints, but it was a challenge for manufacturers to lower the chemical levels in pigment to acceptable amounts. Pigment, which affects depth of color and the number of coats workers have to apply, is a key component in any paint formulation.
But now that manufacturers have reduced the chemical levels in pigment, managers can strike a balance between environmental impact and performance when specifying paints.
The U.S. Green Building Council's rating system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, references both Green Seal and Greenguard certifications. Vying for certification under LEED, Green Globes or other green building certification programs can be overwhelming in terms of specifying products that meet the rating system's requirements. A Green Seal or Greenguard label ensures managers that certain products will earn points toward LEED certification, providing a roadmap for specifying environmentally responsible paints.