To Serve and Protect: The Purpose of Protective Coatings in Professional Paintwork 3

My friend Rick just had all of the wood trim and moldings in his house repainted, as well as all of the kitchen cabinets. The home is 18 years old and he’s always been happy to entertain friends and family. After nearly two decades of use, he decided the inside needed to be refreshed.

Rick and the interior designer he was working with had picked out a gorgeous Ralph Lauren paint color that would liven up the baseboards and crown moldings, while also giving the cabinets a fresh new look after years of looking drab and dirty. He was smart enough to discuss the color decision with the painters he had hired before purchasing gallons and gallons of paint. While they all thought the color would look wonderful when they finished their work, they counseled Rick that the type of paint he was considering wasn’t the best choice.

Protective coatings are vital to material health

Paint can help to protect structural strength.
Image courtesy of NASA.

As it turned out, the paint team had been working with a polymer based paint that would be a better product for his needs. The polymer based paint required more care and time to use, but it would find its level in a way that eliminated brush strokes and provided a hard protective layer that would resist damage and be easy to clean.

“Rick,” said Alfonse the painter, “if you use this polymer based paint you’ll never have to paint these cabinets again. It will offer protection from pretty much anything.”  So that’s the paint they used, and Rick was beyond satisfied with the results.

As we’ve discussed in the past, paint isn’t just for decoration.  Paint also exists to create a protective coating on a substrate. From a paint that minimizes the effects of salt water on the hull of a boat to stain on a picket fence that protects the wood from the rain, paint has a second purpose that is every bit as a important as simply making an item look beautiful.  That purpose is to protect the substrate from a variety of conditions that not only effect the appearance of the item, but the structure of it as well.  From wood rot to corrosion and rust, there are many threats to substrates that can be addressed through protective coatings.

Protecting an industrial pump.

Paint can protect machinery from high heat or unfavorable outdoor elements.
Image courtesy of ProTec Systems.

But what if you, as a professional painter, don’t want to change the paint you are using?  You’re in luck, because companies like BYK create additives that strengthen paint to provide for comprehensive substrate protection in a variety of settings. In other words, there are products that you can add to paint to enhance its protective qualities. This is useful if you are most comfortable using a particular brand or type of paint, but would like to add some extra protection to it before starting a job.

For example, BYK-012 is a VOC-free additive that works great for adding extra protection to architectural coatings. BYKETOL is a silicon-free additive that is useful for smoothing out dimples, dents, and cracks in a substrate and leveling the surface.  There are literally dozens of additives available to help enhance the protection offered by the paint you are using.

Outdoor protective coatings are vital.

Outdoor paint has special additives to strengthen it.
Image courtesy of Machine Trader.

Most people don’t realize that there are a number of different types of protections that can be provided by paint.  As a professional painter, it is to your benefit to understand the different options available to you so that you can offer your clients the right solution. Furthermore, the wide range of protective coatings and additives available to you mean increased opportunity for more revenue and greater profit margins. Just because a paint sample looks good, that doesn’t mean that it is necessarily the right paint for the job.  Spend some time considering what paints and additives would provide the best protection for the job at hand. And if you need some ideas, BYK is always here to help!


  1. Pingback: The Benefits of Clear Coats in Professional Painting | BYK | Protective Coatings for Painters

  2. Pingback: 5 Steps for Exterior Painting, from Surface Preparation to Ongoing Maintenance | BYK | Substrate Protection

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