How Thicker Paint Reduces Costs in Professional Painting Reply

“It needs another coat. Don’t you think? Definitely needs another…”

Andrew’s voice trailed off.  He and his partner Edgar were reviewing an interior paint job they thought they had completed. They had painted dark walls with a primer and two coats of beige paint. Andrew trusted his eyes and they were telling him that even with the second coat, the previous color was coming through just enough that he couldn’t overlook it. Edgar knew they would be late for the next job, but his partner was right. They got back to work, added a third coat, and once the paint was dry, both they and their client were satisfied. But did it have to be this way? Was there another way that would have been less time consuming and would have kept them on track for the second job? As it turns out, there was.

Rheological paint

Thicker paint means fewer coats.
Image courtesy of BYK

All professional painters recognize the balance between excess and deficiency when painting. Finding that balance is key to sustained profitability and efficient production. Too much paint and you’ve wasted time and money. Too little and the job looks bad or you spend extra time racing back to the paint store for more materials. Even the most veteran professionals struggle with the efficiency of their operations. Time and capital are finite and getting the most out of each is paramount to long-term profitability.

While calculating the exact amount of paint required for a job may always be a challenge, saving time is becoming easier and easier. Companies are creating additives that adjust the flow behavior of paint as it is applied. These materials, known as rheology additives, control the flow of the paint, meaning jobs that used to require two or more layers of paint can now be completed with a single-coat. By slowing the flow and self-settling properties of paint, rheology additives make it possible to more thickly apply a single coat in a single pass of your brush or roller. Rheology additives also offer enhanced protection and durability for the paint, making it ideal for high traffic areas or outdoor structures left unprotected from the elements. Thicker, single-coats of paint that these additives are no more susceptible to dirt or etching than multiple coats of an untreated paint.

To help in the paint manufacturing process, BYK manufactures drawdown cards so that paint engineers and paint manufacturers can validate and verify the thickness of the paints they create. As we’ve discussed before, drawdown cards play an integral role in making sure paint characteristics meet specifications. Using rheology additives to control the thickness and spreadability of a paint and then verifying the thickness with a draw down card is an excellent way for manufacturers to produce products you can be confident in using.

Thick blue paint

Paint that flows slower will dry thicker.
Image courtesy of University of Pennsylvania

As we’ve discussed before, one of the biggest costs incurred by professional painters isn’t measured in materials, but rather in time.  The time to prepare for a job can exceed the time it takes to actually perform the painting. Even more costly, the time waiting on paint to dry before the job is complete can seem to drag on forever. Even if you are painting a bedroom while waiting for the dining room to dry, it is still likely that you aren’t operating at maximum efficiency. As a simple matter of time, being able to produce excellent paint work in a single coat offers a substantial advantage compared to having to apply multiple coats. True, the paint itself may be more expensive, but you will use less of it and save time in the process.

If you’re looking for even more ways to improve the efficiency of your paint business with new additives and instruments, click here!

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