PaintPRO , Vol. 7, No. 5
September/October 2005
PaintPRO, Vol 7 No 5

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Related Readings:
Low VOC Paints
Ceramic Paints
Metallic Paints
Elastomerics
Using Glazes
Interior Priming
The Winning Ways of White Paint
Difference Between Primer & Undercoat
Who Needs Paint?
Profile on Design: Metallic Paints
Sprayed Faux Finishes
Great Painting Ideas
Other articles in this issue:
Premium Interior Finishes
Keep Fire at Bay
Removing Graffiti
Tools for Paperhanging
School's Open!
Contractor Profile: Murals & More
Manufacturer Profile: Insl-x
Paint Industry News
Product News
Product Profiles
Toolbox: Ladders & Accessories
Painting Tips
 
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PaintPRO Archives
Premium Paint Products
Premium Paint Products

 

 

Interior Paint

Premium interior paints combine high-quality raw materials with proprietary technology to provide superior product performance. With great hiding qualities, stain resistance and durability, premium interior paints are low odor, washable and mildew-resistant.
by Stacey Enesey Klemenc

Many companies use the word “premium” to differentiate product quality. The problem is, competitors say, that one company’s “premium” may not measure up to another’s. Still premium paints made by reputable manufacturers have many things in common.

“Generally speaking, an interior ‘premium’ product has a very washable or scrubbable film that resists stains and lasts for many years, even with repeated washings,” says Aaron Dhawan, director of marketing for Insl-X Products Corp., the company behind Coronado paint.

The way companies formulate their “premium” products can vary, he explains, but “In general, the ratio of resin (or paint binder) vs. pigment in ‘premium’ products is higher than the ratio in lower-quality products. In other words, the pigment particles have more ‘glue’ holding them in place than your run-of-the-mill, apartment-grade paint.”

Premium Paint Products
Premium Paint Products

In addition, he continues, “The type of resin used in ‘premium’ paints differs from the lower-quality products. Generally a 100-percent acrylic, high-scrub vinyl or some combination is used in the top class of interior products.”

According to Steve Revnew, director of marketing, residential segments, for The Sherwin-Williams Co., for a product to fit under the premium classification, “It needs to be user friendly for the applicator — in other words, easy to apply with good coverage — and at the same time offer long-lasting protection such as resistance to stains and burnishing.”

Betsy Litton, associate brand manager for Ralph Lauren Paint, adds, “A premium will make sure it stays looking good for a lot longer.”

The more premium the paint, the experts agree, the better hiding qualities it should possess.

All in all, explains Peter Seaborg, vice president of sales for Muralo, “A ‘premium’ paint should be the best interior paint that a company makes.” However in the past 10 years, he adds, waterborne technology has progressed to the point that a new category has been created. “Super-premium paints are a step above even premium-grade paints,” he says.

Premium Paint ProductsLeader of the pack
“Premium or top-quality paints are designed to outperform paints of lesser quality by producing a better-looking and a longer-lasting finish,” says George Przybylski, marketing director for M.A. Bruder & Sons Inc., maker of the MAB line of paints.

They generally have added “on-the-wall” performance properties, says Gene Merrill, product manager of architectural marketing for Duron Paints and Wallcoverings.

These include:

  • Better adhesion
  • Low odor
  • Mildew resistance
  • Minimal splattering during application
  • More hiding power, resulting in fewer coats
  • Smooth and even application without showing roller or brush marks
  • Better resistance to dirt and stains
  • Better “block” resistance

“Block resistance,” explains Merrill, “refers to a paint product’s ability to resist painted surfaces from becoming sticky, even at high temperatures like windows and doors exposed to direct sunlight. Without this feature doors and windows become difficult to open and, at times, things like picture frames, books and candles will stick or print on shelves and windowsills.”

Higher-quality paints allow for a thicker paint film after they have completely cured, Przybylski adds. “More paint on the surface [means] better appearance and better protection.”

Premium paints outperform professional-grade products in many ways, says Seaborg. For instance, “A professional-grade flat may have great hide, but won’t be as durable and won’t be able to withstand as many washes as a premium flat.”

While some professional paint products can be considered premium, there are also more moderate products designed to deliver good hide and touch up without the lasting performance. However, says Revnew, “The premium paint products offer good hide, good coverage and good touch-up properties with long-lasting durability.”

When is premium appropriate?
When should you use premium paint? “All the time, as far as we’re concerned,” says Seaborg. “Yet some contractors believe that for commercial and multiple dwelling projects, a production-grade paint makes more sense economically.” But by paying about $5 more per gallon, a contractor can use a premium-quality paint that outperforms the cheaper alternative in so many ways.

The smarter customers realize that the cost of the paint is actually a small portion of a contracted job. The labor involved to apply premium paint vs. lower-quality paint is about the same, and in some cases, may be less due to the need for fewer coats and the ease of its application.

“The labor cost to apply the coating represents a much larger percentage (approximately 80 percent) of the entire cost of the project than the expense of the paint itself,” Przybylski points out. Plus, the paint film will last much longer compared to ordinary paints.

Revnew says premium paints should be used in rooms that get used a lot or are subject to different environments, such as kitchens that are exposed daily to stains from food and beverages, bathrooms with their higher levels of moisture, or even hallways that experience heavy traffic, fingerprints and individuals inadvertently rubbing against the walls.

Dhawan thinks premium paint is best suited for places where children or pets are involved or in commercial situations where frequent abuse on the substrate is going to occur. But no matter where it’s used, it’s going to make the contractor’s work look better.

Premium paint makes you look good too
“Premium-quality products generally exhibit better flow and leveling and, in the long run, make the contractor look the best,” Dhawan continues. “Since many residential painters rely upon word-of-mouth, referral advertising, they should attempt to ‘up-sell’ their customers as often as they can. The premium quality paint keeps their reputation up and keeps complaints on performance down.”

Whereas in many instances the extra cost for the paint is offset by the need for fewer coats, this isn’t always the case. “Oftentimes, people think premium means that it will hide in one coat and they choose a fabulous bright red or bright yellow to spruce up their rooms,” says Dhawan. However, these colors are notorious for their low-hiding qualities. A premium paint will provide better hide than a lesser-grade product, but multiple coats may still be necessary. “The real advantage is the finished look, long-term durability and ability to retain color, gloss and that ‘just-painted’ look.”

Premium paint is all about “high-quality raw materials combined with proprietary technology to provide superior product performance,” sums up Leo Chippy, commercial marketing manager for Pratt & Lambert Paints. “The cost of the paint is minimal compared to the cost of the labor.” By using premium paint, “Contractors save on application, reduce callbacks and make a lot of customers happy.”

Premium Pleasers
Here’s what the reps had to say about their companies’ premium products and what makes them so special:

Pratt & Lambert relaunched its improved Accolade line last year, which is made from an award-winning, 100-percent acrylic formula. The paint’s stain-resistant makeup provides continued washability while maintaining its original appearance. To further enhance its deep rich colors, the highest grade of titanium dioxide — a primary pigment for bright, clear color — is part of the formula. Billed as “The Crown Jewel of Paints,” the newly reformulated “ultimate” interior coating comes with a lifetime warranty.

Coronado’s CeramaGard is formulated with ceramic microspheres held together by an ultra-fine, particle-sized resin, which binds the entire film together very tightly. This combination prohibits dirt and stains from penetrating into the film, allowing for easy cleaning. Simply spray on a household cleaner, allow it to work and then wipe with a soft cloth. CeramaGard also contains high-quality flow agents, which make the finished product look as if it were spray-applied even if it was brushed or rolled on.

The Sherwin-Williams Co.’s Duration Home is designed to be easy on the environment with its low-odor, low-VOC formulation. For painters, its easy application and good coverage means the job gets done quicker and with less effort. For customers, its ability to overcome stains and burnish marks means painted surfaces stay fresh and attractive longer. Duration Home’s stain resistance is the result of patented cross-linking resin technology that actually creates a nonporous paint film, making it easy to wipe away most stains with just plain water.

MAB’s Eclipse possesses excellent single-coat hide, high whiteness and excellent leveling. It’s formulated with 100 percent acrylic, rather than a blend. This provides a coating with overall higher-performance characteristics, making it highly wash- and scrub-resistant. It features new resin technology, low odor, great touch-up, very high mildew and moisture resistance, an extremely uniform finish and high film build. Eclipse is easy to apply and maintain and has superior block resistance.

Ralph Lauren Paint, manufactured by ICI, is backed by a lifetime warranty and features a distinctive signature color palette. Each of the 500-plus colors can be purchased in 2-ounce tester samples, which will cover 2 square feet. The paint also offers specialty finishes and faux techniques to provide texture and depth. New for 2005 is the Regent Metallic line, a specialty finish that can be tinted in 76 colors and applied with the Regent Metallic roller to create a hammered metal appearance.

Duron’s Signature Select is highly washable, with outstanding coverage and sheen uniformity. All of the finishes have low odor and include a component to resist mildew on the dry paint film. The semigloss has outstanding adhesion, even over existing oil-based finishes, without the need for a primer. Block resistance rivals that of an alkyd/oil-based finish, making it a perfect finish for doors, windows and shelving without concern for the film printing or becoming sticky as typical in many water-based finishes.

Ultra Ceramic is made with Muralo’s own proprietary resins. Introduced in 2002, the flat scrubbable paint — which looks and feels like an oil-based paint without any of the disadvantages — features a handsome matte finish with the durability and scrubbability of an eggshell or semigloss. Muralo considers the paint a super-premium product because of its outstanding performance in hide, application, stain resistance, burnish resistance, water resistance and wet adhesion.

 
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