The Wood Coatings Market

By Kerry Pianoforte, Editor | March 2, 2014

Recovery in the housing market has had a positive effect for both the professional and Do It Yourself (DIY) segments of the wood coatings market. Wood coatings manufacturers interviewed by Coatings World reported strong sales for 2013 and are optimistic for the future.

“Traditionally, many more deck care projects come from remodeling jobs or adding decks to existing homes versus new home construction,” said Mike Kozlowski, director of marketing, Thompson’s Water Seal.  “This helped keep our business relatively stable during the worst of the economic downturn. But there’s no doubt that an improved economy both makes retailers and consumers more willing to expand, and we’ve definitely seen evidence of that in 2013. Barring any unforeseen events, 2014 should be a growth year.”

“The recovery in the housing market has had a favorable impact on our business,” agreed Bill Fiorillo, global market director – kitchen cabinets and furniture at Sherwin-Williams. “Orders for residential furniture, wood building products and kitchen cabinets also increased for us in 2013, with some areas in the double digits. Key markets include kitchen cabinets, contract furniture, residential furniture, architectural millwork and retain store fixtures.”
Rust-Oleum continues to see strong sales in the wood coatings market. “Consumer spending is growing as the economy continues to recover,” said Mark Wilgen, Rust-Oleum director. “The Professional market has also stabilized and started to grow.”

“At the current time, homeowners are staying in their homes longer, and are investing more in the upkeep of their floors, decks, fences and siding,”  Wilgen added. “Well maintained wood surfaces add to the value of the home and saves money in the long term. Homeowners will spend more to ensure the products they used to finish their wood surfaces not only look good, but will also last. They don’t want to invest time and money on a product that will only hold up for one season. They want a product that will beatifies while also protecting the surface for years to come.”

Wood coatings must withstand harsh conditionals and maintain their aestetic appeal. Customers are looking for a variety of performance attributes in their wood coating products.  The products must not only be able to withstand harsh environments, but they must also offer unique color options. Browse through any Big Box home improvement store and you will see considerable shelf space dedicated to wood stains and finishes. Wood coatings manufacturers must continue to innovate to rise above the crowd. 

Kozlowski of Thompson’s Water Seal noted that while decks and outdoor living remain very popular, there is a lot competing for the homeowner’s attention and discretionary funds. “We think a key driver in this category is innovation,” said Kozlowski. “Giving consumers a faster, easier and more effective way to do something moves the needle.”

Sherwin-Williams’ reports that their customers rely on them to provide the latest coating technologies that meet industry accepted performance standards such as KCMA, AWI and BIFMA.

“In addition, end use customer expectations need to be met – such as mar resistance and resistance to household chemicals,” said Fiorillo. “We see the need to become a true partner with our customers by offering innovative products as well as by going above and beyond with value-added services such as training, inventory management, design engineering and logistics solutions. This is a win-win solution, and we’re proud of our track record in becoming valued partners to our customers.

“Customers continue to ask about green finishing practices,” added Fiorillo. “The concept of green continues to evolve. Industry associations have established defined green programs and statements, while specification programs reinforce certain standards for green. Considerations include things like indoor air quality, sustainability, material composition and process efficiency.”

For the professional, a quicker dry time provides their clients with a faster return to service. “Products must be compliant with increasing regulations while delivering enhanced performance,” said Wilgen. “To align with these expectations, Rust-Oleum is focused on the development of new innovative technologies to improve the user experience.”

In terms of color trends, Wilgen said that homeowners are gravitating toward colors that are unique and match the current trends in furniture, cars and fashion.
According to Fiorillo, color trends in wood coatings for both residential and contract furniture are shifting to lighter, cleaner looks. “White painted cabinets and glazed finishes are trending in kitchen cabinets,” he explained.

New Products

Sherwin-Williams introduced four formaldehyde-free products in 2013, adding to its existing offering and providing wood finishers with a family of formaldehyde-free finishes to choose from, including lacquers, varnishes and surfacers, primers and sealers.

Filling out its line of high performance, formaldehyde-free finishes, Sherwin-Williams has launched these four additional products in its F3 line-up. Sher-Wood F3 Hi-Bild PreCat White Lacquer, Sher-Wood F3 Kemvar Plus Conversion Varnish, Sher-Wood F3 Kemvar Plus Surfacer, and Sher-Wood F3 PreCat Primer/Surfacer.

With the addition of these coatings to its existing line of F3 products for formaldehyde free finishing, Sherwin-Williams expands the number of coating options available to help wood finishers eliminate formaldehyde from their finishing process, according to the company.

F3 products are traditional, catalyzed products with none of the formaldehyde typically emitted during application and curing, and offer the same performance and aesthetics without concern of formaldehyde, according to the company. Finishers benefit by eliminating both the strong odor of formaldehyde from their finishing process, as well as the residual formaldehyde odor that often causes complaints during installation and unpacking of wood products, according to the company.

The existing F3 line-up includes Sher-Wood F3 Hi-Bild PreCat Lacquer, Sher-Wood F3 Kemvar Varnish, and Sher-Wood F3 Kemvar Sealer. All F3 finishes are available for use as drop-in coatings on existing finishing lines, saving end-users the expense and time of purchasing and installing new finishing equipment. Sher-Wood F3 Kemvar Varnish has achieved Greenguard Certification, certified to Greenguard standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage.

This year, Thompson’s Water Seal brand is launching the first-ever aerosol wood protector – Thompson’S WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector. “The Thompson’s WaterSeal brand was the first to launch a waterproofer specifically for wood, and that formula has been a best-seller for more than 30 years,” said Kozlowski. “Now, we’ve put the three-way protection into a 12-ounce aerosol formula that is ideal for small projects. The homeowner gets superior waterproofing protection along with a coating that resists mildew and UV damage – all without having to break out tools or clean-up. Just push a button. The Thompson’s WaterSeal brand had debuted several aerosol waterproofers in the past few years, including our Thompson’s WaterSeal Fabric Seal and Thompson’s WaterSeal Wood Stain. Consumers love the convenience for small projects, and they’re very profitable for retailers. 
For homeowners whose decks are not as severely damaged and who do not want to stain and protect every year, Rust-Oleum released Rust-Oleum Restore 4x Deck Cover. It’s an easy-to-apply, water-based coating that revives the surface while offering long lasting protection to protect the deck for years to come.

Rust-Oleum has launched a number of new products. For homeowners whose decks are not as severely damaged and who do not want to stain and protect every year, Rust-Oleum has launched Restore 4x Deck Cover. “Restore 4x Deck Cover is four times thicker than ordinary paint and is formulated to refinish most wooden decks, composite decks and concrete patios as well,” explained Wilgen. “It’s the perfect solution for decks that are structurally sound, but aesthetically unattractive. Restore 4X Deck Cover conceals hairline cracks and creates a smooth barefoot- friendly surface that works on both horizontal and vertical surfaces and outlasts typical deck stains. That means less yearly maintenance and significant cost savings. With Restore 4x Deck Cover, do-it-yourselfers can transform their deck or patio in three easy steps.”

Rust-Oleum has also introduced a primer and sealer made with synthetic shellac that mirrors the same properties as traditional shellac. BIN Advanced is the ultimate stain blocker with a high hiding bright white finish. It also has exceptional odor blocking sealing everything from pesky pet odors to soot and lingering smoke damage from fire. Sealing and hiding everything from water and rust stains to graffiti, dark paint colors, crayon, lipstick and grease, BIN Advanced provides a more brilliant top coat color due to the product’s superior hide and hold out. BIN Advanced has excellent adhesion and sticks to slick surfaces such as Formica, tile, glossy paints and varnishes. It is dry to the touch in as little as 25 minutes, and can be top coated after 45 minutes.

Also from Rust-Oleum is Deck and Concrete Restore, an easy to apply repair coating that revives the surface while offering maximum protection to preserve the deck for years to come. Boasting ten times the thickness of regular paint or stain, it is formulated to resurface most wooden and composite decks and concrete patios. The perfect solution for decks that are structurally sound, but aesthetically unattractive, Deck and Concrete Restore encapsulates splinters and fills cracks, making a safe, beautiful, slip-resistant surface that is barefoot friendly. It is also ideal for concrete surfaces such as walkways, steps, patios, porches and more, according to the company.

“The backyard – and the deck – is an important ‘room’ in our homes. Unfortunately due to harsh weather conditions decks take a lot of abuse,” said Joel Tressler, director of marketing for Rust-Oleum Restore. “Most homeowners think the only solution to revive a battered deck is replacement. Thanks to Deck and Concrete Restore, homeowners can now protect their investment and reclaim this extra ‘room’ and start enjoying it again without spending a small fortune.” Deck and Concrete Restore offers a scuff, peel and chip-resistant finish that withstands temperature changes, heavy foot traffic and furniture abrasion. The product is a pre-mixed, water-based, one-part polymer coating containing synthetic and mineral pigments.

Rust-Oleum Acquires Citadel Restoration
and Repair

Rust-Oleum Corporation recently acquired Citadel Restoration and Repair, Inc., a producer and marketer of premium concrete and wood deck floor coatings for both the commercial and DIY markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Citadel’s unique coatings for concrete floors combine the benefits of lasting protection and beauty with quick return to service and easy application, the company stated. The company’s Citadel brand is marketed to professional contractors, while its Rock Solid brand is targeted to the DIY market.  Citadel also offers a premium line of Rock Solid exterior wood care products that provide performance advantages over conventional stains.

“Citadel has outstanding technology that we are excited to bring to our customers both in consumer and industrial markets,” Tom Reed, president of Rust-Oleum stated in press release. Patrick Ilfrey, former owner of Citadel, will continue to lead this business as part of Rust-Oleum.

WOOD LOOK Offers  ICA-designed Technology for the Virtual Treatment of Wood

It is now possible to choose the color of wooden furniture using innovative Wood Look technology. This is the latest technology from the laboratories of ICA, an industrial group based in Italy that ranks as one of the leading companies in Europe in the manufacture and marketing of special coatings for wood. The group has now developed a software program for the virtual treatment of wood with high-
definition ICA colors and effects.

Wood Look is a real-time configurator that has been designed by  ICA to project its olors and effects directly onto the 3D image created and used by furniture producers. The client can view and select the color of its own products in a highly realistic way, more instantaneously than ever before.

The Wood Look system also allows for the virtual application of the brand-new NATURAL MATTER range, composed of all-new stains designed to bring out the naturalness of the wood grain.

The range encompasses 15 new shades that fit in perfectly with the current trends in the finishing of modern furniture, which are increasingly geared towards highlighting the natural beauty of the wooden surface.

Berger Paints Conducts Advanced Wood Finishes Program in Oman

For the first time in Oman, Berger Paints hosted a two-day program on Advanced Wood Finishes at the Al Bustan Palace in association with Prof. Jamil Baghdachi from Eastern Michigan University to provide updated information on global trends in wood finishing.
The program was delivered by Prof. Jamil Baghdachi of Eastern Michigan University. Prof. Baghdachi is the director of Coatings

Research Institute at the University with more  than 25 years field experience in the coatings field across the world. Besides teaching, he has conducted training programs and consulted for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He holds more than 20 patents and has numerous publications to his credit.

The comprehensive training was designed to impart valuable knowledge on global paint market, wood and wood substrates, wood coating technology, waterborne coatings, emerging technology in wood finishes such as UV and Nanotechnology, wood coating in practice as well as environmental and safety standards. All participants who completed the course were given a Certificate from the Coatings Research Institute, U.S.

This event is part of Berger Paints’ “Continued Professional Training” series that regularly organizes events. Through conferences, classroom training and seminars, the company acts as a responsible corporate citizen facilitating continued learning.
Berger Paints used this platform to introduce premium quality products that are environment friendly as well. Out of the six, five products are under Touchwood brand. These include pigmented polyurethane for interiors; UV curable range; wood preservation that protects against borer, termite and common pest attacks; low VOC polyurethane clear coats and water based polyurethane finish. In addition, a range of high performance polyurethane finishes in gloss, silkmatt and pigmented were also launched under the Emporio brand.

“The strength of our brand lies in innovative ideas and technological development, both of which are projected in the new wood finish products along with the line of Textiles, Dunes, Safari and Kids range by Royale Play introduced last month. We have a reputation of being the trend-setters for unique concepts in the industry,” said P.K. Raj, general manager, Berger Paints.

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