“Currently wood coatings represent 84%, while wood preservatives hold a 16% SOM, Phillips said. “By 2023, the shares will shift three percentage points to 81% for coatings and 19% for preservatives.”
The key segments for this market include siding and decking, furniture and cabinets. In 2013, sliding and decking made up $698 and $673 million (22.5% & 21.7%) of the market, while furniture made up at $304 million and cabinets $332 million (9.8% & 10.7%).
“However,” Phillips said, “in 15 years we project the following: siding will grow at below 2% to $852 (17.4%); decking will grow aggressively at 4.3% to $1288 million (26.3%); furniture will go from 9.8 to 9.2% in 2028; and cabinets will go up from 10.7% to 11.8% in 2028. Those classified as ‘other’ will remain the same at 35% SOM at a 3.1% AGR.”
According to Jacquelyn Ferrara, Director of Marketing at Minwax, improvements in the housing market have lifted sales in many related categories.
“Homeowners are once again investing in their homes, whether to make improvements or to ready them for sale. Do-It-Yourselfers and pros are refinishing floors, updating doors, molding and trim which contributed to the increased sales of stains and clear protective finishes in 2014,” said Ferrara. “We expect to see this growth continue in both the housing and coatings market in 2015.”
Chris Connelly, Director of Brand Management at Benjamin Moore, said that the nature of the US housing market is responsible for the upswing seen in 2014.
“Growth of the wood coatings market is directly related to an improved housing market,” Connelly said. “Traditionally, homes in the US are built with wood, from exterior siding, decks, and fences to interior cabinetry, furniture and flooring. An improved housing market has had a positive impact on the wood coating market. Although we do not have the numbers in yet for 2014, we expect positive growth when compared to the previous five years.”
While the entire wood coatings market saw growth in the past year, Mike Kozlowski, Director of Marketing at Thompson’s Waterseal Brand said that one area in particular has seen growth because of heightened competition.
“The deck stain segment of the market definitely saw growth in 2014, and it’s clear that retailers and consumers are feeling more confident. But a stronger economy isn’t the only driver for growth in this segment,” Kozlowski said. “This category is very responsive to product innovation, which we delivered in the form of a brand-new line of waterproofing stains. That innovation drove a strong, robust year for Thompson’s WaterSeal exterior stains.”
This line of stains, he said, is a response to the market’s need for more sustainable and “greener” products.
“The demand for waterproofing deck stains continues to grow, while formulas have evolved to meet changing VOC regulations. For decks, real wood continues to make up more than 80% of surfaces, and you can extend the life of the wood by years with regular maintenance, consisting of cleaning and reapplying a waterproofing deck stain. During the recession, demand for composite lumber actually fell.
“The good news for consumers is that we are able to provide more environmentally friendly deck stains without sacrificing performance,” Kozlowski. “In the spring of 2014, we launched a new line of deck stains, Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterprofing Stain, that is our best performing deck stain to date, and it meets all VOC laws nationally.”
Ferrara, of Minwax, said that the need for sustainable products is underscored by architectural coatings regulations, which continue to limit volatile organic compounds.
“The interest in reclaimed and recycled wood continues to grow, as DIYers and professional contractors both value this natural, sustainable resource that often becomes more interesting and beautiful with age,” she said. “Minwax offers a variety of superior quality stain and clear finish formulas that meet these regulatory criteria.”
Pat Bennett, Brand Manager at Benjamin Moore, said that customer demand for sustainable, high-performing products has spurred competition and advancements.
“Consumer demand for ‘greener’ products have had a significant impact on the product quality and innovation of the wood coating market,” Bennett said. “Consumers want water-based products that are easy to clean, environmentally friendly, and just as durable as traditional high performance alkyd coating. This demand has sparked a flurry of innovation throughout the last several years to not only meet this consumer demand, but also to exceed consumer expectations. At Benjamin Moore, we consistently provide innovative wood coating solutions that last longer, protect wood better, and are easier to apply.”
Of course, it is not only sustainable products that are expected to perform. Consumers continually demand faster, better solutions to problems, and wood coatings manufacturers aim to meet their needs.
According to Kozlowski, effective waterproofing to protect exterior wood like a deck or fence from water damage continues to be critical.
“Water is wood’s number one enemy, and it can ultimately destroy the structure, which can be very unsightly, unsafe and costly,” he said. “From there, people want a variety of color options, in terms of the ability to get a transparent finish that lets you see the most wood grain, a semi-transparent finish that provides more color and shows medium wood grain, or a solid color for maximum color and the least visible wood grain. Ease of use is also very important.
“Our new Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain line offers not only a new formula, but for the first time, exterior stains are in a square can vs. a round ‘paint’ can, and consumers love that simple switch. They told us that the square cans are easier to carry, easier to store and easier to use. They also liked the new layout on the labels, which makes it easy to tell at a glance the differences in transparent, semi-transparent or solid stains. We call it ‘easy to choose, easy to use,’ and that really resonates with consumers. After all, the goal is to minimize the time you spend on maintenance so you can maximize the time spent enjoying the deck with friends and family.”
Ferrara added, “Different product attributes resonate with different consumers – a wide range of color choices, one-step products, fast recoat and dry times, no sanding between coats of clear finish, soap and water clean-up, etc., - but the ultimate deliverables are the same across all projects. DIYers and pros want rich, beautiful stain color and long-lasting durable protection from their clear finishes.”
As with any other home-related product, the wood coatings market is influenced by color trends.
Michael Price, Associate Brand Manager at Benjamin Moore, said that in terms of color, “the color and design experts at Benjamin Moore have identified a consumer shift from traditional cedar-tone colors to modern silver-tone colors such as Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat Translucent Stain in Silver Gray.”
Kozlowski said that he is seeing more interest in darker, more “elegant” colors in deck stains.
“In our Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain line, the most popular color is Acorn Brown, which is a rich, chocolate brown,” he said. “This interest in deep colors seems to be mirrored by Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year, Marsala. It’s a brown-wine blend that would actually look beautiful on a deck.”
Ferrara said that Minwax’s research indicates that consumers want a wide variety of color choices. “We are continuously monitoring the trends within the marketplace to ensure that we are on the cutting edge and satisfying the needs of DIYers and Professionals by offering them a color for every project,” she said. “Minwax offers over 100 colors of stains to choose from. We also offer a wide range of one step products, such as Minwax PolyShades, which is a rich stain color and long lasting polyurethane protection in one, so that DIYers can complete their wood finishing project quickly and move on to their next project. PolyShades is available in 13 beautiful colors, which range from a light honey pine to a dark espresso or classic black look.”
Wood coatings manufacturers have released several new products to meet various consumer demands. Thompson’s has focused on its WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain line, which the company said “offers multiple features that make it easier to choose and use the right deck stain.”
To that end, Kozlowski said that the line offers elastomeric properties, which helps the stain expand and contract with the wood during temperature fluctuations over time, reducing cracking and peeling. Additionally, advanced acrylic polymers “greatly improve resistance to scuffing and marring; waterproofing protection exceeds industry standards, while the coating resists mildew and UV damage.”
On horizontal surfaces like decks, Kozlowski said, the Transparent Stain is guaranteed for three years, the Semi-Transparent Stain is guaranteed for four years and the Solid Stain is guaranteed for five years.
To offer consumers time-saving options, Kozlowski added that the formula can be applied to damp wood so the project can begin soon after cleaning and be finished faster (most deck stains require a 48-hour wait between cleaning and staining the wood.)
WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain is available in the company’s five most popular colors: Acorn Brown, Harvest Gold, Maple Brown, Sequoia Red and Woodland Cedar. Each color is available in three opacities: transparent, semi-transparent and solid; and the packages feature a sliding meter graphic with a marker that indicates if that particular formula will show “Most Wood Grain” (transparent), “Medium Grain” (semi-transparent) or “Least Grain” (solid.)
“To complement this line,” Kozlowski said, “we are also rolling out the new Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain Aerosol, putting powerful protection and matching colors into a convenient 11.75-ounce aerosol can that is ideal for smaller projects.
Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain Aerosol combines exterior wood stain and sealer all in one, creating a formula that prevents water damage with just the push of a button. The protection doesn’t stop there; the coating resists mildew, and delivers UV protection against color fading. The line offers the same five popular colors that correspond to the one, two and one-half gallon and five gallon sizes in the waterproofing stain line. Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofing Wood Protector Clear Aerosol delivers the same formula consumers have trusted for decades in a modern, convenient aerosol.”
Connelly, of Benjamin Moore, said that his company’s Arborcoat Premium Exterior Stains have been Benjamin Moore’s flagship wood coatings brand since 2010 and “continues to outperform the market year after year. It was originally launched with a full line-up of exterior waterborne stains, ranging from clear to solid color stain for siding, decks, fences, and furniture,” he said.
“In 2014, as part of our commitment to innovation, Benjamin Moore added four oil-based products to the Arborcoat portfolio that meet most OTC requirements and have significantly outperformed expectations in year one. We will continue to provide innovative coating solutions and in 2015, we are launching an Ultra Flat Solid Siding Stain that reduces imperfections, flashing, and retains color longer than traditional exterior solid stains.”
Minwax’s Ferrara said that Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths, recently launched in 2014, were designed to be the perfect product for someone that is new to wood finishing.
“It’s a cloth, pre-moistened with water-based wood stain and clear protective finish in a variety of rich wood tones, the new cloths package contains all the product you need to stain and protect unfinished wood – and each package contains a pair of gloves to wear during application. After sanding the wood smooth and removing any sanding dust, simply wipe on the stain, and then wipe off the excess with a clean cloth. The stain dries in just one hour, and cleanup is soap-and-water easy.
“Another new product launched last year, which is positioned more towards the seasoned DIYer, is Minwax Ultimate Floor Finish. Minwax Ultimate Floor Finish is a technologically advanced topcoat for floors that provides a crystal clear finish with superior durability. The self-cross linking technology ensures a tough floor finish, like that of traditional polyurethane, without ambering or the need to sand between coats. The product dries quickly, so floors can be recoated in only two hours.”