Bosveld said Dunn-Edwards is cautiously optimistic about market improvements. “Consumer confidence has been improving, but the trend is still moving up and down,” he added. “This uncertainty puts pressure on households to reduce and/or manage spending very carefully. There is continued talk about interest rates rising and this affects borrowing rates. Higher rates make it more challenging for homebuyers to enter the market. On a brighter side, early predictions for 2015 were first time homebuyers were expected to enter the market again. Also, there is pent up demand for property maintenance that home and property owners need to address. To continue to defer expenses could lead to major renovation costs. This trend is providing gains in the remodeling market as a new class of DIY-ers are taking on projects, versus hiring professionals, to save money.”
“Positive housing trends, such as new home construction and the rise in home values, positively impact the exterior architectural coatings industry,” said Tom Maziarz, vice president, stores and dealers, architectural coatings U.S. and Canada, PPG Industries. “Housing and commercial indicators call for continued growth, which in turn positively impacts the architectural coatings industry.”
According to Dean Peterson, business development manager, metal building products, The Sherwin-Williams Company, it is the underlying dynamics of improvements in housing – like increased homesteading among millennials, increases in multigenerational housing, and remodeling trends for existing homes – that are leading the areas where there has been the most growth.
“This includes the use of higher quality, longer performing exterior coatings,” he explained. “Products such as metal roofing and structural windows with fluoropolymer coatings that carry longer warranties are now being used frequently in residential construction. The demand for a wider variety of colors, better color consistency and better durability has driven siding manufacturers to seek out higher quality coatings that provide them added throughput benefits as well. These include faster cure rates and reduced racking time like Sherwin-Williams Kem-Aqua BP Siding Plus, which employs a self cross-linking resin to achieve these benefits.”
According to Peterson, new construction and the retrofit market are both expected to achieve slow growth in the coming years. “Window manufacturers expect growth in both the aluminum and the composite market,” he said. “Energy efficient and smart homes will use building materials that will reduce maintenance and improve thermal characteristics. Another sign of improvement includes an advancement in the quality of coatings in this market. Coatings that reduce the need for recoating during application or provide longer service life help to ensure quality and durability. With that said, a problem the industry now faces is a shortage of skilled help in the building trades. Though many improved coatings limit the amount of time builders or remodelers spend to recoat, there is still a need to fill the growing demand for these positions.”
LEED and Green Building
Over the last two decades, paint and coatings manufacturers have increased research and development efforts to develop low- and zero- VOC technology for paints, stains, caulks and sealants. Delivering premium quality that rivals their higher VOC counterparts, reduced VOC paint products offer many benefits for professionals and consumers alike.
“All of PPG’s products are researched and tested to meet the highest quality standards,” said Mary Ellen Shivetts, senior product stewardship manager, PPG Architectural Coatings, U.S. and Canada. “PPG was one of the first pioneers in the paint industry in developing new performance standards for zero and low-VOC products. Many of our products have zero- or low-VOC content*(*colorants added to base paints may increase VOC level significantly depending on color choice),
allowing our products to meet a variety of governmental regulations and third-party standards nationwide.
For example, PPG’s SIKKENS PROLUXE Wood Finishes Rubbol stain has < 100 grams of VOCs per liter (g/L), while the U.S. EPA regulates that stains do not exceed 550 VOCs (g/L) for semi-transparent stains or 350 VOCs (g/L) for opaque/solids color stains.
Also, the PPG PITTSBURGH PAINTS and PPG PAINTS brands offer various zero- and low-VOC* paint options with low odor for painting occupied spaces, including PPG Pittsburgh Paints WONDER-PURE and PPG Paints SPEEDHIDE Zero interior zero-VOC* latex paints.”
Recently, Valspar introduced Fluropon Pure, a reduced hazardous materials focused coating, ideal for architectural projects with extreme environmental requirements. Fluropon Pure is a Red List compliant coating that will support customers who participate in LEED v4 and Living Building Challenge’s Declare programs.
“Designed with transparency top-of-mind, architects and building owners alike can rest assured knowing Fluropon Pure coatings are energy efficient and not harmful to the environment,” said Jeff Alexander, vice president of sales, Valspar. “We are proud to be a company that keeps sustainability and the environment at the forefront of our innovations, a trend we see growing across the architectural market. We were the first company to incorporate biorenewable materials, like vegetable oil, in our backers and interior coil applications. In fact, methods behind the technology have been patented. Additionally, we offer cool coatings like, Fluropon SR, a solar reflective coating that reduces air conditioning stress, heat island effect and overall energy consumption. Valspar is continually striving to provided the largest color palette and the highest SR values on the market today. Fluropon SR was specifically designed for metal roofing, a growing architectural trend we’ve found to be present in many new construction projects.”
Peterson of Sherwin-Williams predicted that the use of water-based coatings for wood architectural products and powder coatings for metal architectural products will continue to grow. “Liquid coatings are now offered with higher solids, lower VOCs and sustainable raw materials,” he noted. “Our SHER-NAR 5000 Architectural Baking Enamel holds the sole U.S. spray license for Arkema’s Kynar 500 FSF PVDF resin. This fluorosurfactant-free license means that 100 percent Kynar 500 FSF PVDF resin is used, which allows architects to meet the stringent AAMA 2605-13 specifications and provide long-lasting performance in a variety of weather conditions. It provides an environmentally responsible approach as its base resin guards against chalking, pitting, chipping and premature aging while delivering long-life protection for color and gloss.”
Dunn-Edwards also offers a variety of ultra-low and zero VOC coatings for architectural use. “The range of products, such as Evershield an Ultra-Premium Exterior Paint Line and Everest, provide a ‘green’ coatings solution for any exterior or interior project,” said Bosveld. “In addition to simply offering these types of products, we also provide unique services such as a Green Building, CHPS (California High Performance Schools) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Specification Guides. In terms of actual coatings formulations, all Dunn-Edwards manufactured products are EG-FREE. Ethylene Glycol (EG), a solvent often used in water-based paints, is listed as a Toxic Air Contaminant (TAC) and Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP). In 1983, we were the first in the industry to voluntarily replace EG with Propylene Glycol, a non-toxic alternative “generally regarded as safe” by the FDA, so that all our paints contain neither EG nor any other TAC or HAP compound. Dunn-Edwards is the first paint company to label its products with RAVOC ratings — Reactivity-Adjusted VOC Content — a better way to measure how much a coating might affect air quality. Lastly, in 2011, Dunn-Edwards opened the world’s first and only LEED Gold-certified paint manufacturing facility in Phoenix, AZ. Encompassing manufacturing, product development, quality control and more, the 336,000-sq. ft. facility is designed to be the greenest in the industry.”
Of course, durability and sustainability are key features when selecting exterior coatings, but the actual color is the number one concern for homeowners and business-owners alike.
PPG color experts have identified four of the most popular residential exterior color combinations. These four color combinations are: Warm Neutrals: natural and authentic colors that are inviting and gentle; Cool Neutrals: classic and stately colors that are forever and noble; Gray – Green – Blue: colors of tranquility and natural harmony that are serene and coasta; and Cream – Yellow – Russet: warm, joyful colors that are friendly and cozy.
“In addition to these home color trends, exterior glossy finishes are also trending for business owners who want to achieve a high-end, premium look for their offices, which can be inviting and appealing to potential customers,” said Dee Schlotter, national color marketing manager, PPG Architectural Coatings, U.S. and Canada.
Valspar noted its customers are looking for unique ways to achieve a textured or patterned look by experimenting with different ways to use colors and prints. “One of the ways we’re meeting their needs is through our Fluropon Effects, specifically Kameleon and Nova coatings,” said Alexander. “Valspar Kameleon coatings offer a prismatic, pearlescent finish to a building’s exterior and appears to shift in color when viewed from different angles or sunlight. Our Kameleon coatings are also formulated with our standard 70 percent PVDF resin, ensuring durability as they dazzle in the sunlight. Similarly, Nova is a 70 percent PVDF coating but offers a more richly saturated color with a layer of sparkle in gold or silver. More recently, we’ve witnessed an increase of roof panels that have patterns and textures printed on their surface. Architects who want the durability benefits of metal roofing paired with a particular appearance, like wood shake, slate, or tile, now have a solution with Valspar’s printed coatings.”
In residential coatings colors the largest exterior volume colors remain the same, Peterson said. “But more and more builders are taking risks with color and combining materials. In the Southeast, for example, they are highlighting otherwise disguised architectural elements, such as gutters, with dark, bold colors against mid-tone or lighter colors for a contrast. Much of this is due to a business/competition strategy, but the consumer is also tired of ‘me too offerings.’ For nonresidential coatings, popular colors include Hartford green in the Northeast, adobe or brick red in the Southwest and forest green in the Northwest. Silver metallic and copper metallic are also popular accent colors.”
“For exteriors, color is coming on strong from front door colors to full home coloring,” said Sara McLean, color marketing manager at Dunn-Edwards. “Front doors are always great to highlight a pop of color if a homeowner is too nervous to put a lot of color on the home,” said McLean. “Other homeowners who have a historic home such as a mid-century modern find the fun splash of color on the front door brings added drama to the façade. Front door colors that are trending this year include cobalt blue, teal blue, deep cranberry red, brown with a reddish-purple undertone, steel gray, pumpkin, ivy green and a misty shade of blue-gray.”
Coatings manufactuerers offers a wide variety of exterior architectural coatings, featuring enhanced performance options. Valspar recently introduced two new lines to the family, Fluropon Extreme and Fluropon Effects Nova coatings. Fluropon Extreme, a smooth hard coat, is the most damage resistant coating Valspar offers to date. “We’ve designed it to withstand the kinds of abrasions that occur both before and after installation. Fluropon Extreme recently tested above and beyond current standards in withstanding extreme wear conditions,” said Alexander. “It is a great choice for a wide variety of uses; it’s especially well suited to tough installation process such as roofing. Our other recent innovation, Fluropon Nova, is a color effect coating that offers richer and deeper colors with an intense sparkle in gold or silver never before seen in typical 70 percent PVDF architectural coatings – a patented pending formulation. Fluropon Nova maintains the durability and color matching features architects and contractors have come to depend on, but with an added shimmer and brilliant finish that is sure to turn heads.”
The PPG Pittsburgh Paints brand recently introduced its reformulated, premium line of REGENCY Paint + Primer-In-One acrylic latex paints, which includes exterior and interior/exterior formulations. “Regency Exterior provides maximum protection against weathering and outdoor conditions, while maintaining a freshly painted appearance through outstanding color retention and resistance to dirt and dust,” said John Trenta, senior brand manager, PPG Pittsburgh Paints. “Regency Interior/Exterior delivers lasting performance in a glossy finish with outstanding adhesion, hardness and scrubbability, and it is ideal for painting trim, cabinets, banisters, doors and molding.”
Sherwin-Williams’ new Kem Aqua Fluor products are tailored for the burgeoning vinyl window market, and combine a wide array of colors with performance, durability and ease of application and handling for the manufacturer. Sherwin-Williams SHER-NAR 5000 Architectural Baking Enamel and Kem-Aqua BP Siding Plus offer unique-to-the-industry benefits to both building product manufacturers and end users that provide product reliability and sustainable advantages.
Dunn-Edwards recently launched ENDURALASTIC 10 is an ultra-premium specialty 100 percent acrylic elastomeric wall coating designed for use on exterior surfaces. ENDURALASTIC 10 has exceptional flexibility, chalking and binder degradation resistance, and provides outstanding waterproofing protection against wind-driven rain by bridging hairline cracks, the company reports. ENDURALASTIC 10 also provides excellent adhesion and outstanding alkali and efflorescence resistance on properly prepared masonry.