According to the National Realtors Association’s “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report,” individuals under 38 make up the largest share of home buyers – 36 percent – with many of them (65 percent) first-time buyers.
The number of first-time buyers totaled 34 percent, per the report.
Behr Paint Company’s Chief Marketing Officer Jodi Allen said, as a result, this is also driving demand in the interior coatings market. But that’s not all.
“We’re also observing an increased demand for home updates, in part due to the fact that 65 percent of the existing housing stock was built before 1990,” Allen said. “Today, people are living in their homes longer than previous generations, and thus spending more on remodeling, on a more frequent basis.”
PPG Product Marketing Manager Brian Osterried observed “a rise in existing home sales, new construction, high employment rate, and consumer confidence.”
“The housing market stayed relatively steady in 2018 and as always, that has an impact on paint sales. As homes turn over from one owner to the next, painting is generally a project taken on by the new homeowner,” said John Lanzillotti, Benjamin Moore SVP- global sales. “A strong economy offers growth opportunities as well with homeowners investing in home improvements at strong levels. The future is always hard to predict but we are hopeful that 2019 will bring solid growth for the industry.
Allen and David Menko, chief marketing officer, paints at AkzoNobel, both agree customers want to keep it simple.
“[They] are “looking for easy-to-apply finishes that are both beautiful and durable,” Allen said.
“They want to combine steps and avoid multiple coats as much as possible – making ‘paint and primer in one’ technology widely popular. Customers also want easy-to-maintain features like mildew-resistant finishes, scrubability, impact resistance and resistance to color fade.”
“Consumers are looking for reassurance that their paint job will be easy to do,” Menko added.
Along with the ease of application, those customers want their paint job to “last for a long time and resist the daily wear and tear,” he said.
According to Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager, expect high performance in product application, color matching accuracy and speed to help them get their projects started and completed efficiently.
To assist professionals and DIYers, AkzoNobel has its annual color trend research and award-winning Wet Roller-Tester and Visualizer app – “to help consumers make confident color choices,” Menko said.
Additionally, “to create more economical, environmental and social value, our innovation is geared towards reducing our upstream and downstream supply chain impact by changing formulations to water-based technology,” he added.
Behr also aids customers in color selection with its online live color chat Color Discovery and Pins to Palettes.
Color Discovery allows you to choose the room – i.e. living room, kitchen, etc. – and primary purpose before providing recommended paint for the job.
“Millennials are hyper-connected, yet place a premium on customization and self-expression.
Color is a good way to appeal to those desires, by evoking a unique look and feel that attracts the Millennial demographic,” Anne Diedrich, interior designer, color marketing & design at Sherwin-Williams penned in an article for Multi-Housing News.
Millennials’ color preference is tied to their worldview, according to Diedrich, adding that colors with “mindful and optimistic vibes” are popular with the 20- and 30-something crowd.
“Millennials have a connection to their community and the environment, and seek organic shades that bring the outside in,” Diedrich noted in her piece. “Botanical and foundational colors feel authentic and encourage a sense of retreat even as Millennials go about their busy lives. While they find comfort in natural tones, the fact Millennials have known nothing but a connected world can’t be overlooked. More saturated, tech-driven hues appeal to and inspire them so long as the colors remain authentic and honest.
Low-VOC products continue to gain in popularity. The PPG PAINTS brand offers a sub-50 gram per liter volatile organic compound version of BREAK-THROUGH! interior and exterior waterborne acrylic paint.
“PPG Paints Break-Through! paint offers a unique and versatile technology that provides quick drying time, excellent adhesion, hardness and block resistance to a variety of residential and commercial surfaces,” Osterried said. “In addition, PPG Paints MANOR HALL interior paint, primer and stain repellant in one is a super-premium latex that was developed to resist household stains through a combination of resin and a proprietary formulation. The 100 percent acrylic latex has outstanding adhesion and coverage and offers a burnish and mildew resistant coating, providing the durability for use in high humidity and high traffic areas. Outstanding hiding is aided by excellent flow and leveling which provides a rich, smooth film for a beautiful finish.”
“Low- and zero-VOC products have come a long way and now apply similarly to regular paints in coverage and spreadability,” Osterried said.
“Behr Technological advancements in paint allow consumers to leave the store with a low-VOC product that will perform just as well as a high-VOC counterpart,” Allen said.
The chief marketing officer recommends BEHR PREMIUM PLUS, which is sold exclusively at The Home Depot stores nationwide.
But, as Osterried points out, it’s about more than just producing a low- or zero-VOC paint, which he said is a “must-have” option for all brands in the space.
“It’s important for manufacturers to consider air quality, green building initiatives and certifications, carbon footprint and LEED v4 qualifications while understanding the product performance qualities that are important to painters and building managers,” he said. “LEED v4 is now a primary requirement for most commercial new construction projects, which calls for a higher level of understanding and commitment to sustainability in product offerings.”
2019 Color Trends and Styles
Many of the top paint companies recently unveiled their Color of the Year and/or color palette.
“As darker colors continue to grow in popularity, PPG’s global color experts hand-selected Night Watch (PPG1145-7), a rich, luxurious and classic shade of green, as the PPG paint brand’s 2019 Color of the Year,” said Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager.
“Inspired by nature, Night Watch evokes a soothing feeling when incorporated into any space in the home. The dark green hue pulls our memories of natural environments to the surface to recreate the calming, invigorating euphoria we feel when in nature.
“This universal color can be used in a variety of rooms and spaces. On the inside of the home, Night Watch is perfect as a focal accent wall color in a bedroom or dining room, and looks beautiful on all four walls of a dining room or study,” she continued. “The color is especially impactful in spaces throughout the home that do not have windows, such as the end of a windowless hallway.”
In September 2018, AkzoNobel announced its 2019 Color of the Year: Spiced Honey.
“The selected color perfectly captures this year’s theme ‘Let the light in,’” Menko said. “The warm amber tone is being marketed under well-known decorative paints brands such as Dulux, Coral, Levis, and Flexa.”
The insight is also “highly relevant” to the company’s coatings portfolio, according to the chief marketing officer.
“For example,” he said, “the Specialty Coatings business translates the annual trend research for customers in the consumer electronics and automotive markets. Meanwhile, color stylists at Wood Coatings use the information to offer on-trend color selections for product developers and designers in major markets such as furniture, cabinetry, flooring, and building products.”
Sara McLean, color expert and stylist at Dunn-Edwards, observed five trends.
“One trend we see is that bling is on a downtrend, evolving to influences of deep sea exploration, with colors of cold neutrals and pastels, along with pink and mauve,” McLean said.
“We’ll welcome aquatic tones, contrasted with pearled white, camouflage, grayed purple and terracotta.”
Dunn-Edwards’ trends story Extreme Odyssey “embraces these hues while exploring innovations in architecture and design and experimentations with contemporary and performance art moods,” according to McLean.
“Look for weathered and oxidized textiles, metals, wood, and ceramics. Arctic ice transparent, frosty minerals and shell colors will also make an appearance,” she noted.
The second trend focuses on the “playful side” with “joyful, bright colors, modern and artsy-friendly designs with a touch of humor,” McLean said.
The City Stroll trends story – a “joyful expression that allows us to make daily life fun and light-hearted,” per McLean – exemplifies this.
“Expect dazzling bright colors, paired with bright white, sporty graphic colors and near neons,” the color expert and stylist noted. “Color next year will have a swimming pool vibe, with coated accessories, rounded shapes, inflatables, and icy finishes. We’re loving shades of teal, mango, sangria, and dark chocolate.”
The third trend “speaks to the soft and subtle side of life that incorporates nature in a chic, minimalist atmosphere,” according to McLean, adding that the Poetic Passage story colors are “soft, tender, poetic and elegant.”
“We’ll see delicate, bleached, fresh neutrals and warm naturals lit by cool icy tones,” she continued. “Casual blues and tender pinks will be paired with graphic colors, sophisticated nude palettes, and desaturated colors. Light velvet, twill, monochromatic jacquard, velvet corduroy, cocoon-style, pillow-top, and satin sheen will be popular, along with British-inspired wardrobes of tweeds, tartans, among other classic fabrics.”
The fourth trend is Country Caper.
“[It] reflects the inspiration of the bountiful garden with flowers and foliage with a Bohemian mood in search of the idyllic country life,” according to McLean. “We paint ourselves a perfect escape, with idyllic expressions reminiscent of the French and English countryside.
McLean said, for colors, to think of “fresh, moisture-drenched hues of greens, from soft and grayed to dark and vibrant.”
“They pair well with brown, pastels, juicy red and chalky neutrals,” she added. “Extra-large or multi-colored elegant geometric patterns will emerge, along with houndstooth, checkerboard, jacquards and polka dots.”
The fifth trend celebrates “the richness and diversity” of Mediterranean culture – “spiked with a dose of soul from our heritage,” per McLean.
“We’ll be seeing a dense, spicy and exotic range of colors that invoke nostalgic journeys.
Simple primary colors paired with outdoorsy olive, brown and ochre,” she said. “We can expect folkloric and craft textures, such as cotton basket weave, handmade rugs, furs, and skins.
These are comforting colors and materials that remind us of our history.”
“For 2019, the Benjamin Moore Color & Design team observed an overall mood of retreating to the home as a place of comfort and quietude, where we can escape from the chaos and noise of daily life,” said Andrea Magno, Benjamin Moore color & design expert. “The Benjamin Moore Color Trends palette for 2019 features many timeless favorites with a range of off-whites and pastels to rich deeps that exude sophistication while creating a sense of balance in the home.
“A few colors to note for 2019 include Metropolitan AF-690, which is highlighted as our 2019 Color of the year, Beau Green 2054-20, Hale Navy HC-154, and Head Over Heels AF-250,” Magno added.
AkzoNobel: Dulux Weathershield
“This is our exterior wall paint answer to different weather conditions around the world,” Menko said. “For the countries where the temperatures run high, we launched the product with KeepCool Technology that reflects infrared light and reduce heat absorption, which results in energy savings. For the cooler areas, we have launched Flexiguard Technology product that does not crack or peel, and protects the walls from the weather conditions such as rain, wind and sun.”
The interior wall paint with stain resist technology “frees consumers from the worry that everyday living will damage the look of their beautiful home,” Menko said.
Dulux Forest Breath
“Interior emulsion with air purifying technology, which enhances air quality, captures and purifies harmful air pollutants in the home and keeps indoor air healthy and fresh,” according to Menko.
“Interior wall paint with long-lasting HD colors technology, that helps consumers to express themselves in their home while providing intense, rich colors and an ultra-smooth finish that stays for long,” Menko said.
Behr: BEHR MARQUEE Interior Ceiling Flat Paint
Allen said this 100 percent acrylic, stain-blocking, low-VOC paint and primer is Behr’s “most advanced ceiling paint and the newest product to join the BEHR MARQUEE Interior Paint family.”
She said the spatter- and drip-resistant paint “guarantees” one-coat hide under specific painting and substrate conditions in 200+ popular colors, and offers a mildew-resistant finish, making it ideal for any room.”
BEHR Chalk Decorative Paint
“Whether you’re updating a bold accent piece or coordinating old-world-charm updates with your current décor, customizing the look and feel of a room has never been easier,” Allen said.
“This buttery, low-VOC formula is easy to apply, offers excellent coverage and hide, and dries to a smooth Ultra Matte finish. This product is recommended for use on any properly prepared, uncoated or painted interior surfaces, and is available online in a wide range of livable, modern hues.”
BEHR SWIPES Wall Wipes
Allen said homeowners should keep these under the kitchen sink.
“With a paint-safe formula, these interior wall wipes quickly and easily wash away dirt and common interior household stains, without removing any of your beautiful colors on walls, cabinets, baseboards and more,” she added. “They’re durable, yet soft, to tackle any mess life throws your way.”
“Benjamin Moore recently added a matte finish to its ADVANCE Waterborne Interior Alkyd paint line,” Magno said. “ADVANCE offers the application and performance of traditional oil paint in a waterborne formula that cleans up with soap and water. It provides a furniture-like finish that’s ideal for cabinets, trim, doors, crown molding and baseboards.”
“Launched in mid-2017, Ultra Spec SCUFF-X is a revolutionary, high-performance, one-component latex paint designed for high-traffic commercial areas,” Magno added. “This product is engineered to provide superior scuff-resistance without the strong odor, pre-mixing, short-pot life and application difficulties associated with similar, two-component products.”
PPG: BUILDER PERFORMANCE
“Available in flat ready-mix colors and tinted bases, Builder Performance paint is a high-quality interior wall and ceiling latex paint with low odor and application characteristics that make it user-friendly to apply by spray, brush or roll,” Osterried said. “The product provides a uniform flat finish to help hide tape joints and surface imperfections. Its excellent hide and touch up properties result in an even uniformity and provide a quality finished appearance in every home. The color options include a curated palette of the 10 top PPG Paints neutrals.”
J.D. Power’s 2018 Paint Satisfaction Study found that interaction between a salesperson and the customer is critical.
The customer satisfaction of the $13 billion interior and exterior paint and stain market (Source: The Home Improvement Research Institute) is measured on a 1,000-point scale.
According to J.D. Power, 77 percent of customers made a purchase on their first visit (835 out of 1,000)– and closing the sale on the first visit increases satisfaction (831).
When the sales associate spoke at length with the customer, the satisfaction rating was higher – 855 to 824 (when the associate talks briefly or not at all).
Among customers reporting a satisfaction level of 901 or higher, 76 percent say they “definitely will” repurchase the brand, compared with the study average of 46 percent, per J.D. Power.
Additionally, 79 percent of those customers say they “definitely will” recommend the brand to others, compared to the study average of 47 percent, J.D. Power found.
The top three interior brands based on customer satisfaction:
- Benjamin Moore (853);
- Behr (851);
- Valspar (848)
- The top three retailers:
- Benjamin Moore Paint Stores (859);
- Sherwin-Williams (850);
- Menards (843)