Why exterior coatings and not paint?

Painting contractors in London

Whilst a common mistake to be made by some, exterior coatings are not actually paint, although from a decorative point of view, they do the same thing but today’s exterior wall coatings take you much further than a paint job on the outside of a house. 

Whilst we think nothing of walking into B and Q to buy a tin of paint, selecting either gloss or emulsion, and taking it to the girl at the till, some projects require purchasing of literally MILLIONS of litres of paint or coating, and everything that goes with it too…

So if coatings are far more advanced and involved than paint, what other types of coatings are available?

A few other types of coatings explained.

There are not just exterior wall coatings but many other types of coating on the market today, some for use by everyone, some by the trade or industry and some highly specialised coatings and not just for walls either! Coatings used on a specific project could have been in development over a length of time to meet, for example, demanding condition such as extreme heat or cold.

sunshine skyway bridge tampa florida

Some projects around the world have coatings specially formulated to meet the demands of a particular job, for example the coating that was used to paint the Sunshine skyway road bridge over Tampa bay in Florida, USA, was specially formulated by Tex Cote of America (®), to meet the demands of the client. 

And i have actually driven across that amazing bridge, in a battered 1977, metallic brown 5 litre Buick in the 1980’s!). …………Eat yer heart out Starsky and Hutch!

So with that in mind, here are just a very small selection of the different types of coatings available……….

Floor coatings

I am sure many of you have heard of floor paint, in fact you may have seen it for sale in the shops, and of course you can buy floor paint online too, but what about floor coatings?

Floors of course have to withstand a lot of “traffic”, people coming and going

Photo of the carpet warehouse, Larry Speare LtdThis photo shows a floor coating in the Larry Speare carpet warehouse in Plymouth.

Floor coatings are used in many places, both internally and externally in the built environment. If you drive a car, you may have seen pavements painted green running alongside the pedestrian walkways; well this is a non slip durable floor coating that is applied to cycle lanes.

There are floor coatings used in car parks, often painted blue areas to highlight disabled parking bays, or painted red, to denote a shared space where traffic and pedestrians tentatively mix.

If these areas were painted with normal floor paint, they would not last more than a few weeks at most due to the heavy duty use that they often get with people coming and going every day and walking or driving over the painted areas.

If you have ever traveled on a car ferry, the floors of the ferry or “decks” are coated with a special anti rust and anti slip coating, designed to withstand the harsh conditions every day, and also to ensure safety is paramount.

If normal paint was used in these conditions instead of coatings, safety would be compromised, as would the longevity of  the coating, meaning that the ferry would have to be in dock frequently having the floor repainted, which as you can imagine, would not be cost effective or desirable. So once again, coatings beat paint!

Glow in the dark coatings

glow in the dark coatings paint

There are several coatings, and paints, that have glow in the dark, or at least light reflective properties.

Good examples of glow in the dark paint and glowing coatings would be white road markings and also coatings used in buildings as part of fire safety, for example if the lights go out, you can still find your way out of a burning building and to safety.

For this very reason, many of the glow in the dark paints are also relatively heat proof. So which is better paint or coatings in this instance?

Well again, it depends on what it is used for. A product like this would be used for a specific purpose, so often a company will approach a paint manufacturer direct to make specific coating for a specific job, for example white lines on a road, in the middle of a freezing country, so the coating is designed to glow, but also not to simply crack with the cold and fail.

So what about other types of coatings?

As discussed above, there are many different types of coatings for many different uses and here are just some of them, explained in brief detail.

Exterior Wall coatings? What are they?

As most people know, “exterior wall coatings” are our “thing”, you know, our “bag”, it’s what we’re really good at,  really really good, and as such have successfully served the UK customer with top quality wall coatings at rock bottom prices, WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON QUALITY, ever since we first started way back in 1986, in a time when our editor didn’t have a single strand of grey hair!

Times have changed since then, and especially in the world of exterior wall coatings. Back in the late 1990’s we were planning things online and coming up with ideas to start seriously getting into the internet, and providing information and ideas for our many customers.

Since then, we have literally changed the whole way exterior wall specialists advertise and connect with customers, simply by taking the internet seriously, and more importantly, OUR APPROACH IN TAKING OUR CUSTOMERS SERIOUSLY, a long time ago.

We were literally laughed at by some of the more major companies in the exterior wall coatings industry  (some of whom have now gone bust!- we haven’t!), anyway, exterior wall coatings used to be sold to people in a very out dated “script lead  parrot fashion” and aggressive, almost “American!” way, really “in your face” manner.

high pressure selling the hard sell

……….but we helped to change that and now people can sit back and relax and decide if a coating process or just a cheap paint job is right for them, instead of being pressured and hassled by a company to have work done, in some cases, when they didn’t even need the work to be done in the 1st place.

The most successful wall coating companies  have many happy customers because their customers and clients BUY from them, they like to do so, they are not SOLD products.

If anyone has ever been subject to a grueling hard sell sales pitch, timeshare being a prime example, they will know that it is NOT nice to be SOLD something! It is however, nice to buy something, something you need, and something that will make you happy, or give you peace of mind. After all, its your money!

Ceiling coatings

The best known ceiling coating, at least in the UK, has to be ARTEX which was at the height of its popularity in the 1980’s, in the UK at least. Much artex is now being removed as people refurbish and redecorate their homes, in favour of smooth ceilings, but nevertheless Artex as a product itself can be used to great effect on many ceilings, especially ones in poor condition or ones that are uneven.

It is important to note however, especially if you are doing any decorating on a property that was artexed from the mid 1980’s or before, than artex was made with ASBESTOS. It would be an understatement to not tell you how dangerous asbestos can be, so if in doubt contact your local council or local asbestos specialist, of whom can be found in  your local yellow pages.

Acoustic (sound proof) coatings

Hard of hearing deaf manImagine you are in an empty room and you speak loudly or shout, it echoes around the room. Now introduce carpets, curtains and furniture, and the sound is deadened, but is it acoustically good?

Well no, and recording studios would be a prime example of where acoustic coatings are used. They have a special surface which either absorbs or reflects sound, especially good for home cinema rooms also.

  These special coatings are designed to be quite thick, often up to 50mm, in order to absorb the sound.

Other uses for this are in airports, theatres and cinemas, sports halls and concert rooms. There may possibly be some paints that have sound proofing qualities but they would not perform as well as a sound proof coating.

Industrial coatings

Coatings are used far more than paints in industry and there are a diverse range of coatings on offer, most of which the average person would not have heard of them……

……….The most significant difference between domestic and industrial coatings is that in most cases, industrial coatings are for a specific reason or purpose, decorative usually being of less importance, or not important at all.

Vats in paint producing factory

Vats in paint producing factory

There are coatings to protect from oil and gas, such as special coatings for tanks, vats and pipes, there is also rust proof coatings, often the most commonly used coating in an industrial environment, good for marine or shipping uses, and also special coatings for metal and concrete.

In many cases, coatings used in industry are often formulas and mixtures of various different coatings, a sort of “mix and match” for a specific use. A good example would be painting an iron bridge, which has to be functional and rust proof, but also has to at least be a colour that isn’t bad to look at because a  lime green or luminous orange bridge wouldn’t go down to well in the high street!

Metal coatings

Metal is a versatile material but often corrodes if not treated with a special coating. There are other types of metal coatings for specific uses, such as intumescent coatings, which are applied to steel fabricated buildings, on items such as girders etc, and provide a good level of fire resistance, because if a building made from metal catches fire, the metal will twist and flex, causing the building to collapse.

These fire proof coatings are sprayed directly onto the metal whilst the structure is being built.

a house with the x factor wall coating

These coatings are often used when building large structures such as skyscrapers, blocks of flats, retail stores, garages and car showroom, and so on.

There are several laws that require this to be done to new and existing buildings, such as BS 8202-2 and BS EN ISO 8501-1. These are commonly referred to as the “building regulations”, or a term used by surveyors, construction professionals and architects is simply “Regs”.

Interior wall coatings

These typically include Hygienic coatings for schools and hospitals, which usually have a decorative element, in fact colour therapy is also often used to aid patient recovery in hospitals, so the type of coatings used in this environment, also have decorative elements to them.

The main feature of coatings such as this would be factors like the following: Easy to clean and hygienic, Pleasing to the eye, Low maintenance, Cost efficient, Hard wearing and durable.

Roof coatings

A roof is by far the most important thing on any house or building, in fact more important than the walls. …

The facts about protective roof coatings

“A great way to avoid the cost of having your roof replaced.”

All products used confirm to all building regs and carry the BSi and BBA certificates.  A great and long lasting alternative to having a roofing contractor replace the whole roof, and far less hassle too!

A range of natural roof colours are available, Eliminates the need to get quotes from several roofing firms, Elastomeric flexible roof coatings dont crack or fade. A roof tile coating solves the problem and expense of having a new roof and we give Full backup and dealer support available, 12 months of the year.

Roof tile coatings, along with our repair service means that your roof is less likely to leak, and is more likely to last longer.

protective decorative roof paint coatings from Andura

After a roof coating application, heat loss through the roof can be reduced considerably, meaning your heating bills will be lower in future, saving  you even more money!

So in summary, you can see that Coatings, in many guises, have far more uses than you might think over paint, which essentially is coloured water.

What will You be having on your outside walls this year?

This is an original article by Guy Alexander Bell, which you may NOT copy, or sneakily re-word, for your own means, (COMPETING WALL COATING COMPANIES TAKE NOTE: I AM WATCHING YOU). This article is original and may only be printed off for comparison, education, training and evaluation for non commercial means. Thank you and we hope you enjoyed reading it.

Leave a comment below...