Paints-Gaining New Meaning with Advancements in Technology

The Story of Paints

Keen to remain within beautiful surroundings, humans have been using various mediums to adorn the walls of their homes since ages. Paints, along with protecting a building from harsh weather conditions, add a lot of aesthetic value to it. Over the years, we have witnessed huge transformations in paint products in terms of functionality, materials and application methods. Toxic materials are out and 'natural' is in. What's more? From brushes and rollers, we are moving towards having robots painting our homes. Are you ready?  

Growth of the Paint Industry

The paint industry, two main components of which are Decorative Segment and Industrial Segment, has been steadily growing. Owing to the boom in the housing sector, increasing urbanisation, easy availability of loans, rise in per capita income, and shift from kuccha or semi permanent to permanent housing structure the demand for decorative paints segment is increasing which constitutes almost 70% of the Indian paint industry. The scenario with industrial paint is also promising. As per a report published by India Brand Equity Foundation, the manufacturing sector of India has the potential to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2025 and India is expected to rank amongst the top three growth economies and manufacturing destination of the world by the year 2020. These factors are expected to boost industrial paint consumption.

What’s Picking up in India

It has been largely recognised that conventional paints due to the presence of arsenic, lead, and chromium, are harmful to us and the environment. The conventional paints have volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which make the air we inhale toxic. These paints harm the environment as well. They leave a huge carbon footprint. Understanding these drawbacks, almost every major player in the paint industry in India has substantially reduced the VOC content in their paints. Rather, they are largely going for the development of eco-friendly paints.

The varied Eco-friendly paints available in India can be mainly classified into the following types:

Zero-VOC paints: These paints have so low VOC that they can be called ‘zero-VOC paints’. As per the EPA standards, the total VOC content in these paints is less than 5 gram per liter.

Low-VOC paints: These paints have VOC concentrations ranging from 5 to 200 gram per liter.

Natural paints: These paints do not have any VOC as they are made of natural compounds such as tree resins, water, plant oil, essential oil, and natural dyes. 

Paints based organic materials: Paint companies are also offering radical new materials obtained by experimenting with algae, bio-polymers, bacterial cellulose, etc. 

Milk Paints: This healthier alternative is made from milk protein and is often sold as a powder one can mix with water or is available in ready to go liquid form. 

Colour Trends

A fresh coat of paint can re-energise the home and fill it with positive vibes. With the following colours, we can have a beautiful, trendy home:

Hazelnut, Lilac Gray & Muted Pastels: These colours have always been favourites and remain trendy this year as well.

Soft Clay: Available in earthy tones from shade of brown to hue of terra cotta, clove, caramel, and burnt orange; these new colours will bring in energy and enthusiasm into the home décor this year.

Creamy Paints: These welcoming colours will be in vogue this year mainly due to its soothing effects and their seamless integration with any colour of furniture and furnishing.

Mushroom: The mushroom shade is one of the favourite colour trends to follow and replicate in 2019 and this gender-neutral colour will remain trendy and fresh for long. 

Blue-Green Shade: The beauty of this shade is that it looks good alone as well as when used in combination with white, cream or grey to give the room a modern feel. It brings in the serene calmness that we all wish to have in our homes.

Mustard: A perfect blend of the warmth of orange and richness of gold, mustard is a preferred choice for wall paints this year.

Going Green: Green is evergreen. If chosen wisely according to the room, this colour brings us closer to nature and makes us feel healthier and more energetic.

Being More Creative 

Patterns: To break the monotony of walls painted in a single colour, people are going for wall patterns. Nerolac Paints block motif stamp, pop culture design, denim look, and other patterns and textures are adding a lot of pop to home walls. 

Ombres: Widely used by Nerolac paints, the ombre wall painting technique involves blending two or more distinct colours or light and dark shades of the same colour. It is the modern way of adding a dash of art to the walls.

Stone Finish Paint: An interesting innovation in paints that is coming up is stone-like texture coating. Skylon Coating has come up with the Stone Finish paint which is a replica of stone texture. It is even possible to mix up to four different colours at one time. 

Going Surreal: Paints that can transcend us to an imaginative world are turning out to be a favourite. Shades of Purple, Green, Ochre Yellow, Blue, Salmon, and Brown with vivid textures and patterns are being used to create the ephemeral dreamland. 

New Codes of Luxury: Shades of Brown, Grey, Sand, Maroon, and Green, when mixed with textures such as hammered metal or hand-woven silk are leading us to have a palette that celebrates natural forms and flaws.

Innovations in Exterior Paints 

While innovations have been continuously happening in the realm of interior paints, exterior paints are also evolving. With the increased focus of people on the looks of their building exteriors, most people now want an exterior paint that not only has great protective value but looks great aesthetically. Now anyone who paints their building wants a product which will last at least for 10 years and will protect the plaster surface so that they do not need to go in for repair work or repainting for a long period of time as both of these are laborious and expensive. Hence, textures offer great value as the product is a one-stop solution to the problems faced by the consumer. Research tells us that customer preferences have been changing with time and this is true for a category like paints as well. Exterior paints have moved from being just a method of protection to providers of aesthetics. Paints in combination with natural stones, tiles, and textures have become a  common phenomenon.  

Innovations at the Global Level

The paint and coating industry is innovating largely at the global level to create sustainable solutions. Innovations based on technological advancements are enabling the industry to come up with unique decorative solutions that are good for the environment and our well-being as well.

Renewable and long-lasting colours from biomass 

BASF has done a great job by developing the TÜV SÜD-certified biomass balance approach. Its Glasurit® and R-M® refinish paint brands make automotive refinishing more sustainable. They are the world’s first refinish products manufactured according to the certified biomass balance approach, therefore contributing to reduce CO2 emissions. Nippon Paint’s Infinite Air is the first interior paint in China to use dispersions produced according to BASF’s biomass balance approach. It is a low-odour interior paint that offers excellent sustainability, starting from raw material stage to the end-user application stage. We need more such paint solutions for a sustainable future.

Drones & Robots Doing Paint Jobs

Drones, these days, helping humans to accomplish a number of jobs more efficiently in lesser time, and the story with paints is no different. Human painters at height are often at risk of falls and inhaling toxic chemicals. With drones, it is possible to engineer those risks away from the job site. Also, as drones are 'flying computers,' they serve as data gathering machines creating an auditable job record and gathering information, such as the temperature of the surface being coated, the relative humidity, barometric pressure, ambient temperature and more. Examples: Pictobot, Apellix WorkerBee, PaintCopter. 

This story has got originally published in the June Issue of Surfaces Reporter Magazine.

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Surfaces Reporter is India’s 1st magazine specialized on “products & materials” for architecture & Interiors! The prime objective of Surfaces Reporter magazine is to contribute positively to the Indian material industry, with unbiased information & awareness initiatives.

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