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Guide to Picking the Right Coating for Your Next Commercial Painting Project

Posted Nov 15, 2013 by Dave Scaturro

 Guide to Picking the Right Coating for Your Next Commercial Painting Project

Choosing the right color is a difficult but important part of any painting project. With so many options to choose from, so many themes and combinations you can go with, it can take some time to really nail down the color that’s right for your project. Even more important than what color you decide to go with, however, is the type of paint or coating you choose to apply, and how you prepare the surface before applying it. Choosing the perfect color for your project will not mean much if the paint you’ve chosen to apply is wrong for that specific surface, or if the area was not prepared properly. To really make your color choice count, here is a quick, helpful guide on how to pick the right paint.

One major mistake would be to assume that all paints and coatings are created equally. Just as there is a difference between indoor and outdoor furniture, there is a notable difference between interior paint vs. exterior paint. For starters, interior paint should be what is known as low VOC, low odor paint. This type of green environmentally friendly paint gives off little to no odor, which is ideal for applications where there will be occupants, such as the inside of office buildings, hospitals or schools. Interior paints may also be specially formulated to hold up against common cleaning products. Ceilings should be done with latex coatings for a durable, low VOC application. This durability will prevent workers from having to constantly repaint the ceiling, which is a taxing job, and the low VOC coating will be comfortable and safe for occupants. Depending on the application and location, i.e. the ceiling, wall or floor or a home, office or warehouse, interior paints vary in durability. Although not as tough as exterior paints, waterbased epoxy coatings will hold up better in the interiors of warehouse and manufacturing facilities than an alkyd/oil based paint would. Heavier traffic or a harsher environment calls for a tougher product, which is why exterior jobs call for an entirely different category of paints and coatings. Different substrates take different paint, and as outdoor surfaces are usually heavy duty, they call for heavy duty products. Exterior coatings will hold up better against more extreme temperatures and conditions such as rain, snow and sunlight.

Choosing the right color is important, as is choosing the correct product to apply. However, it cannot be forgotten that preparation is the key to a good quality, long lasting paint job. Clean, Dull and Dry are the three keywords to remember to ensure prior to start painting. Whether the surface is inside or outside, before any application begins, the surface needs to be cleaned properly. It should be clear of any dust, dirt, or any loose paint or rust present. If there is debris remaining when the paint or coating is applied, the product will not bind to the surface like it should. You should not paint directly over a very shiny or glossy surface. Always remember to knock down any sheen by sanding or applying a primer first. To prevent coating failures, be sure to pick the right primer for the job as well if one is needed. Without it, the product may not bind well enough to the surface, which may result in premature coating failure. Product labels will tell you when is it too cold or too hot to paint. Applying products in harsh temperatures can cause them to dry improperly, flash or delaminate.

Whichever product you determine is right for your needs, make sure it is top quality. Cheaper brands are usually cheaper for a reason. Buying the better quality product will save you money in the long run, by not having to redo the job and by not having to use as many coats of the product as well. The video below helps explain the difference between higher and lower quality products. To ensure that your job is done right the first time, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional. That’s what they’re there for. Readers on the east coast in NJ, NY, CT or PA can reach out to local painting contractor Alpine Painting, online at or by phone at (866) 596-0349.

By: Dave Scaturro, Sales Director for Alpine Painting.

Credit to: Schwartz, Heidi. "One Coating Doesn’t Fit All." Toda’ys Facility Manager. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. <>.

Dave Scaturro
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