Clean, Green, and Sheen

08/25/2003 |

What’s New in the Universe of Paint?

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Sherwin-Williams Co

Today’s facility managers are well aware that the paint and coatings choices they make can impact everything from budget expenditures and profitability to tenant satisfaction and occupancy rates.

Scrubability + Burnish Resistance = Durability

Paint solves many problems, but sometimes, it can be a problem itself. Just as freshly applied paint can bring a clean, fresh look to any space, scuffed or marred painted surfaces can make a property look run-down all too soon. To counter the issue, maintenance or painting crews can touch up troublesome areas, but this approach rarely delivers a clean, uniform finish that blends seamlessly with already-painted surfaces. Likewise, scrubbing painted surfaces can leave a dull or shiny spot where the paint film has been abraded by the cleaning process. What’s the solution?

Facility managers should look for coatings that offer a high degree of burnish resistance, as well as a finish that stands up to routine cleaning. What’s more, managers should seek products that can be validated through independent testing conducted by third-party sources such as ASTM, so that terms like “scrub cycles” and “burnish resistance” accurately represent the product’s capabilities.

By definition, scrub tests measure a coating’s resistance to repeated scrubbings with a bristle brush scrub media. Results are generally reported in cycles; and the higher the cycle number, the better performance. On the other hand, burnish-resistance tests evaluate the changes in a coating’s sheen after a number of cycles from a soft cloth. Results are reported in units of sheen change, which compare the sheen before and after burnishing. The lower the burnish resistance number, the better. In the long run, fewer repaints may be necessary when using a high-quality durable coating.

Flat Finishes With Higher Mar Resistance

While many commercial maintenance projects tend to specify eg-shel or semi-gloss finishes, which can automatically contribute to the durability of a paint coating, interior designers are requesting a palette of deep-tone and accent colors, but are specifying those colors in a flat, matte finish. Just a short time ago, this would have been a problem for facility managers, as these coatings typically had very low resistance to marring and burnishing.

However, thanks to recent advances in paint technology, latex coatings are available that deliver vibrant and deep-tone colors in an aesthetically desirable flat finish. In addition, these flat finish interior paints have dramatically higher resistance to scuffs and marring.

Consult First for Lasting Results

For a superior quality, “professional best” look, talk with a reputable paint manufacturer’s representative before embarking on a maintenance painting project. Whatever the painting project goals – clean, green, or sheen – facility managers now have even more options to choose from – and more opportunities for success.

Steve Revnew is director of marketing at Cleveland, OH-based Sherwin-Williams Co. (

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