Special Property Paints Have You Covered

07/26/2013 | By Christopher Curtland

Enhance occupant productivity and health with recent offerings

Dry erase coatings transform any substrate into a writable surface, enhancing worker productivity, collaboration, and satisfaction. Its clear formula allows it to take on any color without sacrificing aesthetic design.
Credit: Sherwin-Williams

Unless you get pumped about seasonal palettes and pizzazz, paint projects are about as exciting as watching the surface dry. But new products are making a splash with special properties and spinning paint into more than just color on the wall.

Recent hot topics in the workplace include collaboration, productivity, and indoor air quality – and if something as simple as a new coating can help boost performance in these areas, then you’ll feel like painting the town in addition to your walls.

Read on to discover how certain offerings promote worker and building performance, spur teamwork, and improve occupant health.

Enhance Productivity
The idea to design a paint that converts substrates into dry erase marker surfaces came out of a college project to design a business plan. Two students were literally throwing ideas on the wall with sticky notes until they had covered the wall and thought there had to be a better way.

“They wondered what if the wall was dry erasable and they could have just written their ideas directly on it,” explains Amanda Schneider, director of strategic partnerships with manufacturer IdeaPaint. Now the company founded by those students offers liquid and powder products that do just that.

In addition to walls, it’s also used on file cabinet banks, wall panels for cubicles, lockers, and work surfaces, as well as in applications ranging from offices and healthcare to warehouses and education, says Schneider. Enough IdeaPaint to cover 100 square feet costs $315.

“Kids don’t like pen or even pencil on paper because the permanent nature can be intimidating when they make mistakes,” she says. “Dry erase takes that fear element away. If you mess up, it’ll be completely gone, no big deal.”

Sherwin-Williams offers a similar dry erase coating. Cost of the Sherwin-Williams offering is $500 for a 1-gallon kit.

“I’ve seen people do a small square on their wall or door, or an entire conference room from top to bottom,” says Steve Revnew, vice president of product innovations at the manufacturer. “One building did all their hallways and rooms so it was like the whole office was a dry erase board.”

Having writable surfaces is great for collaboration, but many workers are accustomed to working with electronics, and that equipment needs special protection from dust and static electricity.

Antistatic Industries offers acrylic, water-based paints for floor and wall use that resist static and prevent dust from clinging to surfaces, priced at $185 per gallon.

“It’s ideal for computer or server rooms, electronic assembly areas, and warehouses,” explains Thomas Kistler, vice president of the manufacturer. “It’s important for static and dust to be eliminated, especially in those areas.”

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