MYTH: I can always rely on architectural coatings to deliver great looks and long-lasting performance.FACT: Not always. Choosing the right coating means first carefully analyzing the project and steering clear of any preconceived notions. For instance, floors that endure high traffic or chemical exposure (e.g., laundry rooms, loading docks, factory floors, etc.) often require high-performance industrial maintenance coatings, e.g., two-component epoxies. Many metal substrates require more than an architectural coating. You can keep exterior metal looking its best with direct-to-metal coatings that seal the surface and prevent rust. And, the good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice great looks: Today’s high-quality industrial maintenance coatings may surprise you: Their fantastic looks and ample palettes now equal their stellar performance.MYTH: All I need is to repaint my building. I’ll just use a whole lot of this gray utility enamel.FACT: For a good-looking and durable result, it’s likely you’ll need more. Exterior metal, such as fences and fire escapes, as well as interior and exterior doors, will look great for a long time if you coat it with a high-quality, direct-to-metal coating. Plus, why settle for gun metal gray? Today, many high-quality industrial maintenance coatings manufacturers have extensive color collections that include a wide range of classic neutrals, vibrant brights, and many shades in between.MYTH: A painter is a painter is a painter. I’ll just go with the lowest bid and I’ll be okay. Or, maybe I can just wing it and do it myself. FACT: Choosing the lowest bid without examining it thoroughly can be a surefire way to shorten the time between repaints. The “too-good-to-be-true” bid often is, probably because it does not include adequate prep work and premium quality products that are properly specified.Even the highest quality industrial maintenance or architectural coating will fall short of your expectations if proper prep work is not done.Whether you are doing it yourself or selecting and supervising a contractor, make sure it’s done right so you can extend the life of the coating. That means hand tooling and applying rust converter to rusted metal; scraping and sanding wood and masonry that has an older coating of peeling or cracking paint; roughly sanding older alkyd coatings if you’re planning on applying a new latex coating; and acid etching and properly sealing your concrete floor before coating it.MYTH: I can tell that our cooling units are doing just fine. After all, the AC is working, isn’t it?FACT: Have you actually taken a good look at those cooling units lately? Whether they’re located on the roof of your facility or behind it, they really take a beating. Descaling chemicals and a constant flow of moist air create a marine-like salty, humid environment that easily corrodes the metal casing and components of these units. Surrounding hardware securing the units is extremely susceptible to this corrosion, as well. You can stop this insidious and costly process with a high-build two-component epoxy mastic system. Jeffrey Spillane is industrial maintenance product manager at Montvale, NJ-based Benjamin Moore & Co. (www.benjaminmoore.com).