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Paints and Coatings

There are countless different types of paints in the market today. However, these paints serve only a few main functions. And how to choose the correct type of paint would primarily be dependent on the function (or functions) you want the paint to perform. These main functions are:

  1. Protective

Most paints are protective by default. Having another coat on the surface confers a certain degree of protection on the substrate, even if it does not have any added quality. There are more specialized protective paints such as Anti-Rust paint or Anti-corrosion paint. Paints such as these are hugely important and is a multi-million dollar business. These coating protect metal structures such as buildings, ships, rigs etc against both oxidation and corrosion. For our homes, it is common to apply a layer of anti-rust paint to our gates to prevent the structure from rusting away. It is also common to varnish our wooden doors to protect it from the elements.

  1. Decorative

The paint we brush onto our walls, or spray onto our bikes, or air-brushed onto our toy models are all decorative in function. It adds colour or texture to the surface, enhancing its aesthetics.

  1. Safety

One important function of paint is safety. We mark certain areas red for people to avoid, or yellow to raise alert. Some paints are able to reflect light when shined upon, or are able to absorb light to later emit a glow in darkness.

There are also the non-slip paints. They create a profile on the surface rough enough to prevent people from slipping.

  1. Others

Some types of paint neither protect nor decorate. They make sure other paints do. These are the primers, undercoats and tie coats. Primers have the unique character of forming a middle-man coat between the surface and the top coat, enhancing the adhesion of the top coat onto the surface.

There are other types of paints with distinctive functions but the 4 above form the majority of paints that are available today.