The consumer focus on home improvement and home décor has benefited the paint sector.
The British Coatings Federation (BCF) says that due to the proliferation of home decoration magazines and TV programmes there has been a boom in DIY decoration, with Britain now having about 30 million ‘domestic’ DIY painters and the coatings industry selling about 165 million litres a year for this market alone. Here in Ireland, a similar influence has been evident with the success of programmes such as Room to Improve, Home of the Year, and The Design Doctors.
Woodcare products, for interior and exterior use, have taken on a new lease of life, according to the BCF, as homeowners realise the high cost of replacing windows, doors, garden furniture and conservatories. Even those with PVC are finding newly developed paints useful for colouring the white or masking the grey effect of some plastics.
Estimates from home decor specialists Albany Group (see interview with Albany Group MD here) suggest that paint sector sales in Ireland are in the region of €230 million to €250 million. Albany also says that customers are increasingly focused on paint quality and fashion-led colour pallets. The sophistication of the Irish consumer and the extensive TV and print coverage of home improvement and home décor sectors augurs well for sales of paint in hardware retailers and builders merchants around the country.
The Albany Group, with a store network of over 30 outlets and a customer base covering both retail and trade segments of the market, sees much to be positive about in the year ahead. According to Albany Home Décor, 2015 saw a rise in paint, and paint-related business, of 8% across the group. The best category performances were in premium and designer paints, up 15%, and the also the ancillaries category (applicators, preparation products and speciality paints), up over 20%.
“This trend is a very promising indicator for the decorating market in that it shows a greater propensity from both retail and trade customers to decorate more often,” said Padraic McGuinness, Chief Operating Officer of the Albany Group. “It also shows a greater degree of consumer confidence in making expenditure decisions relating to the home and that they are actively seeking out premium products and colour and design advice.” There is a noticeable trend towards premium and designer brands increasing their market share, the company says. Albany stores are now looking to the interiors category, including soft furnishings, design textiles, homewares and some giftware, to complement their established paints and wall-coverings business.
Crown Paints has announced that it has relaunched the ‘Period Collection’ from what
was previously named ‘Period Colours’. The Period Collection consists of classically muted and heritage shades in flat matt and eggshell finishes, designed to suit any style of home. Crown Paints has been in the business since 1777, so it has a good perspective on which colours have successfully stood the test of time. “Everything learned over the years has been put into the beautiful Period Collection to create an enduring line-up of elegant shades that will never date,” a Crown Paints spokesperson said.
The palette has expanded from 30 to 48 colours, including 29 brand new shades, and has been refreshed to include more choice in the neutral, lighter end of the spectrum, as well as introducing a more muted tonal choice for the deeper heritage shades.
“This mirrors the trend for the home enthusiasts who want to embrace a classical interior style yet update it by fusing it with a softer and more sophisticated palette, a step away from the traditional bold classic colours,” the spokesperson said.
The Flat Matt Emulsion palette consists of 48 eye-catching colours and is a water-based emulsion, suitable for interior walls and ceilings.
The eggshell range consists of 10 shades and is suitable for interior wood and metal. It is a water-based eggshell with a low sheen finish designed to complement the Flat Matt Emulsion.
All paints in the Period Collection have ‘Breatheasy’ technology, a 99% solvent-free formulation with a low emissions level that is kinder to the environment, according to Crown Paints.
Dosco has advised that, in addition to adding to its range of decorating products, outdoor decorating is being given some added focus this year. “The masonry roller set is perfect to freshen up any masonry or house front and is just the ticket after an Irish winter,” a Dosco spokesperson said. “The garden is not forgotten. The shed and fence range includes both brush and roller for the application of all wood treatments and preservatives for timber sheds, timber fences and decks.”
The Dosco range of paint brushes aim to cover all other decorating and painting jobs. “Every Dosco brush is made with 100% bristle to give maximum performance. Dosco is very proud to carry the Guaranteed Irish logo on all its paint brushes.
“The introduction of the ProDex range of polyester/nylon brushes has been a huge success. These brushes are suitable for use with all paints. The huge advantage of synthetic paint brushes is that they result in almost zero shedding.” Rollers and accessories complete the range. Roller sets come in both seven-inch and nine-inch sizes, and many sets are complete with complementary accessories and additional sleeves. General paint accessories available include decorating tools, sandpaper, masking tape, extension handles, dust sheets and more.
This year sees the introduction of the new Dulux Weathershield pack design, in which the company highlights its next-generation ‘Ultimate Durability’ formula innovation.
“The ‘Ultimate Durability’ formula offers superior flexibility, allowing the paint film to move with the natural contraction and expansion of walls from heat and cold,” a Dulux
spokesperson said. “No matter what the Irish weather throws at it, Weathershield simply offers superior protection against cracking and flaking.” Dulux Weathershield features an advanced slow release biocide technology which combats the moulds and algae associated with the outdoors, according to the company. “The biocide technology is encapsulated to release anti-mould and algae agents over a long period of time, ensuring exterior paint jobs look new for longer. When buying masonry paint, people often forget about colour retention. Superior colour retention means the integrity of the chosen colour stands the test of time, allowing your customers to enjoy their masterpiece for longer.
Dulux Weathershield now comes in 39 ready-mixes and a choice of over 400 mixing colours, which are guaranteed to remain beautiful no matter what the Irish weather. “Painting the outside of a home is a job that merits the very best formula, so the job not only looks good today but stands up to both the test of time and the tough Irish weather.”
PROTECT AGAINST BLACK MOULD
The ‘Forever White’ range from Everbuild, a Sika company, is expanding with the addition of Forever White paint, a hygienic paint designed to protect against black mould growth in bathrooms and areas of high humidity. “For use on walls and ceilings, Forever White hygienic paint is ideal for showers, bathrooms, wetrooms and kitchens, and contains ‘SteriTouch’ antibacterial protection,” according to the company.
“Forever White hygienic paint is fast-drying, allowing two coats to be applied in one day, and dries to an exceptionally hard-wearing finish that resists cracking and flaking. Highly versatile, this paint can be applied on a variety of substrates, including concrete, brick, timber and ceramic tiles.” The product is available in 2.5-litre tubs, in ‘Arctic White’ in a satin and matt finish.
Lowe Rust Paint for Metal and Machinery combines the original Lowe Rust Primer formulation with an attractive range of smooth colour finishes, according to the company. As with Lowe Rust Primer, the Rust Paint can be painted directly to rust. The first coat is designed to neutralise any existing rust, as well as binding to the surface. The second coat, and any subsequent coats, will act as a barrier to prevent any new moisture penetrating and causing further corrosion, according to Lowe.
“Coverage is approximately 10 square metres per litre and a minimum of two coats must
be applied to give a combined thickness of at least 75 microns,” a company spokesperson said. “It can be applied by brush, roller or spraying (thin by up to 10% with Douglas White Spirits). This is a very versatile product as it will adhere to most surfaces, including not just metal, but also plastic and wood.
This makes it ideal for giving a uniform finish to garden furniture, railings and gates, as well as items of machinery, water butts, steel and wooden shelving, compressors, etc. It is heat-resistant to 70-80°C, which also makes it suitable for hot-water pipes. It is available in eight popular colours across five sizes from 250ml up to 5 litres.”
PANTONE COLOURS OF THE YEAR 2016
Roisin Lafferty of Lafferty Kingston Design spoke to The Hardware Journal about the Pantone Colours of the Year for 2016, Serenity and Rose Quartz: “Blue is a colour close to my heart. For me it is so diverse and adaptable. Previously seen as a cold and sterile colour, it can provide warmth, depth and mood, if used correctly. The tone of Serenity is exactly as the name states – serene and calming. The perfect colour to surround yourself with to escape from the world and allow your worries to fade away.
“It is interesting this year that Pantone have selected two colours of the year. The second colour Rose Quartz is a dusty, feminine, soft pink. This colour has been influencing the interior market for some time so I am delighted to see it as colour of the year. Similarly to blue, pink can be misinterpreted. Men tend to see it as a ‘girls’ tone’ and to steer clear of it. However, subtle pinks provide a warm and tranquil environment. The earthy base tone avoids any candy floss or Barbie pink hues. Instead you end up with a pink neutral effect.” Roisin adds: “What I particularly like about them both is that when used together, there is an unexpected harmony of colour. The warmth and coolness is balanced, creating a Scandinavian feel. There is a sense of freshness and Spring.”