Painting a positive picture

In Ireland, the Central Statistics Office predicts a collective rise of 3.3% in hardware, paint and glass sales for 2017. This category was also found to have the second largest monthly volume increase, increasing by an impressive 5.6% for January of this year compared to December 2016. This positive growth reflects an increase in consumer confidence and spending, as the construction sector recovers and the economy improves.

Bright future

Albany MD Padraic McGuinness says that customers are actively seeking out premium products.

Due to its extensive store network and customer base, both retail and trade, the Albany Paint Group claims to be uniquely positioned to observe paint sale trends within the Irish market. According to the company, the future is bright for the paint industry, with a 10% rise in paint and paint-related business across the Albany Group in 2016. Strong categories include an 18% rise in premium and designer paint sales, along with a 20% boost in the ancillaries section, which includes applicators, preparation products and speciality paints.

“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. It also shows a greater degree of consumer confidence in making expenditure decisions relating to the home. People are actively seeking premium products and colour and design advice,” explained Padraic McGuinness, Business Development Manager of the Albany Group.

“Customers are becoming more experimental with colour and are open to higher performance finishes for different areas. Essentially there is a greater degree of design confidence in the marketplace and this is a key driver for product innovation,” he added.

Albany Paints has noticed an increase in sales at all price points and a trend towards premium and designer brands increasing their market share. This trend is assisted by the emphasis on product differentiation through quality displays and customer samples. Customer and client service is another key aspect of the paint industry and its growth, according to the company, with colour consultants in demand with retail customer and project specification desired by commercial clients. The company intends to expand its interior decoration line by adding soft furnishings, design textiles, homewares and giftware to complement its paint and wallcoverings business.

“Our customers will be increasingly treated to inspirational room sets, colour matching with fabrics and papers and unique design pieces, coupled with beautiful objects to complete their home décor aspirations,” Padraic said. Although 2017 will be a difficult year for the Irish economy due to Brexit and general levels of growth in the Eurozone, Padraic believes that government programmes concerning residential construction and stock refurbishment will counteract some of these challenges.“The sector must brace itself for these impacts and opportunities and drive on,” he said.

Smooth applicators

Crown Trade Fastflow has launched Fastflow Quick Dry Satin paint, a new addition to the 2015 introduction of the Crown Trade Fastflow Quick Dry Gloss and Primer Undercoat range.

“Featuring advanced waterbased technology, this new paint offers the characteristics of a traditional solvent-based product with the benefits of a water-based formulation,” a company spokesperson explained.

“The end result is a professional, contemporary finish with fast-drying performance and a low odour, as well as a slower rate of yellowing when compared to traditional alkyd systems. This paint is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.”Crown Trade claims that the product’s fast-drying quality allows for the application of two coats in one day, reducing labour costs.

The low odour feature is due to Crown’s ‘Breatheasy’ technology, a 99% solvent-free formulation with low emission levels which is far less harmful to the environment, according to the company. “Feedback from the trade has been very positive in regards to Crown Fastflow Gloss, decorators believe it feels like applying an oil-based product, which flows well over the top of the first coat without pulling or dragging and that it dries very quickly,” commented Kevin Whelan, Crown Marketing Controller.

“This commitment to high quality remains at the fore with Crown Trade Fastflow Quick Dry Satin. It represents a breakthrough in innovation and with all the reassurance of our experience and heritage, which stretches back more than 200 years,” he added.

Seal of approval

Curust Industries distributes the Douglas decorative range of paints, best known for its white spirits and assorted decorating solvents. The brand now encompasses a full collection of specialist paints and primers along with silicones, expanding foams and assorted tools for DIY enthusiasts. “In relation to wood-care, our well-established brand of Douglas Oils, including linseed oil, Danish oil, and teak oil as well as French polish and shellac sanding sealer, have been strengthened with a new range of traditional solvent-based polyurethane varnishes for both indoor and outdoor use,” said Richard Brocklesby of Curust Industries.

Collection of colour

In 2017, Dulux Paints Ireland plans to introduce a suite of new colours to its Easycare washable matt ranges and the Dulux Weathershield range.

“Colour and interior design research is combined with the Dulux Colour Futures forecast, formulated by Irish and global industry experts, to inform the production of colours that align with the most current international colour trends. Each new colour is designed to suit different interior spaces depending on their function,” a Dulux spokesperson said.

Dulux has a range of three new ready mix colours in the Weathershield range, designed to complement both period and contemporary homes: Brittas Sand; New Wool; and Wicklow Way. The Dulux Weathershield range includes 36 ready mix colours and over 400 colours available for colour mixing. The company has introduced five new colours within the new Dulux Weathershield Satinwood range: Bondi Waters; Moonlight Lagoon; Brushed Lavender; Window White; and Soft Granite. This amounts to a selection of 12 ready-mix colours and 620 colour-mixing options.

When it comes to selecting paint shades, Moda, the Dulux boutique collection, conducts a colour choice for customers through five specially curated palettes, each featuring five colours, which can be utilised to develop a specific interior style. Dulux believes that Moda encourages confidence in the customer’s choice of colours and makes it easier to select paint colours for different rooms and their functions.

Dulux has developed a new television advertisement for Easycare featuring the iconic Dulux English sheepdog. Focusing on Dulux Easycare’s stain repellent formulation, the company expects this campaign to reach over 1.2 million people in Ireland. Dulux Weathershield has also created a new campaign celebrating Ireland’s most weather-durable people, ‘The Invincibles’, intrepid Myrtleville swimmers who demonstrate their durability against the Irish elements 365 days a year. This campaign will be shown on YouTube, online players and social media. Dulux Weathershield also has a new radio campaign for 2017. Overall, the Dulux Weathershield marketing project will reach over 1.9 million people in Ireland.

Coats for the elements

Everbuild, a Sika Company, offers an extensive line of wood stains, varnishes and treatments to the hardware market. The company states that the Everbuild Quick Drying Wood Stains are designed to enhance the natural quality of wood and are available in seven shades and best applied along with Everbuild’s Maintenance Clear Coat product.

Everbuild claims that the built-in weatherproof protection guarantees a crack and peel resistant finish along with protection from UV light. The product is designed for use on doors, window frames and garden furniture.

Coat coverage

KOHR Products Ltd supplies the Coo-Var range of specialist and functional coatings which it says protect and decorate a space with the added bonus of multifunction properties, such as: anti-condensation paint; anti climb paint; anti slip paint and anti-fouling paint.

KOHR also offers problem-solving products for walls, roofs and floors, which claim to enhance safety and security as well as appearance.

The company supplies Fluorescent Paints, which is a high visibility day-time coating, which also has the capability, under lights at night, to identify hazards or safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and exits.

KOHR also supply a range of agricultural paints, including Stable Paint which is ideal for use as a sealer or as a finishing coat in stables, barns and outbuildings.

The brand’s range of Chlorinated Rubber Paint is designed for use on surfaces, which require good chemical and water resistance and are available in blue, black and white. The farm oxide range comes in a choice of colours, including: black, red, green, and grey.

Brush with success

Established in 1971, Mark John Limited is an Irish-owned company which specialises in supplying own-brand paint brushes, rollers and painting tools to retailers and builders merchants across the country.

The brand has developed a wide product range including multiple brush ranges, rollers, soft-grip tools, scale tang tools and other decorating tools and accessories.

The MX ELITE has its own paint brush storage container to protect and preserve the brush

Mark John Limited has found that the brand’s MX Brush range has developed a strong following among both professional painters and DIY enthusiasts.

The company’s new MX Elite brush range has been formulated to suit the professional tradesman. With an oval shape and ‘Technofil’ material, these brushes are a mixture of various tapered filament developed specifically for the brand and designed for use with modern water-based paints.

Testing is a critical part of Mark John product development and this MX Elite brush has received great praise from the panel of paint professionals who tested the brush,” a company spokesperson said. “The brush is sold with its own paint brush storage container, which helps protect and preserve the brush for the user.”