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Decorative Paint Tinters: Pros and Cons

Considering paint tinters? Les Baker weighs up the options.

The advantage of this product is to be able to use a common medium for tinting paints, either solvent or water based.

However, to make them work together the binding agent for the pigments has to be a surfactant (detergent/shampoo etc.) These products are used to emulsify oil spills in water, for example, to negate the old adage that “oils and water don’t mix”. The downside is that the surfactant has no integrity once it is incorporated into a paint film. The more that is used, the weaker the paint product becomes.

Decorative Paint manufacturers want to provide a wide range of pastel options for the consumer and in doing so, have to limit their use of Titanium Dioxide (white pigment) to thereby reduce the quantity of tinters that are needed to achieve the result. As the strength of the colour rises, so does the reduction in Titanium Dioxide.

These paint colours are then tinted from a “light tint base” (instead of a white base.) As the intensity of the desired colour increases, the base changes from “light” to “deep tint base”, meaning the Titanium Dioxide level is again reduced, and so on.

In the end, comes the statement. “Not recommended for exterior use”, or more blandly “Interior use only”. Commercially, this provides a range of decorative options that are acceptable and others that are not. However, when performance is the dictate, paints with in-house milled pigments will always be a better option. These usually are referred to as “standard” colours. This range can obviously be intermixed to achieve other shades, without affecting the design performance level… and are not compromised in integrity.

Ideally, binding the pigments into the resin matrix locks in the performance. On the other hand, a loose lattice of pigment and surfactant can only produce an inferior amalgam.

To add a further dimension of concern, most manufacturers of paint products, now “farm out” their tinter requirements to external operators who produce “Colourants”. At that point the paint manufacturers’ reliance is on the quality of those suppliers.

Footnote
Since inception, NORGLASS has always maintained an ethos of controlling its own destiny… that meant total quality control, at all levels. We are responsible for what we make 100%… without exception.

Les Baker, Managing Director of Norglass Paints & Specialty Finishes

Posted Thursday October 3, 2013    Tags: ,