Hands up who would consider themselves an expert in all things paint? If you’re currently reading this, and have one hand up, I’d like to hedge a bet that you aren’t totally honest with yourself.
Take a trip to any DIY shop or big hardware store, and you’ll find yourself standing in front of hundreds of different paints from dozens of brands; all products which boast about varying features which you never knew you needed from your paint.
When you’re decorating, especially within a budget, you want to get paint which you know is reliable and won’t leave you with a faded wall, or those older layers starting to come through, after a few months. That’s why it helps to know about the not-so-secret world of trade paint. Favoured by painters and decorators, trade paint is slowly starting to gain some attention amongst those of us who would be buying paint every once in a blue moon, or when we want a blue room!
So what is there to know about trade paint, and why would someone need it? Here’s everything you need to know.
Trade paint is easier to apply
There are no bones about it. Painting a room can be an annoying task if the paint isn’t taking to the wall as you’d hope. Imagine if you had to paint a wall to speed and move onto the next one as soon as possible. That’s the daily routine of any professional painter, who would be reliant on paint that is easier to apply.
Trade paint is formulated to do just that. It will be formulated with the components broken down a little more than normal. Paint is made up of pigments, binders, liquid (water or oil) and additives (which make a paint unique). It’s a bit of a balancing act to get right, which is why trade paint typically leans on a higher pigment and liquid ratio for easier application.
Trade paints have a tidier finish
Ever think you’ve painted a wall to perfection, having taken your time and not rushed, only to stand back and realise there are still a few areas where the brush blotted or coverage isn’t even? Trade paint is blended so that the binder will want to stick to your undercoat as easily as possible.
When you have walls with imperfections and little bumps, trade paint will want to fill itself in those gaps. Now it doesn’t expand out to do so, but if you had say a knock in the wall from behind a door, trade paint usually sits in the crack without splitting open easily.
And because it typically is made in pure white matt, it can take being used roughly and quickly to give a tidier finish still.
Trade paint dries in quicker
Time is of the essence, and professional painters don’t want to wait around for hours on end to apply their next coat. When you work with an oil/enamel heavy paint, it will take longer to dry in. Trade paints avoid this by balancing out to have higher water content.
I liken it to hanging up some clothes after they’ve been washed. What do you think would dry quicker; a shirt dipped in water, or a shirt dipped in soapy water?
Decorators want paint they can throw up and come back to quickly. You might want the same if you’re about to repaint a large room or the whole home.
Trade paints can be cost-effective
Here’s a little secret that painters don’t usually want the general public knowing; your paint might be getting watered down.
Remember what I said about trade paint having a tidier finish? Well, although it sounds confusing when I first mention it, while trade paint tends to have a higher water content than normal, it is still usually thicker than your average tin of matt emulsion.
Big brands know this, which is why they will tend to offer trade paint in larger tubs and cans. Some decorators will then water the paint down ever so slightly to give them an adequate thickness and get more out of their purchase.
Trade paints are competitive
Prefix anything with “trade”, and you’ll assume it is more expensive or specialist. Trade paint is incredibly competitive, with all the leading brands like Dulux, Crown and Johnstone’s all offering similar products that they know professionals will buy in large volumes. Just take a look at some of the prices for Johnstone’s trade paints at The Paint Shed. You’re looking at the same price per litre as the small paint cans you get in the paint aisle.
Do a little research and see if there’s a deal to be had by opting for trade versions of the paint you need.
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