The Top Architectural Coating Trends of 2018

Architectural coating trends for 2018 are bold

Stay on top of the latest architectural coating trends

New York fashion week may seem a million miles away from which paint to use for a bathroom renovation, but really the two are much closer than they seem. Coating and paint designers take their cues from consumer choices but also from the design trends across markets. What people like is informed by the world around them, and the coating and paint trendsetters take their inspiration from many different markets, including social, architectural, design, and cultural.

The US housing market is finally improving, with new builds and renovation projects on the rise. This is good news for the coatings industry, and the market is responding to the changing consumer needs. So lets take a look at what architectural coating trends are lighting up the market for 2018.

Color trends: Blacks, pinks, and blues

The 2018 color predictions have begun rolling in, and the trend appears to be: bold. Leaving the neutral mushrooms and whites behind, this coming year is notably darker and more striking. Just a few of the “Color of the Year 2018″predictions:

Architectural coating trends for 2018 will be colorful

Color is the color trend of 2018, and plenty of it.

  • PPG – Black Flame: An “unprecedented, statement-making black with deep tones of indigo” to evoke feelings of privacy, hope and modernism.
  • Sherwin-Williams – Oceanside: A mix of rich blue with jewel-toned green, this complex colour “offers a sense of the familiar with a hint of the unknown”.
  • Benjamin Moore – Caliente: A warm tone of red with a hint of orange, this color is “hot, passionate, and sexy”.
  • BEHR – In The Moment: A cool, tranquil, spruce, designed to evoke a sense of sanctuary and relaxation.
  • AkzoNobel – Heart Wood: A contemporary, grown-up pink, designed to reassure and comfort, “the color representation of a ‘welcome home'”.

While we have to wait till December for the Pantone Color of the Year, they have released a palette of 2018 color design trends. According to their predictions, the trend is away from pastels and into more vibrant hues, as well as a continued infatuation with all things metallic, iridescent, pearlized or translucent. The take home message is for decorative coatings is: be bold, be strong, be warm.

Architectural coating trends in sustainability

The last decade has seen a big change across the architectural coatings market. The water-based vs oil-based divide has grown, with water-based coming out the clear winner. The reason for this lies in end user and consumer choices, environmental regulators, and the improvement in VOC content of the water-based options. Consumers want to see companies develop sustainable practices that reduce energy use, waste, and consumption, with a focus on renewables. The top three sustainability trends are:

Architectural coating trends have led to a rise in sustainability

Shiny architectural coatings like this epoxy flooring can naturally raise the light levels of a space

  1. Water-based: These paints are solvent free, and so often are low or no VOC. The chemistry behind them has improved through the years, making them a viable alternative. New resin technologies are such as acrylic water-based, provide better gloss and color retention than their solvent-based counterparts.
  2. Low/zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compound): VOCs are organic solvents used in paint which evaporate into the atmosphere, bond with nitrogen oxide create low level smog an ozone, causing air pollution and contributing to global warming. they are also responsible for the strong smell of paint.
  3. Light reflective products and colors: By using a coating that is light reflective, a building can reduce the need for electric lighting and propagate natural light better through a space. A shiny floor coating, such as an epoxy, can also contribute to this effect, further reducing electricity usage.

Interior wood architectural coating trends

“Wood”, odd as it sounds, is currently very on trend. Perhaps as a response to the increasing technology of our lives, people are returning to more natural aesthetics. Like all coatings, there is a push towards water-based, low-VOC products. The US market has also been affected by the formaldehyde being labelled a carcinogen, so low formaldehyde formulations are in demand. UV cured coatings are desirable becuase they are easy-to-apply and fast-cure. With the return to growth of the US housing market, the coating market has seen a change towards easily do-it-yourself coatings.

Multifunctionality: beyond pretty protection

Wood is very popular, and so it affects architectural coating trends

With the popularity of wood in design, wood coatings are seeing a rise in demand

With the market veering towards sustainability, it is perhaps unsurprising that multipurpose coatings are also seeing a rise in popularity. Paints that do more than just beautify a substrate, but actually work to provide further benefits are appearing on the market, and to great success. The more obvious end of this market is sheen uniformity, ease of application, good opacity, and durability. But there are more interesting options arriving.

Sherwin-Williams released the first EPA-registered microbicidal paint, which contains an anti-microbial compound and kills 99.9%  of bacteria (including E. Coli) on its surface within two hours of exposure. This coating could be applied in hospitals, gyms, leisure centers, nursing homes, or schools. You can also find coatings which actively remove formaldehyde from the air, and reduce bad odors. For the sustainably-minded, there is growth in the recycled paint market, taking leftover paints and making them new.

Summing up architectural coating trends

So, the future of architectural coatings holds bright bold colors in water-based coatings, made sustainably with low- or zero- VOC evaporation. With better performance from binders and additives, a reduced environmental impact, and a steadily growing housing and architectural coatings market, the future is looking bright for consumer and manufacturer alike.


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