Applying Architectural Commercial Coatings in Universities and Commercial Buildings

Architectural coatings can increase the visual atmosphere of commercial settings.  But they can also have a specific function depending on their application.

architectural commercial coatings

Visual impact is the most common improvement that’s expected by the general public.  And although that’s a reasonable assumption, commercial coatings can offer benefits other than improved aesthetics.

We were asked to coat steel in an institutional facility.  This steel consisted of tube steel and stair components such as stringers and pickets in the stair railings.  And although it’s easy to assume that an ordinary DTM (direct-to-metal) would be a considerable coating solution, it’s not taking into account some other important features.

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Firstly, this specific area is in an atrium.  Meaning that this coating will be exposed to a significant amount of sunlight.  And if not chosen carefully, the coating can actually deteriorate from the UV rays.  So it’s important to consider a coating that will hold up to the UV light exposure.

Additionally, stair components always receive a significant amount of foot traffic.  With all those moving arms and hands and feet touching and rubbing the steel, you’ll need a commercial coating that gets harder than your average latex.  So this coating will need exceptional adhesion, but also offer a hardened shell that can handle more abrasion than typical paint.

We opted for a DTM acrylic enamel.  Firstly, DTM’s offer excellent adhesion with steel.  They are designed to bond with the subtle profile of steel, allowing it to adhere better than just ordinary paint.

But not only can we expect good adhesion, this coating will provide excellent color stability.  All the windows in the atrium will allow the UV light to enter into the facility and come in constant contact with the coating.  So the color retention of an acrylic paint was critical, compared to the yellowing properties of an oil-based paint or epoxy.

And not only will it bond will with steel, and maintain its color, but it will hold up to the foot traffic.  Enamels create a nice, hard shell after they cure.  This shell makes them ideal for pedestrian traffic, reducing paint chipping and coating failure.  Additionally, enamels are easier to clean and can help maintain the cleanliness and sanitation of the atrium.

But choosing the proper coating is only half the battle for many projects.  Accessing surface, and schedule conflicts can require a lot of strategizing and pre-planning.  So be sure to take everything else into consideration before beginning any commercial or industrial painting project.