The High’s and Low’s of Solid Paint – Industrial Painting

Years ago, paints and coatings traditionally did not have high solid content. Due to environmental concerns over air pollution from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) paint manufacturers were asked to lower the solvent content in their products to improve air quality.

Fortunately, this environmental issue led to the development of some great products.

High Solid Paints

A high solid paint is considered to be at least 65% solid components. This includes the binders, any additives and the pigments.

High solid paints have some distinct advantages over low solid paints for some applications.

Here are a few of the pros:

  • Lower VOC content
  • Lower waste disposal cost because components are not hazardous waste
  • Thicker coats- less coating saves time and money
  • Less shipping and storage of materials (because fewer coats are required)
  • Better performance
  • Some paints are self-priming
  • Better corrosion resistance
  • Improved edge retention
  • Less solvent means a less flammable paint
  • Less intense air handling is required due to lower flammability
  • Easier to use indoors

As you can imagine, a paint with a high solid content will be thicker. This can have three to four times higher solid content than a solvent based paint. Because of this, it can pose some unique challenges in some applications.  Never apply a high solids paint outside of its atmospheric preferences. A very humid environment or a temperature either too high or too low might make drying take longer than expected.

Although, specialized equipment has been developed to work with most of these challenges, it may be out of reach for the average do it yourselfer.

Low Solids Paints

The solids content on a low solid paint is usually around 25%, with about 60% made up of solvents.

Here are the pros for low solid paints:

  • Easy cleanup of over-spray compared to high solids
  • Not as sensitive to temperature fluctuations when applying material
  • Can be a less expensive option
  • Easy to use in sprayers

Because the coats are lighter on these paints, there are fewer issues with paint draping and sagging on vertical surfaces.  Low solid paints also have longer pot lives than high solid paints, and give the painter more time to work with the material. Those two factors alone make low solid paints popular!

Because of the higher solvent content of low solids paints, they are not always practical for application inside unless air exhaust or personal protective equipment should be used to protect the painters or anyone in the area.

When choosing a paint, it is definitely important to understand your application and capabilities. Getting great advice and service from PennCoat Inc. is always a great way to start! Contact us today to learn how we can help. (888) 600-5220.  PennCoat, Inc. provides industrial painting, commercial painting, and epoxy flooring services to Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, Hartford, York, Lancaster, and the surrounding areas.