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Types of Paint Commonly Used in Commercial Painting

Businesses often feel that you shouldn’t expect a positive response if you don’t create the right first impression. One of the main ways many businesses create their first impression is by using the right type of color scheme for their commercial space. The use of different tones and color values in commercial painting can help convey messages, create moods, and evoke emotions in the viewer. 

Tonal contrast and the arrangement of lights and darks are crucial in planning and making a painting successful. But what are some of the best paints you can use to paint your commercial space? Read our guide to learn more. 

Commercial painting

Types of Paint for Commercial Painting

When it comes to commercial painting, there are different surfaces to paint than would normally be found in a residential setting. The following are a few of the most commonly used paints. 

Water-Based Paints

As the name suggests, water-based paints use water as the primary solvent. They are popular for their ease of use and environmental friendliness, as they release fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These paints are easy to clean up with water and are suitable for both interior and exterior applications. 

They dry quickly, have a low odor, and retain color well over time. Acrylic paints are also available in a wide array of colors and finishes, making them suitable for most commercial painting projects. Of course, some areas in commercial spaces need to have heavier and more protective paint than water-based paints.

Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints use organic solvents, typically mineral turpentine, in their composition. They are known for their durability, smooth finish, and ability to create a high sheen. 

Oil-based paints are suitable for use on wood and metal surfaces, providing a protective coating. 

High-traffic areas are one area where you may want to use oil-based paints. Consider the breakroom kitchen cabinets. Using oil-based paints on the doors will protect them from handprints better than water-based paints. Bathrooms are another place you may want to use oil-based rather than water-based paints. Oil-based paints also provide a bit of water resistance to walls and trim.

However, it is important to note that oil-based paints release a higher level of VOCs and require mineral spirits for cleanup. This makes them less environmentally friendly than water-based paints and not a desirable choice for doctors’ or dentists’ offices or hospitals.

One added drawback is that these paints have a longer drying time and are often used for decorative finishes and in areas that require a tough, long-lasting coating. Nonetheless, once you have finished painting using oil-based paints, they will last for a much longer time as they are more durable than regular water-based paints. 

Exterior Commercial Painting

Latex Paints

Painters know that latex paints are water-based paints that use a synthetic polymer, such as acrylic or vinyl, as the binder. They are known for their flexibility, adhesion, and resistance to scrubbing. The best-quality latex paints contain 100% acrylic resin, which provides superior performance and durability. 

They are available in various sheens and are suitable for interior and exterior applications. As for the benefits, they are easy to clean up with water, have low odor, and provide good color retention. These paints are ideal for areas that require frequent cleaning, such as kitchens and bathrooms. 

Epoxy Paints

Epoxy paints are two-part coatings that consist of resin and a hardener. When mixed, they form a tough and durable finish that is resistant to chemicals, stains, and moisture. Epoxy paints are commonly used on floors, countertops, and industrial equipment due to their high performance and protective qualities. 

Depending on the application, they are available in many colors and can provide a glossy or matte finish. Epoxy paints are ideal for areas that require a strong, long-lasting coating, such as garage floors and commercial kitchens. 

Anti-graffiti Paints

Anti-graffiti paints are specially formulated coatings that provide a protective barrier against graffiti, spray paint, markers, and other forms of vandalism. There are two types of anti-graffiti paints: sacrificial and non-sacrificial. 

Sacrificial coatings allow for the easy removal of graffiti by stripping away the top layer of the paint. These paints are commonly used on public buildings, bridges, and other surfaces prone to vandalism. On top of that, they are available in clear and colored finishes and provide long-lasting protection against graffiti. You can use them for your commercial spaces, too.

In contrast, non-sacrificial coatings are a type of protective coating that provides a long-lasting barrier against graffiti and vandalism. Unlike sacrificial coatings, non-sacrificial coatings offer permanent protection and can sustain repeated attacks without the need for frequent reapplication. 

These paints form a clear, hard, and non-yellowing film that prevents the penetration of spray paint, marking pens, and other forms of graffiti into the substrate.

Specialty Coatings

Specialty coatings encompass a wide range of paint products that are created for specific applications or to provide unique properties. These may include waterproof coatings, elastomeric paints, moisture vapor barriers, and paint additives. 

Specialty coatings are often used in commercial and industrial settings to address specific performance requirements, such as waterproofing, chemical resistance, and color retention. They are available in various formulations to meet the needs of different substrates and environmental conditions. 

Specialty coatings can provide enhanced protection and durability for a wide range of surfaces and are designed to withstand challenging conditions.

commercial painters Bay Area

How to Tell if a Commercial Paint is of High Quality?

With so many brands out there, it becomes difficult to see which one offers the high quality you are looking for. After all, no one wants to compromise on their business, so it is important to check out the following aspects.

  • Brand Reputation: Choose paints from well-established brands with a history of customer satisfaction, such as Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams, which are known for consistent quality and durability.
  • Paint Composition: Opt for paints with a high pigment concentration, usually expressed in grams per liter (g/L). A paint with over 30 g/L of pigment is a good indicator of a rich and lasting color.
  • Durability and Resistance: Look for paints that mention resistance to wear, stains, and harsh weather conditions. Paints labeled as “durable” and “weather-resistant” are likely to maintain their integrity over time.
  • Adhesion to Surfaces: Quality paints adhere well to various surfaces, ensuring long-lasting results. Choose paints suitable for your specific material, such as wood, metal, or drywall.

Things to Consider When Choosing Commercial Paint

When choosing a paint for your business, take notes of the following important aspects.

  • Quick Drying Time: Consider paints labeled as “fast-drying” if you want to complete your project swiftly. Acrylic and water-based paints generally dry faster than oil-based ones. Having adequate air circulation in the area that has been painted will also help the paint dry quicker.
  • Ease of Application: Consider opting for paints with a “self-leveling” feature for a smoother finish. This also makes it easier to apply, even for beginners. Latex paints are often known for their user-friendly application.
  • Surface Compatibility: Our commercial painters in the Bay Area recommend a paint formulated specifically for the surface you are working on, whether it’s wood, metal, or concrete. Some paints are designed to adhere better to certain materials, ensuring better longevity. If you’re unsure of the best paint type, ask the painters for their suggestions. 
  • Low VOC Formulas: Look for paints labeled as “low VOC” or “zero VOC” to minimize harmful emissions and ensure better indoor air quality. These are water-based or latex paints. Of course, adequate air circulation is important no matter which type of paint you choose.
  • Durability and Washability: If you’re painting high-traffic areas or areas prone to stains, select paints with high durability and washability. Semi-gloss or satin finishes are more resistant to wear and tear than other finishes.
  • Color Options: Consider the range of colors available in a paint line to ensure you find the perfect shade for your project. Some paint lines offer a broader spectrum of colors to suit various preferences. If you are confused about it, you can always consult the best commercial painters in Pleasanton about it. 
  • Budget-Friendly Options: Take a look at your budget and look for the paints that offer a good balance between cost and quality. Some affordable latex paints provide decent coverage and durability without breaking the bank.

Types of Commercial Paint Finishes

Let’s explore the different types of commercial paint finishes often found in commercial settings, whether you are in a factory, apartment building, church, grocery store, school, restaurant, or doctor’s office. 

Flat/Matte Finish

This finish provides a non-reflective, smooth appearance with excellent coverage. It is an ideal option for hiding imperfections on walls. Use this type of paint finish for reception areas.

Eggshell Finish

The eggshell finish has a slight, almost non-noticeable, sheen and is more washable than flat, making it suitable for moderate-traffic areas like conference rooms and office walls.

Satin Finish

This finish offers a smooth and velvety appearance with a gentle sheen. If you are looking for an elegant look, this is what the best commercial painters in Dublin recommend. A satin finish would look great there if the reception area had plenty of natural light.

Semi-Gloss Finish

Semi-gloss is durable, easy to clean, and reflects light, making it great for high-traffic areas like bathrooms, breakrooms, and hallways.

Helpful Tip: Semi-gloss finishes are ideal for kitchen walls, offering easy cleanup.

Gloss Finish

High gloss is a finish with high sheen, reflective properties, and durability. It is perfect for trim and accents. This should be your go-to choice if your concern is to shine with sophistication!

Ceiling Paint

This is a paint specifically formulated for ceilings and has a flat finish to reduce light glare and minimize strain on the eyes. It also helps to enhance the room’s overall vibe by keeping things low-key!

Specialty Finishes

Specialty finishes include textures like suede or metallic, adding visual interest to surfaces. You have the full creativity option in it to go artistic and bring colors just like you want. 

Washable and Scrubbable Finishes

Designed for easy cleaning without compromising the finish, these paints are suitable for high-traffic areas.

Transform Your Commercial Space with Custom Painting, Inc.

Choosing the right paint for your business is as important as running it. You can’t run a business if it does not give the right appeal. Water-based paints, like acrylics, are eco-friendly, dry quickly, and are easy to clean. Oil-based paints are durable but have longer drying times and more environmental impact. 

For quality, consider brand reputation, paint composition, and durability. To make things easier, you should contact expert painters like Custom Painting, Inc. in the Bay Area, Pleasanton, and Dublin. It is a reliable choice for professional commercial paint jobs, ensuring a lasting positive impression. You can call us at 925-294-8062 to schedule a free estimate or fill out our online contact form, and someone will call you back as soon as possible.


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