The key to covering power

As a professional painter or decorator, you’ll want to achieve a perfect finish for your customers, every time, first time.
A key part of achieving this is the level of coverage a paint offers. But what is behind the claims on covering power?
Here, Dillon Cilliers at Valspar Trade, explains all…

When it comes to choosing paint, opacity and coverage are everything. Whether you’re painting over a mist coat or redecorating, you will want a high-quality, consistent and true finish, without patches, lap marks or the need to apply countless coats. But how is this achieved?

Developing paint formulations is a science in itself, with extensive research, development and testing going into every tin you see on the shelf.
Generally speaking, paint formulations are made up of three main elements: the binder, pigment and extenders.

Extenders can influence the opacity, sheen and whiteness. While additives can help the paint to spread out and self-level when applied to the wall or ceiling, helping to eliminate unsightly brush strokes and enable the paint to go even further. Ingredients such as Zinc Phosphate and biocides are often used in a formulation to offer greater durability, helping the paint to not only last longer but retain the ‘good as new’ look too.

When formulating for superior covering power, Valspar technical teams will consider the level of extenders used in the formula and how the paint transfers from the roller or brush to the substrate.

Obliteration testing is carried out in laboratory conditions at a set thickness, according to ISO 6504-3:2019 part of a multi-series of international standards on paints and varnishes, which looks specifically at the hiding power of paints for masonry, concrete and interior use.

Just as important as the hiding power, the ability of a coating to obliterate the colour or colour difference of the substrate, is the spreading rate of the paint. Defined by ISO as the surface area that can be covered by a given quantity of coating material, resulting in a dried film of requisite thickness, the spreading rate is integral to determining the hiding power or coverage ratio.

As well as testing in controlled laboratory conditions, it’s also important to consider practical conditions too, in line with the ‘real world’ application. We ensure that our trade paint is formulated in a way that it can easily adapt to different conditions, substrates and application preferences, whether that’s spraying or using a roller.

At Valspar Trade, all our product development is focussed on how we can make life easier for the tradespeople, with a game-changing range of high-quality trade essentials formulated to achieve the perfect finish, having undergone rigorous ISO testing. Our Trade Vinyl and Matt paints offer high opacity and superior covering power, as well as extended wet edge time and low spatter.

You can be confident that it will apply easily and spread evenly and consistently. In fact, just one litre of Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt can cover a surface area of 16 square metres.