Choosing the right coating system to finish your furniture, cabinetry or joinery will ensure you achieve the best result that requires minimal maintenance.
There are a number of things to consider when choosing the type of coating system to use, including end use – performance requirements of the coating, application equipment available, experience of applicator and cost of the final article.
Performance – Physical Properties of the Coating
Coating systems vary widely in their physical properties, depending upon the end use of the coated article the following properties may or may not be important; chemical and water resistance, abrasion resistance, flexibility, yellowing and impact resistance. For example a bookcase will not require the same chemical resistance as a kitchen cupboard as the chance of it being exposed to household reagents is slim, where as in a kitchen, spills of alcohol, coffee or food such as beetroot juice are likely, therefore it is important to choose a coating system that has superior physical properties.
Application Equipment & Experience of Applicator
Single pack lacquers and acid catalysed coatings can be applied in an open spray booth with an approved half face cartridge mask, where as polyurethane and polyester coatings need to be applied in a closed spray booth with positive air flow with the applicator wearing a full air assisted face mask. As a general rule the skill required to spray coatings increases as the performance of the coating system improves, for example in order to achieve a good commercial finish, less experience is required to apply a single pack nitrocellulose lacquer than a polyurethane coating.
Cost of the Coating
Like most things in life, the better the performance of the coating the higher the price, however the cost of the coating is only a small component of the overall job. Choosing the right coating system up front reduces the risk of rejects and rework. An easy to apply coating that dries quickly can result in process improvements and increase production throughput giving a business an opportunity to save on labour costs.
In summary, the choice of the correct coating system is not black and white, like most things in life there are tradeoffs with all coatings. No coating system in any particular product category is better or worse than a coating in a different product category because it depends upon what feature is being compared.
As a guide the table below maps the physical properties of the general coating families from least to best. There is an overlap in performance properties between the different categories because under each of these categories there are many different coatings marketed with different properties.
Mirotone’s technical team continually work with customers to develop coating systems that suit their particular requirements. For further information contact Mirotone.