Paint vs. Coating


One of our most asked questions—paint or coating? Here’s the breakdown.

Paint and coating are two related but distinct terms in surface finishing. Here’s how they differ:

  1. Composition:
    • Paint: Paint typically consists of pigments, binders, solvents, and additives. The pigments provide color, the binders hold the pigment particles together and adhere them to the surface, the solvents help with application and drying, and additives may enhance properties like durability or texture.
    • Coating: Coatings are generally more specialized formulations tailored for specific purposes. They can include paints but also encompass a broader range of materials such as primers, varnishes, lacquers, and specialty coatings like powder or epoxy coatings. Coatings often have a higher concentration of solids and are formulated for performance characteristics like corrosion resistance, wear resistance, or UV protection.
  1. Functionality:
    • Paint: Paint is primarily used for aesthetic purposes, providing surface color and texture. While it can offer some level of protection, its primary function is to enhance the appearance of the substrate.
    • Coating: Coatings serve a broader range of functions beyond aesthetics. They are engineered to provide specific properties such as corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, thermal insulation, waterproofing, or abrasion resistance. Coatings are often applied to surfaces for protective or functional purposes rather than solely for appearance.
  1. Thickness and Durability:
    • Paint: Paint products are thinner and may require multiple coats for adequate coverage and durability. While some paints can offer decent protection against wear and tear, they are generally less durable than specialized coatings.
    • Coating: Coatings are typically thicker and more durable than paint. They are formulated to withstand harsh environments and provide long-lasting protection to the substrate. Coatings often undergo extensive testing to ensure they meet specific performance standards for durability and functionality.
  1. Application:
    • Paint: Paint is commonly applied using brushes, rollers, or sprayers, and it can be relatively straightforward for DIY applications.
    • Coating: Coatings are commonly applied using rollers and sprayers and can be DIY or commercial. 

While paint and coating involve applying a liquid material to a surface, coatings are generally more specialized formulations designed for specific functions and offer excellent durability and protection than traditional paints. 

At Acrytech Coatings, we have over 45 years of experience formulating effective, efficient, and durable coatings. We understand the difference and provide our consumers with a quality coating. 

We hope this clarifies the difference. We are here to answer any questions and help you save time and money.