Greener Paints

Although we don’t use much paint, we would like to do our part for the environment by using greener paints such as water-based in our plant.


Q. My brother and I own a small manufacturing company here in the Midwest. We manufacture a line of farm implements and farm machine attachments. These products are cleaned by hand and painted by brush because we don’t produce enough parts to support a paint line. Although we don’t use much paint, we would like to do our part for the environment by using greener paints such as water-based in our plant. We quit using lead based paints when we heard that the regulators wanted them off the market. Now we want to take the next step and join the crowd going greener. What paints do you recommend? G.L.

 

A. Join the crowd, G.L. It has been decades since the paint industry embarked on their “Get the Lead Out” campaign for trade sales paint and industrial users were prohibited from using lead containing paints in their plants. Since then there are other corrosion-inhibiting pigments available as replacements for lead in industrial paint formulations.


Since you are applying paints by brushing, you are already greener than other manufacturers using spray guns. You don’t have to worry about increasing your transfer efficiency (TE) because application by brushing is nearly 100%.
Greener (environmentally safe) paints available today come in the form of waterborne, high solids, and some two-component materials. Use of these coatings will reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Owing to their limited pot life, using the two-component paints may cause problems since you apply your paints by brushing. I don’t make specific paint company product recommendations in Painting Clinic. Therefore, I suggest you ask your paint supplier for specific product recommendations.

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