Exploring New Paint Technology from The Home Depot

the home depot

Improved paint technology from The Home Depot making touch-ups, matching easier

Paint, like everything else has gone digital. Improved color-matching through hand-held spectrophotometers and software is making it more possible to match old paint with new on apartment remodels.

Improved computer technology identifies the near-perfect match and advancements in pigmentation seal the deal. Finding the right fit five, 10 or 15 years down the road takes minutes and is more accurate than when the technology first surfaced a couple of decades ago. The computer does the work, eliminating any human guesswork.

“The scanning technology is better and quicker,” said Home Depot Regional Pro Sales Manager Jeff Watson. “Digital spectrophotometers have been around a long time. But the laser taking the picture of the pigment was not as accurate 15 years ago as it is today.”

Automation in mixing paint is more accurate

Automated mixing of pigments has improved the match technology as well. The machine determines the matching pigments and disperses appropriately. In the past, the mixing was up to the paint technician who used pigment codes as a guide.

“It used to be an associate mixing the paint with a metal file, and using a ruler to figure how much tint to drop in the can,” Watson said. “If you put in the wrong one, maybe you forgot or got distracted, you didn’t get a true match.”

Depending on who mixed the paint, the result could vary as well.

Today, painted samples tell no lies. Watson suggests peeling off an inconspicuous part of paint and taking it to the vendor for a match. Newer paint is easier to match but old paint isn’t a problem either.

Such was the case recently at a North Texas Home Depot store, where a customer brought in samples taken from the side of a home that had been painted with red BEHR paint 15 years ago. The homeowner wanted to match the exterior of the home to a new addition on the property.

The associate scanned a small piece of painted wood and produced a set of tints for mixing. Within minutes, an almost identical match was produced.

Today’s paints have better pigments and repel dirt easier

Improvements in latex paint technology contribute to the match capabilities, especially for touch-up jobs. Watson said latex paint has gotten better because of more accurate formulations and ingredients that outpace all other paint types in drying and touch up.

“Paint has improved so much today that the touch-up capabilities are much better,” he said. “You can touch up or match paint and it goes unnoticed.”

Also, smaller pigments create more vibrant colors and improve applications so that priming the surface always isn’t needed.

“The pigments are so small, there isn’t any space between the pigment particles anymore,” Watson said. “Picture a series of stop signs interlocked. That’s how close they are. One coat is just as good as if you primed it.”

Today’s paints are also better at repelling dirt so exteriors are easier to clean.

Watson said apartments can not only better match existing paint when working on remodels or remediation to parts of a unit or building but also have a finish that holds up longer. The company’s Project Color app is there to assist. Also, a number of touch-up products are available to speed along work and achieve professional finishes.

The Home Depot catering to apartment industry with Pro Paint 2.0

The Home Depot recently launched Pro Paint 2.0, a system aimed at the apartment industry that enables property management companies to build a repository of exterior and interior paint selections accessible at any store in the U.S.

For big jobs, Watson advises that apartments consider using higher grade paints, even if they cost more. They apply better and don’t require multiple coats, saving money in the long run.

“It can pay dividends to invest in paint because of labor savings.”


Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

author photo two

Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who writes about the multifamily housing and transportation industries. He has contributed numerous articles to Property Management Insider, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the D/FW area. Blackwell is president of Ballpark Impressions, and publishes the Cowcatcher Magazine. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists.

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