Why waterborne could be bad for your business

This is not a joke or some stunt aimed at confusing our customers. Waterborne may not be for everyone. There are some reasons for this, which I'll explain in a second. But for now, let's just say that waterborne has its limitations and that may hold some users back from actually making the leap.


First off, it's relatively unknown in the US market. American waterborne paints and clears do not implore the same technology as their European counterparts. I know, using the word technology to describe paint may sound hyperbolic, but it's not. Europe has been perfecting the way it manufactures waterborne paint since the 1980s when it was forced to do so by regulatory fiat. We have not had that hammer come down on us....yet.


We also live in vastly different climates in the US, making it hard for some regions to use waterborne products. The southeast doesn't have much to worry about with its consistently high humidity and warm weather, but here in Michigan, and especially during our first winter of operations, we received more than a few phone calls about dry times, fish-eyeing, and the like. The reason being is that when humidity levels in Michigan get to 10 or 20% (or lower), it's very difficult to work with waterborne products, so users must regulate the humidity levels in their shops to 40-50% or more. This may not always be an easy task depending on the size of one's shop, the containment within said shop, and the equipment being used to regulate the environment.


There's a learning curve as well. There's a reason that Maverick Paints offers so much support with our customers, from first-time users to much more experienced finishers that need some help troubleshooting. There are plenty of experienced finishers who have never heard the term 2K, meaning 2 component. This tends to throw users for a loop when they go to use a catalyst, which is essentially the second component in the coating. There are techniques for mixing it, depending on the reactiveness of the solution, and there are also functions that would dictate whether or not you would even need to use it. One concept that is usually foreign to finishers is the fact that after catalyzing the product, they only have about 2 hours to use the paint before it starts to coagulate, so speed is of the essence. And so is batching, because 9 times of out 10, most finishers will spray direct from a can or bucket, instead of pouring off.


The long and short is, we're not for everyone. Waterborne is a unique product, which done right, can have the look and feel better than a Conversion Varnish (and without the harmful effects), and done poorly can have not-so-good results. The bottom line is, the end user will have to learn the ins and outs of the product (just like any other product) before making the jump to waterborne.




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