Professional Builder’s Lee Jones visits the Dulux Academy for a demonstration of the manufacturer’s latest Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt.
When a product sells in quite the volume of Dulux Trade’s Vinyl Matt Emulsion it rather begs the question as to why the manufacturer would embark upon a root and branch reformulation in the first place. One in three cans of Dulux Trade interior emulsion sold is Vinyl Matt, totalling a colossal 17 million litres annually making it one of the go-to solutions for the professional painter and decorator – a reality which renders the success of its reformulation something of an imperative for one of the nation’s most recognisable brands. Of course, just because you’re the market leader doesn’t mean you don’t have to carry on improving and developing, and this certainly necessitates continuous refinement, but there are also more practical requirements.
With the demands of the likes of EU legislation, certain compounds are no longer deemed acceptable as ingredients. Over time it’s no longer possible to continue to remove these without compromising performance, which then calls for a more radical rethink and, for the decorator accustomed to the old product, the changes to its new and improved successor will be immediately apparent. Gone is the familiar cottage-cheese consistency that often required thinning in favour of a greatly enhanced in-can consistency.
For the end-user, of course, opacity and coverage is what decorators will demand and the clever chemists at AkzoNobel have delivered just that. Indeed, the only time you will need to dilute the paint will be for a mist coat or when weather conditions require it. Once a new product is liberated from the lab it finds its way to the likes of Tony Pearson-Young, a painter and decorator of over 30 years standing, and now a trainer at the Dulux Academy’s purpose built, state of the art training centre. “When you load up the brush and start to paint a line the improved flow is what’s immediately apparent,” explains Tony, “it will simply glide along a wall. Not only does that make for easier application but you’ll also see a better finish. A better flow also means fewer marks from the brush or roller, and a less textured appearance. Not only that, but once you start to dilute paint you’ll inevitably lose coverage, but there’s none of that with this new product.”
In fact, Dulux Trade reports that its new flagship interior emulsion will deliver over 17m2 per litre, whilst it’s also a more suitable product for the increasingly popular spray option of application. The Dulux Academy is at the coalface of the latest trends in painting and decorating and, at present, its two most popular courses are wallpapering and spray paint application and, because of its reduced viscosity, Dulux Trade’s latest Vinyl Matt is inherently more suited to spraying. “Whereas the previous product would have needed to be thinned, this new paint will spray straight from the can,” continues Tony, “and, when it’s done properly, spraying will provide an inherently better finish. With either a brush or roller you’ll inevitably see marks, but with spraying there’s none of that, and a better finish as a consequence. Similarly, if you’re using a brush or roller you’re effectively taking off some paint even as you apply, but with a sprayer there’s a thicker coat.”
As with traditional matt emulsions the application of a mist coat on new plaster will require the dilution of the paint with around 20 per cent water, followed by two further undiluted coats, but on any conventional substrate only two coats will be required. Dulux Trade puts considerable faith in the team at the Dulux Trade Academy and, once the benefit of their considerable experience is brought to bear on the new coating, it will be sent out into the wider world to gauge the opinion of the painting and decorating community. Dulux Trade is the kind of brand with which tradesmen will be so familiar that they will take ownership of it; it’s a product that they will use their entire careers and will be invested in as a result, so, as the Dulux Trade team will testify, candid opinions from seasoned decorators are always forthright.
For further information on Dulux Trade’s new Vinyl Matt click here