When you’re already one of the nation’s most recognisable brands it’s certainly not time to rest on your laurels. That’s why Dulux devotes considerable resources to monitoring the market and its changing needs. Indeed, the process of listening to customer feedback – and continually developing its products accordingly – is at the heart of that success.
If you take Dulux Trade Diamond Matt, for example, its reformulation has addressed the demands of green building accreditations, as well as taking into account what decorators themselves are asking for in terms of its application, coverage and finish. “When Dulux customers purchase Diamond Matt they’re obviously looking for a durable product, one that’s easy to use, and is a pleasure to apply,” explains the project lead, Alexia Leonard.
The latest iteration of Diamond Matt fulfils that brief and more, including enhanced oil stain resistance properties. The whiteness level of the white option has been improved, whilst the product is now compliant with, BREEAM, LEED and WELL. In addition, it has a lower carbon footprint and, since Dulux Trade Diamond Matt is 99.9 per cent VOC free, it has a greatly reduced impact on indoor air quality.
Tested and approved
So just what goes into the making of the latest Dulux paint? The simple answer is an awful lot of work because reformulating what is already a very successful solution for decorators is an in-depth project that can take anywhere from 12-18 months to come to fruition. Within that there are multiple stages, beginning with the R&D department developing the product according to the criteria set by the brand team. “Any Dulux paint is subject to a rigorous ‘Tested & Approved by Professional Decorators’ seal of approval,” reveals Dulux Trade’s Alexia Leonard. “Once we have a paint to test, an in-house team of professional decorators will get to work with practical assessments, all of which are blind tests.
“Next, experienced independent decorators are invited to the Dulux Trade HQ for a further round of trials – again, under blind conditions. That’s a controlled environment, where every participant is using the same roller, applying the paint to identical substrates and so on. The final leg of the testing journey is the most diverse, where the paint is sent out to decorators and contractors working on a wide range of real jobs, from commercial to residential.
“If at any of these points concerns about particular properties of the formulation are raised it will be sent back to the lab. Essentially, it has to pass every single stage in order to proceed.”
The original Dulux Trade Diamond Matt already benefited from a hydrophobic surface, which repelled water-based stains, such as tea and coffee. In addition to that, the upgrade features a new binder which provides a superior level of oil-based stain resistance. Instead of the liquid being absorbed by the paint, it sits at the surface, and can be easily removed with a sponge or cloth and some mild detergent.
That makes it just the job for high traffic areas or kitchens. Whether it’s up against children with sticky paws, the homeowner’s work-soiled apparel, or coat-shaking pets relieving themselves of the great outdoors around the room, walls will look newer and cleaner for longer – and there’s no need to repaint just to remove unsightly spots. Moreover, the latest formulation retains its superior scrub resistance. In terms of the regulations that means it is compliant with BS EN ISO 11998 Class 1 and BS 7719 Class C. An easier way to translate that into the real world, however, is that it can withstand 10,000 scrub cycles – or the equivalent of over five hours of non stop scrubbing.
“We live in world where a builder’s clients are looking for the sustainable option, and paint is no different,” adds Senior Brand Manager, Angela Hegarty. “Dulux Trade Diamond Matt is 99.9% VOC (volatile organic compound) free, for example, which has a minimal impact on indoor air quality.”
Of course, for the property owner looking to decorate their own personal haven from the outside world, colour is always king and the more than 11,000 options that were already on offer have been joined by 150 additional extra deep colours. At the same time, decorators have already praised the improved levels of coverage and opacity, with a flatter finish and reduced sheen levels that are a consequence of more pigment in the paint. In application, two coats are required, with drying times of 4-6 hours helping tradespeople turn the job around faster.
“Once a product like Dulux Trade Diamond Matt has been released into the market that’s far from the end for us,” concludes Angela. “We’re continuously gathering insights from the market with a view to further improvements. We’ll be giving free samples so decorators can try it for themselves, for example, because the people who are using the paint day in and day out are the best judges.”
For more information on Dulux Trade Diamond Matt visit Dulux Trade Diamond Matt Paint | DTPE (duluxtradepaintexpert.co.uk).