5 Commercial Coatings and Why They’re Popular

Paint isn’t exciting, but it’s hugely important in the commercial realm. Paul Smith of F.H. Brundle, which stocks a wide variety of paint alongside wrought iron, mesh, steel and other products, talks us through five key types of coatings in commercial projects, and what makes them useful and popular.


Paint. It’s hardly the most inspirational topic. But without it, the world wouldn’t just be a much uglier place to be – the amount of maintenance needed on buildings, fences, railings and anything else exposed to the elements would be drastically increased.

In the commercial realm, when project managers and specifiers are concerned with making spaces as durable and easily maintained as possible, that makes coatings extremely important.

Choose wisely, and you’ll have a site that stays looking its best for years to come. Get it wrong, and it’ll prove costly, both for yourself and your client.

To help you make the right choice, here’s F.H. Brundle’s guide to five important coatings used in commercial projects, and what makes them so popular.

Vinyl coatings

Vinyl coatings, like F.H. Brundle’s own Rourke’s Vinylast, are made of various types of resin, like polyvinyl acetate or polyvinyl chloride.

They’re attractive, long-lasting and low-maintenance, and well-suited to providing abrasion and scratch resistance, heat-resistance and corrosion resistance, as well as simply improving the aesthetics of a surface.

Vinyl coatings are particularly suitable for use on ironwork, and if it’s been freshly galvanised, two coats will give a long-lasting finish. Gloss, semi-gloss and matt sheens are all available.


Humans have been using lacquer for a very long time – the earliest known examples date back 9000 years from ancient Japan, where it was routinely mixed with vermillion and used to decorate pottery.

Essentially, lacquer is a naturally-occurring plastic. It’s extracted from the clear sap of the lacquer tree, common in China, Japan and other parts of East Asia, and then used to protect surfaces.

It’s highly durable, and frequently used on everything from wood to metal. It also dries and hardens very quickly, but is liable to chip if not treated carefully.

Powder coating

One of the more modern coating techniques, powder coating is becoming increasingly popular for commercial and industrial applications. As the name suggests, dry powder is sprayed onto a surface, then heated to bind it.

The powder itself is a mix of finely-ground pigment particles and resin, that gets electrostatically applied to the surface in question. In a curing oven, those particles are fused into a smooth coating.

Powder-coated finishes are very durable and cost-effective, and are much cleaner to use than applying wet paint. They’re also quicker and more environmentally-friendly than some alternatives.


Enamel is a slow-drying paint that contains resin. Its key benefit is its smooth, semi-transparent finish – the extra drying time allows it to level out more than other types of paint.

The added resin also makes it highly durable – that’s why we recommend F.H. Brundle’s Enamelrite whenever a tougher finish is required. Enamel finish paints can withstand mechanical abrasion better than other alternatives. That makes them ideal for use on handrails, furniture, seating and other high-use settings.

Anti-climb paint

Anti-climb paint is the black sheep of the family. It’s not designed to improve aesthetics at all – but nonetheless plays a critical role in keeping important buildings safe all around the country.

Anti-climb paint doesn’t set, meaning it’s permanently slippery, and therefore an excellent way of preventing would-be burglars from scaling walls, fences, drainpipes, streetlamps and virtually any other surface it’s applied to.

To be effective, anti-climb paint has to be applied quite thickly – a layer that’s 2 to 3mm-thick is best. However, be wary of the law before applying it – you need to put up warning signs if there’s anti-climb paint in use on a site.

At F.H Brundle, we offer an extensive range of paints for metalwork. We stock anti-corrosion primers, gloss and semi-gloss paints, as well as hammered, metallic and patina finishes. Our high-quality Vinylast paint doesn’t require pre-treatment, and gives an attractive, long-lasting finish to freshly galvanised ironwork. What’s more, our cold zinc galvanise provides both a highly effective anti-corrosion coating, and a method for repairing zinc surfaces, while GALVAFROID can be used as both a primer and a topcoat to prevent rust and corrosion.

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