TP Home | About | Newsletter | Blogs |

So much for eco in the paint industry

Read and weep if you thought your move into waterbased paint was ridding the world of white spirit and working for a cleaner environment !

(In Europe) Germany had the highest demand for white spirit. Other European countries such as Netherlands, the UK, Italy, France and Sweden are expected to show higher demand for white spirit owing to increasing demand from manufacturing sector. However, regulations related to the market will slightly hamper the growth of the market in this region.

North America had the third-largest demand for white spirit. U.S. had the highest demand for white spirit in this region. Rest of the World is likely to show stable growth for the white spirit market in next few years to come. Middle East is anticipated to be the fastest growing region for white spirit market in next few years.

Some of the key manufacturers in white spirit market are Al Sanea Chemical Products, GSB Chemicals, ICPC UAE, Petrochem Carless, Royal Dutch Shell and TOTAL SA among others.

Read more:

The likelihood is that while the domestic market is doing its bit, the biggest consumers are on the industrial side, and they have different rules and cares…

I recall the hoops that private boat yards in the Bay Area were jumping through just with disposal of the run off from power washing keels that had been painted with copper based bottom paint. The “recreational market” paint has been modified a lot to reduce copper content, yet around the corner, literally, the navy were applying thousands of gallons of the “good stuff” with not a care in the world.

Obviously we should all do our bit else there is no hope :frowning: but why does the legislation from on high, only hamper growth in white spirit demand, not reduce it?


I recently asked a member of staff at Brewers how much acrylic trim paint they were selling now - he said it hasn’t shifted much with still around 90% being oil based…I was truly gobsmacked that the P&D profession haven’t got their heads round using acrylic trim paint…so i guess that correlates with white spirit sales!
Having not used oil - other than Otex & Cover Stain - for five years it feels like the dark ages!

1 Like

For all the online paint discussions, there is clearly not a big enough proportion of users in the real world who are interested in moving away from oil paint.

And if a big supplier is OK with the status quo, that is a big block to change right there.

The saving grace is the amount of trim paint used on a job compared to wall and ceiling paint, it is going to be quite low, so not all bad. But on the basis of the 90% numbers, reset the clocks Dave, and give yourself another 5 year head start :slight_smile:

1 Like

It really is disappointing but I suppose not everyone feels the same way about paints as others and I know a lot of the ‘time served’ painters simply stay with oil because they don’t want to change the way they work. Each to his own of course but I think they are in denial and doing themselves and customers physical damage by continuing to use the stuff.

I suppose when it comes to big industry they are not going to change anything unless their current system fails - they can’t afford the risk. Hopefully at some time in the future legislation will steer people away from oils but not as long as the government supports the oil industry the way it does - too much money involved.

The EU has driven down VOCs so perhaps they will eventually make using oils more difficult and get things moving the right direction.


90% is a real shocker to be honest Dave, I thought the industry had moved on further than that.

I’m guessing opacity of acrylic trim paint is the major problem still because you can get great finishes with many of them now.

I’ve used acrylic trim paint for years but have to be honest I’m using more hybrid products now because they do offer a great finish but cover better. I’m all for pure acrylic and WB product but if a system is needing 4 coats, as some do even on existing paint, then the benefits diminish for me.

My feeling is that the reason for continued oil paint usage is that both clients and trade still believe oil paint is harder wearing than ‘water based’ - I’m sure some people think ‘water based’ egg/satin/gloss is the same as emulsion ,or even poster paint!

I recently did a job for Harvey Jones Kitchens who specify to their clients that it MUST be painted in Oil Eggshell. Any client wanting say F&B must sign a disclaimer! I talked to area surveyor and store manager about LG, Tikurilla etc but they are so engrained in the pre 2010 era they refuse to embrace that oil based paint is not what it used to be and that WB and hybrids offer equal hard wearing capabilities.

Last week I revisited a clients home to paint several items of furniture. We had painted the whole house 18 months ago and used LG and F&B acrylic eggshell on all trim work. with seven beds and five bathrooms that was a lot of woodwork. And it all looked fresh and unchipped!
ironically I was asked to touch in chips to the kitchen cabinets which had been painted by the Neptune painters in LG oil egg!
OK kitchen cabinets will always take the most wear and tear but the oil LG had not performed better than the acrylic

All of this is just me, and purely anecdotal - has anyone else thoughts or evidence on the ‘hard wearing’ oil v acrylic…?

1 Like