Architects memo no.
64: November 2000
a pigment of the imagination
Most people are aware that paint is a mixture of binders and
pigments but it may come as a bit of a surprise that the surface area
of these pigments in a litre of say white sheen paint can be over 5,000
square metres! To mix units, that is over one acre of interface between
the mainly mineral pigments and the organic binders.
This interface between dissimilar materials can be a potential weakness
in paint films, reducing cohesive strength and providing channels and
corridors for the passage of water and dissolved salts.
Sheen paints require the presence of relatively coarse minerals to
reduce the gloss of the film - often using particle sizes up to half
the total thickness of the finished paint film. If such coarse particles
are not tightly held by the binder; under the stress of scrubbing and
cleaning down these particles can twist, turn and even pop out, leaving
behind a damaged, burnished film.
Resene have, for some time, been under pressure to offer the tough
enamel-like features of Resene
Enamacryl and Resene
Lustacryl in a low sheen finish but have been inhibited by the phenomena
described above and the lack of an alternative pigment technology.
A series of fortunately timed events gave Resene the opportunity to
have input into the design of a new pigment that has the potential to
overcome the deficiencies of the traditional minerals.
The product is a cross-linked pure acrylic sphere, precisely sized
to achieve optimum flatting. The perfectly spherical particles control
not only gloss but also troublesome side-sheen.
By far their greatest technical benefit is however that they meld
perfectly with the paint binder, blurring the distinction between pigment
and binder. This translates into super tough, cleanable, burnish resistant
An unexpected side benefit is that the 'ball bearing' like qualities
of the spheres confer extreme ease of application and superior control
The potential for these spheres is wide including exterior durable
flats and clears, 'flop' control in metallics, and a host of other uses.
Supply however is still somewhat limited for this infant technology
and what is available has been totally committed to Resene.
Our first offering of the technology is in a new product Resene
SpaceCote. This product is designed for use in the toughest broadwall
areas, such as corridors in schools, institutions and anywhere people
gather indoors. It is almost certain however that its combination of
toughness, silky smooth surface, and extreme ease of application will
see it being used in areas where people simply want 'the best of the