A Guide to Industrial Scale Painting

When it comes to thinking about painting, for most people it would mean their home. Industrial painting is a little different from decorating a house.
When you choose your paint for the home your most difficult decision is likely to be arguing over which color the bathroom or bedroom should be. There are other choices to be made of course between matt, gloss, or all-weather finishes but by and large, these are your only decisions to make.
Industrial painting has many different aspects to it that make it quite unlike any home improvements or office painting tasks. Below you can see a brief guide to industrial and construction coatings and their uses, plus reasons why they are unique and what the benefits are.

What is industrial painting?

Industrial painting is different from residential painting due to the locations and constructions it is applied to and also the properties needed from the paint itself.
When decorating a home your primary concern is that it looks nice. Of course, you want it to add a layer of protection also but in industrial painting, the paint has many more functions than looking nice and not cracking too easily.
Industrial paint is used in tough environments and on refineries and processing plants. It needs to help against corrosion, and in some instances, aid with fireproofing. Of course, this type of painting comes with some hazards and the Department of Labor enforces Health and Safety in the Workplace to ensure regulations are met when using industrial paint.

Where would you use industrial paint?

This type of paint is used widely in construction, it is also seen in the automotive, electronic, and aerospace industries.
It will be used on warehouses, bridges, tractors, cars, trucks, manufacturing facilities, washing machines, and anywhere or anything that requires a coating that has more functionality than just looking nice and glossy.
The paint comes in several types for different purposes and they carry different benefits.

What are the benefits of industrial paint?

Depending on the type of industrial paint you use they could have made many benefits. The functionality of industrial paint goes far above just making a structure or vehicle look good. It can add heat resistance, anti-static qualities, prevent rust and corrosion, and add waterproofing.
Three main features of industrial paint are protected from rust, from fire, and also they are energy efficient.

Protects from corrosion

This is the most obvious and most common purpose for industrial paint. After all, you don’t want to buy a new truck and find it rusting within a few months do you?
Vehicles are exposed to the elements as are some types of equipment and manufacturing processes. Chemicals, water, and other liquids are used in factories and processing plants and these can damage expensive machinery.
When machinery breaks down the manufacturing process is halted or at least affected. This means a company loses money while the problem is fixed. Applying tough industrial paints to machinery will protect them from wear and tear during their everyday use.
Industrial paint is designed to protect from certain chemicals along with oxygen, water, and heat.

They can be fire retardant

An intumescent coating is a type of paint that swells and chars when it comes into contact with extreme heat or fire. This particular reaction can help stop the materials below the paint from being damaged. This is a very specific feature of industrial paint that is becoming more important and more popular.
This type of paint generally comes in two options and they both work to slow the progress of any fire and therefore protect machinery and human life. One type retains moisture when it burns and then releases it as steam thus making it difficult to burn. The second type produces graphite which helps to form a barrier against further damage.

They can be energy efficient and environmentally friendly

You may be aware that certain paint can reflect heat and the sun’s rays. These qualities can be used in different industries to save money on cooling. Many types of plants and factories need to have large-scale cooling and this is extremely costly. Air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity used across the United States so you can imagine that any business would like to reduce this expense.
By reflecting heat and sunlight they help to keep buildings cooler which in turn means less use of air-con and therefore making a business more environmentally friendly.

How are these paints applied?

There are several methods for applying industrial coatings. These include the following:

  • Roller
  • Immersion coating
  • Brushes
  • Air spraying
  • Spraying without air

There are different reasons for using these techniques and one other way that industrial paint is applied is through the use of spray booths. These booths are ideal for putting coats on cars and other vehicles. The largest booths come big enough to paint trucks in and are specially designed for this type of painting with inbuilt extraction units making them safe environments to work in.

How are the different painting techniques used?

The ways to apply industrial coatings vary due to the purpose they will be used for. Many painting tools eliminate waste and mess and spray booths can help with this area. Other methods are needed for different applications.


Used for flat surfaces such as smooth walls and floors.

Immersion coating

The word immerse means to submerge and that is exactly what this method involves. The part that needs painting will be completely dipped into the paint.


Used for small parts and little details.

Air spraying

This method will leave one of the best finishes. Combined with a spray booth can be used to make professional results. OSHA has strict guidelines on the construction of spray booths and the best ones can be used to great effect.

Spraying without air

This method involves the paint being atomized to a very high pressure resulting in thick coatings being applied very fast. It is ideal for warehouse floors for instance.

What are the types of industrial paint?

There are several different types and they have different uses but the four main types are as follows:

  • Solvent-based paint - protects against moisture, oils, abrasion, and chemicals
  • Anti-fouling paint - effective against corrosion in salt-water and freshwater environments
  • Aquatic paint - as the name suggest these are the best against rust and corrosion
  • Powder coat paint - protects against chemicals and UV


As you can see, industrial painting is somewhat different from you decorating your spare bedroom. This type of coating adds many protective aspects to the material it is applied to. They can protect against oxygen, water, salt, chemicals, heat, and even fire. They can help a business reduce its carbon footprint by keeping facilities cooler and they can keep machinery running and extend its lifespan.
If you are interested in industrial painting then the skills needed are good hand-to-eye coordination, good attention to detail, and a decent level of fitness. The job can involve long periods on your feet, bending, squatting, stooping, and climbing so personal fitness is very important. Communication skills and good customer service are necessary too. Excellent color vision is important too. Even though you aren’t painting the living room you still need to paint evenly and professionally.

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