Paint is a mixture of opaque pigments combined in a liquid that is used to improve the aesthetics of a surface. Coatings, on the other hand, help improve performance. Since they serve as the first line of defense between assets and the environment, understanding painting and coating raw materials and formulations can help ensure the product is protected in a suitable way.

Typically, both paints and coatings formulations contain:

  • Resins (Binders)
  • Pigments
  • Solvent(s)
  • Other performance-enhancing or aesthetic additives


Binders offer adhesion, providing the resistance properties needed to make the coating durable. A binder, also known as a polymer, vehicle or resin, is the coating raw material that forms the film. Binders are glossy and clear, but the addition of pigment interferes with these properties. Different glossy finish levels can be selected depending on the binder to pigment ratio.


Pigments are powders that help to determine the paint’s appearance and colour and can also be used to thicken paints. They can either be prime or extenders.

Prime pigments are usually responsible for the appearance of a paint or coating. They also help hide unappealing surface flaws. Organic prime pigment yields bright colours, while inorganic pigment colours are less bright and more durable. Extender pigments help thicken paints but are unsuitable for concealing surface flaws. They can however, impact the paint’s colour retention, sheen, durability and abrasion resistance.


Solvents in paints increase smoothness and consistent levelling in paints, meaning is it easier to apply the paint or coating to a particular surface. The choice of solvent depends on chemical properties of the other ingredients, including pigment solubility, solvent resistance and potential skin irritation.

The primary solvent in oil-based paints is paint thinner and standard industrial paint liquids use esters, xylenes and ketones, which are preferred because they exhibit poor solvent resistance. Water is used as the primary solvent for latex-based paints. Mineral spirits are common in alkyd paints because their pigments are generally insoluble.


Additives are used in the paints and coatings industry to manipulate and change certain attributes and components. Common paint and coating additives include hardeners, foam controllers, surfactants, biocides and rheology modifiers.

There are a wide range of suitable additives specifications, which can be added by different processes and ratios to withstand many different environments. Some examples include being resistant to extreme temperature and humidity changes, chemicals, UV, bacterial growth and abrasion.

A co-solvent can be added to prevent the damage that can occur when the paint is exposed to freezing temperatures. Depending on your requirements, additives are used to enhance colour strength, opacity, gloss or haze.

Find Quality Raw Materials at Bisley

At Bisley & Company, we supply quality industrial materials to manufacturers all throughout Asia, North America and the Middle East as well as New Zealand and Australia. Although we are currently not in the paint and coatings market, we are looking to start supplying products such as anti-sagging, anti-settling, wetting-dispersion, foam control and emulsifiers. Contact us to learn more about how we can provide quality materials for your industrial application.