Increase In Demand For Wood Coatings

According to leading wood coatings manufacturers such as Owatrol, Osmo, PPG and Sherwin Williams, the demand for cleaners and coatings for timber cladding and wooden decking increased dramatically in 2017.

Joe Kujawski, Business Director, Sherwin-Williams Industrial Wood Coatings Division commented “Sherwin-Williams Industrial Wood Coatings Division saw steady gains in all of the market segments in which we participate.”

Manufacturers of kitchen cabinetry, furniture, flooring and wood building products are also finding a growth in the market.  This is partly due to the high demand for products such as timber worktops, exterior and interior cladding as well as decking.  New builds are now specifying  all of these, and there is also an increase of use in renovating older housing.

According to Jenny Thavenet, marketing director at Rust-Oleum, wood care market sales continue to increase year on year. Jenny goes on to say:

“Boomers are downsizing from traditional five-bedroom family houses to updated smaller three-bedroom homes. They are finding their existing furniture and décor is no longer scaled to fit the new, sleekly designed contemporary environments.”

“Their furniture and décor feels dated and consumers are updating both. Millennial’s are driving their own trends as well. With social media being an influence to their living spaces. Environmentally friendly and re-purposed / reclaimed furniture and décor trumps other considerations.”

Market Drivers

Wood care is a complex category with many factors affecting brand choice and project completion.  “Weather plays a huge role in this category and with no end in sight for the trend of extreme weather, consumers are demanding quality brands and longer lasting products that give them more climate flexibility and durability even in the most extreme weather. This is becoming more common as we see consumers extending the time between staining and rejuvenating projects than we saw only a few years ago. They will look for brands they know and trust to provide the durability they expect, such as PPG, Owatrol and Osmo.”

Sherwin-Williams provide coatings and finishing expertise to a wide variety of wood product markets. “That includes furniture, kitchen cabinets, flooring, and building products such as doors, windows and exterior cladding,” said Kujawski. “We also serve the speciality wood products market with a diverse array of products such as musical instruments, picture frames, toys, sports equipment, aircraft, marine interiors, and burial caskets.”

Wood care comprises both DIY and professional markets. “Consumers see trends and inspiration from both markets,” Thavenet said.

Customers Requirements

Customers are looking for a variety of features when selecting wood coatings. According to Thavenet, these include on-trend colours, finishes and looks. In addition products that allow projects to be completed faster without sacrificing quality and durability.

Customers continue to look for wood care products that are versatile, durable and easy to apply regardless of the climate.  Modern wood oils and wood stains are formulated to provide lasting protection against the elements. They provide advanced waterproofing and much better UV protection than was available only a relatively short time ago.

Urethane-fortified coatings offer much greater resistance to cracking, scratching and peeling than ever before. Coating that resists mould, and mildew algae on the dry paint film or in the oil, have become readily available from specialist coating distributors such as Promain (www.promain.co.uk).

Consumers are also demanding ‘all-in-one products’, where the stain also acts as a sealer. Products such as Owatrol Textrol or Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain are Semi-Transparent products, where often only one coat is required to achieve a beautiful and durable finish.

Preparation

In recent years we have found that consumers rely on pressure-washing to clean their decks prior to staining. While pressure-washers are an excellent way to clean decking, inexperienced DIYers often cause damage to the wood and therefore the wood stains are unable to produce an even colour.

Netrol Wood ProtectorPromain recommends using Owatrol Net-trol to clean cladding and decking prior to the application of wood stains or oils. It works quickly and does not require scrubbing. It’s a more effective way to clean than using water alone.

“Customers expect us to deliver durable coating products – that’s a given. But they’re also facing two issues that we’re helping them address,” said Kujawski. “First, customers in the kitchen cabinetry sectors are seeing more foreign competition than ever. Those products are sold in the UK in a variety of ways. Through on-line sales, distribution or via a company’s own shops.”

“Second, because of the strong economy and higher employment levels, it’s becoming more difficult for them to find labour with the skills required to help them manufacture a quality product,” added Kujawski. “To help with those issues, they’ve asked us to help them become more efficient and cost-effective. Many manufacturers have introduced new products and services such as single pack and two pack oils. This includes water-borne finishes and better performing UV finishes.”

Manufacturer’s Responses

Sherwin-Williams also recognises the need for skilled, competent finishing professionals. To that end, Sherwin-Williams has invested in the future of the wood industry. They have done this by committing $300,000 to the Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab (MiLL). This is a new national training centre located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The MiLL is dedicated to teaching the next generation of wood manufacturing tradesmen and women.

Customers are also asking manufacturers to add value giving them a competitive edge by developing coatings that offer greater durability. They are looking for finishes that add to the aesthetics of their finished goods to help separate them from competitors. Home owners are demanding kitchen cabinetry that coordinates, compliments and enhances the rest of their interior design strategy.

Would you like further information regarding wood protection, wood oil, wood cleaners or external wood paint? Contact our technical team on 01462 421333 for further information.