PennCoat’s Paint Failure Series – Fading

Paint Fading – Causes

There are various types of industrial paint.  But typically, all these paints work in the same system: 1st coat is the primer, 2nd coat is the intermediate coat, and the 3rd coat is the top coat.  The primer has anti-corrosive pigments that helps prevent corrosion and promotes surface adhesion for next layer of paint.  A layer of intermediate coat helps to increase the thickness of the paint without applying a very thick finishing coat. Intermediate coat is optional in industrial painting, because of the large surface area. Finishing coats, can be matte or glossy, and are important for increasing the aesthetic value of the product.

But no matter how thorough the painter follows this recommended system, there is still a chance of experiencing paint failure. Paint fading is one of most common problems seen in commercial and industrial painting. When exposed areas of painted surface appear lighter than hidden areas, it is a result of paint fading. Fading can also be defined as poor retention of color by the surface, or loss of gloss from paint coat. If paint fading is not treated, it can further degrade and result in chalking of surface. There are several reasons that can result in paint fading, these include –

  • Paint suitable for interior surfaces is applied on exterior surface. Interior paints are not designed to be weather resistant, thus when applied on exterior surfaces, they fade away prematurely due to sun exposure. For example, epoxy coating is suitable for interior surfaces, and if they are applied to exterior surface, it will start fading after sometime.
    • Painted surface is exposed to intense or direct sunlight for longer durations of time.
    • Interior paint used for exterior painting projects is of lower quality or inferior grade.
    • Use of non-light stable pigments also results in incorrect pigmentation on painted surface.
    • Paint with lower color retention properties is used.
    • Just like sunlight, industrial paint surfaces are also exposed to ultra-violet light. There are certain paint colors that are very vulnerable to UV light and degrade rapidly if exposed to UV light.
    •  While creating paint compound, the proportion of tint added to the paint is more than recommended. Apart from over-tinting, fading may also occur if a tint is applied to a paint not meant for tinting.
    • If paint surface was not prepared properly before applying paint then it can effect the vibrancy of the color. Loss of vibrancy of color results in fading.
    • If the painted surface was not allowed to dry completely before applying the second coat, it results in uneven sheen and some areas will appear lighter than others on drying.

Until you are not aware of these paint fading reasons, chances remain strong that you will not be able to avoid them. Choose wisely and make the paint last long!