Difference between commercial and industrial painting?

You may have heard the terms “commercial painting” and “Industrial painting” used interchangeably but did you know they are actually very different? While they both involve painting a building for business purposes, they are different in both goal and approach. To a certain extent a commercial painting job is very similar to a residential job simply on a much larger scale. Industrial painting on the other hand focuses heavily on the overall function the paint job will achieve. The goal of industrial paint is to add a durable layer to surfaces and harsh conditions known to a manufacturing environment. Below we dive into more differences with examples of each. 

Commercial Painting

Commercial paint jobs are for businesses that have a sole motive of gaining profits. While not all businesses are retail in that customers are frequently in and out of the facility itself, the goal of the business structure remains the same. Because a lot of commercial paint contracts are for business on a retail level, their end goal is typically to properly portray the brand and provide a level of both curb appeal and create positive emotions in customers in hopes to both attract an audience and make sales. A fresh coat of paint can actually increase the perceived value of the goods or services that you offer. 

The approach for a commercial paint job is the same as it is for a residential paint job simply on a larger scale. Latex paints will likely be used due to their quick drying ability that allows for quick turnaround time minimizing the business closures as much as possible. Latex paint is not as durable or resistant to stains as other paint types such as oil based paints, but that is generally not of concern simply because there is much less wear and tare than you would expect from an industrial facility.

Industrial Painting

An industrial property is defined as “a property used for the actual manufacturing of something”. Industrial properties are usually factories or plants and include things such as distribution centers, warehouses and garages. Industrial painting also refers to painting on any type of machinery including aircrafts, bridges and boats. While the focus of commercial paint is aesthetics, the goal of industrial paint is durability and function. Facilities used for manufacturing undergo a lot harsher conditions than a retail environment. This means the paint applied needs to be more durable and long lasting. Oil based paints with protective finishes are the go to for industrial painting. They take longer to dry but are able to withstand a lot more damage and last significantly longer than a latex based paint. It is very common for varnishes and other protective coatings to also be applied to materials and surfaces in an industrial environment. Some examples of common industrial paint projects include but are not limited to: 

-Water towers
-Fuel pipelines and fuel tanks
-Structural steel painting

It is very important that when seeking out a professional for an industrial paint job that you confirm their experience in the industry. Not all commercial painting contractors are skilled in industrial painting and may not be appropriate for the job. Industrial work is unique in that it is typically an around the clock environment with heavy safety precautions. Contractors will have to closely work with the company to create and implement a strategy that minimizes disruption to business and allows the business to operate as usual. 

If you are unsure if you need an industrial paint job or a commercial paint job, a good rule of thumb is to look at the function of your business. If you run a manufacturing business or anything similar, industrial paint is what you need while if you work in a more customer service type of field with frequent interaction with customers, you need a commercial painter. When in doubt, do not hesitate to contact JMA Painters for a free consultation. We will point you in the right direction!

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