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Paint has existed for some 30,000 years, stretching back to the age of Neanderthals, who relied on minerals and other natural sources to spice up their cave dwellings. Fast-forward to today’s industrialized society, and durable paint and architectural coatings in countless colors are now readily available for endless applications.

At Valspar Coil Coating (now a part of Sherwin-Williams Coil Coating) alone, architectural metal coatings are available in more than 25,000 colors.

With innovations in technology and the ebb and flow of popular styles for exteriors, the colors we see in the built world are always in flux.  Paint as an industry has its roots in the 1700s in Boston, where the first-recorded paint mill was established, and the Industrial Revolution gave rise to paint as a full-fledged industry.

John Crosby Freeman, an architectural color consultant and historian who calls himself the Color Doctor, said the most important innovation in the industry was the successful introduction of water-reducible all-acrylic coatings, which eradicated the stigma of latex paint. Over the past few decades, innovations driven by environmental regulations and the need for various coating applications have brought about a whole new world of possibility for the industry.

Valspar’s coil and extrusion coating division has been pushing the boundaries in the architectural metal coating industry for years, most notably when it brought its flagship Fluropon® line to the market in 1965. The first 70 percent PVDF coating in the industry came about after a paint chemist realized PVDF resin – originally intended for use as an engineering resin for piping and valves – would make a durable paint. Now the industry standard, the Fluropon line brings brilliant color and lasting protection to metal building products and can be found on buildings all around the world.

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