Wood coatings refer to the process of refining or protecting a wooden surface, especially in the production of furniture. Wood coating applications include: interior wood, small furniture, panels, tables, cupboards, chairs, office furniture, kitchen furniture, doors and staircases among others. There are generally three types of wood coating: evaporative, reactive and coalescing. Wood coating starts with sanding either by hand or scraping. Imperfections or nail holes on the surface may be filled using wood filler. Often, the wood’s color is changed by staining, bleaching, or any other techniques. Once the wood surface is prepared and stained, the coating is applied. It usually consists of several coats of shellac, drying oil, paint, wax or lacquer. Finally, the surface may be polished using wool, steel, rotten stone or other materials, depending on the shine desired. In addition, a final coat of wax is applied over the finish to add a degree of protection.
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Furniture, decking, and siding are the three largest applications in value terms. However, smaller doors, windows and cabinet applications are expected to achieve faster growth in the near future. Paint is the dominant wood protection product used on siding, windows and doors, but stains and sealers are more widely utilized on cabinets, decks, furniture, and flooring. Residential end-user is the largest market for wood protection products, driven by maintenance demand for items such as fences, siding and decks. Non-residential and non-building uses account for a much smaller market for wood protection products.
The growth in the housing market is the primary driver for the wood coatings market. Homeowners are investing more in the upkeep of their decks, fences, floors and siding. A well maintained home adds value of the home and saves money in the long term. In addition, stringent regulations, rising competition, growth in unique formulations and new product developments are some of the factors stimulating the growth of wood coatings market. However, availability of cheaper and quality substitutes, such as wood composites and plastic wood could hamper the growth of this market. These alternative are often more durable and require less maintenance as compared to wood products. Although substitutes are available, wood is a primary choice for commercial and residential purposes due to wide availably in the market. Wood coatings account for the majority of the wood protection demand with paints and stains holding the largest shares. In contrast, preservatives, which are applied to lumber by the wood treatment companies, account for smaller portion of wood protection demand.
Asia Pacific is currently the largest market for wood coatings, followed by Europe, North America and Rest of the world (RoW). Sustained demand from the developed markets and burgeoning demand from emerging economies will continue to drive the wood coating market. The industry is witnessing a major shift of key market players from Europe and the U.S. to the emerging economies of Asia Pacific, comprising of China and India.
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Some of the key players in this market are Akzo Nobel Coatings nv (Netherlands), PPG Industries Inc. (U.S.), Sherwin-Williams Co. (U.S.), DuPont Coatings and Color Technologies Group (U.S.), ICI Paints (UK), BASF Coatings AG (Germany), Valspar Corp. (U.S.), Nippon Paint Co. Ltd. (Japan), Dow Coating Materials (U.S.) and Kansai Paint Co. Ltd. (Japan) among others. Dow Coating Materials has launched two new acrylic binders for the wood coatings: EXP-4414 and EXP-77. According to the company, the new binders offer improved block, print and dirt pickup resistance and improved hardness development when applied to wood.