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Tom Good, architect, CDT, SCIP, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: tom_good

Post Number: 19
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 06:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Is "Painting" a "Coating"? One would think the obvious answer is yes, but then two questions:
1. Why is "09 90 00 Painting and Coating" not just "09 90 00 Coating"
2. Masterformat.com says "09 90 00 Painting and Coating" includes "stains, transparent finishes, special coatings, varnishes, lacquers, primers, fillers, paint removers, waxes, and preparation of surfaces. painting of mechanical, electrical, and communications equipment other than for identification" BUT does not mention painting. Does MasterFormat mean that there are two types of Coatings: 1) non-paint coating, and 2) painting?

Is this the answer?: "09 90 00 Painting and Coating" is named that way because it was traditionally called “painting”. And, ALTHOUGH REDUNDANT, CSI just wanted to provide the extra reminder that this is the place for painting and if we left “painting” out of this level 2 name, people would be confused and CSI did not want to name it “09 90 00 Painting , Staining and Transparent Finishing, Decorative Finishing, High-Performance Coatings, and Special Coatings” as that would be too long.

This may seem like a stupid question, but it gets to how one uses the term “coating” in a spec. If one has a section named “Painting and Coating”, then a reader could reasonably interpret this to mean "coating" does not include "painting". I am seriously considering changing the name of this section in my spec to “Onsite Coating” or “Onsite Coating (Painting, Staining, and Clearcoating)”
David E Lorenzini
Senior Member
Username: deloren

Post Number: 112
Registered: 04-2000

Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 10:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

It's easier to deal with this subject if you consider Coatings as a subcategory of Painting that primarily functions to protect rather than to primarily decorate. Even though Paint provides protection against normal use, Coatings provide for special uses such as high performance protection, scuffing, markerboard and magnetic surfaces, etc. Perhaps the painting institutes and associations should weigh in and clarify the terminology.
David Lorenzini, FCSI, CCS
Architectural Resources Co.
William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: wpegues

Post Number: 833
Registered: 10-2002

Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 11:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Interesting in light of our terminology discussion...

I have always thought of Coatings as the broader category, and Paints as a subcategory of Coatings. Of course, there are many subcategories of Paints as well.

For instance, Anodizing is a coating, yet it could never be considered a subcategory of paint.

Even though this particular question is talking about more "paint like coatings" in the painting series of sections as opposed to the factory applied coatings and finishing systems in division 5 or specific to curtain walls/storefront/windows if you put them in the division 8 sections, still these are all coatings, but not all paints.

Unfortunately, the industry itself does not use the term universally. "Special Coatings", "Hight Performance Coatings" - mostly these are really paints.

On the other hand, other kinds of coatings that are applied that are definitely not paints are the various types of galvanizing or bituminous coatings for separation of dissimilar materials.

So, ultimately I consider "Coatings" as the broader terminology category under which "Paints" are one type of coating.


Tom - one thing to consider about your 'onsite' concept don't lump all your 'staining' or 'clearcoating' into 'Onsite Coating'. Architectural woodwork, whether using staines and transparent finishes or opaque finishes is by definition all factory applied. If you link architectural woodwork to 'Onsite Coating' you have immediately lost all quality control requirements from it and you are just doing low end millwork. Touchup is one thing, but all items come to the site completely finished from the shop.

William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS, SCIP Affiliate
WDG Architecture, Washington, DC | Dallas, TX
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 136
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 11:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Coating is a very generic term - "A layer of any substance spread over a surface."

There are many coatings in MasterFormat: Shop-Applied Coatings for Metal, Dampproofing, Fluid-Applied Waterproofing, Traffic Coatings, Fluid-Applied Membrance Air Barriers, Fluid-Applied Roofing, Intumescent Fireproofing, Fluid-Applied Flooring, etc.

I believe that the 09 90 00 collective title is the only place that it is used generically; in all the other locations a different term, an adjective, or other descriptive words are included to relate to a work result including the "coating" titles under 09 90 00.

If you want to use the generic terms coatings, you have a lot of ground to cover.

In terms of differentiating between paints and coatings in the 09 90 00 area; other discussions in this forum illustrate the lack of a clear industry understood distinction between the two. It appears to be a non-productive path to follow. You are better off just specifying the performance criteria for any coating that you use.
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 374
Registered: 10-2002

Posted on Friday, February 25, 2011 - 12:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I prefer to think of painting not as a product but rather the act of painting. It is a process not necessarily a product. Everyone knows who a painter is but who has ever heard of a coater.

Just like carpeting is a process not necessarily a product.
"Fast is good, but accurate is better."
.............Wyatt Earp
Bob Schrock (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2011 - 12:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Look at this 099000 title "Painting and Coating" from a different perspective. These two terms are verbs. They refer to the act of painting and coating. In 099113 and 099123 it refers to Interior and Exterior Painting. In 099300 it refers to Staining, in 099400 it refers to Decorative Finishing.

It can certainly be argued that as verbs they basically define the same act, applying a protective layer on a surface of wood, steel, cement etc. Whether it's a varnish, paint, epoxy, elastomeric, you can call it painting or coating.

The products themselves are distinguished as paints or coatings. There is a distinction made between paints and coatings in the industry. The line can loosely be drawn in instances when a higher degree of abrasion, chemical, solvent or immersion service is required, as well as other specialty applications. These coatings are typically higher performing based on the resin technologies needed for specific purposes. This is certainly shown by the headings in both 099600 and 099700. However, they use the noun form Coatings in 099600 and 099700 which is inconsistent and perhaps part of the issue at hand. It may have been intentional to further highlight the difference between Paints and Coatings.

I was lead to understand that the use of the verb form in the title was meant to include the act of painting and coating. Both words were used to indicate that this 099000 section would involve both the application of paints and coatings. The types of products used are then divided into paints, stains and coatings in the different sections within 099000.

The terms Painting and Coating however are not that different. Cetainly when you are applying Coatings then it might be said that you are Coating and when you are applying Paints then you are Painting. The terms generally do apply this way, but this is not an absolute.
Tom Good, architect, CDT, SCIP, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: tom_good

Post Number: 21
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2011 - 01:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

This turned out to be the “ask 5 spec writers get 5 answers” scenario. To summarize my understanding:
• Coatings are Paints: Mr. Lorenzini
• Paints are Coatings: Mr. Pegues, Mr. Johnson
• Paints and Coatings are different: Mr. Schrock
• Unknown: Mr. Beard
My original intention was to come up with a single term which referred to all the work results of “Painting, Staining, and Clearcoating”. It seems like there is not one. I thought it would be “Coating” but Mr. Johnson brings up the good point that coating could also refer to waterproofing, fireproofing, etc… Seems like I may just end up with “09 90 07 Painting, Staining, and Clearcoating”. That is, I can’t follow Arcom into the land of separating into 3 sections (099113 Exterior Painting, 099123 Interior Painting, 099300 Staining and Transparent Finishing), which is craziness for the type of projects I am specing. So to end, I just want to ask 3 more questions. Would it be reasonable to assume that:
1. Paint is opaque? – seems like The Master Painters Institute is also confused on this as they say paint is opaque (http://www.paintinfo.com/mpi/store/glossary/gloss-p.htm) but then use a spec named “09900 Painting” which includes stain and transparent finishes (http://www.paintinfo.com/mpi/guide/index.htm).
2. Clearcoat is a transparent finish without pigmentation?
3. Stain is a transparent, translucent (i.e. semi-transparent), or near opaque finish (i.e. solid color stain) with pigmentation?
Thank you all in advance for court defense “there is no industry convention to the meaning of these terms”.
Scott Mize
Senior Member
Username: scott_mize_ccs_csi

Post Number: 43
Registered: 02-2009

Posted on Monday, March 07, 2011 - 10:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

My $.02:

To me, "coating" implies that the substance does something other than change the appearance of the substrate.

For instance, if the "substance spread over a surface" has waterproofing, solar-reflective, imperfection-hiding (textured), or protective properties and is used with that intent, it's a "coating"; i.e. "waterproof coating", "textured coating", "U.V.-resistant coating", but if it's just a color, stain or clear coat that isn't expected to do anything other than stick to the substrate and last some period of years without fading or peeling off, it's paint.
Scott Mize
Senior Member
Username: scott_mize_ccs_csi

Post Number: 44
Registered: 02-2009

Posted on Monday, March 07, 2011 - 10:30 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

P.S. I almost forgot:

"Get a shot off FAST. You may miss, but you'll also rattle the other guy enough to make the second shot count." - Lazarus Long.

J. Peter Jordan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2011 - 10:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Mr. Mize's comments are a little off. Although we sometimes take "paints" and "stains" for granted, these products are also intended to protect the substrate from exposure to the elements (primarily moisture and UV radiation). Painted (or stained) wood and painted steel will last much longer than unpainted materials. Why do you think we have such products as "spar varnish" which is intended to protect wood in a marine environment?

I tend to think of coatings as having more robust or extensive protection properties. We might apply a coat of paint to a steel substrate to protect it from rusting due to exposure to moisture, but we would apply a coating if we wanted some protection for acid.

Incidentally, I almost never think about transparent finishes as coatings, but there are some of these products out there.
John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: john_regener

Post Number: 512
Registered: 04-2002

Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 - 05:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Is whitewash a paint or a coating?

/ T. Sawyer
Tom Good, architect, CDT, SCIP, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: tom_good

Post Number: 23
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 - 08:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

John, I am working on this premis: Paints are coatings. Stains and clearcoats are also coatings. Whitewash (I assume you mean traditional hydrated lime and water milk) is a semi-transparent stain. It is also a coating. It is not paint, as it is not opaque. It is not a clearcoat, as the lime pigments it. My two cents.
J. Peter Jordan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 - 10:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Which brings us to the final decorative coat used in EIFS which is also available for the final coat in portland cement plaster systems. I believe that this is what most of my clients (architects, arquitontos, y arquitontitos) are referring to when they talk about an elastomeric coating over the plaster system (as opposed to a polymer elastomeric coating over a 3-coat portland cement plaster system).
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 584
Registered: 11-2004

Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 - 11:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Coincidentally, tomorrow night's topic in my community college Materials and Methods class is "Paints and Coatings", guest lectured by my friendly Tnemec rep. The purpose of the class is to introduce the beginning student to the hidden complexity in seemingly simple subjects - after all by the start of college we have all probably held a paint brush in our hands. And how hard can it be to understand paint? How can you possibly spend two hours plus talking about it? My friend Mike does a great job each year starting with paint basics and easing into the more complex coatings. None of the students are expected to walk out of the class as coatings experts, but by the time he gets around to “100% solids aliphatic polyurethanes”, most of the students have a new found appreciation for the complexity of the topic.

In introducing the lecture, I explain it briefly as a continuum, with "paints" on one end as a mostly decorative product with some attention to protection, and "coatings" on the other end as a mostly protective product with some attention to decoration. Coatings used to be industrial (think Tnemec) and paints architectural (think Sherwin Williams) but now the coatings companies are producing more decorative products and the paint companies are producing more protective products, so the two ends of the spectrum are starting to overlap in the middle. I think the continuum explanation gives them a starting point – and as they develop as professionals they can get deeper into the nuances discussed here.
George A. Everding AIA CSI CCS CCCA
Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies
St. Louis, MO

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