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John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: Bunzick

Post Number: 100
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 01:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm wondering if anyone in southern California has prepared a paint equivalents chart for any of the regional brands in So Cal, Dunn-Edwards in particular. I'm looking for model-by-model equivalents to some of the national brands.
John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP
Advanced Member
Username: John_regener

Post Number: 85
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 01:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Boy, have I go a tale to tell on this subject!

The answer is, yes and no.

The naive specifiers of Orange County attempted to write a parallel listing of paint products for the major manufacturers in the region. We did so and published it. Then we learned some hard lessons, like how to tell when a product rep is not being entirely candid and truthful (their lips move).

Representatives of one of the listed manufacturers, outside the region, misrepresented the listing as "CSI approves our paint as equivalent to their paint," to paraphrase the comment. The product in question is one that is still a contentious issue over a year and a half later.

The previous paint list is no longer valid. Regional air quality regulations have changed and the products may not comply.

I recently learned from talking to a colleague that this same issue, about equivalence of a paint product, occurred about ten years ago when some architects or specifiers in a major Southern city tried to do the same thing.

Orange County specifiers are still looking at doing the update to the parallel paint list ... which was intended for checking submittals and not for creating construction specifications ... and for sure having a "sunset" date on the list. There will also be a notice that in case of discrepency between what is listed and what is submitted for use, contact the paint manufacturers for resolution.

To make matters even more complicated, my understanding is that the Master Painters Institute listings are not entirely impartial. There are fees connected with having products listed. It's not like having Consumer Reports put together a comparison. Again, "caveat emptor".
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: Bunzick

Post Number: 101
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 02:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Wouldn't it be nice if we could force manufacturers to publish test results on even a few major characteristics, such as:
.Scrubability or abrasion resistance
Then maybe we could start comparing ourselves.
Richard Gonser
New member
Username: Rich_gonser

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 12:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

As one who also sat in those comparison meetings, it was a BIG OUCH when all that sniping started. It truly brought out the adage that "there is no such thing as an equal"!!!

If every competitive product is better than it's competitor, then whose product is best and whose product is worst?

Maybe the answer can be found in how many angels can stand on the head of a pin?

The reality was, this never ending circular process told us who the professionals were and who were the salesmen. But in the end it still didn't tell us a lot more about the individual paint products. The best we got were rough market sector/category comparisons. We had hoped to get a little more than that.
Barry Law
New member
Username: Paintinfo

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 02:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Master Painters Institute is, in fact, impartial. The fees we charge are a listing fee per manufacturer, and a lab testing fee per product. The listing fee is based upon the cost of mailing a business card in a #10 envelope to 1000 architects and was set by the Board of Directors years ago on that rationale. The testing fee is set approx. half way between what we used to charge and what the cost for the same set of tests done at the US Navy Paint Lab in Port Hueneme, CA. These two fees enable MPI not only to fund its lab but also to make the information available at no charge on our web site for architects (and others) to review and consider. MPI does not factor in such things as retail available selling prices etc. as do Consumer Reports. CR wishes to establish a 'who's better' list, whereas we wish to establish whether a specific paint does or does not meet a minimum performance standard. We also publish the VOC range and other information as a service to design professionals and facility managers. Hope this helps.
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 11:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

My understanding is that ARCOM (AIA MasterSpec) is working on integrating regional paint product specs into their master spec, using MPI listing. Unfortunately, this does not help Mr. Buznick right now nor does it ensure a specific regional manufacturer's products would be listed in AIA's master spec, but it's a progressive (not necessarily "correct") step towards addressing this issue.
Barry Law
New member
Username: Paintinfo

Post Number: 2
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 01:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Mr. Buznick may be able to get the information he is seeking by reviewing the MPI Approved Products List on the MPI web site - www.paintinfo.com A number of the major California manufacturers have products approved along with all the major multi-national companies. If he wishes to call our office we can add to the summary information on the lab tests needed to be passed in order to acquire MPI approval (this would include hiding, scrubability, etc.).
As to ARCOM's plans, we understand that the regional manufacturers would, in fact, be listed if they were to pass technical evaluation and required performance testing.
Hope this helps.

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