by Matt Breuer
April 14, 2017
If there’s one thing that DIY wood coaters value above all else, it’s simplicity. Staining, painting, or sealing can be onerous tasks for the Do-it-Yourselfer, requiring the right technique and the right conditions. Therefore, the simpler the process, the better: fewer coats required, as well as easier and faster application, will always appeal to DIY consumers. In recent years, a number of brands, including BEHR, Olympic, and Thompson’s WaterSeal, have introduced multifunctional products -- stain-and-sealer and paint-and-primer -- to make wood coating projects easier.
Decking is an important outlet for wood coatings, given the volume of wood decking in the US and the frequency with which homeowners recoat their decks. While refinishing siding or flooring is a daunting task, decking is a relatively easier task. Deck owners tend to recoat fairly frequently, even more frequently than product labels suggest is necessary. While consumers want their wood stains to last a long time, they often disregard the guidance on the label and recoat every other year or so.
Although exterior wood stains have possessed sealant or waterproofing qualities for some time, it’s surprisingly common for end users to apply both a stain and a separate sealer in decking projects. However, products marketed as “stain-and-sealer” or “all-in-one” are beginning to change consumer behavior, making it clearer to consumer that they don’t need a separate sealer topcoat for their freshly stained decking.
Products that combine two functions, like stain-and-sealer and self-priming paints, will gain further popularity among DIY wood coaters, since they save the user so much time and effort. In the long run, stains will fare better than standalone sealers as they increasingly include and coopt the function of separate sealer products. The same can be said for paint, primer, and paint-and-primer.
More importantly, consumers are willing to pay a premium for performance, and will select products that simplify their coating projects even as they come at higher prices. The bigger price tags on these products will help the wood coatings market increase in value. The rise of multifunctional products may mean that less coatings volume is being bought and used, which is an additional incentive for environmentally minded users. But higher price points will help to sustain growth, as will consumers’ continued readiness to recoat their decks and other wood products on a regular basis, which is only further encouraged by wood coating products that make for a simpler, easier, more enjoyable DIY project.
For more insight into the state of the wood coatings industry, see Wood Coatings Market in the US, by the Freedonia Group. This comprehensive report provides the following:
Matt Breuer is an industry analyst at The Freedonia Group, where he writes industry studies focused on the US chemicals and chemical products markets.
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