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Not if You Know it All!

Updated: Oct 30, 2022

I didn’t make it to the gym at all last week. My determination buried under a pile of excuses!

To avoid her father becoming moribund my daughter Miranda, the erstwhile Buck Wheat, took responsibility to get me off the couch, tasking the old man with some chores around the house.

THE aspiring food photographer instructing "Padj" to "go get the vacuum" after a recent photo shoot for her newest client.

But I discovered the milk was closer!

Last week marked the end of my seven-month engagement with PaintCare, the not-for-profit organization which manages product stewardship for #DanCalkins and his American Coatings Association.

The scope of work on the project had me spending my time speaking with dealers and making content. Though the work also exposed me to the deleterious environmental impacts of post-consumer waste paint.

THE National Mistint Pile

Despite the taste the fee leaves in retailer's mouths, PaintCare brings real value to the industry. And to the taxpayers on any state which passes the PaintCare legislation.

The PaintCare fee, which averages about a buck per gallon, is used to fund the collection and redistribution of the post-consumer paint waste. And while that amount seems stiff when you consider it's on every gallon, but states, municipalities and household hazardous waste facilities are currently as much as $10 per-gallon to handle the excess coatings as waste.

Nationwide paint is THE most expensive product for household hazardous waste programs to manage. The Product Stewardship Institute estimate that PaintCare’s stewardship has already saved taxpayers more than $240 million dollars!

While diverting more than 50 million gallons of paint from the nation’s landfills and water resources.

But where PaintCare has succeeded in diverting paint from the waste stream, paint manufacturers, the free markets and states which have passed the PaintCare legislation have failed to create a market for the recycled coatings.

Part of that problem is the limited range of color and sheens recycled paints are available in.

Color is limited to a short selection of ready-made colors. A near-mortal wound in an industrial segment where color is king.

And while recycled paints are compatible with universal colorants, the technological leap which would be required to make tinting bases from previously tinted paints, makes the prospects seem unlikely.

Meaning that if recycled paint are going to find a niche they're going to have to do it with ready-made colors!

And while an array of sheens is theoretically possible, most recyclers don’t make the sorting effort that a range of sheens would require. Leaving most recycled paint brands with a single sheen which closely resembles an eggshell finish.

But recycled paint does offer advantages for consumers whose coating needs are not driven by color, sheen or quality specifications.

Namely, price. And high margins for retailers!

Listen Up!

On my podcast last week, I was joined by Dustin Martin, the CEO of a recycled content paint “manufacturer” in Colorado.

Manufacturer is in quotes because paint recyclers are not really manufacturing anything. More just re-blending paints which another company has already manufactured.

Dustin and I share an interesting conversation on the developing market for recycled paints and the niche’s future as new companies look to capitalize on the availability of low (or no) cost resins and pigments as a result of PaintCare’s collections efforts.

You can watch the episode with Dustin here or listen here.

Ask Sherwin-Williams!

Last week, the world’s largest paint maker Sherwin-Williams reported earnings for the third quarter of 2022.

On the webcast announcement, Sherwin’s chief executive John Morikis expressed his pleasure with the “strong results for the third quarter.”

Though the company’s results don’t match Mr. Morikis’ optimism.

Though Sherwin reported sales gains of 17%, a deeper dive shows less to be impressed with. The increase was primarily the result of inflation and comparisons to a soft Q-3 2021, when the company was struggling to keep the shelves full in their 4859 North American stores.

I’ll have a podcast up later this week with more details from Cleveland.

And it’s not pontification if you do know it all!


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