What are high solid paints and what are their key benefits?

High solid paints offer a lot of benefits in terms of productivity, legal issues and application costs.

Thanks to their solids content of more than 60%, high solid paints offer a lot of benefits compared to low and medium solids. By applying a high-solids paint, you get a premium finish result and limit environmental hazards, while saving money due to the better coverage performance.

The use of high-solids paints offers a lot of benefits in terms of productivity, legal issues and application costs. To understand these benefits, it is important to know how paints are made and what components they contain.

The ingredients in paint

Paints contain different solids and liquids. By varying their amounts and ratio, you get different paint finishes and qualities. The liquids in a paint are called solvents. They act as a carrier that helps bind the pigments and resin together, improving the flow and allowing smoother application of the paint. 

The solvents dilute or thin the solids, which come in three forms: 

  • The binder is the major ingredient of paints. It holds all the pigments distributed in the coating. The binder allows the product to form a continuous film for a better adhesion to the substrate surface. 
  • The pigment determines the colour and sheen of the paint. Additionally, it protects the paint from the disruptive effects of UV lights. 
  • Additives are used to enhance the properties of the paint. Matting agents are added to give the paint a more matt finish. Other additives make the paint mould- and scuff resistant or enhance the flow performance, making it easy to apply to the wall with a brush.


The difference between low, medium and high solids

Based on their solids content, paints can be categorised into three groups: low solids, medium solids and high solids. This is not an official classification system, but in general the following guidelines are used:

  • Low solids have a solids content below 30%
  • Medium solids have a solids content between 30 and 60%
  • High solids have a solids content above 60%


The benefits of high solid  paints

Thanks to their increased solids content, high solids offer some important benefits:

  • Less evaporation during the drying process, making the finish brighter and more opaque
  • Better paint coverage
  • Low paint consumption 
  • Premium finish results
  • Short drying time
  • Low toxicity due to low VOC content (volatile organic compounds)
  • Low fire hazard


For a 50-micron dry film thickness, a high-solids paint with a solids content of 60% will cover approximately 12 m2 per litre. A medium-solids paint with a solids content of 40% is only good for 8 m2. 

60% solvent + 40% solids
     1 litre covers 10 m2

40% solvent + 60% solids
     1 litre covers 15 m2
  
Conclusion: paints containing 50% more solids get you 50% more coverage

Conclusion: high solids give better results and save money

By applying a high-solids paint, you get a brighter and more opaque finish result, while saving money due to the better coverage performance.


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