What’s the Difference Between Paint and Coatings?

Property owners and managers are responsible for making maintenance decisions regarding their properties. One such maintenance decision is when to add a fresh coat of paint to beautify their space. Painting has become an important and cost-effective way to change the look and feel of a property, especially when experts like New Age Paintings & Coatings are hired for the job.

Most property owners, however, get stuck between two seemingly similar options when planning this home improvement project. The choice between painting and coating their property exists, but what differentiates both options?

Are you in a similar predicament and asking what the difference between paint and coating is? This article offers the answer you need to know to help you make the right choice for your property.


A paint job focuses on improving the aesthetics of a property by adding a fresh layer of paint to improve its appearance and appeal. A new layer of paint can also change the mood and how such a surface is seen. Paints often have some protective qualities that keep the surface applied sealed, but they are primarily designed to add color and appeal to surfaces.

Also Read:- How to Pick the Best Trim Paint Color?


While coating can do the job of paint, paint cannot do the job of coating material. The coating is a paint, but with a greater purpose of protecting the substrate or the material, it is applied on. Similar to paint, the coating is available in different colors and can improve the aesthetics of a substrate. However, it goes deeper and offers protection to such surfaces. Some of the important features of a coating material include the following;

  • Flexibility and elasticity
  • Color retention
  • Breathability (permeability)
  • Water-shedding
  • Waterproofing
  • Self-cleaning
  • Rust and corrosion prevention
  • Anti-microbial activities

It is important to note that coating can do the job of paint but not vice versa because it lacks extra features.

Property owners looking to beautify their property can choose between paint and coating based on their specific needs. For example, home or business owners looking to improve the aesthetics of their property can choose a paint, while those looking to fight exterior mold and mildew or other organic growth can choose an anti-microbial coating to protect their exterior surfaces.

Having understood the basic differences between a paint and coating, some other important differences between both options include;

Powder Coating Has No Solvent

The coating is often available in powdery form compared to paint which is always in liquid form. The solvent in paint is used to hold it in liquid form for easy application on surfaces. As the paint dries, its solvent is absorbed into the substrate, and it is transformed into a solid. On the other hand, powder coating is applied in its solid, powdered state, which makes it free from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are common in paint solvents.

Essentially, the coating is often more environmentally friendly compared to painting.


Coating in powdered form is often more flexible to transport and work with than paints, which are often in liquid form. With coating, property owners do not have to worry about common setbacks like paint cracking, bubbling, or popcorn paints. Being in its powdery state also makes coating a suitable candidate for expanding and contracting surfaces, especially in high-temperature areas.

It may be best to consider coating your property if you live in areas that experience extreme weather temperatures.

Evenness of Application   

Powder coating is often easier to apply on surfaces and often delivers a better even tone than liquid paints. With paints, painters may need to add several layers of paint on areas to achieve evenness and similar texture across the surface area.

Because of their better evenness properties, coatings are better suitable for complex surfaces as they can easily be spread over such surfaces without the usual repetitive actions or the wait time required for one coat of paint to sit in and dry before another is applied to reach desired thickness and evenness.

Easier Paint Color Matches 

Paint has its own advantages; one of the biggest advantages of using paint is its color match. Matching paint color is easier and faster, especially as two or more color options can be mixed to achieve the desired outcome. This can be a bit tricky when working with coating, especially powdered coating.

With paint, you can easily manipulate colors to obtain unique mixes and combinations that set your property apart from others.

Cost and Long-term Value

Paints are available in different options, from affordable to very expensive, depending on the brand and quality. The wide range of available cost options helps property owners move across the price chain easily and fit their budgets. On the other hand, the coating can be very expensive, especially as the highest quality paint doesn’t match up to a coating’s durability and long-term performance.

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