Q: Who’s the market for Paint Shield?

by inPAINT

Q: Who’s the market for Paint Shield?

What it gets down to is Sherwin-Williams is always looking at the needs of the marketplace. We looked at the healthcare industry and saw a significant need for a paint that would kill certain disease-causing bacteria. That’s what spurred Paint Shield’s development. But once developed, we also knew it would have broader use in residential and commercial settings.

Paint Shield is microbicidal, meaning that it kills bacteria. It’s the first paint to do so. In fact, it kills 99.9 percent of Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis) and Enterobacter aerogenes on painted surfaces within two hours of exposure. And it will continue to kill 90 percent of those bacteria for up to four years as long as the integrity of the surface is maintained. It will also inhibit mold growth.

The challenge to creating Paint Shield was suspending the active ingredient, which is a quaternary ammonium compound. Sherwin-Williams is the first to accomplish and patent this technology. The product is also EPA-registered, meaning it underwent rigorous testing by a third-party lab to validate that it would kill certain bacteria and continue to kill it over time. We did quite a number of studies, including scrub tests and exposure tests. As long as there is normal wear and tear, Paint Shield will continue to work as intended for up to four years.

Beyond healthcare, we’re finding that athletic facilities, hotels, motels and schools are also applying Paint Shield. There’s a residential market, as well, with painters using it in and near bathrooms and kitchens. Really, anywhere people gather is a great opportunity. Paint Shield has already been applied in places such as the Northside Hospital in Georgia, the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center and many other major facilities.

The water-based interior latex paint can go on drywall (new or previously painted), primed metal substrates and wood that has been previously painted or primed. It’s really versatile. Paint Shield applies just like any other latex paint using the same brushes and rollers. You can use two coats of Paint Shield over a primer or a previously painted surface. Doors, wall trim and walls are all good places to use the product. It also cleans up with soap and water. Paint Shield is available in 550 popular colors in an eg-shel finish. [CINDY: THIS IS HOW THEY SPELL EGGSHELL. SF] It is available (since mid-2016) in all Sherwin-Williams stores.


Steve Revnew is senior vice president of product innovation at Sherwin-Williams. In April 2017, Paint Shield was named the Edison Award Bronze Winner for Innovation.

A panel of 3,000 people – from the fields of business, academia, product development, design, engineering, science and medicine – judged the microbicidal paint for Edison Universe, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering future innovators.

Frank Bonafilla, executive director the Edison Awards, said the judges “recognized Sherwin-Williams Paint Shield as a true innovation out of the many products in its category – as the first-ever microbicidal paint created, it is very deserving of this honor.”

Revnew said the company was “honored by the recognition … given the high caliber of others receiving this award.”

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