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High-Hiding Paint Colors

August 19, 2013

High-Hiding Paint Colors

The choice of a paint color affects the total cost of a product in many ways. The reasoning goes beyond the simple cost of the paint itself. Often times, it has to do with the whether or not the color is a high-hiding paint color.

It is generally recognized that some paint colors cost more than others. For example, a ruby red 2014 Ford Focus SE costs $395. This is more than any other available color. There are several reasons for this.

The basic reason stems from the cost of the pigments used to create a color. Common pigments used in industrial product coatings range in price from $1 to $30 per pound. Bright reds and yellows can be very expensive and tend to be on the higher end of that scale.

A second factor, and one that is sometimes overlooked, is the difference in hiding power, or opacity, of different paint colors. Black for example, is considered a high-hiding paint color. It completely hides most substrates in a single coat, while a bright yellow or red may take multiple coats to get full coverage.

Obviously, the economics of applying more coats goes far beyond comparing the cost per gallon. But even among comparatively poor hiding colors, like reds and yellows, difference in the hiding power can exist because of how the paint is made.

High-hiding paint colors are made by mixing dry pigments in the factory, not by adding liquid colorant to tint bases. The difference between the two approaches is illustrated in the photo below.



Even though the two yellows are identical, the one made with high-hiding dry pigments covers the black and white card much better than the paint made with liquid colorant. (Both paint paints were applied at the same thickness.)

Clearly, the total cost of painting can be reduced by using high-hiding paints made with dry pigments mixed in the factory.