Skipping the white fandango

By Vertik-Al.

For many years white has been the principal finish for window and door products, while black and grey accounted for the majority of roofline products.

As tastes and trends have evolved, homeowners, architects and designers have embraced grey tones, leading to an interior and exterior design revolution. Floor coverings, soft furnishings and walls have been complemented by windows, doors, garden furniture and fences – all in varying shades of grey.

This dominance was reflected in our powder usage for the year ending April 2020. Of the top ten most used colours, five were a tonal variation of grey, with anthracite grey leading the charge with almost 20% share. In fact, our top ten comprised only neutral tones, with the five remaining colours a variation on this theme: jet black, signal black, heritage black, Hipca white and pure white.

However, there may be a change on the horizon. Since announcing our top ten this summer, we have noticed a shift in recent months. Neutral tones still prevail but Hipca white and pure white now both feature in the top five most used colours.

Feedback shows that these white powder-coated items are destined for commercial rather than domestic applications. While this may be an anomaly, it could also be an early indicator that the demand for grey is diminishing.

A neutral colour palette remains at the heart of both interior and exterior design, but it wouldn’t be unconceivable to think that the return of white is an indirect reaction to the pandemic, as the nation craves a lighter, brighter environment.

With us using such distinctly different tones on a regular basis, it is crucial that colour changes are quick and clean. At the time of writing, all three horizontal lines are coating jet black, for example, and while every effort is made to keep radical colour changes to a minimum, sometimes this just isn’t possible as we strive to offer the fastest and best service for our customers. We could easily be doing Hipca white on the next run.

In the past two years, there has been significant investment in new powder coating equipment – including two new Magic Compact horizontal powder coating plants and automatic powder guns – which has enabled us to significantly reduce the time taken for colour changes

We are achieving incredible results with the new kit; the quality of the application and finish is outstanding, across matt, gloss and textured coatings, and it’s getting us noticed. Customers are responding to our ability to produce a consistent, high-quality finish by requesting bolder, more extraordinary colour and finish combinations.

Anodic pewter, white aluminium and gold metallic all now rank in our top 50 in metallic finishes. Matt still dominates at 83.91% finish usage, but we are definitely seeing an upturn in metallics, as it competes with satin and gloss finishes. We anticipate that metallic usage will increase again in 2021 as architects look beyond glazed facades for exterior statements and detailing.

Vertik-Al is the only applicator in the UK and Ireland to hold the GSB International quality seal for Approved Coated Aluminium and is one of a handful of applicators to boast membership of the product certification scheme, Qualicoat. We offer 25-year supplier-backed guarantees on a range of colours.