Focus on wood coatings: Gloss control for architectural finishes with improved sustainability

03 June 2024

Evonik discusses the future of its architectural and wood coating offerings, focusing on superior gloss control for matte or satin finishes with improved durability performance and sustainability credentials

Today’s consumers are attracted to the authentic look of natural wood, which calls for low-gloss, soft-touch finishes. Coupled with a growing emphasis on sustainability, there is a push for waterborne systems that don’t compromise on performance. Longevity is key and coatings must offer high mechanical and chemical resistance. Evonik Coating Additives’ Spherilex® technology offers exceptional benefits by improving mechanical film strength, optimising gloss management, providing excellent scratch- and mar-resistance as well as a smooth feel and maintaining low viscosity at high loads.

A major obstacle in both wood coatings and architectural coatings is finding the right balance between mechanical film strength and the desired level of gloss and shine, for example in architectural eggshell finishes. Spherilex technology addresses this challenge by improving mechanical properties such as abrasion and scratch resistance without compromising the visual appeal of the coating. The silica-based spherical particles are designed to be uniformly distributed throughout the coating matrix, strengthening film integrity and extending the life of the finish.


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High PVC architectural coatings also benefit greatly from the incorporation of Spherilex. This technology ensures that the finished product is tough enough to withstand daily wear and tear, while maintaining its aesthetic appeal over time. This is particularly true for resistance to burnishing or scuffing. As part of the particle package in such formulations, Spherilex allows very low gloss levels to be formulated – ideal for avoiding imperfections after roller application of ceiling paints.

In wood coatings, Spherilex provides a durable protective barrier that resists scratches and scuffs while preserving the inherent beauty and texture of the wood.

Low gloss solutions with matting agents

Caption: Spherilex – particle morphology compared to standard fillers

When a low gloss finish is desired, Spherilex is an excellent partner with matting agents. By optimising the choice of particle size and distribution, formulators can achieve the ideal matte finish without common problems such as haze or reduced clarity. This collaborative approach enables the production of coatings that meet specific gloss levels while maintaining functional integrity.

Remarkably, Spherilex maintains low viscosity even at higher loadings, a critical factor for formulators who require coatings that are both easy to apply and consistently fluid. This technology supports the creation of coatings that are not only easy to use, but also have the high performance characteristics that are in high demand throughout the industry.

For very low gloss wood coatings, SPHERILEX® can be combined with ACEMATT® OK 520 – an established industry standard for matting. In waterborne formulations, this combination can achieve very low gloss levels at an angle of 60° combined with similarly low gloss levels at an angle of 85°. And in addition to the compelling low gloss levels, the dry films have a silky feel combined with high transparency and mechanical robustness – a perfect set of properties.

Coatings formulated with Spherilex show excellent resistance to polishing, scratching and marring, demonstrating the resilience of the technology. In addition, the smooth tactile feel of the coatings is a testament to the meticulous design of the particles. The combination of durability and a pleasant tactile experience is invaluable in high-traffic areas or on surfaces that require frequent handling or cleaning.


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Sustainability benefits

Sustainability is an important issue for wood coatings and architectural paints alike. Consumers want their painted walls to look like new for as long as possible. The technology increases the life of coatings and reduces the frequency of repainting. It is also manufactured with a focus on resource efficiency and minimising environmental impact.

An environmentally friendly alternative to fluorosurfactants

Evonik Coating Additives is a pioneer in environmentally friendly, high-performance additives as alternatives to conventional fluorosurfactants, especially for applications such as wood and architectural coatings. Tego® Twin 4100 has 100% active content, no added solvents or biocides, easy handling and broad compatibility with various binder systems. Tego Twin 4100 is suitable for use in waterborne, solventborne and radiation-curing formulations. Its advanced siloxane gemini technology combines the benefits of both gemini and siloxane surfactants, resulting in a unique application profile that ensures high quality finishes and reliable performance.

Tego Twin 4100 outperforms the competition in wetting difficult substrates and increasing robustness. It can handle low polarity components of a formulation and contaminated spots on substrate surfaces with ease. Its unique foam management makes it a clear choice for those seeking to improve substrate wetting. Unlike many other high-performance additives, it does not contribute to foam stabilisation. Instead, it provides benefits in foam destabilisation.

Evonik Coating Additives’ commitment to sustainability is opening up new opportunities for the industry to achieve exceptional performance and environmental compliance. As the wood and architectural coatings industry continues to evolve, Evonik Coating Additives is delivering the durability and aesthetic qualities that today’s customers and market demand, embodying an eco-friendly ethos. Products are as environmentally friendly as they are effective in use.

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