Q&A with Armstead Trade

Q&A with Armstead Trade

In 2014, AkzoNobel unveiled Armstead Trade — a new brand to replace Glidden Trade — as part of a record investment in its trade paint brands. Said to offer professionals quality products at budget-friendly prices, Armstead Trade’s Brand Manager Suneal Gill discusses the new portfolio and highlights several key products that he believes have significant sales potential.

Why should trade customers trust Armstead Trade?

Armstead Trade has inherited tried and tested formulations from its predecessor, Glidden Trade, so merchants can rest assured that their customers will still be getting the same good quality paints they’ve always received. In addition, we’ve been investing in new product development to make sure that our range can offer solutions for every job, enabling merchants to help their customers find the right product to suit their needs.

Are there any key products that I should know about?

The Armstead Trade range is being constantly developed to meet a wide range of needs, including the release of two new innovations — Durable Matt emulsion and the Quick Dry range for trim. Durable Matt offers a scrubbable emulsion finish so is the smart choice for high traffic areas, while the Quick Dry range enables jobs to be completed faster.

We’ve noticed that the durability market seems to be growing — what’s driving this?

We think the key driver is customer expectation. Increasingly, customers want increased value for money when it comes to a fresh paint job and their expectations are higher in terms of the ability to clean the paint itself.

As a minimum, Armstead Trade Durable Matt customers want the product to be scrubbable so that they can clean away minor stains. This is particularly important in high traffic areas which are prone to knocks and scuffs and so require cleaning more frequently: standard matt paints cannot withstand repeated cleaning and this is where durable products come into their own. By using Durable Matt, customers can essentially extend their maintenance cycles, keeping the freshly painted look for longer and reducing the cost of re-decoration.

What standards does Armstead Trade’s Durable Matt meet?

Our scrubbable Durable Matt has been thoroughly tested, being put through 2,000 scrub cycles and passing British Standards testing BS EN ISO 11998 Class 1 and BS7719 Type C Classification for durability.

If my customers want a durable paint, will they find the colour palette is limited?

We know customers like to use colour in both commercial environments and in the home so we’ve developed two new bases that enable us to offer Armstead Trade Durable Matt in over 3,000 colours.

For commercial environments, having a wide choice of colour is particularly important when colour scheming to ensure that best practice visual contrast can be achieved — as outlined in the Equality Act — to help the visually impaired navigate buildings. In addition to the colour range itself, we have product literature such as the Commercial Colour Scheming Guide which sets out ready-made, legislation compliant colour schemes.

In the home, the use of colour helps homeowners achieve their personal style and the 3,000 colours on offer from Armstead Trade Durable Matt, along with the decorator and homeowner colour card, can certainly help them to achieve this.

As well as a growing interest in durable solutions, we’ve seen manufacturers are investing in water-based trim formulations. What does Armstead Trade offer in this respect and why?

We’ve certainly seen a growth in the demand for water based trim and in response we’ve developed our water-based Quick Dry range to meet appliers’ desire to cause less disruption to the environments they’re working in, not to mention that it retains its whiteness for longer in comparison to solvent equivalents. In particular, there seems to be a growing preference for mid-sheen woodwork — something which our Quick Dry Satin product meets perfectly — though our Quick Dry Gloss is also popular.

What are the key benefits of using water-based paints?

Being water-based means the application and drying time of our Quick Dry range is quicker, improving productivity and efficiency. In fact, surfaces can be repainted in around four hours, meaning rooms only need to be vacated for a matter of hours rather than days, significantly minimising disruption.

Additionally, the Quick Dry acrylic technology retains its whiteness for longer in comparison to solvent equivalents, assisting the extension of maintenance cycles and reducing the cost of decoration.

Another key benefit is the significantly lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that water-based paints contain compared to solvent-based paints. The lower VOC levels mean lower odour, which can be particularly beneficial for homeowners and users of buildings such as care homes.

Is there a difference in finish or quality between water-based and solvent-based paints? And how can customers get the best out of the products?

Manufacturers like AkzoNobel have invested heavily in improving the quality of water-based products to ensure we minimise the differences in quality between these and solvent-based trim products.

The Armstead Trade Quick Dry range provides a professional quality finish with good flow and application properties. For top tips for getting the best out of any of our products, we always advise appliers to check out the smart tips section on our website.

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