March 29

What the Heck Is Microbicidal Paint?

For the past two years or more, keeping safe from a deadly virus has been top of mind for many people across the globe. We have been searching for ways to stay well and healthy amid all the unknowns. For many of us, that meant staying at home a lot more than we’re used to. But is your home really as sanitary as it could be?

Just thinking about all the germs circulating in commercial buildings can make you want to stay away. The large office building, retail store, gym, school – these are all highly populated places that can harbor illnesses. Think of all the germs left on walls and other surfaces by hundreds or thousands of hands touching them every single day.

Diligent hand-washing is still the best method for preventing the spread of germs. There are also a lot of products available to sanitize surfaces but they must be applied and re-applied to maintain the germ-free qualities. Not many people have the time or desire to constantly wash down walls, however, to keep the bacteria off. 

Get Rid of Germs with Paint

There is now a solution to keeping painted walls and other surfaces more sanitary. Sherwin Williams has developed a microbicidal paint in recent years that is EPA-tested and -approved. Their Paint Shield® microbicidal paint has the power to kill many forms of bacteria on surfaces. 

The CDC estimates that about one in every 25 US hospital patients contract at least one infection while in the hospital. Every effort to cut down risk for patients and staff is crucial because bacterial infections can seriously complicate any other disease or illnesse, as well as affecting the healing process.

The Paint Shield® line kills more than 99.9% of Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli), VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis), and Enterobacter aerogenes within two hours of exposure on painted surfaces. 

The paint coating continues to kill 90% of these bacteria even after repeated contamination on painted surfaces. The effectiveness lasts for up to four years as long as the integrity of the surface is maintained.

While antimicrobial additives make regular paint more expensive, the benefits gained in protecting property, employees, or family members make it a great investment. 

How Microbicidal Paint Works

Before we describe how this paint works, we need to make sure that we’re talking about the same characteristics. Don’t confuse microbicidal with “antimicrobial” or “antibacterial” paint agents. 

  • Antimicrobial agents in paints inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as mildew and mold that can stain and deteriorate a coating over time. Antimicrobial agents also inhibit bacterial odor growth.

  • Antibacterial agents in paint inhibit the growth of bacteria only. In paints, antibacterial agents protect just the paint film itself.

  • Microbicidal compounds in the paint go a step further by actively killing a broad array of microscopic organisms, including both bacteria and other infection-causing microorganisms.

Antimicrobial and antibacterial coatings have been available in recent years from different manufacturers. These coatings only protect against odor- and stain-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew. But Sherwin Williams’ Paint Shield® is the first (and currently only) microbicidal paint available that provides long-lasting relief from illness-causing bacteria and germs. Plus, Paint Shield® also includes antimicrobial properties. 

Microbicidal paint has the same active ingredient as many disinfectants. Quaternary ammonium salts (quats), is the agent in Paint Shield® products. The disinfectants that contain this ingredient have been used to successfully combat bacteria that cause many illnesses, including Staph, E. coli, VRE and MRSA. While the paint has not yet been tested for its effectiveness against COVID-19, it will protect against the spread of many other infectious diseases.

EPA Testing

Because Paint Shield®’s microbicidal properties required the product to be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they underwent comprehensive third-party testing. The testing included the following steps:

  1. Longevity test that measured Paint Shield®’s lasting power in killing pathogens. Results showed that the paint’s effectiveness lasts for up to four years if surface integrity is maintained.

  1. Continuous kill test determined that Paint Shield® continued to kill bacteria at a rate of 90 percent.

  1. Washability test found that Paint Shield® Microbicidal Paint passed vigorous washability tests with cleaning products and procedures typically used in healthcare facilities according to CDC guidelines. 

  1. Toxicological review where the lab reviewed Paint Shield®’s entire formula, including raw materials to ensure that all product components were EPA-approved and complied with human health and environmental guidelines.

Where to Use Microbicidal Paint

Paint Shield® can be applied on interior hard, nonporous ceilings, walls, doors and trim. 

Paint Shield® comes in 550 colors including the popular eggshell finish, a low-gloss, low sheen, satin velvet with a low to medium reflection when dry. It can be applied just like any other interior paint on any ceilings, walls, doors, and trim throughout your house. It covers the surface well and the results are the same high level of quality as with other types of Sherwin Williams paints.

The EPA tests confirmed that the use of Paint Shield® would help combat bacteria on painted surfaces, making it a sound choice for healthcare facilities and other high-occupancy settings like athletic facilities, schools, day care centers, senior care communities, residential housing, hospitality settings and cruise ships. 

Other Eco-Friendly Paints 

While Sherwin Williams’ Paint Shield® is currently the only microbicidal paint on the market, there are other paints that contain germ-resistant features. New technology in the paint manufacturing industry is focused on improving indoor air quality, while keeping the aesthetics of the paint results.

Mold and Mildew

Antimicrobial paints resist the growth of mildew and mold on the painted surface. These paints are great in humid environments like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. They will also greatly reduce any unpleasant odors emanating from the surfaces. 

These paint types were not as popular because of their glossy sheen limitation; however, Benjamin Moore now offers it in a matte finish in their Aura Bath & Spa paint line. It is a paint and primer in one, cleans up with soap and water, and comes in all of the manufacturer’s colors.  

Paint Odors 

Low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints are widely used in both residential and commercial interior painting. They emit very little or no noxious fumes that cause adverse reactions in those living or working in the area being painted. 

Paint fumes come from formaldehyde. Not only does Sherwin-Williams’ zero-VOC Harmony interior latex paint line contain no formaldehyde, it goes even further by absorbing formaldehyde that other products, such as insulation, carpet, cabinets, and fabrics, have released into the home’s air, according to claims made by the company.

Allergen Resistant

Benjamin Moore’s Natura paint has been certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as being“asthma and allergy friendly.”

The paint contains no VOCs, and produces zero emissions, and is odorless. Quality is not sacrificed with these “greener” features. You still get the same great results as with other Benjamin Moore paints.

Consult with Professional Painters

An experienced and reputable painting contractor will know the benefits of using these germ-resistant paints and can provide you with all the details. They can answer all your questions and provide you with recommendations based on your needs and requirements. 

The Painting Pros in Los Gatos, California has been painting commercial and residential properties for over 45 years! Cleve Dayton, company founder, remains committed to continuing to provide the highest quality results and outstanding customer service to businesses and homeowners in the Silicon Valley.

The Painting Pros is known for its environmentally-conscious products and methods. We were the first painting company in Silicon Valley to be “certified green” by Green America. We use only low VOC paints and recycle all eligible materials. We are a “Lead-Safe Certified Firm” with the EPA, meaning that we are trained to take the necessary precautions to safely work with lead-based paint surfaces.

Cleve is very active in the community in which he lives and works. He is a long-standing member of the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, past President of the Silicon Valley PCA (Painting Contractors of America), and has served on the Painting and Decorating Contractors of California Board of Directors.

The Painting Pros is always looking for ways to improve their service and products for their customers. They are one of an elite group of painters who have achieved and maintained the Diamond Certified status, where actual customers determine eligibility for the award.

So if you need commercial or residential painting and want the best results at a fair price, call on The Painting Pros. We guarantee you’ll be satisfied!


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