Additives for Paints

Published - May 2003| Analyst - George Innes| Code - CHM030B
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Report Highlights

  • Total consumption of paint additives was about $710 million in 2002.
  • Overall growth to 2007 is forecast at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 2.2%, about the same as the paint industry itself.
  • Thickeners were the largest product group, at about $209 million, or 29% of the total 2002 sales.
  • Some products are growing more rapidly, however.



The additives make the difference. The coatings industry, as a whole, is composed of a wide variety of products that include paint, enamel, finishes, varnishes and lacquers. They are used on autos, bridges and equipment to cover and protect underlying surfaces of wood, metal and plastic. The coatings industry has been characterized by slow but stable growth, and sensitivity to overall economic conditions. In particular, these are such factors as new construction and housing starts. Coatings shipments in 2001 were about $15.7 billion, and shipments in 2002 were estimated at $16.3 billion.

Paint manufacture not only is one of the world’s oldest industries, but also one that has advanced dramatically from the relatively simple operations of 50 years ago, when formulating consisted of mixing pigments and minerals with limited numbers of vegetable oils and other natural products. Today, it is a highly complex technology, driven by increasingly restrictive legislation covering emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and bringing about a sharp reduction in the use of solvents and an increase in waterborne formulations. These efforts to make coatings more environmentally compliant by reformulating to meet performance standards, however, created problems such as freezing, foaming and difficulty in applying and curing the finish. Additives have played an important part in solving these problems.

BCC presents the findings of an analysis of the U. S. market for paint additives, with emphasis on future trends, changing technology and opportunities. It makes available the most current and reliable information on the paint additives market. It forecasts the market for these additives, broken down by product, formulation and coating type. It describes major trends in principal end uses, and provides descriptions of the most important suppliers in the .


This report covers:

  • Thickeners, biocides, corrosion inhibitors, foam control agents, surfactants, plasticizers, driers and adhesion promoters, and other additives as a group
  • Government regulations
  • Markets by product, formulation and coating type with forecasts through 2007
  • Industry structure and company profiles
  • International aspects.


Information on market size, growth rates, technological trends and regulatory influences was primarily obtained from interviews with marketing personnel from suppliers of specific additives. Secondary sources include a review of published government data and trade journals such as Chemical & Engineering News, Chemical Market Reporter and Paint and Coatings Journal.

All forecasts are given in constant 2002 dollars. Growth rates are compounded annually. Trade names are shown in upper case letters where applicable.

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