Paint & Accessories: Ten of the Best New Releases
A spate of original new products proves there is still space for creative thinkers in the Paint & Accessories category. JOHN POWER highlights ten of the best new releases from around the world.
Inventions in the Paint & Accessories market are always fascinating, but it is particularly rewarding to come across products generated by a spark of entrepreneurial ingenuity, rather than a row of supercomputers.
Of course, high-technology solutions are welcome and necessary, but there is nothing quite like the ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ moment of discovery when a simple, expertly designed product makes its debut at a trade show or fair.
The real mystery, of course, is how ‘simple’ innovations can still be appearing in this category, which dates back to when Moses painted The Ten Commandments!
Below is a Top Ten-style opus of our own, describing (in no particular order) innovative products we have spied on our travels over the past year.
(1) The Paint Brush Wiper/Rest from Trurim is a simple device that snaps on to the edge of a paint can and extends a straight, rod-like arm across the opening. What a great remedy to the eternally mismatched straight edge of a brush and circular rim of a can. The straight arm means the user can wipe off excess paint uniformly across the full flat head of the brush, while the excess paint falls directly into the can instead of down the side or over the rim. A third advantage is that the arm acts as a handy rest for the brush; normally, a resting brush straddles the edge of the can, where is can leave drips of paint down the outside.
“We are not currently distributing to Australia,” says Trurim’s US-based CEO Gary Eldridge, “However, if I find the right contact that knows the logistics of moving the product from the USA to Australia, and if it is cost-effective, then I would be up to discussing this with that contact.” Visitwww.trurim.com
The Paint Brush Wiper/Rest from Trurim fits over the opening of a paint can.
(2) A similarly inventive, equally smart invention is the Wombat PortaPaint (previously known as the Wombat Bucket). This product, also made in the USA, is a portable roller tray that simultaneously acts as a convenient holder for a range of painting accessories and tools. Designed for lifting either with a shoulder strap or hip/belt clip, this unit accommodates lightweight mini-rollers, allowing painters to carry out tasks in hard-to-access places while taking their tray with them.
According to John Lockwood and Alex Auerbach from Wombat Products, “We are actively looking for a manufacturer’s representative and/or a distributor in Australia. We had a great deal of interest in the Wombat Products line from Australian visitors to the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas in May, and we would very much like to bring the line to the land of its namesake.
“Currently we are being distributed very successfully in the UK, and are making plans to expand on that to sales on the Continent.” Visit www.PortaPaint.com
The Wombat PortaPaint paint tray and tool holder is portable, and can be carried with either a shoulder strap or hip/belt clip.
(3) Another new paint tray product of note is the Paint Glider, also from the US. This device has two major points of difference compared with regular trays. Its ovoid profile allows the tray to pivot on the spot for easy reorientation, while a rounded hood over the lower end allows the user to pick up the tray with a top-end handle and transport it to another work area without spillage.
This product, though far more maneuverable than traditional trays, also offers a measure of protection from accidental spatter from kicks or bumps. To view a video demonstration of the Paint Glider in action, or for details regarding distribution enquiries, visit www.paintglider.com
(4) The humble paintbrush has also been the subject of careful reinvention in recent times. A fine example is the Wedge from Whizz. This angled brush, designed especially for cutting in straight edges, features a thicker leading edge tapering to a thinner trailing edge. The idea is that the wedge-shaped configuration offers superior paint-holding capacity as well as fineness of control. The design still calls for a steady hand, but by reducing the frequency of paint replenishment, the user should attain a more even and consistent finish. Visit www.whizzrollers.com for contact details and a video demonstration.
(5) If you thought paintbrushes and motors were mutually exclusive, think again! The Wipic Painter’s Edge electric vibrating paintbrush is a battery-operated, handheld paintbrush invented in Belgium.
The beauty of this product, which is ideal for creating straight trim edging, is that it uses a gentle vibrating action to distribute paint smoothly. The user simply has to hold the tool at a 45-degree angle and maintain an even pressure and speed along the length of the surface being painted. The Wipic Painter’s Edge does the rest, laying down a consistent coating and greatly reducing the likelihood of accidentally touching adjoining trim. Visit www.wipic.eu
(6) Paint itself is an ever-evolving product class. One of the most awarded products to hit its stride in the last year is Smart Wall Paint, which turns any smooth surface into a whiteboard.
Developed by Irishman Ronan Clarke, this product is now being distributed worldwide. A spokesperson informs the Hardware Journal that Smart Wall Paint is available in Australia via the Internet (details below).
This product comes in either a clear or white finish. Once dry, a user can write on the painted surface again and again using an ordinary erasable whiteboard marker, making it suitable for educational facilities, offices, etc.
This product has won numerous accolades, including the 2014 EOPA Award for Facilities Management Product of the Year.
Recent releases include Contractors Kits and a Smart Magnetic Primer.
Smart Wall Paint turns any flat wall surface into a whiteboard.
(7) Solutions relating to spillage control are always welcome, both as a means of obviating paint loss and reducing the incidence of damage to precious flooring. An ingenious, yet simple, product to help stabilise paint cans is the Bucket Grip, released midyear in the US. This product is essentially a UV-resistant rubber base that fits snugly to the base of a paint can. Equipped with a protective gutter, the Bucket Grip keeps cans steady in vehicles and at worksites. For more information, including video demonstrations, visit www.bucketgrip.com
(8) There are plenty of absorbent cleaning products to help clean up spilled paint and oil, but one of the more noteworthy recent releases is Quik-Dri, released earlier this year by the US-based company Formula Green. This product, touted as using carcinogen-free, non-toxic chemicals, is spread as a powder over spills, absorbing seven times its own weight in moments. The residue can then be swept away, leaving a crisp, clean surface. Quik-Dri is also fire-retardant, which is a huge advantage when cleaning up flammable liquids. For more information, visit www.formulagreen.net
(9) Preparation is an often-overlooked aspect of high-quality painting projects. The recently released CleanWalls™ paint prep system is a ‘dust ‘n’ wash’ product designed to clean existing painted surfaces prior to repainting.
The main feature is a rounded microfiber mitt that fits to a pole-mounted head. The head itself swivels on a four-way pivot so it will wipe smoothly over walls and ceilings. A quick wipe removes dust and dry contaminants; subsequently, a wet pass using the same equipment dipped into a CleanWalls ™ degreasing solution gives the surface a pristine and clean finish.
This is another of those ‘low-tech’ products that surprises in terms of its originality and common sense. Visit www.gocleanwalls.com for additional details.
(10) Finally, let’s not forget decking. There have been many deck stain and oil applicators released onto the market over the years, many featuring their own built-in liquid reservoirs, but one that caught our attention is the StainStick with Gap Wheel from Homeright in the US.
This product holds stain in the handle rather than in a tank – liquid flows to the head uniformly with full push-control. The head includes a spring-loaded wheel in the middle of the applicator pad to provide coverage between planks.
Like all self-replenishing applicators, the user needs to experiment with the unit to achieve even coverage – but the same might be said for all manual application systems. Visit www.homeright.com