Paints, Varnishes, Coatings, Printing Ink and Mastics in the USA
Paints, varnishes, coatings, printing ink and mastics make up a considerable percentage of chemical manufacturing in the United States. Paints and other coatings account for a little over ten percent of all the chemical manufacturing in the country, and are used in a wide variety of industries and applications both domestically and abroad.
Painting and other coatings are used in a broad span of industrial and domestic applications, and can be broken down into architectural, industrial, special purpose and “miscellaneous.” These include things like house paints, wood varnishes, acrylic and oil-based paints for artwork, sealants, dyes and many other applications. Because of this wide use, recent statistics place industry revenue at $23.3 billion in 2008, with over 1300 different companies producing the coatings. Exports account for $2.1 billion of this figure.
Recent U.S. Bureau of Labor figures estimate that roughly 67,000 jobs exist in the paint, coating and adhesive manufacturing industry, 11.6 percent of the total chemical manufacturing in the nation, although future predictions show this number shrinking. The painting and other coatings industries are constantly updating and integration technological advances into factories, resulting in a more streamlined and automated production line, but also cutting the number of factory jobs as a result. Additionally, the jobs that will remain will be more specialized, as future workers will be required to be competent with the new equipment and knowledgeable about the new factory occupational hazards they will pose.
Another advance predicted for the painting and other chemicals industry includes green paint, varnishes, and other coatings, designed to be environmentally friendly by containing fewer chemicals which are harmful to the environment.