Attainable Aesthetics - With Paint Coatings The Sky's The Limit

Jeff_AlexanderBy Jeff Alexander, The Valspar Corporation

From color and texture to sustainable features, today’s design options are endless. Innovative and advanced technologies are allowing buildings to show off more personality than ever.

Within the coatings industry, manufacturers are continually striving to offer improved coating options and formulations that offer a variety of colors and effects. With these options, businesses and buildings in industries across the board are able to achieve a unique design goal – whether it’s increasing a brand identity or attracting new visitors.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Photo courtesy of Metal Sales.

A Natural Aesthetic

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Arizona State University cuts a striking figure in downtown Phoenix. The boxy building features the exterior architectural coating colors of Colonial Red, Terra Cotta and Copper Penny – all specifically selected to match the nearby desert. The color design was also selected to mimic the FCC’s radio spectrum chart – helping the building both fit in with its surroundings and tell a story about its purpose.

A Cohesive Aesthetic

Chaffin Junior High School wanted to spark creativity and innovation with its massive renovation in 2014. Matching the school’s colors and creating a distinctive appearance and entrance, the coating colors Gold Watch, Harvest Gold Seawolf, Coronado Red and Dark Green were used across the front of the building.

A Bold Aesthetic

Bold colors don’t often come to mind when picturing copper mines. In an effort to provide a cost-effective, yet highly visible design, the builders of the Caserones and Sierra Gorda Mines in Chile took an unconventional approach and coated the dome-like structures in a bright green color to help the structures stand out, even in snow.

Chaffin Junior High School. Photo courtesy of The Metal Construction Association. 
Caserones and Sierra Gorda Mines. Photo courtesy of Valspar.
The Center For Courageous Kids. Photo courtesy of Petersen Aluminum.
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral. Photo courtesy of Valspar.
Batterton House. Photo courtesy of Valspar.

A Cheerful Aesthetic

Summer camp is a cherished tradition for many families, giving kids an outlet to connect with new friends, learn new skills and enjoy the great outdoors. But for children with life-threatening illnesses, this tradition is one among many that can fall by the wayside, taking a backseat to medical appointments and health concerns. The Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, Kentucky helps children experience the same feelings from summer camp while being near the onsite care facility. The facilities feature a white building with a metal roof finished in a vibrant blue exterior architectural coating that stands out against the surrounding green acres. The white and blue combo was selected because it provides a cheerful, happy and crisp aesthetic, showing in a very visual way the happiness provided by this facility.

A Changing Aesthetic

The revitalization of the Exploration Tower at Florida’s Space Coast and Canaveral Cove coincided with the Port’s 60th anniversary. Taking cues from the shapes and hues of the port, a seven-story sail-shaped structure was developed to express the common characteristics of “transience, function and imagery.” A chameleon-like mica coating was spray-applied to the exterior of the structure, contributing to a constant sense of movement as the sun plays across the structure – causing a shift in color and exposing an iridescent-like skin.

A Lasting Aesthetic

An Arkansas homeowner, who works within the architectural industry, knew he wanted a metal roof for his home because of its added durability and fewer required repairs. To achieve added protection, he chose to apply an architectural metal coating with a crinkle finish to the metal roof panels. This coating further protects exterior metal panels from harsh environmental elements and offers resistance to abrasion, chipping and marring. In addition, not only does the crinkle finish hide any imperfections in the roof, it also provides the home with a unique appearance, different from most other options on the market.

Although the range of design opportunities already seem endless, it’s important for coating manufacturers to continuously provide new and innovative choices to our customers, in order to help them achieve their desired sustainability, durability and aesthetic goals.

Jeff Alexander has been with Valspar for 19 years and currently serves as the Vice President of Sales for the company's Coil and Extrusion Businesses. He is also a past president of the National Coil Coating Association. To learn more about Valspar products, visit

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