When Aesthetics Aren't The End Goal - Coatings That Last

Jeff_AlexanderJeff Alexander, The Valspar Corporation

When architects make decisions on materials, it can sometimes feel as though they must choose between aesthetics and effectiveness. No one wants to decide whether something should look good but not work, or work well but appear unappealing, especially when it comes to architecture, as both are necessary elements of an exceptional project. This is why buildings incorporating exterior metal panels are gaining popularity. A material that was once thought of as sterile and industrial is now being chosen for its balance between pleasing visuals and durability.

While the sleek and minimalistic aesthetic of exterior architectural metal panels is a great selling point to architects, the protection and lasting durability is more important in the long run. In general, exterior architectural metal panels that can be used for both roofs and siding are equipped with first-class resistance to the elements. In addition, the exterior coating industry plays a very important role in providing added protection for both the building as a whole and the exterior architectural metal panels themselves.

Protection Prior To The Project

Much of what threatens metal panels occurs en route to the building site, but select exterior coatings now available on the market can help protect exterior metal panels from abrasion during shipment and travel. As exterior architectural metal panels are faced with the task of safeguarding a structure throughout its lifetime, durable coatings ensure that damage is minimized even before installation. Not all architectural exterior coatings on the market provide this added protection. Coating manufacturers can help determine which coating will provide the most protection against these threats

Durability During The Life Cycle

Post-installation, the partnership between exterior architectural metal panels and the layer of protective coating shows its true colors, both figuratively and literally. In addition to the spectacular shade options available for exterior architectural metal panel coatings, the endurance and protective features of the coatings manage to hold up for many years shielding metal panels from extreme weathering as well as resistance to dirt, stains, chalking and fading.

The Batterton residence's metal roof is protected by a durable Valspar coating. Photo courtesy of Valspar.

Transitioning Trends

Exterior architectural metal panels and tough coatings are often seen on industrial and commercial structures, but more residential buildings are opting for durable and visually pleasing exterior metal paneling. An example incorporating exterior architectural metal roof panel use in residential structures is Mike Batterton.

As owner of a metal panel manufacturing facility, Allsteel, Inc., Batterton is very familiar with the industry. For him, choosing metal materials for the exterior of his home was an obvious choice. Batterton acknowledged the importance of coating the exterior architectural metal panels with a respectably resistant and long-lasting architectural coating in order to enhance the durability of the material that would ultimately increase the protection of his home.

Without sacrificing color retention, the Batterton residence is protected by one of the most durable coatings on the market. The exterior architectural metal coating offers unwavering protection against weathering and is capable of enduring extreme conditions. In addition, the coating provides a waterproof barrier that stands up to humidity, acid rain and corrosive salt.

Thankfully, the long-term durability did not come with the price of sacrificing aesthetic. Batterton’s metal roof sports a sleek slate shade which complements the house’s chestnut siding. This pairing gives the house the “wow” factor that Batterton was looking for, plus he can rest easy knowing that with the intense durability of the exterior architectural coating, the brilliant color will last.

Exterior architectural coated metal paneling is revolutionizing the architectural world in almost every space, from residential projects to the world’s tallest skyscrapers. Without having to sacrifice taste and with the promise of durability, coated exterior architectural metal panels allow architects wiggle room when designing. Visually stimulating structures can live a long and full life with the enduring protection of coated exterior architectural metal panels.

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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