Innovations in Paint Removal: More Exciting Than You Think
by Scott Sarver, Franmar (Blue Bear Brand)
While innovations and changes in paint and paint removers may never garner the same type of public excitement as the latest advancement in smart phones, the last twenty-five years have seen some significant changes. Within the industry we take note of advancements in pigments, hardness, and reduced VOC levels to name just a few. While many companies are focused on making a better paint, at Franmar we concentrate on how to best remove coatings for renovation and restoration. Though removing paint tends to be a rather messy affair, our products help to simplify the process both with regard to labor and cost all while keeping the end user’s safety in mind.
Since the EPA AIM rule (standards for VOC levels in architectural coatings) took effect in 1999, we’ve all become very aware of VOCs. Since Franmar’s inception 30+ years ago, we have always sought to be ahead of the curve with regard to products that work but do not pose environmental or health concerns. When discussions and mandates regarding safety of stripping solvents came around, little if any change was needed for Franmar to meet or exceed those requirements.
Our first product for the paint industry was SOY•Gel. Using the capabilities inherent in soy as a migrating agent, this gelled stripper cuts through multiple layers of paint in a single application. With the success of SOY•Gel, a variety of other paint strippers were developed from the base chemistry: a sprayable stripper for large areas, a liquid stripper for dip applications, and even one developed for removing marine paints from boats. In 2015, Franmar rebranded its entire line, grouping all the products under the name BLUE BEAR. Now SOY•Gel is known as BLUE BEAR Paint & Urethane Stripper. It’s the same product, but now all of our products benefit from brand recognition and reputation.
One of the most exciting advancements that we have made is the introduction of BLUE BEAR Lead Paint Remover. This patented system combines a powder that is mixed with a stripper to render the lead in older paints insoluble, which removes the danger to the environment and the home. We are the only manufacturer able to bring this product to market and it is changing the way homeowners and professionals deal with lead paint.
The regulations regarding VOCs for certain products are always changing. An example of this is the requirements specified for graffiti removal products. While we had to withdraw an older product that was developed for graffiti because of the new requirement, we are pleased to announce that we are introducing a pair of products that exceed these requirements and work even better than before. The new BLUE BEAR Hard Surface Graffiti Remover and BLUE BEAR Porous Surface Graffiti Remover are now shipping and work quickly to remover unsightly graffiti from wherever it may pop up.
Franmar has had an exciting 30+ year history of innovation and we congratulate The Paint Dealer on its 25th! Here’s to looking forward to whatever the future may hold in the paint industry and looking forward to partnering with folks at The Paint Dealer as they help keep us on top of things. Cheers!