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Furniture Coating | The Booming Business Innovations, New Products, Market & More

FDT Bureau

Furniture Coating | The Booming Business Innovations, New Products, Market & More

The growth of the Indian furniture market is bolstering the success of allied industries, and the Indian furniture coating market has emerged as a beneficiary of this trend. Furniture Design & Technology (FDT) simplifies the furniture coatings universe shedding light on ongoing innovations and newer products which have been introduced recently.


INDIAN FURNITURE COATING MARKET

As per the data by Indian Trade Promotion Council (ITPC), the Indian furniture market was valued at approximately US$ 23.12 billion in 2022, and it is predicted to reach US$ 32.7 billion by 2026, making it the fifth largest producer and fourth largest consumer of furniture globally. Likewise according to INVEST INDIA, the Indian furniture market is anticipated to achieve a CAGR of 10.9% during 2023-28 to reach $32.7 Bn by 2026.

The growth of the furniture industry invariably has a direct impact on allied industries including the coating industry. According to a report by TechSci, with the rising demand in furniture, the India furniture coating market which was valued at around $ 875 million in 2019 is projected to surpass $ 1.44 billion by 2025. This intensification is also attributed to increasing in construction activities coupled with a rising working-class population in the country add to this government initiatives like Smart City Mission


TYPES OF FURNITURE COATING

The world of furniture coatings is a vast universe in itself. Their primary utility is to protect as also enhance the look of the furniture surface. Coatings protect the furniture from humidity, moisture, UV rays of the in addition to and general wear and tear. Likewise they enhance the aesthetics of the furniture by adding a rich, luxurious, and glossy sheen to it. The modern coating also inhibits the growth of bacteria and other microbes over the furniture surface making it germ free and hygienic for a prolonged time period.

“The major trend in coating category is the demand for more colours. Earlier, the clear coatings used to be done in order to protect wood as well show its grains. However, colors have now ended the dominance of clear coating. ICA Pidilite has over 2300 colours in the wood coating segment to choose from.”



Himanshu Vijay, Chief Marketing, ICA Pidilite

According to the composition, different finishes provide varied degree of durability, protection, ease of application and looks. In order to better understand their correct application, one must know the difference between varied coatings and their effects.


Varnish

Varnishes are clear and transparent coatings made with rough and durable synthetic resin. Available in high-gloss, satin or matte forms, they can be applied to both stained and bare wood. They are durable and provide a good protection from UV rays to the wooden furniture. Before applying any varnish wood polish, the surface needs to be cleaned and dried properly to obtain the best results.


Wax

Due to its ability to seep right through wood layers, wax is probably one of the best coatings among others. Available in both water-based and oil-based types, wax provide sheen to the wooden furniture surface. They are available in paste and liquid form. Obtained from plants, minerals and animal sources, it preserves the natural character of wood. However, they are not the best sealants and hence it is not advisable to use them for outdoor furniture.


Oil

Oil wood finish improves the appearance of the wood furniture. While they have a slow drying time, once applied, they replace the natural oil present in the wood which dries over the time. Oil-based wood polish easily covers up the nicks and scratches on the wood surface.


Shellacs

Shellac is derived from the secretions of the female lac bug, and it can be dissolved in alcohol to create a liquid finish. It is available in various colors. Shellac is a valuable finish for woodworking due to its non-toxic nature, ease of application, and ability to bond well with other finishes. However, its use is restricted to indoor applications to prevent damage from moisture.


Lacquer

Typically applied by spraying, Lacquers are thin-solvent based finishes which are available in matte, high-gloss and satin finishes. They can also be applied through brushing or other methods, depending on the product and the desired finish. They are quick drying and can be easily removed and repolished whenever needed. However, the finish is sensitive to heat, and some may emit fumes so appropriate safety measures need to be taken during its application.


Wood Dye

Wood dye, as the name suggests, can be applied to either match or alter the color of wooden furniture. It is primarily composed of small molecules that penetrate deeply into the wood, allowing for a vibrant color that showcases the natural grain. Wood dyes are commonly used in powder form, mixed with water or alcohol, and do not require a separate binder due to their small size. This characteristic enables the application of deep, vibrant colors that do not obscure the wood’s grain, making them particularly suitable for dense or figured woods. However, they are more prone to fading in sunlight compared to other finishes. Wood dyes are available in both water-based and oil-based forms, offering flexibility in application and finish.


Stain Wood Finish

Wood stains are colorants applied to wood to alter its appearance by soaking pigment into the wood fibers with a solvent. As the stain cures, the color binds to the wood, creating a lasting effect. Stains can be categorized as oil, water, varnish, or gel-based, each offering different properties and benefits. Oil-based stains are known for their rich color and slow-drying nature, making them suitable for a more refined finish. Water-based stains are environmentally friendly and offer better protection against mold and mildew but require more coats for richer color. Gel-based stains are thicker and can be applied with a rag, making them easier to work with. The choice of stain depends on the desired color, application technique, and the type of wood being stained.


Polyurethane Finish or PU Polish

Polyurethane is a versatile plastic resin that can be water- or oil-based, offering a range of finishes from glossy to transparent. Its water-resistant properties make it ideal for a variety of applications, including kitchen cabinets, doors, windows, cupboards, and furniture. Despite its resistance to water, polyurethane wood finishes can yellow due to exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. To mitigate this, UV light absorbers can be added to the product. While polyurethane is not easily repairable, the difficulty of repairing it varies by product and application.


Powder Coating

Powder coating is a dry finishing process used to coat or finish metals. It involves the application of a dry powder, which is a mixture of polymer resin system, pigments, curatives, and other additives, electrostatically using a spray gun to a metal surface. The powder is then cured under ultraviolet light or heat, creating a high-quality, uniform wash of color. This process results in a super shiny, durable finish that is particularly suitable for outdoor furniture due to its resistance to weathering and wear and tear. Powder coating is not only used for metal furniture but also for a wide range of items including kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, exercise equipment, and even automotive parts like wheels, bumpers, and valve covers. Its durability and ability to withstand moisture, chemicals, light, and impacts make it an ideal choice for long-lasting, protective finishes.


INNOVATIONS IN FURNITURE COATING

The furniture coating segment is witnessing a good deal of innovation. Most of the brands in the coating segment are addressing the major concern which happens to be harmful emissions. This has resulted in creation of water-based coatings with low VOC levels, making them safer for any environment. Brands are also producing UV cured, water resistance and anti-yellow coatings to make them aesthetically appealing and last longer than any regular coatings.

Currently, coatings that are solventfree are also available and are highly recommended for kids’/infant furniture, as well as for households with pregnant women and the elderly.

In the realm of metal coatings, brands are now producing products with anti-rust and quick-drying capabilities, eliminating the need for a primer. Many of these coatings are corrosion and stain resistant, rendering them an ideal choice for outdoor spaces. Finishes such as satin, gloss, and matte provide a luxurious touch to both wooden and metal furniture.

“The wood coating industry is very exciting for Asian Paints. We are launching a slew of products which are water-based, sustainable, low on VOC emissions, super environment friendly but with a very high performance. The WoodTech Aquadur PU Interior Matt has low VOC and low odour is also available in a variety of colours.”



Amit Syngle, MD & CEO, Asian Paints

Recently, Nippon Paints launched INFINITY Automatic Tinting System blending Japanese state-of-the-art technology with world class materials. One of the key features of the INFINITY coatings is their ability to create a seamless, smooth, and luxurious finish on any surface, including wood, metal, aluminium, glass, plastics, and acrylic. Talking about the innovations in furniture coatings, Mr Amit Syngle, MD & CEO, Asian Paints says, “The wood coating industry is very exciting for Asian Paints. We are launching a slew of products which are water-based, sustainable, low on VOC emissions, super environment friendly but with a very high performance. The WoodTech Aquadur PU Interior Matt has low VOC and low odour, and is also available in a variety of colours.”


TAKING THE COLOURS IN

Gone are the days when coatings used to be transparent and meant to only protect the surface from wear and tear. The world of coating is filled with colours with every brand launching a huge shade card to match the furniture with the décor.

Mr Himanshu Vijay, Chief Marketing, ICA Pidilite says, “The major trend in coating category is the demand for more colours. Earlier, the clear coatings used to be done in order to protect wood as well show its grains. However, colors have now ended the dominance of clear coating. ICA Pidilite has over 2300 colours in the wood coating segment to choose from.”

Mr Vijay insists that today’s customer spoilt for choice as he has travelled extensively and seen the global trends. He further says, “with tools like Pinterest at his behest, he always looks for something exciting while choosing the décor of his place. It’s one of the primary reasons of the popularity of colours in the furniture coating segment.”

Echoing the sentiment, Mr Amit Syngle, Asian Paints, comments, “Asian Paints is known for its extensive colour palette. The brand offers almost 5000 colours in the wooden finishes. We are also launching high end products like the Woodtech Polyester Gold, a luxurious wood finish that offer a high gloss mirror like look to the furniture surface.”


IN THE NUTSHELL

India is the second largest wood coating market in Asia after China. The business of luxury furniture coating is booming primarily as the demand for luxury interior is going up. According to FURNITURE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY (FDT), as long as the boom in real estate remains, the demand for good furniture coating is going to stay. In addition, sustainability has become the top priority in the business. As consumers increasingly seek environmentally friendly options, brands are heavily investing in research and development to introduce coatings that are safe and have a minimal impact on the environment.

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Furniture Design India and the magazine FURNITURE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY (FDT magazine) are from the trusted 22-year-old media house of SURFACES REPORTER and PLY REPORTER.

FDT is a B2B monthly bilingual magazine from India that shares the pulse of the furniture business in India and connects the manufacturers, OEMS, product designers, architects, showrooms, designers and dealers.

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