Aside from their purely protective action, paints, varnishes, and lacquers increase the attractiveness of manufactured goods, as well as the aesthetic appeal of a community of homes and their interiors. Coatings that are used to cover building, furniture, and the like are referred to as trade sales or architecture coatings in contrast to industrial coatings which are used on materials being manufactured.
Industrial finishes are applied to a wide variety of materials, such as metal, textiles, rubber, paper, and plastics, as well as wood. Architectural coatings are usually applied to wood, gypsum wall-board, or plaster surfaces.
The paints industry is a branch of the chemical industries sector. Paints have been divided into five categories:
- Solvent-based paints
- Water-based paints
- Varnishes; clear coatings.
- Printing inks.
- Resins (for paints and varnishes manufacture).
Service units (utilities) provide water and energy requirements as well as maintenance, storage, packaging, testing, and analysis needs. The batch process is common in paints industry, old plants use open equipment, while modern plants use the closed one. Equipment cleaning is necessary, and required between batches.