Sunday Lifestyle

Rethinking and recreating with paint

Patricia Estevez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Household paint is no longer just used to decorate and improve the architectural style of a house. Today, it can be used to ward off certain viruses, lower the temperature in a room, absorb harmful formaldehyde and clean the air. A fresh coat can also copy the textures of stone, marble, velvet or satin; plus it can be applied to almost any surface, including glass and metal.

Nippon Paint, Asia’s No. 1 coating manufacturer, has pioneered these innovative products through years of research and development.

Reporters were recently taken on a tour of Nippon’s plant and showroom in Malaysia during its Nippon Paint “Re:Think, Re:Create Expo Tour” where the company’s latest innovative products were displayed.     



 Yaw Seng Heng, managing director of Nippon Paint, says the company has been able to develop new generations of paint that are innovative yet cost-effective through their strong research and development (R&D) department.

Nippon Paint’s pioneering technology has been instrumental in its growth. It was the first to develop odorless paint in 2005, a brand that can absorb formaldehyde in the room and refresh the air.

“At the time, it was hard to come out with a paint without any odor, but Nippon was able to do it, and now, we’ve developed more coatings that have additional features and functions. Our Total Coatings Solution can be used on all surfaces — be it walls, tiles, glass or wood paneling. We’ve developed these products with the consumer in mind,” Yaw says.

Nippon has various R&D centers in Malaysia, Singapore, China and Japan.

Yaw cites the importance of having an R&D center in Malaysia because it’s where they test how their coatings can be made adaptable to a tropical country like the Philippines, which has the same weather as Malaysia.

“It’s very important to understand that technology is very much related to climate issues. Malaysia and the Philippines both have the same weather — we have a very high level of humidity and strong storms. We need to put the paint to the test, to check the durability and quality and how it can be effective in countries like the Philippines,” he says.

One of their groundbreaking products is Nippon Momento, which creates a wallpaper effect without the hassle of applying wallpaper (ripped reams, bubbles, tears and other damages). It’s perfect for DIY consumers, Yaw says.

“Nippon Paint can recreate the textures of stone, marble and velvet — without actually using these products. You can also now give bathroom tiles a makeover minus the hassle and cost of renovation. Indeed, paint offers very real solutions,” Yaw says.

At their showroom, a condo’s walls are spruced up with what seems like real satin and velvet, but when you touch the surface, it’s Nippon Momento paint. In another part of the room, the kitchen’s brick walls also appear real, but it’s actually a coating of Momento.

In another foyer, the baby room’s walls are painted with Nippon Odorless air care and their newest product, VirusGuard anti-viral paint with Silver Ion technology that can kill viruses including H1N1, Kawasaki and Hand, Foot and Mouth (HFMD), and E-coli diseases. Yaw says they’ve developed the anti-viral paint with the safety of babies and pre-school children in mind.

The bathroom’s tiles, on the other hand, are painted with vibrant hues using Nippon Hycote, a water-based epoxy primer, suitable for repainting of glazed and ceramic tiles.

Yaw says another product that will benefit Pinoy consumers during hot summers is the SolarReflect Paint. SolarReflect can reduce the room temperature by five degrees Celsius and offers twice the usual UV protection. Nippon’s Solaroof coat, on the other hand, provides resistance to heat on roof tiles caused by UV rays and can also reduce surface temperatures up to five degrees Celsius.

Among Nippon’s other products is their color-painting machine, which allows consumers to choose any color or products they want and get it mixed instantly in any store.

But before introducing these products, Goh says they want to provide the full array of colors that Nippon can offer.

“The company feels that what is lacking in the Philippines is the availability of thousands and thousands of colors. For a start, because we are new in the country, we want to bring the colors here first. We feel the colors will appeal to a lot of Filipinos,” she says.

Yaw says the Philippine market is important for Nippon and they someday want to be a leading brand here.

“Nippon Paint is the No. 1 brand in Asia and it is very important to make sure we are present in every single country in Asia. We’ve been doing very well in many Southeast Asian countries, we are number one in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, but the one country that we are not present in terms of architectural paint is the Philippine market. We don’t want to fight with the local brands, we just want to grow the market,” he says.

Nippon Paint sees an opportunity here, Yaw says, citing the country’s booming construction industry. “The economy is improving, the Philippines has an almost 100 million population and the real estate industry is booming. Even though Nippon is already present in the Philippines in terms of the automotive industry as we provide the coatings for cars, we feel that we can still provide more in terms of the availability of colors and our other innovative products. With the technology that we are introducing to the Philippine market, we will totally upgrade the homes of Filipinos,” Goh and Yaw say.

Nippon Paint develops paints and coatings for a broad range of industries, including automotive, construction, railway rolling stock and ships. Goh says they’re presently working with Alphaland and Tribeca Tower on certain projects.

Just recently, they launched the Nippon Paint Young Designer Award in the Philippines, encouraging all Filipino architecture and interior design students to submit blueprints of a city or town based on Nippon Paint’s theme “Re:Think, Re:Create Our Community Our Home” as their guiding principle. The winning designs must be “community-centric and sustainable, providing a high quality of life for both young and old, from every walk of life.” The awarding will be held this December. 

The NYPDA competition is an annual competition that aims to inspire students across 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region to apply creativity in their communities.

“We’re very optimistic and excited about Nippon Paint’s presence in the Philippines. We just want to say that we bring you all the colors you want on any surface that you can imagine,” Goh says.









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