Person in white suit spraying gray paint and close up of a hand spraying green over gray

November 2014

The decision to select a coating system typically is based on:


  • The desired finish and color
  • The type of application and substrate
  • The durability required
  • The price
  • The efficiency of the coating


In many circumstances, a primer and topcoat system will satisfy the criteria listed above. However, depending on the priority of each characteristic, a direct to metal (DTM) topcoat can be an alternative solution.


A DTM topcoat system substitutes a two coat, two product process with a robust, high solids single product system that doesn’t require a primer to adhere to properly prepared metal. By eliminating a step you can reduce application time, increase throughput, and decrease labor costs.


Those efficiencies can lead to powerful results, but need to be weighted against the limitations of a DTM coating.


When you break down a DTM coating, often you will find a UV durable resin that is typically used in primers. Once that resin is selected to maximize adhesion and corrosion protection it will be modified to improve gloss. Those modifications provide the opportunity to mimic the color palette of a two coat process.


 Both types of systems have pros and cons… When the time comes to evaluate your coating system make sure to prioritize the characteristics you require and select a system that meets your needs.

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