Scrub Cycles: What You Need To Know

What you need to know about scrub cycles

They’re Actually Important

There are a number of things you need to know when you start to work on a new paint project. Your paint’s scrub rating is one of them, and it matters in nearly every situation. There are a lot of misconceptions around scrub cycles and what ingredients are in your paint products.

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Scrub cycles are based on the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM D2486 test. This is the agreed upon scrub test in the paint industry. What this scrub rating number means is how many times your paint can be scrubbed before reaching failure (paint coming off the wall with cleaning, etc.).

To do this test a machine scrubs the surface with a brush and an abrasive compound repeatedly and keeps count of how many times the product is scrubbed before failure. It’s pretty boring, but it’s pretty important too.


Scrub cycles are an important factor in choosing the right paint for your project

How They Affect You

What this means to you: the higher the scrub rating of your chosen paint product, the longer it’s lifespan on your walls. If you have a high traffic area, you’re going to want to make sure that product you’re using has a high scrub rating or you can guarantee you’ll be re-painting shortly. Figure out what the lifespan of the project is (or what your client expects in the future) before making a final paint decision. You’ll want to make sure the scrub rating reflects the expectations so nobody is surprised down the road. If you’re going to be applying the product, make sure you buy what was specified instead of flipping it out for something cheaper. It really does matter in the long run.

What Do VOC’s Have To Do With This?

Have you been wondering if VOC’s have anything to do with this? No? Just us? Well, not surprisingly, VOC content does play a role in scrub ratings. Lowering the number of VOCs in your paint products often means lowering your scrub rating. Taking that many ingredients out can weaken the integrity of the paint’s surface. Low VOC’s are great, but weakening the paint ultimately means re-painting and releasing more VOC’s and creating a vicious cycle. Make sure you know which is more important for each job.


Pick the right paint product for your scrub rating needs

How To Choose The Right Product

You’ll have to figure out on a case per case basis what product you need based on scrub cycles. If it’s a low traffic area, you can certainly get away with a low VOC and low scrub rating paint. Steady to high traffic areas will need something a little tougher that can hold up the wear and tear and last for your space’s entire lifespan. Make sure you have a conversation with the client and don’t flip the spec.

Download our guide to choosing the right paint product here

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Current Paint Trends: Fall Color Report

Blue trends for fall

Seasons come and go, and with them, the “it” colors of the moment. (You can see more of our thoughts on ‘color of the year’ and such here.) We like to find trending colors that can last awhile, so your designs can live on walls without feeling dated 3 months later.

Get our free Fall ’16 Interiors LookBook here!

We’re constantly watching color trends across the globe. From interiors to fashion to technology to Pantone’s color report, we have an eye on it all. Scroll through to see our favorite current trending paint colors to splash on your walls for fall 2016 and beyond.

Fall color trends Fall paint color trend pink Fall paint color trends Fall paint color trends emerald Fall paint color trends black interior

Not sure how to use these in your commercial designs? Download our free Fall ’16 Interiors LookBook below!

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