Creating paints is a bit like baking. We assemble the ingredients, mix them together – just without a recipe. We try, try and try again. Then we refine our creation. And we experiment, too. Getting the right paint for the purpose is an intuitive process, you have to feel it. Certainly I notice very quickly whether a paint appeals to me or not. That probably sounds a bit peculiar, but has a lot to do with a flair for composition and texture. Something that you achieve mostly by experience. I have been at home in this métier for over 20 years.
Research and development is either in your blood or it isn’t. I am quite sure of that. We laboratory technicians at Monopol are a very special bunch of people. Most of us were keen on experiments when we were still children. In the meantime I have swopped the little test tubes for large paint pots. Paint is an incredibly fascinating material. On one hand it is the color shade that characterizes its appearance, on the other hand it is the composition that determines its purpose and function.
Everything starts with the binding agent. It is the backbone of any paint. From that point we work towards a result in accordance with the customer’s specifications. Sometimes the paint is required to prevent corrosive damage, sometimes to withstand strong sunshine. Of course we have plenty of our own experience and formulas – but it is often a case of really experimenting, developing new methods and mixtures. With an open-ended outcome, as it were. Fear of failure is something you definitely cannot have in my job!
My favourite color? Royal blue. Incidentally, an absolutely pure royal blue is not seen nearly as often as you might imagine.