What is 2K Paint and When Should You Use It?
2K paint refers to paint with two components: the paint and an activator. It’s why it’s commonly referred to as 2 pack paint. You mix the parts together at the point of application to create a chemical reaction that causes the paint to dry and harden into a tough, durable coating.
This type of paint generally uses an acrylic or polyurethane base rather than oil or solvent, as you get with 1K (one pack) paints. Two pack paints bring a huge amount of benefits but are best used in specific circumstances. As manufacturers of 2K paints, we’re giving you all the information you need to decide if it’s the best choice for your next project.
The Benefits of 2K Paint
- Dries quickly
- Hard wearing
- Great colour retention
- Boasts anti-corrosive properties to protect against rust
- Strong overall film integrity for a longer lifespan
- Attractive, high gloss finish
When Should You Use 2K Paint?
Due to its durability and incredibly hard finish, 2 pack paint is best used in harsh environments such as marine applications or coastal areas. Boats jet skis, flood barriers etc are all prime candidates for two pack paint, as they need anti-corrosive properties to protect the underlying substrates.
Likewise, anything facing intense sun/UV exposure, such as vehicles and steel structures, benefits from the added protection of 2K paint.
Other areas naturally suited to 2 pack paints are those withstanding heavy traffic, such as factory and garage floors.
When Shouldn’t You Use 2K Paint?
Due to its composition, we generally recommend two pack paint for professional and hard-wearing use only. You’ll need to ensure the appropriate mixing rations to ensure the chemical reaction takes place to cure the paint, so it’s not the easiest to work with if you’re not experienced with this type of paint.
In many cases, particularly those for domestic use, 1K paint is more than sufficient. For example, UPVC window frames are outdoors, but 1K paint still bonds at a molecular level and is still incredibly durable whilst being easier to apply.
Tips for Applying 2K Paint
Here’s how to make the most of your 2k paint with application tips straight from the experts.
Two pack paint has a hardener but also requires a thinner in many cases, particularly when applying the first coat. You need to get the correct mixing ratio. If you skip this crucial step, it’s much harder to apply and it won’t cure.
For example, our two pack epoxy floor paint requires a mixing ratio of 4 part paints to 1 part catalyst. Each product will differ, so always check the manufacturer’s instructions before you begin mixing
Priming is generally advisable when applying 2 pack paint, but it depends on the substrate you’re coating. Our team of paint and coating experts are always on hand to answer any questions about your specific application. Simply call us on 01902 954 944.
Depending on the type of 2K paint you’re using, you can use a brush, roller or spray gun to apply it. Instructions will differ per specific product, so always check the instructions.
Using Other Topcoats
Two pack paint is classed as a non-convertible coating, so you can apply higher-solvent products without fear of damaging your original layer of two pack paint.
The Differences Between 1K and 2K Paints
In simple terms, 1K paint is a single component, ready-to-apply paint, whereas 2K paint has two components that need mixing prior to use. They both have many uses, so let’s look at which one is best suited for you.
|1K/One Pack Paint
|2K/Two Pack Paint
|Oil or solvent-based with colour pigments
|Acrylic or polyurethane-based
|Quicker to dry – relies on air drying and solvent evaporation
|Takes longer to dry and cure – relies on a chemical reaction from the hardener
|Hard wearing and durable
|Hard-wearing and durable. Some 2K products have a longer life span than 1K products
|Easy to use and apply – A good DIY option
|Can be harder to work with and requires PPE – suitable for professional use
|Suitable for general use
|Often used in specialist industries, such as car body shops
|Available in a range of colours
|Available in a range of colours
Two Pack Paint Manufacturers
At BC Paints, we formulate, test and manufacture all our 2K paints in our specialist laboratory in Wolverhampton. The aim is to provide you with the highest quality products at competitive prices.
Contact the coatings experts to discuss your requirements for two pack paints, or any other industrial paint needs you may have.