coating additives

Additives for Coatings and Paints

March 22, 2024 | Blog

What is a Coating Additive?

A coating additive is a small component of the total formulation that makes a strong impact. Coatings contain a solvent (or water), pigments, a resin, and additives. Coating and paint additives only make up only about five percent of a coating formulation. But even this is enough to improve properties like appearance, flow, and color control. 

Popular Borchers brand coating additives include: 


components of paint with coating/paint additives


The Importance of Specialty Additives for Coatings and Paints

Without specialty additives, paints and coatings would not perform at their highest level. Additives improve efficiency throughout every stage, from formulation to application to storage.

Examples of issues additives help improve

A formulator may encounter issues such as foam formation and difficulty dispersing pigments. When applying paint, a customer may have problems covering a surface and dealing with imperfections. Slow dry times can be an issue in a cured coating. When a customer stores their coatings, in-can skinning as well as defects from moisture can occur.

Additives for coatings help prevent these critical issues, providing the best experience possible across a coating’s lifetime.


Choosing the Right Coating Additives

The additives chosen for a coating can depend on a number of factors:


Performance Issues

To choose the right additives for a formulation, start by determining the issues that need improvement. Common issues include inadequate surface tension, dispersions, dry times, surface appearance, and durability.


Coating System

Not all additives work in all systems. When researching additives, determine if they work best in waterborne, solvent borne, or solvent-free systems.


Formulation Components

An additive typically works best with specific pigment and resin types.

For example:

  • Many coating additive manufacturers design drying additives to assist alkyd-based coatings in achieving full curing.
  • Manufacturers design dispersing additives that separate either inorganic pigments, hard-to-disperse organic pigments, and/or carbon black pigments effectively.

Determining if an additive works well when added to paint with the resin and pigments is critical for optimum performance.


Types of Specialty Additives for Paints and Coatings

Borchers offers various paint and coating additives to optimize formulations.


High-Performance Catalysts

Borchi OXY-Coat high-performance catalysts (HPCs) are cobalt drier alternatives for alkyd-based coatings. As cobalt is facing more restrictions around the world, high-performing alternatives are in demand. Compared to cobalt driers, HPCs reduce dry times in standard and adverse conditions. Beyond improving dry times, they also enhance non-yellowing, corrosion resistance, adhesion, and overall durability.

better dry times and non-yellowing with high-performance catalysts cobalt-free coating additive

additives for paints and coatings that provide enhanced wet adhesion and corrosion resistance

Options are available for solvent borne, waterborne, and high solids systems.


Anti-Skinning Agents

Alkyd-based coatings, especially those with driers that react to oxygen, can develop a “skin” on top of the paint when stored. Formulators use anti-skinning agents to prevent skin from forming in the coating film as they need these driers to reduce dry times.

Formulators often use Methyl Ethyl Ketoxime (MEKO) anti-skins, but regulations have limited its use in recent years.

Ascinin and Borchi MEKO-free anti-skins are available for improved labeling without compromising performance.

anti-skinning paint additive


Wetting & Dispersing Agents

Enhancing pigment wetting and dispersing results in excellent color performance in coatings. Other benefits of wetting agents and dispersing agents include superior opacity in white coatings and excellent transparency in wood coatings. Borchi Gen wetting agents and dispersants ensure thorough dispersion of pigments for optimum performance.

wetting and dispersing agents for various pigments in paints and coatings


Rheology Modifiers

A coating performs better when you can easily pour it from a can and apply it onto a substrate. Borchi Gel rheology modifiers enable easy application by providing excellent ICI and KU viscosities, flow and leveling, and anti-sag performance.


sag prevention and leveling with rheology modifiers for paints and coatings


Flow and Leveling Agents

High surface tension is a common issue in coatings that can cause poor substrate wetting, flow, and leveling. Defects that can occur include craters and pinholes. Borchi Gol flow and leveling agents work to reduce surface tension on a treated surface for smooth substrate appearance.


better substrate wetting and reduced surface tension with additives for paints and coatings



Foam formation is a common issue in coatings that also results in defects. Borchi defoamers eliminate foam during formulation, application, and storage.


defoaming additive for coatings



See Borchers’ Categories of Coating Additives

Visit our product finder to discover more coating additive options from Borchers. These include color boosters, driers, and moisture scavengers.


Summary & Conclusion

While additives comprise a small percentage of a coating, they can have a great impact on performance. Borchers offers numerous additives to test and improve your paint and coating formulations.

Reach out to our team for more information on our additives for coatings.


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