Exterior Stain Market Should Rebound This Spring

This exterior porch is beautified with TWP from Gemini Coatings
This exterior porch is beautified with TWP®  from Gemini Coatings.

Posted by Diane Capuano

It’s hard to believe with so much snow on the ground, but exterior stain season is just around the corner. Will the market rebound? The conventional wisdom says yes, given the pent-up demand and the homeowners’ need to protect the investment that they have in their decks and other exterior wood surfaces.

Paint & Decorating Retailer magazine asked major suppliers of exterior wood coatings for their opinion of the market outlook. Here are some of their responses:

Russ Neale, Marketing Director, Cabot: “There were some shifts in 2009 and 2010 due to the slow economy, but the overall exterior woodcare market held up relatively well. We expect 2011 to be a period of 2- to 3-percent growth, with upside as the housing market recovers. Existing home sales benefit our category on both sides of the transaction: Home sellers need to stay on top of general maintenance to attract buyers—and that includes their deck, fence and other exterior wood surfaces—and home buyers seek to make their house purchase a home with a fresh coat of paint or stain.”

Jeff Spillane, Senior Product Manager, Benjamin Moore: “As most know, the coating industry has struggled the past few years and exterior stains are no different. With the improvement in the housing market, we can expect modest growth in 2011.”

Mike Kozlowski, Director of Marketing, Thompson’s Water Seal: “We continue to believe that retailers who truly get behind this category, merchandise it and educate their sales staff, can do better than average. … There is a great deal of growth to be realized in the cleaning and wood prep segment of the market, and retailers can still make solid gains in this segment. Of course, deck cleaners aren’t a new product concept, but the variety of formulas available has increased greatly in the recent past. Consumers can get better results than ever before with a product that suits their specific project, but retailers have to understand the product differences and be able to present them to their customers.”

Sjoerd Bos, Vice President, Sansin Corporation: “We are very optimistic about 2011.  Regulations and market demand for greener coatings continue to drive our sales.  However, green building also demands that materials used are durable and long-lasting.  For wood, this means that we see growing demand for stains that penetrate, versus coating, wood for long-lasting, easier-to-maintain surfaces.”

Timothy S. O’Reilly, Director of Marketing, Wood Care, Rust-Oleum Corp.: “If your business is targeted to new residential and commercial construction, 2011 will continue to be a tough year, but if you service commercial maintenance, specialty contractors or DIYers, maintenance of exterior wood will continue to drive sales.”

Rob Dolman, Gemini Coatings: “Continued moderate growth is expected for 2011 as the economy continues to rebound and the consumers desire to treat or stain exterior wood which may have been neglected over the last few years in a difficult economy.”

Dave Barnes, SaverSystems: “Consumers have certainly tightened their budgets in a number of areas. However, outdoor areas for entertainment and relaxation are more popular than ever and consumers continue to invest in both building and maintaining them.”

Christina Rowe, Brand Manager of Wood Care, Sikkens: “The sales outlook is optimistic for exterior wood care.  The sooner the winter weather gives way to spring-like conditions, the better it will be for the wood care category.  Early spring and late fall extends the natural (and regional) wood care season giving retailers an extended opportunity to sell products.”

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