Located in the upper Sonoran Desert at roughly 2,000 feet above sea level, Cave Creek, Arizona is a small town of about 6,000 residents and is known for its western lifestyle, rural development, dramatic views, trails, open spaces and wildlife habitats. At the center of town sits the Plaza at Black Mountain, a 20,000-square-foot shopping center where locals and visitors shop, dine and simply relax.
By 2010, the Plaza’s exterior had a lackluster curb appeal after years of weathering. High temperatures — up to 107°F average during the summer months — and harsh UV rays caused the brown stucco exterior to fade to a light grey and eventually wash out completely, leaving the stucco exposed to the damaging elements.
The Restoration Process Using NeverFade® Coatings with Kynar Aquatec®
In January 2010, the shopping plaza’s façade was coated with APV Engineered Coatings’ NeverFade® Façade Restoration Coatings with Kynar Aquatec®. The award-winning exterior coating technology is known for its long-term durability and unparalleled resistance to UV degradation, which results in chalking and fading.
Local painter Kelly Mattes performed the job. He started by power washing the faded stucco exterior, then primed the surface with APV’s W-1500 Primer. A custom-blended NeverFade® Original Topcoat in Sahara Yellow was roller-applied to the entire surface.
NeverFade® was extremely easy to use, said Mattes.
It had a creamy texture that leveled out nicely and allowed the stucco to be painted in one coat. Even when using a roller or brush, the surface looks like it was sprayed. And because it was water-based, clean up was a breeze.
According to Mattes, he was so impressed with NeverFade®, he has since used the coating product to paint a series of brightly colored, high-end murals on concrete walls throughout the area.
I have a lot of years of working with other products and the dark and vibrant colors fade dramatically in Arizona in just a few years, said Mattes.
But my murals are still as striking as they were when they were first painted nine years ago thanks to the superior weatherability of NeverFade®.
Current Condition: Just Like New, Even after Nine Years
The Plaza has undergone several changes in the years since it was coated with NeverFade®. When Mattes applied the coating, he painted around the shops’ existing signs. In October 2012, one of the tenants moved out and took down their sign, leaving the bare stucco exposed. Thanks to the long-lasting performance of NeverFade®, Mattes was able to fill in the small area where the sign had been, and it was a perfect match to the rest of the elevation and building.
Another tenant had hung a banner on the east side of the exterior of his shop after the building was freshly coated in 2010. When the tenant retired in mid-2019, the banner was removed and behind it, the area protected from the sun was identical in color and appearance to the rest of the wall. You could not identify that the banner had ever been on the building — after nine years.
In June 2019, the façade was re-inspected, and it looks like it was just coated yesterday, said Michael Couchie, Vice President of Sales, APV Engineered Coatings.
Why NeverFade® Coatings with Kynar Aquatec® Resin?
APV’s line of NeverFade® coatings incorporate a unique polymer resin called Kynar Aquatec®, manufactured by Arkema Inc., a leading specialty chemical company. Kynar Aquatec® is a water-based emulsion containing polyvinylidene fluorine (PVDF), known for its durability and extended service life. This unique grade can cure at ambient temperatures, allowing the finished coating to be air-dried and applied in the field, instead of baked-on with high temperature ovens. The unique attributes of the Kynar Aquatec® polymer not only prevent NeverFade® from degrading in harsh sunlight but also allow it to resist dirt pick up, mold and mildew growth, and stand up to other challenging environmental factors.
To manufacture NeverFade®, Kynar Aquatec® resin emulsion is incorporated with complex inorganic pigments and other unique additive materials to produce a durable, long-lasting, field-applied, water-based, low-VOC coating technology that can be spray, brush and roll applied to any substrate. Substrates include metal, brick, concrete, stucco, fiber cement, EIFS, wood and polymeric substrates.
APV provides an industry-leading 15-year product and labor warranty covering color fading and chalking, guaranteeing that NeverFade® will dramatically outlast and outperform other field-applied coatings on the market today.
Since roughly 70-80 percent of the cost of a coating project is dedicated to preparation and labor, use of this technology will quickly pay for itself, said Ron Partridge, Sr. Account Manager, Fluoropolymer Coatings, Arkema, Inc.
Even with bright and dark colors, the coating will not degrade, fade or chalk, eliminating the need for frequent repainting. For applications where color and appearance are important, NeverFade® with Kynar Aquatec® is the product to choose.
A New, Cool Roof
In October 2012, the shopping plaza’s roof was re-coated with APV’s eCoolRoof® coating made with Kynar Aquatec® resin. The eCoolRoof® coating is an ultra-bright white roof coating meant to reflect the heat from sunlight and therefore help to keep the building cooler and reduce air conditioning demands. It is rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) to have an initial total solar reflectance (TSR) of 84. Roughly seven years after it was coated, the roof is still extremely white and clean, sustaining high solar reflectance properties an additional four years beyond the industry standard1.
Stucco Coating Challenges
Stucco and other cementitious substrates are known to exhibit settling cracks that must be repaired to prevent water migration into the structure. When a repair or patch is made, the contractor typically will paint over this area to protect it from future damage. However, it can be difficult to match the color of the newly coated section to the weathered, previously coated section. That color difference can be dramatic depending on how long the painted surface has been exposed to the elements prior to the repair. NeverFade® would eliminate this problem. Because the technology is highly resistant to chalking and fading, contractors can be assured that the coated repair section will blend in with the rest of the elevation.
From the Factory to the Field
Arkema’s Kynar® PVDF polymer (a thermoplastic fluoropolymer resin) has been trusted for decades for many demanding applications in the chemical industry, primarily because of its resistance to harsh UV rays, chemicals, mold and mildew. Coatings made from Kynar 500® resin have been protecting landmark structures all over the world from weathering since 1965 and are well known and preferred by architects worldwide for the protection of architectural aluminum and steel. Kynar 500®-based finishes are applied in the factory by metal coaters because the technology requires baking at high temperatures to “cure” the coating. This restricted Arkema from being able to entertain coatings with Kynar® for field installations or factory-applied applications on low-temperature substrates like fiberglass and vinyl. With the advent of Kynar Aquatec® polymer in 2000, Arkema can now work with paint manufacturers, like APV Engineered Coatings, that want to produce long-lasting coatings that are water based, low VOC, low odor and resistant to degradation, chalking or fading for at least 20 years.
About APV Engineered Coatings
Founded in 1878, APV Engineered Coatings custom formulates and manufactures industrial coatings and advanced chemical products in Akron, Ohio. The company’s innovative solutions have been integrated into a variety of industries for unique applications such as aerospace, innovative textiles and high-end building products. A licensee of Arkema Inc. in the use of Kynar® emulsion technology, APV has been developing and commercializing high-performance Kynar® resin-based coatings for field and factory applications for more than a decade.
1Refer to ASTM C1549-09 Standard Test Method for Determination of Solar Reflectance Near Ambient Temperature Using a Portable Solar Reflectometer and CRRC-1 Product Rating Program Manual Chapter 2.3.B for detailed information on the industry standard testing requirements per the Cool Roof Rating Council.
NeverFade® is a registered trademark belonging to APV Engineered Coatings, Inc.
Sold under a trademark license from Arkema, Inc., the owner of the Kynar® and Kynar Aquatec® trademarks.