Building greener paint: one block at a time.

Decovery®: Making paint from plants

Who’d have thought that you could make paint of the highest quality from agricultural waste? Today, our Decovery® family of eco-friendly paint resins contains anywhere from 30 to 50% plant-based content (depending on what our customers need). We’re already prototyping a 70% plant-based prototype, and the ultimate goal is a 100% plant-based resin containing no fossil content whatsoever.  

The roots of success in plant-based paint

Seeds, tree bark, castor beans and other agricultural waste are the prime ingredients of Decovery®. Today, around 75% of these ingredients don’t compete with the food chain; tomorrow, as we scale up production, we intend to move to a second-generation that doesn’t interfere with the food chain at all. It means not only looking at how we get more from what we use, but also at completely new natural materials. For example those that could be chemically engineered to produce the natural oils we need to make a high-performing paint resin - and eventually reach our goal of making 100% plant-based paints a reality.

The roots of success in plant-based resins

When it comes to measuring how much plant-based content is inside Decovery® it’s all about the 14C. Despite making up just one trillionth of all carbon in existence, 14C is essential for assessing the lifetime of carbon-based materials – because it’s only found in living plants (like those inside Decovery®). 

By measuring the miniscule amounts of 14C inside our product, we can thus calculate the precise amount of plant-based content. Today, we’re up to 50% but we’re convinced that one day we’ll see a 100% plant-based paint. The products we offer today are just the start… 

Moments of truth: What next?

“Humans first used plants to make paint around 17,000 years ago, so in one sense what we’re doing is nothing new! But what we’re doing now at Decovery® is actually re-inventing the chemistry of paint – which is fascinating, exhilarating (and of course a little anxious at times). 

One of our main focus areas is research into potential new plants and green materials that we can turn into the building blocks we need to build the next generation of eco-friendly paint. In some ways we’re trying to mirror nature itself through our R&D efforts by ensuring a process of constant evolution. The minute you’re completely satisfied as a scientist…it’s probably time to look for a new profession!”

Tijs Nabuurs, Science Manager, Decovery®

Join the movement

Whether you’re a paint manufacturer, a coating company, a designer, an architect, or just plain interested… we’d love to tell you more.