Tex-Cote LLC delivers a full line of decorative and protective architectural coatings for residential, commercial, transportation, and industrial applications. These coating materials are formulated so one coat can cover a surface thickly, without runs or drips.
“We’re well diversified within our footprint,” says Vice President of Sales Terry Wallace. As one of the industry’s most technologically-advanced coatings manufacturers, the company’s products can be seen on some well-known buildings and landmarks around the world.
Tracing its roots back to 1961, the Panama City, Florida-based company has pushed the market forward through ongoing research and development, leading to several industry firsts. This next-generation thinking is particularly evident in the company’s green products which boast low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and can reduce cooling costs, according to a U.S. Department of Energy study.
Take the company’s patented Coolwall® system, for example. “It’s water-based, very low VOC, very easy to apply,” Wallace says. “It uses these functional pigments [that] are zero VOC—very good for the environment—and the function of these pigments are to reflect the sun’s rays in the infrared spectrum that adds to heat gain.”
This creates an energy-saving, cooling effect. “If we can keep the wall assembly cooler because we’re reflecting that sun, then we can keep the inside temperatures cooler, and what’s really nice about it is we can keep the temperatures in a cooler realm with darker colors with these functional pigments, just like you might get with real light colors.”
The Coolwall® system is just one of the company’s many inventions. “Tex-Cote has been a market innovator,” says Wallace. “We really believe that intellectual property is essential for differentiation and, as such, Tex-Cote has got a number of patents, a number of trademarks [for] products that are very user-friendly, that have that functionality.”
Whatever the innovation, the impact on the environment is always carefully considered, and the team works hard to keep the entire manufacturing process as green as possible. This begins with limiting the number of types of raw materials. “We really try to keep the number of SKUs of raw materials down,” Wallace says. “If we have fewer raw materials, that’s lower impact on the environment.”
Tex-Cote also works hard to conserve water throughout the manufacturing process. “As we clean [a vessel] down with water, we actually use that cleaned down water as the base water for the next batch that goes in… It’s total reuse of water.” When the water is no longer usable, any solids are carefully removed to minimize environmental impact. “It’s clean water going back into the waste stream.”
The company recently invested in a new system to lessen the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. “We just put in a new, state-of-the-art dust collection system in our factory in Panama City which collects all the particulates, gathers them, and keeps them in one place,” Wallace says. “And that’s great for not only the environment but also for worker safety.”
In addition, Tex-Cote’s curing process is environmentally friendly. “They cure within ambient temperature,” Wallace explains. “So they don’t have to run through a heater or a furnace in order to cure. There are a lot of factory coatings out there that literally have to be baked on, and you can imagine the environmental impact of all those furnaces [being used] to cure a coating.”
The company encourages customers to choose the most environmentally friendly packaging option. “We offer an incentive for them to buy in the larger drums,” Wallace says. “The benefit of that is those drums can be cleaned and reused, where most of the time when you start using one-gallon containers and five-gallon containers, most of those get sent to the landfill.”
The team does not let its own drums go to waste either. “A lot of the drums that we get from our suppliers, we will recycle or reuse or send back to them, and they will recycle and reuse them, so we’re getting the same drums back again from them.”
Tnemec Company, Inc., a leading manufacturer of industrial and architectural protective coatings, purchased assets of Textured Coatings of America, Inc. in 2019, resulting in a fresh beginning for Tex-Cote LLC. The acquisition strengthened both companies and united shared values. “Tnemec is a fourth-generation, family-owned business, and Tex-Cote was derived from a third-generation, family-owned business,” Wallace says.
The companies had worked together in the past and were aware of each other’s values and ways of doing business. “When the second and third-generation family members of Tex-Cote were looking to try to find a purchaser, we were one of their first calls because they liked the family values that we had; they liked the culture that we had, and they [wanted] to keep that same kind of culture and values with this company moving forward.”
After the acquisition, Tnemec kept Tex-Cote’s Panama City facility in operation, kept all the employees on board, and gave autonomy to keep up the good work. “They’re allowing Tex-Cote to continue to be a standalone entity,” Wallace says. “It’s got its own management. It’s got its own profit and loss. It’s got a lot of support from the mothership but it is definitely a standalone company, which allows us to be very nimble in the marketplace. We can meet the demands of our customers and special needs of a given project or a given requirement by an architect or an engineer.”
As well as permitting flexibility, the distinction makes sense due to the companies’ dissimilar focuses. “We specialize in different markets than what Tnemec specializes in,” Wallace says. “They’re much more in water and wastewater and industrial. We’re much stronger in the specialty architectural market.” Tnemec is always ready to lend a hand, however. “We do get support from Tnemec on all things related to [research and development], personnel, manufacturing, raw material procurement—especially during the pandemic.”
The pandemic highlighted the symbiotic relationship between Tex-Cote and its new parent company. “We were helping each other out immensely,” Wallace remembers. “We would share resources, and that was invaluable to meet the needs of the industry and our customer.” In short, the change in ownership has been mutually beneficial for all involved parties. “It’s been a fantastic three-plus years since the acquisition.”
Moving forward, the team is eager to keep expanding on its current success. This begins with maintaining strong connections with suppliers. “When we get into new product development, we really pride ourselves on having strong relationships with suppliers,” Wallace says. “Suppliers bring innovative technology to those companies that are open and willing to work with them on it, and we’re always excited about doing that because we don’t know what the next iteration of something might be that we can develop with the help of a raw material supplier.”
Finding the next iteration of a product will always be a key driver for the team. “We’re going to continue testing and utilizing the newest technology,” Wallace says. “As you can imagine, especially in this mixed-metal-oxide world of pigments, these infrared reflective pigments—they’re always fine-tuning and bringing some newer colors and more robust colors into this space. So, we’re always testing and making sure that we’ve definitely got the latest and greatest technology in our coating systems.”
And, of course, the team is eager to maintain their support of green initiatives. “We definitely want to continue our focus on energy-saving, long-lasting products,” Wallace says. “We’re going to continue participating in committees and advisory positions to help shape model codes and rules that are out there in this green space.”
With a combined 160-plus years of experience to draw from, a team that is eager to deliver the most advanced green technologies, and the support of a new parent company, Tex-Cote is well-positioned to achieve its goals for the future.