2021 has arrived and most of us will be glad to see the back of 2020. What a year it was! For a few months during the initial lockdown it was fairly hectic here at Palatine Paints since as a paints and chemicals manufacturer, we had to maintain production. As a team, we coped with staffing constraints, periods of high demand, supplier issues and social distancing. Thanks again to all our business and non-business customers for your support (and patience).
We used the year as a valuable learning experience which helped us refine our business processes. So what else happened here in 2020?
Staffing and Social Distancing
Several of our more vulnerable staff members were furloughed and additional staff members stepped in to help with production, packing and delivering. We managed to maintain social distancing and hands/surfaces were kept scrupulously clean…helped by the fact that we were also manufacturing hand sanitisers of course (and still are). Our trade counter opened after the initial lockdown with protective screens, face masks and floor markings in place. We are continuing to operate through the current lockdown (Jan 2021) and will monitor the trade counter as we did last time.
Our product range dictates that we supply essential personal protective items. With the national PPE shortages earlier in the year, we too struggled to obtain and manage supplies for our customers. We’re glad to say these issues are now pretty much resolved.
The Weather – the Outdoors and Topsellers!
During the warm weather and lockdown, business definitely focused on the outdoors, with huge demand for Barrettine Wood Protective Treatments and Preservers. Fortunately, our good relationship with Barrettine meant we managed to get products to customers albeit with a bit of delay in some cases. Our customers were, in the main incredibly supportive and patient. In the agricultural sector the Bitumen Paints were also popular, especially the Barn Paint.
For those lucky enough to be able to do maintenance work on their boats, Boat and Barge Gloss and Yacht Varnish both saw a surge in demand. We have some great reviews on the varnish especially, please have a read of them if you’re looking for top class varnish. This same varnish has been used for some more quirky projects, such as an old, original signboard, some bug hotels, outdoor spas and by a company selling novelty chalkboards. We have recently introduced a spray version of the yacht varnish too (see more below).
Exciting New Product Launches:
In June, following many requests for a solvent based fence paint, we launched a new product, Palatine Professional Shed and Fence Paint, which went down a storm. Feedback was tremendous with customers telling us that it beat some of the more famous brands hands down! Coming in 10 colours (plus the ability to match any RAL Classic BS 381c/4800 codes if you want us to), it does look great and only 1 or 2 coats are needed. So it is fantastic value and has none of the watery multiple-coat application problems of some other brands.
We made sure our Shed and Fence paint would also be suitable for use on concrete posts, giving the option to match or contrast without needing a separate masonry paint. It makes a great sister product for our Log Cabin Paint, which has recently been made available on the website too.
New Aerosol Range
This year we introduced more products into the Palatine aerosol family, yacht varnish came first and was a great success. In October we launched our range of specially formulated decorative and protective topcoat aerosols in gloss, satin and matt. These have proved highly popular and mean our range of aerosols is pretty comprehensive; we currently have the following coatings in aerosol spray format:
- Oxide primer Spray (grey and red)
- Cold Galvanising Spray
- Decorative/Protective Topcoats
- Rust Conversion
- Etch Primer
- Stain Blocking
- Line Marking
The Office Dog and a Refurb After the Fire!
Following the fire back in 2019, work has finally completed in the workshops. The packaging area, tinting machine room and varnish house (pictured below) are now painted and equipped with everything we need to operate efficiently and effectively.
For a short spell we had an office dog when the little cutey pictured above came in to help – not with processing orders – but with his socialisation. He’s not small any more…
Those are the positives we took away from 2020, we are hoping 2021 brings better things for all. We hope you are all coping with the current circumstances and if we can help in any way we will!