Since 1994, Integrity Coatings has been a leading manufacturer and provider of refinishing products for bathtubs, ceramic tile, countertops, Formica, grout, and fiberglass.
Robert Rhea and Phil Anderson, partner and product developer, have developed a product like no other. What does it do? It’s a coating that refinishes old bathtubs and makes them look like new. Not only bathtubs but also ceramic tile, countertops, and fiberglass. What is the name of this product? It’s EP-Acrylic. Who can use it? Anyone, but mostly contractors and painters know about it. Where can you get it? Only through Integrity Coatings in Dallas, Texas.
Just peanuts! A starter kit is only $149.95 and includes everything you need for 6-8 tubs. It can be used with an HVLP sprayer and the equipment you already use. Robert is always mentioning that it’s 70-75% cheaper to refinish a surface compared to replacement. “Saving money for the customer and also saving involvement of taking out the old, messing up the tile, and the expense of buying a new one will bring down the job cost. This is high-tech but less expensive, which is unheard of—usually high-tech is more expensive. It gives the contractor a higher profitability, adds to his services, and also adds to the uniqueness of his business.”
Have you seen the dog and pony routine? I have. I’ve done it! I was looking for a product to paint a mustard yellow commode. Yuk! This incredibly ugly but expensive throne sits in the middle of our bathroom, screaming, “I’m so ugly. Put me out of my misery.” In an attempt to match our bathroom, I sent my husband out to find something to cover it. He came home with a product recommended by one of the paint stores. I jumped with glee. My husband painted it, and we were so happy, thinking we would live happily ever after with our new white commode. Wrong! Not too long afterward, the paint in the water-filled cavity began peeling off, and, once again, the inside turned (you guessed it) mustard yellow. So, you can understand when I met Robert Rhea through the profile interview, I was ecstatic.
“The trapeze act sounds great, but can it leap from bar to bar?” I heard him say that EP-Acrylic covers Formica bars and countertops. I was on my feet, wanting to hear more. My first thought was, “Can it withstand all the use and abuse that a countertop takes, such as cutting, placing hot pans, and constant washing? It sounds too good to be true. Will it scratch?” His answer was a definite “No.” My next question was, “Can I mess up in the application?” Robert answered, “No, there is not a problem that cannot be fixed. It depends if you apply it right. It works as a system. I also suggest using gloss for tubs and tile and satin finish for cabinets and Formica.”
Contractors and painters from Spain, England, South America, and beyond use this product. It is the law in Europe that they cannot remove tubs and other fixtures. “A law? Why? I’ve never heard of such a law before.” When we asked that question, we received the following response: “Do you know how hard it is to dispose of old bathtubs?” I hadn’t thought about that. I just knew I didn’t want mustard yellow in my bathroom, and I wasn’t going to live with it if I had the choice.
We have two of them among many. The two old claw-foot bathtubs (purposely bought for refinishing but without a clue how to do it) are charming. We picked one up for $120.00 and a shorter one for $100.00. They are treasured finds. The new replicas of the old tub look will range in price up to $4,000.00. Robert tells me they are not as good as the old. In fact, the old ones are much better. He says the new tubs have very little porcelain on them compared to the old ones. I do not like replicas in antiques—I want the real thing. So the bright lights of the marquee gave me hope that there was something out there. White elephants are in. Wow! Are we in business, or what?
This traveling show has premiered with the best. A castle in England has redone all their fixtures with EP-Acrylic. It has been showcased as a miracle refinishing method and featured on “Your New House” TV show. The TCU Basketball Stadium has used it. Their Horn Frogs emblem is even refinished in purple tile.
The circus was once a big thing—so was avocado green! Avocado green is not a pretty picture today. Was it ever? In the 60s, avocado green was considered beautiful and exciting. I wonder how we thought such a thing. Beats me. Some of you might be facing a green monster and are ready to dump it. Wait until you hear about EP-Acrylic!
“Soup to nuts,” Robert says. “EP-Acrylic works as a system. It requires that the product is applied properly, going through the necessary steps. A process from start to finish. All the steps and instructions come with the starter kit. Someone might want to use a different cleaning product. If they use our whole system, they will not have any problems. The biggest enemy is soap scum. Do not use abrasive cleansers, and it will last for a long time. It dries quickly, so we have also solved this inconvenience for the customer. There is an agent that changes drying time. In the hot weather, EP-Acrylic can be slowed down. In the cold, it can dry faster. It is also isocyanate-free, cherry-scented, and a safer product. We use the word ‘safer’ instead of ‘safe,’” Robert adds.
Robert and Phil have made a video showing the process—from cleaning to polishing—and a video focusing on the DIY market. They offer a training school with over 950 graduates. One of their representatives will come to your place of business (based on a daily fee) for on-the-job training. They also invite anyone to visit their showroom, training facility, and warehouse in Dallas, Texas.
After the work is done, does it take a whip and chair to approach the foul smell of the lion’s breath? EP-Acrylic smells good too! “The customer loves the scent. It’s cherry! There are no negative residual odors,” Robert says. “I got the idea from Proctor & Gamble. I worked with them 15 years marketing and selling Tide.” His job was to make Tide a household name. Sixteen years ago, he teamed up with Phil Anderson, developed EP-Acrylic, and started with one customer. Today, Robert is a 50-year-old entrepreneur who has brought the product to more than 2,000 refinishing contractors. Integrity Coating now operates with five employees and experiences 40% annual growth. We are committed to our product and only wish we had started sooner. EP-Acrylic is making its way into the “got to have it, got to see it” market and will one day be in the center ring.
Using EP-Acrylic is simple, but making the old dog aware of it is the trick. Awareness, awareness, awareness is the company’s biggest problem. Anytime a new idea comes to the market, the real job is training people to look and think about a new way of doing something.
“Don’t take my word for it—check it out for yourself! For me, mustard yellow is not my color. I’m going to run away and join the circus. I’m ready to learn a new trick or two. Roll over, Fido. We have to get our act together if we are going to join up.”