PCA Articles

PPG Copper Armor Interior Paint

Protect Your Space: Discover The Health and Hygiene Benefits of Antimicrobial Paint


  • Antimicrobial paint provides supplemental protection from bacteria and viruses and is ideal for use on surfaces in communal spaces in hospitals, schools, restaurants and hotels.
  • Antimicrobial paints that make a public health claim must be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • The first-to-market antimicrobial paint in the U.S. is PPG Copper ArmorTM, an innovative interior coating that is powered by Corning® Guardiant® technology to provide residual sanitization that actively kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses1 within 2 hours of exposure to the painted surface for up to five years when used as part of a comprehensive infection and control program2.
  • PPG Copper Armor provides an extra layer of protection against harmful pathogens, while still offering all the benefits of premium paint.

The Coronavirus pandemic brought health and hygiene to the forefront of everyone’s minds. Now more than ever, we’re hyper-aware of the surfaces we touch and are looking for additional protection against viruses and bacteria. With a heightened need to prioritize the health and safety of customers, students, employees, patients in healthcare facilities and more, additional tools to enhance surface hygiene -that go beyond the capabilities of traditional disinfection methods – are needed. Luckily, new product innovations, like disinfectant lighting, hands-free controls and antimicrobial paint and coatings are now coming to market.

Benefits of Antimicrobial Paint

Traditional disinfectant tools, like antibacterial wipes and sprays, are limited by the frequency with which we apply them to surfaces. For more effective protection against bacteria and viruses that might live on high-touch surfaces, we need surface materials that provide supplemental, continuous and long-lasting protection from germs in between cleanings. This is where product innovation comes into play.

Antimicrobial paint is an innovation on the rise. Interior surfaces painted with antimicrobial paint, such as school hallways, hospital room walls and office breakrooms, are given residual efficacy to continuously kill germs for long periods of time. This supplemental protection from bacteria and viruses in between routine cleanings provides increased hygiene in places where transmission of germs is most likely.

Since antimicrobial paint can be used on any interior surface- trim and doors included- it’s a versatile disinfectant tool, likely to become commonplace in high-traffic areas where an additional layer of protection against harmful microbes might make visitors feel safer when sharing common spaces.

Attributes to Consider When Selecting an Antimicrobial Product

While it’s clear that there are many benefits to applying antimicrobial paint, it’s not always clear the attributes that you should look for when selecting an antimicrobial paint product.

To ensure you’re getting the most protection out of the paint, look closely at packaging for words like “kill” or “reduce” to find products registered with the EPA which allows the manufacturer to make these health benefit claims. Products with EPA health benefit claims actively kill viruses and/or bacteria that land on the surface. Germ-killing products will use active words like “kill or “reduce” when describing their protection capabilities. These words are positive indicators that the product will actively protect your surface against germs.

The types of viruses the product claims to protect against is also an important factor to consider, as like antimicrobial paints, not all germs are created equal. Viruses that fall into the category of non-enveloped, a highly durable class of germs that can survive on a surface for months, are the hardest to kill. Examples of these hard-to-kill, non-enveloped viruses include norovirus and feline calicivirus (FCV). If a product claims efficacy against the most durable bacteria, the product is ensuring that it will be effective against a broad spectrum of harmful pathogens.

In addition to the types of bacteria and viruses a product claims to protect against, it’s also important to pay attention to how long the paint or coating guarantees this protection. When selecting an antimicrobial paint product, the longer the product says it will stay effective, the better. Efficacy duration claims are based on an EPA-approved test that simulates wear and aging of the product. The longer the efficacy duration claim, the better value and protection of your surfaces.

Finally, just because a paint product has antimicrobial capabilities, doesn’t mean that it can’t also have the performance capabilities of a premium paint. Antimicrobial products should offer the same durability and premium application properties that you would expect from regular paint products, so that it’s easy to use and maintains appearance once applied. Like other premium paints, antimicrobial paint should be available in a variety of colors and sheens to increase its versatility and appeal to a broad range of users. Both paint professionals and DIYers should be able to easily use an antiviral product in commercial and residential settings, respectively.

PPG Copper Armor

PPG Copper Armor paint is the first-to-market antimicrobial paint in the U.S., developed through a partnership between PPG and Corning® Incorporated. Powered by copper, a key element necessary to delivering an effective antimicrobial coating, Copper Armor leverages these properties to deliver a paint that’s proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses1 on the dry painted surface.

PPG Copper Armor paint’s product efficacy has been proven through rigorous testing as mandated by the EPA for products making claims of protection against harmful pathogens. Having passed tests simulating real-world conditions, PPG has moved forward with securing EPA registration in 41 states, as of early January 2022. As registration continues across the U.S., PPG’s Copper Armor paint will be made available for sale through U.S. PPG Paints stores, independent retailers and select home improvement stores.

Learn More

As health, wellness and hygiene continue to remain top of mind for consumers, PPG Copper Armor paint delivers on these priorities by offering additional layers of protection to spaces where we live, work and learn. PPG Copper Armor will be available for sale in select states beginning in late 2021 and into 2022 on a state-by-state basis, per EPA registration guidelines. This zero volatile organic compound4 (VOC) paint will be available in multiple finishes, including eggshell, satin and semi-gloss.

To learn more about PPG Copper Armor paint and to find a store near you, visit www.ppgpaints.com/copper-armor-paint.

1 S. aureus (Staph) ATCC 6538, P. aeruginosa ATCC 15442, K. aerogenes ATCC 13048 as well as MRSA ATCC 33591, Enterococcus faecium ATCC 29212, E. coli O157:H7 ATCC 35150, Salmonella enterica ATCC 10708 and viruses Norovirus (Feline calicivirus) ATCC VR-782 and SARS-CoV-2 BEI Resources NR-52281 within 2 Hours of exposure on painted surfaces.

2 Effective for up to 5 years based on test method “Protocol for the Evaluation of Bactericidal Activity of Antimicrobial Coated Surfaces” (MRID 51062601) as long as the integrity of the surface is maintained and is part of a comprehensive infection control and hygiene program. Cleaning agents typically used to maintain painted surfaces are permissible including multi-purpose, bleach, and peroxide cleaners. Quaternary ammonium (quats) disinfectants should be avoided.

3 Kills 99.9% of bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (Staph), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumanii, Enterobacter aerogenes, Methicillin-resistant Staphylocuccus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), Escherichia Coli (E. coli), and Salmonella, and viruses Feline Calicivirus and SARS CoV-2 within 2 hours of exposure to paint surfaces.

4 Colorants added to this base paint may increase VOC level significantly depending of color choice.

About The Author

Brian Osterried is senior product manager and technical lead for PPG Copper Armor paint in PPG’s architectural coatings business, which manufactures well-known brands like PPG PaintTM, Glidden® paint, Liquid Nails® adhesives and Homax® specialty products. He joined PPG in January 2010 as a technical specialist, and prior to his current role, he most recently served as senior product manager. Brian earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

PPG’s architectural coatings business in the U.S. and Canada is an industry leader in residential and commercial coatings, delivering the latest technologies and operational advancements through its strong portfolio of brands. It manufactures and sells interior and exterior paints, stains, caulks, repair products, adhesives and sealants for homeowners and professionals. Its distribution network includes more than 15,000 touchpoints through company-owned stores, independent dealer locations and major home improvement centers across the U.S. and Canada.