Optimize Coatings Specifications

Reduce Costs and Streamline Inspection Requirements

Clarifying quality control procedures and referencing the correct industry standards will contribute to a successful corrosion prevention program,

  • Improve accuracy of bidding and proposals
  • Ensure state of the art materials and processes
  • Avoid unexpected costs and unplanned interruptions

Protective coatings specifications for the corrosion protection of assets

“Without a well-designed protective coating specification, problems such as unrealistic bidding, disputes of specific requirements, inappropriate materials or workmanship, delays in completing the work, costly change orders, and increased costs, are likely to occur. Specifications are concise, specific, and contain essential information and requirements.” (NACE 80200/SSPC-TR 4 Joint Technology Report, Preparation of Protective Coating Specifications for Atmospheric Service, NACE International)

Design phase services are centered on the protective coating elements in the project specifications and design drawings to maximize their effectiveness for corrosion prevention, safety, and appearance. Maintenance coating projects may be straightforward regarding the surface preparation and application requirements, but when performed in the context of a functioning plant, facility, or process, the complexity can be magnified by factors such as MOPO procedures, protection of existing assets and workers, waste containment and disposal, coordination with other trades and maintenance work, temporary traffic restrictions, and bypass pumping just to name a few.

New large-scale construction projects add multiple dimensions to the protective coating and lining requirements due to the variety of structural components, equipment, architectural features, and service conditions. It’s not unusual to encounter dozens of different types of equipment and piping systems which need multiple coating systems, some having more than one exposure environment for the same component. In addition to the project specifications the design drawings may also include protective coating annotations for architectural, structural, civil, and mechanical plans. Thorough preparation of room finish schedules, pipe system schedules, limits of coverage for secondary containment and severe corrosion areas, high and low water elevations, and joint and termination details is needed for consistency.

The coating and lining specifications found in Division 09 finishes can refer to, and be referenced by, numerous other divisions depending on the industry and construction project.
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CSI Section Format Outline

The services are intended to provide a standardized approach to integrating the important protective coatings requirements with the construction specifications. The outline below can be modified to meet the clients format.

Part 1 - General

Important topics include shop coatings, compatibility with shop primers, sequence of work, and correlation with other divisions.

Related Documents
Scope of Work
Items Included and Not Included
Site Access and Storage Area
Site Investigation Clause
Related Sections
Colors and Finishes
Piping Color Code
Abbreviations and Symbols

Combine the current standards for all necessary requirements including surface preparation, application, inspection, and testing.



Definitions for all industry standard phases and descriptions. 

Terminology Used
ASTM D16 Standard Terminology

Requirements for critical aspects of the work, and review for conflicting or ambiguous requirements, conformance with other divisions, and testing results for compatibility with existing coatings.

Procedures for Corrective Action
Health, Safety, and Environmental Compliance Plans
Confined Space Entry Plans
Inspection and Test Plan
Product Data Sheets
Safety Data Sheets
Coating Draw-down Films
Certificates of Product Conformity
Daily Production Reports
Maintenance Manual

Ensure requirements are consistent with the project Quality Management System

Qualifications of the Coating Contractor
Source Quality Control
Qualifications of Testing Laboratory for Coatings
Regulatory Requirements
Pre-Construction Conference

Ensure requirements are consistent with the manufacturer’s product data and the project facilities procedures.


MOPO procedures, protection of facilities and workers, and waste containment and disposal.

Site Facilities
Existing Conditions
Environmental Requirements
Spent Abrasive
Spent Water

Part 2 - Products

Reference approved products list and clarify procedure for substitutions.

Coating System Components

Create tables to properly identify coating systems for each type of surface or component and service condition that include surface preparation, number of coats, film thickness, and special handling or testing. Materials for pipe marking or reference to identification sector,

Service Conditions
Coating Systems
Piping Markers

Part 3 - Execution

Requirements to ensure compatibility with existing conditions, and to define the Quality Management System and Inspection Plan.

Examine Areas and Conditions
Detrimental Conditions
Existing Paint
Quality Assurance
Owners Inspector

General surface preparation requirements that effect all project items, specific requirements for each type of surface and service condition, and shop coating systems. Ensure consistency with manufacturer’s product data.

Service Conditions
Shop Coating


General  requirements for all coating materials consistent with manufacture’s product data, and tinting for contrasting color of coats. 


General application process requirements that effect all project items and materials. Special provisions for shop coating, compatibility with shop-applied primers, re-coat windows, and acceptance criteria.

Film Thickness
Prime Coats
Shop Coating
Completed Work

Quality Management System procedures and Inspection Plan details.

Condition of Existing Coatings
Material Testing Procedure
Hold Point Inspections
Inspection Testing
Final Inspection

Requirements for protecting existing facilities, surfaces, and finished work.

Newly Painted Finishes
Temporary Protection

Provisions for repairing damaged work, cleaning residue, waste disposal and general clean up.

Correct All Damages
Proper Disposal of Wastes
Clean Up of Site

Warranty details and inspection schedule.

Repair Costs

Objectives for preparing a protective coating specification

There are several objectives for preparing a protective coating specification. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Obtain specific protective coating products or their equals
Assure quality materials and workmanship
Determine inspection requirements
Assure timely completion of work
Avoid disputes
Obtain reasonable costs that reflect the specification requirements
Avoid costly change orders and claims
Meet safety, environmental, and regulatory requirements of the protective coating operation
Assure suitable coating systems are applied to the correct equipment” NACE 80200/SSPC-TR 4 Joint Technology Report, Preparation of Protective Coating Specifications for Atmospheric Service, 2000 NACE International, https://nace.org


CPC planning is the most efficient method for effectively addressing and reducing the impact of corrosion at every stage of a product or facility’s lifecycle. This eCourse walks through the NACE SP21412-2016/SSPC-CPC 1 standard, diving into the key aspects of CPC planning for products and facilities. It covers: attributes that impact CPC planning; considerations for material selection and design to minimize corrosion; and items that should be addressed in CPC planning which affect CPC in design, fabrication and construction, operation and use, and maintenance and sustainability.


The PCS 1 Basic Principles introduces both the theoretical and practical aspects of using coatings to control corrosion and the economic benefits of managing them. Common corrosion control coatings are def ined and when, how, and where they should be used.
The PCS 2 Advanced course provides advanced level technology topics related to protective coatings. Highlights include an in-depth discussion of coatings, their basic chemical properties, and any unique considerations for their surface preparation, application and inspection. Testing coating properties and performance, common coating defects, substrates, selecting coating systems, the specif ication, and surveys and maintenance planning are also covered.


High-performance coatings. Third edition. New technology.  Reference tool for engineers, paint superintendents & maintenance personnel involved in the use of protective coatings to prevent corrosion. NACE E-BOOK
Product Number: 37599-E
ISBN: 1575902621
Author: C.G. Munger, Associate Author Louis D. Vincent
Publication Date: 2014
The latest edition of this classic text covers all aspects of the use of high-performance coatings. The third edition covers the significant increase in new technology in the coatings industry since the publication of the second edition in 1999. The book is a comprehensive reference tool for engineers, paint superintendents, maintenance personnel, and others involved in the use of protective coatings to prevent corrosion on all structures and in all industries and environments.



Please contact me if you have any questions regarding Design Phase Services, and if you would like to learn more about the NACE Certified Inspector Program see the Information page.