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Acrylic Coating Protects Tubs & More

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RALEIGH — When you buy a new house, you want everything in it to be just that -- brand new. No scratches, no dents, no dings. As WRAL'sDebra Morganexplains, a Raleigh company has a Capital Idea to make sure your tub and shower stay as shiny during construction as they look in the showroom.

When a new home is built, the tub and shower are two of the first pieces to go in after the framing. The workers who come in next don't always take great care of what you'll eventually be using to get clean.

Often during the construction phase, sinks, tubs and shower stalls become trash cans. Scratches, rust stains and ground-in dirt mix with the trash and it's difficult and expensive to make the tub look new again after all that abuse.

"This isn't just something we started doing," says inventor Jim Staples. "We had a big need out in the marketplace for it. Customers were demanding it."

So Staples helped develop a way to protect the tub during construction with a super-strong, rubberized coating. It's a form of liquid acrylic that can be sprayed and easily hauled around in a van.

Staples is secretive about the exact ingredients in the formula.

"The product is mainly solid and it's got water added to it and some ammonia added to it to keep it liquid."

After the tubs are cleaned and inspected, and the fixtures are covered, the coating sprays on like a pudding. A screen helps re-inforce the product and in 24 hours, it hardens to protect the shiny finish -- guaranteed.

"And that's our goal. To make sure the tubs and the fixtures they have are what they see in the showroom when they go to pick their fixtures out."

This Capital Idea stems from a similar acrylic coating used to wrap up boats when they're being transported. Staples and his partners found a way to make the coating sprayable, portable and durable.

"We came up with some different type of equipment to spray it and it has just worked really well and we continue to refine it."

So how does it work? The coating may look rough on the outside, but it's like new on the inside. The coating is be peeled up like a garbage bag and simply thrown away because it's environmentally friendly.

And at a cost of about $140 to coat the fixtures in an average home, Staples says that may be less expensive than fixing the damage in the end.

"Our main thing is protection. and if we can save them money too, that's an added feature."

Essentials Protective Coatingsstarted in Raleigh and within the past year has expanded to 14 franchises across the Southeast. They're up to 10,000 tubs covered.

The company guarantees its work. If the tub is damaged during construction while the coating is on, the Essential Protective Coatings will pay for repairs.

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Debra Morgan, Reporter
Robert Meikle, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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