Phil’s Auto Body Goes Green

Jamie Heap
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New sign reveals changes at established Maccan garage

A recently painted garage door and new sign at Phil's Auto Body in Maccan signifies how domestic and commercial businesses alike have become more environmentally friendly with regards to the type of paint they must use.

MACCAN-Anyone that has driven past Phil’s Auto Body in recent weeks is sure to have noticed the green new sign that hangs above its newly painted green door.

“We went green three years ago,” stated Peter Brown of Phil’s Auto Body, a third-generation garage that has served Amherst and its hinterland for over 45 years.

“About five or six years ago, the government brought legislation in that required all paint suppliers to sell paint and paint related materials with lower VOC (volatile organic compound) content,” he said. “They allowed a grace period for all shops.”

According to Brown, the business’s transition to environmentally-friendly, water-based paints has been a positive one for all of the stakeholders involved in it.

“It has impacted business in a positive way, giving customers the same quality of paint, but much better for the environment,” stated Brown. “The paint we use is PPG. Water base paints have been around for many years. At first, there was a misconception about how hard it was going to be to use. Although it did take a little time to get used to, it was not as bad as some manufactures were saying.”

“The old solvent based basecoat was simple to use: spray it, give it a few minutes in between coats to set up then spray it again,” explained Brown. “The water-based  basecoat requires airflow going across it for it to dry at decent rate. With the right airflow and dry air, it is probably just as fast, maybe faster than the old solvent based, but humidity and dampness has a huge effect on how quickly it dries.”

“After using it for three years, it’s not even a thought; you just make the adjustment you need to for the conditions,” stated Brown. “While the basecoat is the only product that is water based, all components-clear coats, primers, sealers- all had to have lower VOC,” explained Brown. “So it wasn't only having to get use to spraying a different basecoat, but every aspect of the repair process,” he added.

In addition to repairing modern vehicles, Phil’s Auto Body also restores such classic cars as Reid and Jo-Anne Gilbert’s 1938 Chevrolet Master and a 1980 Ford Granada, two of the many classic cars that were displayed last July in Parrsboro  at its annual Old-Fashioned Saturday Night that turns back the clock to yesteryear.

Geographic location: MACCAN, Parrsboro

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