Paint that seems to have a mind of its own puts off even the most assiduous DIY person. Yet the problem exists in industry, too, and the cost is enormous.
The typical loss in wasted paint to a large car maker is costed at around £2 million a year. And that is very bad news in environmental terms too.
Carrtech of Birmingham, which makes products for the metal finishing industry, has turned its ingenuity to the problem of painting plastic materials and may have a solution.
Usually, more paint ends up coating the jig that holds the component rather than where it should go, on the component itself.
A prototype jig in development by Carrtech makes use of the electrostatic nature of spray booth painting.
When the component is loaded into the jig it passes through a conductive primer. This apparently simple trick ensures that the paint sticks to the part but not to the jig.
Field tests are still being carried out, but the results so far are said to be encouraging.