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UV protection and graffiti resistance for Melbourne's ArtPlay Rejuvenation

UV protection and graffiti resistance for Melbourne's ArtPlay Rejuvenation

Established in 2002, ArtPlay has been a hub for free play and creative experiences for almost 20 years. Part of the Birrarung Marr precinct and nestled between the Yarra River and Federation Square, ArtPlay is popular with locals, tourists and school groups.

After almost 20 years of use, ArtPlay’s play equipment was showing its age, looking tired, run down and dilapidated. Faded steel poles and peeling paint on the playground’s panels looked unsightly and uninviting.

Understandably, the City of Melbourne wanted to restore this much-visited city attraction to a condition befitting its prime location.

“To rejuvenate this community space, the right coatings systems were critical,” explains Dulux Protective Coatings Trade Specialist, James Davide. “Tailored solutions were needed to withstand the high traffic setting and provide protection in the playground’s high exposure environment.”

ArtPlay’s outdoor, riverside location means play equipment is constantly exposed to the elements, including Melbourne’s harsh summer sun. The playground is also a regular target for graffiti vandalism.

James and his team consulted extensively with project contractors Higgins Coatings to devise and recommend two bespoke coatings solutions, which were applied after surfaces were pressure-washed and power tool cleaned.

“For the play equipment panels, we recommended a two-part system that included a first coat of Weathershield, followed by a topcoat of Surfaceshield FP to act as an anti-graffiti coating,” James explains.

Weathershield provides a tough, hardwearing finish for protection from all weather conditions, and was chosen because of Dulux’s extensive colour offering. A topcoat of clear, fluoropolymer Surfaceshield FP was applied for its excellent anti-graffiti properties. Graffiti on surfaces treated with Surfaceshield FP can be removed repeatedly using a combination of graffiti removal agents and hot water pressure.

“Surfaceshield FP is also low VOC, making it ideal for a public space used by children and families,” adds James.

“For the steelwork – including poles and outriggers – we recommended a two-part system that included a first coat of Durebild STE followed by a topcoat of Weathermax HBR,” says James.

Durebild STE is a surface tolerant epoxy developed specifically for conditions in Australia and New Zealand. As a first coat, Durebild STE boasts excellent durability and exceptional corrosion protection in harsh environments and heavier traffic areas.

A second coat of Weathermax HBR was chosen to provide gloss and colour retention over an extended service period. Available in over 5000 colours, this high-performance coating is perfect for surfaces exposed to all weather conditions and offers ease of application. It’s also an effective barrier against graffiti and will resist repeated cleaning by most propriety graffiti removal agents.

The Dulux Protective Coatings team worked closely with application professionals Higgins Coatings, by providing technical support to ensure the product was correctly applied.

Appreciative City of Melbourne stakeholders described ArtPlay’s transformation as “dramatic”, with its “extensive protective coating system, in big, bold and bright colours.”

Thanks to Dulux Protective Coatings, Melbourne’s ArtPlay is set to delight children and other visitors for many years to come.


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