No, don’t go away just yet. I promise this won’t be too technical.

Instead, stay and this will give you a better understanding of the paint you’re using on your DIY projects. If you’re about to update your home interiors with new colors just in time for the Christmas season, I suggest you read on.

A Closer Look at Pigment Volume Concentration

The right choice of colors is just one half of the equation; you have to know what paint finish works best on a specific area to maximize its workability. We have written about the different paint finishes before, you can read it here:

Paint Finish: What does Sheen, Gloss or Kintab in Paints Mean?

But have you ever wondered what causes it? To where can we attribute the different sheens of the paint film? We have scratched the surface of this topic in a previous article:

The answer can be found in the paint formulation, specifically, the ratio of pigment to binder. The more the pigments a paint has, the less shiny it is. Or the more the binder the paint has, the more shiny it is.

Scientifically speaking, this is what we call Pigment Volume Concentration or PVC. I know it sounds overwhelming at first, but trust me, you’ll get the hang of it. According to this post from, PVC is the term used to describe the volume (not weight) of pigment in a paint film. Now, going back to the basics of paint formulation, we have four components namely, pigments, binders, liquids, and additives. PVC here, tells us how much of the volume of the paint film is made up of pigment versus the amount made up of binder.

If you’re curious or you want to impress your crush with brand new information, it’s fairly easy to calculate the PVC. Here’s the formula:

PVC = V pigment / (V pigment + V binder) x 100

Where V pigment and V binder are the volumes of the pigment and binder.

Since it is based only on the solid properties of the paint, it can only be adjusted by increasing pigment or removing binder from the formula, changing the volume of water or other liquid material will not change anything.

PVC Effect on the Paint’s Performance

As I have mentioned above, PVC is related to the gloss and sheen of the paint. High gloss paints may have lesser pigment and would, therefore, have a PVC of less than 40%. On the other end of the spectrum, flat wall paints, contain high levels of pigment and extenders, which means it has PVC ranging from 40-80%. Look here for an easier visual representation:

What Is Pigment Volume Concentration and Why Is It Important? | MyBoysen

The only thing you need to remember here is the higher the PVC, the better the density and hiding. However, performance quality such as durability, stain, and corrosion resistance typically decreases as PVC increases, and vice versa. 

In high traffic areas, a low PVC higher gloss paint is suggested for its better stain and scrub resistance in comparison to flat finishes.

On the other hand, for low-traffic areas such as the ceiling, where scrubbing occurrence is close to none, you may use high PVC flat finish paint mainly to hide imperfections. 

It’s best to know this so it can help you with the decisions on your painting needs. Check out this infographic to make it easier for you to see what paint finish should go where:

What Is Pigment Volume Concentration and Why Is It Important? | MyBoysen

You may refer to the suggested Boysen products above for your painting needs.

Look at you, now look at me. How do you like that? I know, I know. It’s the K-pop fanatic side kicking in. I meant to say, was that too technical? I hope not. Look at you, just a few steps away from being a master DIYer. Keep it up!

For questions and professional tips regarding your paint project, don’t hesitate to contact us at (02) 8363-9738 local 417 to 418 during office hours or write an email to


Jess is a copywriter who brushes up on her paint knowledge daily. Together with Boysen professionals, she makes the technical stuff easier to digest. When she’s not writing, she searches the internet for the latest dessert bar.

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