The terms “paints” and “coatings” often mean the same thing. Most commonly paints are considered to be used primarily for aesthetics, while coatings are used principally to prevent substrate deterioration or for corrosion protection. Industrial coatings are most commonly used for corrosion protection of metal substrates in structures.
Regardless of its primary function, the coating or paint must have adequate performance capabilities for its intended purpose. In order to assess performance, paints and coatings go through testing as both; the finished article and pre-application (wet state).
Coating testing is performed generally for two reasons. Research & Development initially to establish whether a coating is suitable for its intended purpose and which coating is best suited for that purpose. Or as part of qualification and periodic testing to qualify the ability to apply a coating through testing to a given criteria.