Corning® Guardiant®: Painting for peace of mind

Paint with Corning® Guardiant® has astounding virus-killing properties–and it’s something you can buy on your Saturday morning errands.

At first glance it’s another high-quality paint. It can be applied like any other paint and comes in more than 2,000 colors to help personalize an interior space. But something radically different will be happening at the microscopic level.

Copper ions will be releasing slowly, invisibly, on the painted surface. Those ions start working immediately and will be killing 99.9% of viruses and bacteria they encounter within two hours, creating a hygienic, antimicrobial surface. And the interior environment - whether it’s a classroom, medical examination room, or your own kitchen - will have surfaces protected from viruses and bacteria for years to come.

The impact of this innovation cannot be overstated.
John Gilbert
Chief R&D Officer, Behr

The remarkable additive enabling this paint is Corning® Guardiant®, a highly engineered glass-ceramic material. It includes the most bioactive form of copper ions, long recognized for their inherent antimicrobial properties. The material is milled into very fine particles, with the glass-ceramic structure acting as a molecular sheath to stabilize the copper until added to the paint.

Then, the sheath enables the ions to release – gradually and continuously, for as long as six years. Guardiant technology pairs well with every other feature of traditional paint and coatings – from smooth coverage to thousands of color possibilities. The paint industry is lauding Corning as a game-changer while their customers can add a new layer of hygiene and protection on painted walls, trims, and doors.

And in May of 2022, BEHR® COPPER FORCE™ Interior Paint launched in many U.S. Home Depot stores. “The impact of this innovation cannot be overstated,” said John Gilbert, Behr Chief R&D Officer.

So how do we know this stuff works?

As with most things at Corning, our answers come in the lab. Our scientists took samples of paints with Guardiant, then subjected them to the kind of contamination we see in our day-to-day environments.

No, we don’t have actual sneezing children or feverish, coughing adults near the paint samples in our microbiology lab. But we do concoct those same microbial mixtures to replicate what you might touch yourself on, say, the door at your doctor’s office.

And to make sure that surface will hold up over time, scientists put painted samples through more punishing paces. They apply industrial-strength cleaning solutions, and machines scrub...and scrub...and scrub. The procedure includes 72 cycles of simulated wear and takes about 13 hours from start to finish.


Finally, they test the well-scrubbed surfaces for antimicrobial properties again. The results are the same as when the paint was fresh.

The material is so innovative that it won a gold in the 2021 Edison Awards, which recognizes breakthrough innovations and product excellence. BEHR® Copper Force™ and PPG® Copper Armor™, both of which contain Guardiant, are the only two coatings registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency to make claims of efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Guardiant helps seamlessly incorporate virus-and bacteria-fighting surface protection into our surroundings,” said Dr. Joydeep Lahiri, director and division vice president of Specialty Surfaces at Corning.

“The pandemic has highlighted our vulnerability to viruses and bacteria,” he added.

“We’ve gotten used to sanitizing our kitchen tables and doorknobs. We don’t wash our walls nearly as much, but most of us – especially kids – touch walls and trim more often than we realize. We also look forward to seeing Guardiant in other surfaces.”

“Coatings formulated with Guardiant can bring additional peace of mind at a time of high anxiety around contaminated surfaces."

Find out more about Corning® Guardiant®


Behr Paint Company recently launched BEHR® COPPER FORCE™ Interior Paint powered by Corning® Guardiant® antimicrobial technology.

Corning® Guardiant® is a breakthrough antimicrobial copper ion technology that enables paint registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide residual sanitizing activity to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.

Guardiant® brings the protection of copper to the surfaces you touch every day, so you can worry less and live more.