Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, is converted to a solid film. It is most commonly used to protect, color or provide texture to objects.



Water colours, paints for artists




In 2011, South African archeologists reported finding a 100,000 year old human-made ochre-based mixture which may have been used like paint. Cave paintings drawn with red or yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide, and charcoal may have been made by early Homo sapiens as long as 40,000 years ago.

Ancient colored walls at Dendera, Egypt, which were exposed for years to the elements, still possess their brilliant color, as vivid as when they were painted about 2,000 years ago. The Egyptians mixed their colors with a gummy substance, and applied them separate from each other without any blending or mixture. They appeared to have used six colors: white, black, blue, red, yellow, and green. They first covered the area entirely with white then traced the design in black, leaving out the lights of the ground color. They used minium for red, and generally of a dark tinge.

Pliny mentions some painted ceilings in his day in the town of Ardea, which had been done prior to the foundation of Rome. He expresses great surprise and admiration at their freshness, after the lapse of so many centuries.

Paint was made with the yolk of eggs and therefore, the substance would harden and adhere to the surface it is applied to. Pigment was made from plants, sand, and different soils.



Binder, vehicle, or resins

The binder, commonly called the vehicle, is the film-forming component of paint. It is the only component that must be present. Components listed below are included optionally, depending on the desired properties of the cured film.

The binder imparts adhesion and strongly influences such properties as gloss, durability, flexibility, and toughness.

Binders include synthetic or natural resins such as alkyds, acrylics, vinyl-acrylics, vinyl acetate/ethylene (VAE), polyurethanes, polyesters, melamine resins, epoxy, or oils. Binders can be categorized according to the mechanisms for drying or curing. Although drying may refer to evaporation of the solvent or thinner, it usually refers to oxidative cross-linking of the binders and is indistinguishable from curing. Some paints form by solvent evaporation only, but most rely on cross-linking processes.

Paints that dry by solvent evaporation and contain the solid binder dissolved in a solvent are known as lacquers. A solid film forms when the solvent evaporates, and because the film can re-dissolve in solvent, lacquers are unsuitable for applications where chemical resistance is important. Classic nitrocellulose lacquers fall into this category, as do non-grain raising stains composed of dyes dissolved in solvent and more modern acrylic-based coatings such as 5-ball Krylon aerosol. Performance varies by formulation, but lacquers generally tend to have better UV resistance and lower corrosion resistance than comparable systems that cure by polymerization or coalescence.

The paint type known as Emulsion in the UK and Latex in the USA is a water-borne dispersion of sub-micrometre polymer particles. The term "latex" in the context of paint in the USA simply means an aqueous dispersion; latex rubber (the sap of the rubber tree that has historically been called latex) is not an ingredient. These dispersions are prepared by emulsion polymerization. Such paints cure by a process called coalescence where first the water, and then the trace, or coalescing, solvent, evaporate and draw together and soften the binder particles and fuse them together into irreversibly bound networked structures, so that the paint will not redissolve in the solvent/water that originally carried it. The residual surfactants in paint as well as hydrolytic effects with some polymers cause the paint to remain susceptible to softening and, over time, degradation by water. The general term of latex paint is usually used in the USA, while the term emulsion paint is used for the same products in the UK and the term latex paint is not used at all. These terms in their respective countries cover all paints that use synthetic polymers such as acrylic, vinyl acrylic (PVA), styrene acrylic, etc as binders.

Paints that cure by oxidative cross-linking are generally single package coatings. When applied, the exposure to oxygen in the air starts a process that crosslinks and polymerizes the binder component. Classic alkyd enamels would fall into this category. Oxidative cure coatings are catalyzed by metal complex driers such as cobalt naphthenate.

Paints that cure by polymerization are generally one or two package coatings that polymerize by way of a chemical reaction and which cure into a crosslinked film. Depending on composition they may need to dry first, by evaporation of solvent. Classic two package epoxies or polyurethanes would fall into this category.

There are paints called plastisols/organosols, which are made by blending PVC granules with a plasticiser. These are stoved and the mix coalesceses.

Other films are formed by cooling of the binder. For example, encaustic or wax paints are liquid when warm, and harden upon cooling. In many cases, they will resoften or liquify if reheated.

Recent environmental requirements restrict the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and alternative means of curing have been developed, particularly for industrial purposes. In UV curing paints, the solvent is evaporated first, and hardening is then initiated by ultraviolet light. In powder coatings there is little or no solvent, and flow and cure are produced by heating of the substrate after electrostatic application of the dry powder.


Diluent or Solvent

The main purposes of the diluent are to dissolve the polymer and adjust the viscosity of the paint. It is volatile and does not become part of the paint film. It also controls flow and application properties, and in some cases can affect the stability of the paint while in liquid state. Its main function is as the carrier for the non volatile components. To spread heavier oils (for example, linseed) as in oil-based interior housepaint, a thinner oil is required. These volatile substances impart their properties temporarily—once the solvent has evaporated, the remaining paint is fixed to the surface.

This component is optional: some paints have no diluent.

Water is the main diluent for water-borne paints, even the co-solvent types.

Solvent-borne, also called oil-based, paints can have various combinations of organic solvents as the diluent, including aliphatics, aromatics, alcohols, ketones and white spirit. Specific examples are organic solvents such as petroleum distillate, esters, glycol ethers, and the like. Sometimes volatile low-molecular weight synthetic resins also serve as diluents.
Pigment or Filler
Main article: Pigment

Pigments are granular solids incorporated in the paint to contribute color. Fillers are granular solids incorporate to impart toughness, texture, give the paint special properties, or to reduce the cost of the paint. Alternatively, some paints contain dyes instead of or in combination with pigments.

Pigments can be classified as either natural or synthetic types. Natural pigments include various clays, calcium carbonate, mica, silicas, and talcs. Synthetics would include engineered molecules, calcined clays, blanc fixe, precipitated calcium carbonate, and synthetic pyrogenic silicas.

Hiding pigments, in making paint opaque, also protect the substrate from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. Hiding pigments include titanium dioxide, phthalo blue, red iron oxide, and many others.

Fillers are a special type of pigment that serve to thicken the film, support its structure and increase the volume of the paint. Fillers are usually cheap and inert materials, such as diatomaceous earth, talc, lime, barytes, clay, etc. Floor paints that will be subjected to abrasion may contain fine quartz sand as a filler. Not all paints include fillers. On the other hand, some paints contain large proportions of pigment/filler and binder.

Some pigments are toxic, such as the lead pigments that are used in lead paint. Paint manufacturers began replacing white lead pigments with the less toxic substitute, titanium white (titanium dioxide), before lead was banned in paint for residential use in 1978 by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. The titanium dioxide used in most paints today is often coated with silica/alumina/zirconium for various reasons, such as better exterior durability, or better hiding performance (opacity) promoted by more optimal spacing within the paint film.



Firle Beacon, Sussex painting by R C Martin





Besides the three main categories of ingredients, paint can have a wide variety of miscellaneous additives, which are usually added in small amounts, yet provide a significant effect on the product. Some examples include additives to modify surface tension, improve flow properties, improve the finished appearance, increase wet edge, improve pigment stability, impart antifreeze properties, control foaming, control skinning, etc. Other types of additives include catalysts, thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, texturizers, adhesion promoters, UV stabilizers, flatteners (de-glossing agents), biocides to fight bacterial growth, and the like.

Additives normally do not significantly alter the percentages of individual components in a formulation.
Color changing paint

Various technologies exist for making paints that change color. Thermochromic paints and coatings contain materials that change conformation when heat is applied, and so they change color. Liquid crystals have been used in such paints, such as in the thermometer strips and tapes used in aquaria. Photochromic paints and coatings contain dyes that change conformation when the film is exposed to UV light, and so they change color. These materials are used to make eyeglasses.

Color changing paints can also be made by adding halochrome compounds or other organic pigments. One patent[6] cites use of these indicators for wall coating applications for light colored paints. When the paint is wet it is pink in color but upon drying it regains its original white color. As cited in patent, this property of the paint enabled two or multiple coats to be applied on a wall properly and evenly. The previous coat/s having dried would be white whereas the new wet coat would be distinctly pink. Ashland Inc. introduced foundry refractory coatings with similar principle in 2005 for use in foundries.

Electrochromic paints change color in response to an applied electric current. Car manufacturer Nissan has been reportedly working on an electrochromic paint, based on particles of paramagnetic iron oxide. When subjected to an electromagnetic field the paramagnetic particles change spacing, modifying their color and reflective properties. The electromagnetic field would be formed using the conductive metal of the car body.


Electrochromic paints can be applied to plastic substrates as well, using a different coating chemistry. The technology involves using special dyes that change conformation when an electric current is applied across the film itself. Recently, this new technology has been used to achieve glare protection at the touch of a button in passenger airplane windows.





Since the time of the Renaissance, siccative (drying) oil paints, primarily linseed oil, have been the most commonly used kind of paints in fine art applications; oil paint is still common today. However, in the 20th century, water-based paints, including watercolors and acrylic paints, became very popular with the development of acrylic and other latex paints. Milk paints (also called casein), where the medium is derived from the natural emulsion that is milk, were popular in the 19th century and are still available today. Egg tempera (where the medium is an emulsion of egg yolk mixed with oil) is still in use as well, as are encaustic wax-based paints. Gouache is a variety of opaque watercolor which was also used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance for manuscript illuminations. The pigment was often made from ground semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli and the binder made from either gum arabic or egg white. Gouache, also known as 'designer color' or 'body color' is commercially available today.

Poster paint has been used primarily in the creation of student works, or by children.





Paint can be applied as a solid, a gaseous suspension (aerosol) or a liquid. Techniques vary depending on the practical or artistic results desired.

As a solid (usually used in industrial and automotive applications), the paint is applied as a very fine powder, then baked at high temperature. This melts the powder and causes it to adhere to the surface. The reasons for doing this involve the chemistries of the paint, the surface itself, and perhaps even the chemistry of the substrate (the object being painted). This is called "powder coating" an object.

As a gas or as a gaseous suspension, the paint is suspended in solid or liquid form in a gas that is sprayed on an object. The paint sticks to the object. This is called "spray painting" an object. The reasons for doing this include:

  • The application mechanism is air and thus no solid object touches the object being painted;

  • The distribution of the paint is uniform, so there are no sharp lines;

  • It is possible to deliver very small amounts of paint;

  • A chemical (typically a solvent) can be sprayed along with the paint to dissolve together both the delivered paint and the chemicals on the surface of the object being painted;

Some chemical reactions in paint involve the orientation of the paint molecules.

The application of the paint is fairly easily if done correctly. It is the prep work and order of operations that is tedious and detailed. Your first step when painting is to make sure you move all of the furniture, pictures, tables, etc, out of the room and most importantly out of your work space. Next is to lay down tarps or drop cloths to protect your flooring, but most of all if you spill or splash any paint. The next step, wall preparation, is a detailed process which could involve anything from skim coating, spackling, caulking, sanding, priming, taping, etc. After all the prep work has been completed you can now begin painting. Usually your first step in painting should be the "cutting in phase". This phase includes the brushwork around the edges, windows, doors, trim, molding, ceiling or wall line, etc. It is up to the painter of the order of wall spaces he or her chooses to do first. For instance it does not matter if you cut in the ceiling, or paint the window trim first and paint the walls last or vies versa. What is important is that the user cuts in first on every wall space. From there, depending of your order of operation, you can break out the rollers and being rolling the large open space on each wall space. After you applied the necessary amount of coats to the wall, you can remove any tape left behind and clean up. It is recommended that you do not try to wash your walls for at least two weeks after painting to let the paint cure fully.

In the liquid application, paint can be applied by direct application using brushes, paint rollers, blades, other instruments, or body parts such as fingers and thumbs.

Rollers generally have a handle that allows for different lengths of poles to be attached, allowing painting at different heights. Generally, roller application requires two coats for even color. A roller with a thicker nap is used to apply paint on uneven surfaces. Edges are often finished with an angled brush.

Using the finish flat one would most likely use a 1/2" nap roller
Using the finish eggshell one would most likely use a 3/8" nap roller
Using the finish satin or pearl one would most likely use a 3/8" nap roller
Using the finish semi-gloss or gloss one would most likely use a 3/16" nap roller

After liquid paint is applied, there is an interval during which it can be blended with additional painted regions (at the "wet edge") called "open time." The open time of an oil or alkyd-based emulsion paint can be extended by adding white spirit, similar glycols such as Dowanol (propylene glycol ether) or open time prolongers. This can also facilitate the mixing of different wet paint layers for aesthetic effect. Latex and acrylic emulsions require the use of drying retardants suitable for water-based coatings.

Paint application by spray is the most popular method in industry. In this, paint is atomized by the force of compressed air or by the action of high pressure compression of the paint itself, and the paint is turned into small droplets which travel to the article which is to be painted. Alternate methods are airless spray, hot spray, hot airless spray, and any of these with an electrostatic spray included. There are numerous electrostatic methods available.

Dipping used to be the norm for objects such as filing cabinets, but this has been replaced by high speed air turbine driven bells with electrostatic spray. Car bodies are primed using cathodic elephoretic primer, which is applied by charging the body depositing a layer of primer. The unchanged residue is rinsed off and the primer stoved.

Many paints tend to separate when stored, the heavier components settling to the bottom, and require mixing before use. Some paint outlets have machines for mixing the paint by shaking the can vigorously for a few minutes.

The opacity and the film thickness of paint may be measured using a drawdown card.

Water-based paints tend to be the easiest to clean up after use; the brushes and rollers can be cleaned with soap and water.

Proper disposal of left over paint is a challenge. Sometimes it can be recycled: Old paint may be usable for a primer coat or an intermediate coat, and paints of similar chemistry can be mixed to make a larger amount of a uniform color.

To dispose of paint it can be dried and disposed of in the domestic waste stream, provided that it contains no prohibited substances (see container). Disposal of liquid paint usually requires special handling and should be treated as hazardous waste, and disposed of according to local regulations.



External links



Art da Vinci  - Youtube


Power of Art - Youtube


 Van Gogh - Youtube


Rembrandt  - Youtube






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