Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof. It is most commonly used to protect, color or provide texture to objects.
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 stick onto the surface it is applied to. Pigments were made from plants, sands, and different soil types.
Pigments are granular solids incorporated into the paint to contribute color, toughness, texture, give the paint some special properties or simply 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 simply increase the volume of the paint. Fillers are usually made of cheap and inert materials, such as diatomaceous earth, talc, lime, barytes, clay, etc. Floor paints that will be subjected to abrasion may even contain fine quartz sand as a filler. Not all paints include fillers. On the other hand some paints contain very 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), even before lead was functionally banned in paint for residential use in 1978 by the U.S. 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) via better efficiency promoted by more optimal spacing within the paint film.
Binder, vehicle, or resins
The binder, commonly referred to as the vehicle, is the actual film forming component of paint. It is the only component that must be present; other components listed below are included optionally, depending on the desired properties of the cured film.
The binder imparts adhesion, binds the pigments together, and strongly influences such properties as gloss potential, exterior durability, flexibility, and toughness.
Binders can be categorized according to drying, or curing mechanism. The four most common are simple solvent evaporation, oxidative crosslinking, catalyzed/cross linked polymerization, and coalescence. There are others.
Note that drying and curing are two different processes. Drying generally refers to evaporation of the solvent or thinner, whereas curing refers to polymerization of the binder. (The term "vehicle" is industrial jargon which is used inconsistently, sometimes to refer to the solvent and sometimes to refer to the binder.) Depending on chemistry and composition, any particular paint may undergo either, or both processes. Thus, there are paints that dry only, those that dry then cure, and those that do not depend on drying for curing.
Paints that dry by simple solvent evaporation and contain a 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 not suitable 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.
Latex paint is a water-borne dispersion of sub-micrometre polymer particles. The term "latex" in the context of paint 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. Latex 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 latex 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.
Paints that cure by oxidative crosslinking 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 "catalyzed" polymerization are generally two package coatings that polymerize by way of a chemical reaction initiated by mixing resin and curing agent/hardener, and which cure by forming a hard plastic structure. Depending on composition they may need to dry first, by evaporation of solvent. Classic two package epoxies or polyurethanes would fall into this category. The word catalyst is a misnomer as catalyst should not be part of the polymer. Cobalt driers are catalysts, iso cyanates and epoxy adducts are not.
There are paints called plastisols/organosols, which are made by blending PVC granules with a plasticiser. These are stoved and the mix coalesceses.
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.
The main purposes of the solvent are to adjust the curing properties and viscosity of the paint. It is volatile and does not become part of the paint film. It also controls flow and application properties, and affects the stability of the paint while in liquid state. Its main function is as the carrier for the non volatile components. In order to spread heavier oils (i.e. linseed) as in oil-based interior housepaint, a thinner oil is required. These volatile substances impart their properties temporarily—once the solvent has evaporated or disintegrated, 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 solvents as the diluent, including aliphatics, aromatics, alcohols, ketones and white spirit. These include organic solvents such as petroleum distillate, esters, glycol ethers, and the like. Sometimes volatile low-molecular weight synthetic resins also serve as diluents. Such solvents are used when water resistance, grease resistance, or similar properties are desired.
Besides the three main categories of ingredients, paint can have a wide variety of miscellaneous additives, which are usually added in very small amounts and yet give a very 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 fishtanks. 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 pH indicators. One patent 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 for use in its vehicles, 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 (stick) 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 overall object being painted). This is commonly referred to as "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 commonly referred to as "spray painting" an object. The reasons for doing this include:
- The application mechanism is air and thus no solid object ever touches the object being painted;
- The distribution of the paint is very 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.
Rollers generally have a handle that allows for different lengths of poles which can be attached to allow for painting at different heights. Generally, roller application takes 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.
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 commercial 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, which results in the paint being 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 it vigorously in the can 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 using—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.
- Primer is a preparatory coating put on materials before painting. Priming ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface, increases paint durability, and provides additional protection for the material being painted. It can also be used to block and seal stains, or to hide a color that is to be painted over.
- Emulsion paint is a water-based paint used for painting interior or exterior surfaces.
- Varnish and shellac provide a protective coating without changing the color. They are paints without pigment.
- Wood stain is a type of paint that is very "thin," that is, low in viscosity, and formulated so that the pigment penetrates the surface rather than remaining in a film on top of the surface. Stain is predominantly pigment or dye and solvent with little binder, designed primarily to add color without providing a surface coating.
- Lacquer is usually a fast-drying solvent-based paint or varnish that produces an especially hard, durable finish.
- An enamel paint is a paint that dries to an especially hard, usually glossy, finish. Enamel paints sometimes contain glass powder or tiny metal flake fragments instead of the color pigments found in standard oil-based paints. Enamel paint is sometimes mixed with varnish or urethane to increase shine as well as assist its hardening process.
- A glaze is an additive used with paint to slow drying time and increase translucency, as in faux painting and Art Painting.
- A roof coating is a fluid applied membrane which has elastic properties that allows it to stretch and return to their original shape without damage. It provides UV protection to polyurethane foam and is widely used as part of a roof restoration system.
- Fingerpaint is a kind of paint intended to be applied with the fingers; it typically comes in pots and is used by small children, though it has very occasionally been used by adults either to teach art to children, or for their own independent use.
- Inks are similar to paints, except they are typically made using finely ground pigments or dyes, and are designed so as not to leave a thick film of binder.
- Anti-graffiti coatings are used to defeat the marking of surfaces by graffiti vandals. There are two categories, sacrificial and non-bonding. Sacrificial coatings are clear coatings that allow the removal of graffiti, usually by pressure washing the surface with high-pressure water, removing the graffiti, and the coating (hence, sacrificed). They must be re-applied afterward for continued protection. This is most commonly used on natural-looking masonry surfaces, such as statuary and marble walls, and on rougher surfaces that are difficult to clean. Non-bonding coatings are clear, high-performance coatings, usually catalyzed polyurethanes, that allow the graffiti very little to bond to. After the graffiti is discovered, it can be removed with the use of a solvent wash, without damaging the underlying substrate or protective coating. These work best when used on smoother surfaces, and especially over other painted surfaces, including murals.
- Anti-climb paint is a non-drying paint that appears normal while still being extremely slippery. It is usually used on drainpipes and ledges to deter burglars and vandals from climbing them, and is found in many public places. When a person attempts to climb objects coated with the paint, it rubs off onto the climber, as well as making it hard for them to climb.
- Anti-fouling paint, or bottom paint, prevents barnacles and marine organisms from adhering to the hulls of ships.
Failure of a paint
The main reasons of paint failure after application on surface are the applicator and improper treatment of surface. While there have been cases of paint also, but they are but rare.
Application Defects can be attributed to:
This usually occurs when the dilution of the paint is not done as per manufacturers recommendation. There can be a case of over dilution and under dilution, as well as dilution with the incorrect diluent.
Foreign contaminants added without the manufacturers consent which results in various film defects.
Most commonly due to improper surface treatment before application and inherent moisture/dampness being present in the substrate.
Chalking is the progressive powdering of the paint film on the painted surface. The primary reason for the problem is polymer degradation of the paint matrix caused by attack by UV radiation in sunshine.
Cracking of paint film is due to the unequal expansion or contraction of paint coats. It usually happens when the coats of the paint are not allowed to cure/dry completely before the next coat is applied.
Erosion is very quick chalking. It occurs due to external agents like air,water etc.
Blistering is due to improper surface exposure of paint to strong sunshine.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint are considered harmful to the environment and especially for people who work with them on a regular basis. Exposure to VOCs has been related to organic solvent syndrome, although this relation has been somewhat controversial.
In the United States, environmental regulations, consumer demand, and advances in technology led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes. These new paints are widely available and meet or exceed the old high-VOC products in performance and cost-effectiveness while having significantly less impact on human and environmental health.
- Adhesion Tester
- Aerosol Paint
- Anti-graffiti coating
- Bresle method
- Computer graphics
- Environmental issues with paint
- Faux painting
- NACE International
- Paint recycling
- Paint (software)
- Powder coating
- Roof coating
- Society for Protective Coatings
- Soy paint
- ^ Stephanie Pappa (October 13, 2011). "Oldest Human Paint-Making Studio Discovered in Cave". Live Science. http://www.livescience.com/16538-oldest-human-paint-studio.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Livesciencecom+%28LiveScience.com+Science+Headline+Feed%29. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- ^ * Berendsen, A. M., & Berendsen, A. M. (1989). Marine painting manual. London: Graham & Trotman. ISBN 1853332860 p. 113.
- ^ a b Berendsen, A. M., & Berendsen, A. M. (1989). Marine painting manual. London: Graham & Trotman. ISBN 1853332860 p. 114.
- ^ frpdesigns.com, Formulations, Fundamentals, Manipulation, Calculation and Data Management"] p. 61.
- ^ Bramley, Christopher Sinjin. "Colour changing paint". European Patent Application EP1400574. European Patent Office. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/EP1400574A1.pdf.
- ^ "Dramatic color change featured". New Materials International. http://www.newmaterials.com/Customisation/News/General/General/Dramatic_color_change_featured_in_Ashlands_VELVAPLAST_ZW_FDI_refractory.asp.
- ^ Horvath, Lee. "Coatings Go Beyond Appearance to Provide Quality Control". Foundry Technology. Foundry Management & Technology. http://www.foundrymag.com/feature/feature/77970/.
- ^ DailyTech - Nissan Develops Color Changing Paint for Vehicles
- ^ "Safe Use, Storage and Disposal of Paint"
- ^ "Storage and Disposal of Paint Facts"
- ^ A. Spurgeon, Watching Paint Dry: Organic Solvent Syndrome in late-Twentieth-Century Britain. Med Hist. 2006 April 1; 50(2): 167–188.
- Bently, J. (Author) and Turner, G.P.A. (Author) (1997). Introduction to Paint Chemistry and Principles of Paint Technology. Unk.. ISBN 0412723204.
- Talbert, Rodger (2007). Paint Technology Handbook. Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. ISBN 1574447033.
- Woodbridge, Paul R. (Editor) (1991). Principles of Paint Formulation. Unk.. ISBN 0412029510.
- Paints, Coatings and Inks Formulation – Daily updated library of Articles and Editorials; Additives, Resins & Pigments Database; Technical Solutions to innovate with Paints Coatings and Inks.
- 20 recipes for homemade paint
- Homemade Paint Recipes for Children
- DIYinfo.org's All About Painting – A lot of information on paint, finishes, preparation, etc.
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