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'Paint' is the general term for a family of products used to protect and add color to an object or surface by covering it with a pigmented coating. As a verb, painting is the application of paint. One who paints is called a painter.
Paint can be applied to almost any kind of object. It is used, among many other uses, in the production of art, in industrial coating, as a driving aid (lane markings), or as a preservative (to prevent corrosion or water damage).


There are generally four components to a paint: binder, diluent, filler, and additives. However, only the binder is absolutely required. The binder is the part which eventually solidifies to form the dried paint film. The diluent serves to adjust the viscosity of the paint. It is volatile and does not become part of the paint film. Anything else is an additive.
Typical binders include synthetic or natural resins such as acrylics, polyurethanes, polyesters, melamines, oils, or latex. There are different kinds of binders: those that simply "dry", and those that undergo reactions. Binders that dry form a solid film when the solvent evaporates. Some form irreversibly bound networked structures, which do not redissolve in the solvent, e.g. latex. Binders that harden by chemical reaction are mixed immediately before use, after which they irreversibly solidify. They do not "dry", as the chemical structure changes.
Typical diluents include organic solvents such as alcohols, ketones, esters, glycol ethers, and the like. Water is a common diluent. Sometimes volatile low-molecular weight synthetic resins also serve as diluents.
Fillers serve to thicken the film, support its structure and simply increase the volume of the paint. Not all paints include fillers. Pigments that also function as fillers are called simply "pigments"; "fillers" are generally color-neutral and opaque. It is necessary to adjust the resulting off-white color with pigments to give the desired color. Common fillers are cheap and inert, such as talc, lime, baryte, bentonite clay, etc. Depending on the paint, most of the paint film may consist of filler and binder, the rest being additives.
Typical additives include pigments, dyes, catalysts, thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, texturizers, adhesion promoters, flatteners (de-glossing agents), and the like.
After application, the paint solidifies and becomes tack-free. Depending on the type of binder, this hardening may be a result of curing (polymerization), evaporation, or even cooling. In oil-based paint, curing takes the form of oxidation, for example oxidation of linseed oil to form linoxin to create a varnish. Other common cured films are prepared from crosslinkers, such as polyurethane or melamine resins, reacted with acrylic polyester or polyurethane resins, often in the presence of a catalyst which serves to make the curing reaction proceed more quickly or under milder conditions. These cured-film paints can be either solvent-borne or waterborne.
Other waterborne paints are emulsions of solid binders in water (in fact, such paints are often called simply "emulsions"). When the diluent evaporates, the molecules of the binder coalesce to form a solid film. Such emulsion paints are also known as latex paints because the polymer is formed through an emulsion polymerization through which the monomers are emulsified in a water-continuous phase. The polymer itself is not soluble in water and hence the paint is water resistant after it has dried. Residual surfactants in the paint as well as hydrolytic effects with some polymers cause the paint to remain susceptible to softening and, over time, degradation by water.
Still other films are formed by cooling of the binder. For example, encaustic or wax paints are liquid when warm, and harden upon cooling.


:Main article: Painting
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 latex and acrylic pigment suspensions. Milk paints (also called casein), where the medium is derived from 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 watercolor paint which was also used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance for manuscript illumination. 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 is commercially available today.
Poster paint has been used primarily in the creation of student works, or by children.


:Main article: Pigment
Pigments, usually insoluble powders, are used both to provide color, and to make paint opaque, thus protecting the substrate from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light while also increasing a paint's hiding power.
Some pigments are toxic, such as those used in lead paint. Paint manufacturers replaced lead white with a less toxic substitute, which can even be used to color food 'titanium white' (titanium dioxide) which was first used in paints in the 19th century. The titanium white used in most paints today is often coated with silicon or aluminum oxides for better durability.
Some newer paints—called prism paint—can produce effects where the color changes depending on the angle (orientation) at which it is viewed. Modern U.S. and Canadian banknotes, specifically the newer higher denomination notes, have this effect on them. This effect is produced by having pigment molecules that are long and thin and are meant to dry in a specific orientation, with different ends of the molecule being different colors.


Paint can be applied as a solid, a gaseous suspension or a liquid. Techniques vary depending on the practical or artistic results desired.
As a solid (usually 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).
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. 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 or to paint very slowly;
*a chemical (typically a solvent) can 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.
In the liquid application, paint can be applied by direct application using brushes, paint rollers, blades, other instruments, or body parts. Examples of body parts include fingerpainting, where the paint is applied by hand, whole-body painting (popular in the 1960s avant-garde movement), and cave painting, in which a pigment (usually finely-ground charcoal) is held in the mouth and spat at a wall ('Note:' some paints are toxic and might cause death or permanent injury).
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 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.
Paint may also be applied by flipping the paint, dripping, or by dipping an object in paint.

Product variants

*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.
*Varnish and shellac provide a protective coating without changing the color. They are paints without pigment.
*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 can be made by adding varnish to oil-based paint.
*Inks are similar to paints, except they are typically made using dyes exclusively (no pigments), and are designed so as not to leave a thick film of binder.
*Titanium dioxide is extensively used for both house paint and artist's paint, because it is permanent and has good covering power. Titanium oxide pigment accounts for the largest use of the element. Titanium paint is an excellent reflector of infrared, and is extensively used in solar observatories where heat causes poor seeing conditions.
*Anti-Graphiti paints are used to defeat the marking of surfaces by graphiti artists. There are two categories, sacrificial and non-bonding. Sacrificial coatings are clear coatings that allow the removal of graphiti, usually by pressure washing the surface with high-pressure water, removing the graphiti, and the coating (hence, sacrificed.) They must be re-applied afterward for continued protection. This is most commonly used on natual-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 graphiti very little to bond to. After the graphiti 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 whilst 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.


Ancient painted walls, to be seen at Dendera, Egypt, although exposed for many ages to the open air, still possess a perfect brilliancy of color, as vivid as when painted, perhaps 2000 years ago. The Egyptians mixed their colors with some gummy substance, and applied them detached 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 field entirely with white, upon which they 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 executed at a date prior to the foundation of Rome. He expresses great surprise and admiration at their freshness, after the lapse of so many centuries.
:See also lacquer, varnish, fresco

External links

*[ History of Paint]
*[ 20 recipes for homemade paint] (text)
*[ Homemade Paint Recipes for Children]
* [ Comparing Commercial Paints FAQ]
*[ The Quest of Purchasing Oil Paints]
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Paint".