What Is Paint Made of?
Paint is made of pigments, solvents, resins, and various other additives. The pigments give it color; solvents make it easier to apply; resins help it dry; and additives serve as everything from fillers to anti-fungicidal agents. Paint is more than just the color though; it is a material that is applied as a liquid and dries by a variety of chemical processes to a solid.
Ordinary house paints are made mostly of pigments mixed with a vehicle, or a liquid binder. The pigment, which consists of one or more colored powders, gives its color. The vehicle may be oil, varnish or resins. When the vehicle dries, it hardens into a tough film that holds the pigment onto the painted surface.
Thinners, such as turpentine and various synthetic solvents are added to make the paint easier to spread onto a surface. Gaily colored paints brighten our homes indoors and also protect outdoor surfaces from the weather.
Paint is generally custom-made to fit the needs of industrial customers. For example, one might be especially interested in a fast-drying paint, while another might desire a paint that supplies good coverage over a long lifetime. Paint intended for the consumer can also be custom-made. Paint manufacturers provide such a wide range of colors that it is impossible to keep large quantities of each on hand.
To meet a request for “aquamarine,” “canary yellow,” or “maroon,” the manufacturer will select a base that is appropriate for the deepness of color required. (Pastel bases will have high amounts of titanium dioxide, the white pigment, while darker tones will have less.) Then, according to a predetermined formula, the manufacturer can introduce various pigments from calibrated cylinders to obtain the proper color.