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Ancient painted walls at Denerdera, Egypt, which were exposed for many ages to the open air, still possess a perfect brilliancy of color, as vivid as when they were painted about 2,000 years ago. The Egyptians mixed their colors with some gummy substance, and applied them separated 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.
Paint was made with the yolk of eggs and therefore, the substance would harden and stick onto the surface applied. Pigments were made from plants, sands, and different soil types.
Pigments are granular solids incorporated into the paint to contribute color, toughness, texture 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 fix, precipitated calcium carbonate, and synthetic 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, baryte, 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 silicon or aluminum oxides 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 or vehicleEdit
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 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. 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.
Paints that cure by oxidative crosslinking are generally single package coatings that 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 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.
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.
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 paintEdit
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.
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:
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.
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 may also be applied by flipping the paint, dripping, or by dipping an object in paint.
Interior/exterior house paint tends to separate when stored, the heavier components settling to the bottom. It should be mixed before use, with a flat wooden stick or a paint mixing accessory; pouring it back and forth between two containers is also an effective manual mixing method. Paint stores 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.
Oil-based paints when dry tend to be very durable, washable, and long-lasting. The paint would take about almost 1 day to dry.
Water-based paints tend to be the safest, and easiest to clean up after using—the brushes and rollers can be cleaned with soap and water.
It is difficult to reseal the paint container and store the paint well for a long period of time. It should be stored upside down, for a good seal. Storage should be in a cool dry place, protected from freezing.
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.
If it is necessary to dispose of paint, one approach is to dry it, either by leaving the lid off until it solidifies (which tends to work well only for small quantities), or by pouring it into a disposable drying device, such as a piece of plywood surrounded by a lip. Many commercial paint stores also carry paint hardeners which will work for both latex or oil based paints and is useful for larger quantities. If available, clay based cat litter will do the job as well. Once dry, the paint may be discarded with normal trash (just make sure to keep the lid off so it won't be refused during pick up). Wet oil-based paint should be treated as hazardous waste, and disposed of according to local regulations.
Old paint can chip off the surface and become a "paint chip".
At one time, VOC's (volatile organic compounds) were required for paint and finishes to perform properly. Such paints could contain up to 10,000 chemicals, of which approximately 300 were toxins, and 150 were linked to kidney damage, liver damage, or cancer. Even after application and drying, these paints and finishes continued to release low level toxic emissions into the air for many years to come.
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.
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