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Surface coatings can be divided into paints (relatively opaque solid coatings applied as thin layers whose films

usually formed by polymerization of a poly-unsaturated oil), varnishes (clear coatings), enamels (pigmented varnishes),
lacquers (films formed by evaporation only).

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. It is the general term for stuff that is used to add colour to the surface of an object by covering it
with a pigmented (coloured) coating.

Cave-paintings drawn with red and yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide and charcoal may have been made by early
Homo sapiens as long as 40,000 years ago.
Paint was made with the yolk of eggs and therefore, the substance would harden and stick onto the surface applied. Some
red paint was made of blood of animals. Pigments were made from plants and sands.

The pigment, although usually an inorganic substance, may also be a pure, insoluble organic dye known as a toner or an
organic dye precipitated on an inorganic carrier such as aluminium hydroxide, barium sulphate or clay. Pigment
extenders or fillers reduce the cost of paint and increase its durability. The function of pigment and filler is to provide a
coloured surface pleasing for its aesthetic appeal. The solid particles in the paint reflect many of the destructive light-
rays and thus help to prolong the life of the entire paint. Pigment should be opaque to ensure good covering power and
chemically inert to secure stability, hence long life. Pigments should be non-toxic it must be wet by the film-forming
constituents and be of low cost.

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, silica and talc. Synthetics would include engineered molecules, calcined clays, blanc fix, precipitated
calcium carbonate, and synthetic silica.
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 comprised 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. 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 vehicle
Without film forming materials, the pigments would not be held upon the surface. Paint films are formed by the drying
of various unsaturated oils. The drying is a chemical change representing oxidation and polymerization. It is hastened
by pre-treatment of the oil and by adding driers or catalysts, predominantly heavy metallic soaps which are oxygen
carriers usually soluble in oil. Since paints are mechanical mixtures, the pigments and extenders are carried by or
suspended in a vehicle, This vehicle is the film-forming oil to which other liquids are added, in varying amounts, not
only in the factory, but by the painter. The diluent or thinner used for this purpose is volatile naphtha. To reduce certain
aspects of cracking in paints, plasticizers are used.
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 include synthetic or natural resins such as acrrylics, polyurethanes, polyesters, melamine resins, epoxy or oils.

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 contain a solid binder dissolved in a solvent; this forms a solid film when
the solvent evaporates, and the film can re-dissolve in the solvent again. Classic nitrocellulose lacquers fall into this
category, as do non-grain raising stains composed of dyes dissolved in solvent.

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 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 house-paint, 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 alter the percentages of individual components in a formulation.

Paint constituents :

Resins (film-formers):
Synthetics---alkyds, acrylics, vinyls, cellulosics, urethanes, styrenes, phenolics,
Natural---shellac, rosin

Solvents---ketones, aromatics, aliphatics, alcohols, glycols, terpenes

Drying oils---linseed oil, castor oil

Pigments and extenders---titanium dioxide, calcium carbonate, barium sulphate, zinc

oxide, red-lead, carbon-black

Driers---cobalt, manganese, lead and zinc, naphthenates, linoleates

Plasticizers---octyl, decyl esters of phthalic, adipic and similar acids

The paint is usually put onto the surface with a paint brush. House painters also use rollers and spray-guns to put on
paint. A modern invention is paint in a pressurized can which can be sprayed on. In factories there are machines which
spray paint onto objects. Cars are usually painted in this way.

Paint must be allowed to dry. Some paints such as watercolour, dries in a few minutes. Other paints, such as artist's oil
paint, can take days or even weeks to dry. Most other types of paints fit between these two. Many types of paint are best
if they are put on in several layers. The painter must first prepare the surface so it is smooth, clean and dry. The first layer
of paint is often an "undercoat" or "ground" which is smooth and sticks very well. The coloured paints are put on over
the top. A house-painter who is using oil paint on a wooden window frame might used three layers of paint to give very
good protection from the weather. Other types of modern house paint only need one layer, particularly on the inside.
Artists using oil paint and tempera often use many layers to get just the right effect.

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

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.

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.

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.
Product variants
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.
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.
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 contain either glass
powder or tiny metal flake fragments instead of the color pigments found in standard oil-based paints. Enamel paint is
also mixed with varnish to increase shine as well as assist its hardening process.

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.

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.

Non-toxic paints – Average household paint contains up to 10,000 chemicals, of which about approximately 300 are
toxins, and 150 are harmful and have been linked to kidney damage, liver damage, or cancer. Even after application and
drying, paints and finishes continue to release these toxic emissions into the air for many years to come. The sources of
those toxins are VOCs. Up until recently very high levels of VOC's were widely utilized in paint products and finishes.
Non-Toxic paints do not contain as many volatile organic compounds, which makes enclosed air safer to breath for
people vs. regular paint. It also has a less damaging effect on the environment as it reduces landfill, groundwater and
ozone depleting contaminants. VOC's are the second largest source of emissions into the atmosphere after automobiles.
Paint has four important uses


Paint is used to protect all sorts of buildings and structures from the effects of water and sun. Wooden buildings such as
houses are usually painted because a coat of paint prevents water seeping into the wood and making it rot. The paint also
helps to prevent the wood from drying out in the hot sun.

Metal structures and objects of all sorts are painted to stop them from rusting. A very large steel structure such as a
bridge must have a team of painters who keep the paint in good condition all the time.


Paint is used to decorate all sorts of objects. Since pre-historic times, people have painted the inside walls of their houses
to make them look attractive.

All sorts of other objects are painted to make them attractive. This includes furniture, toys, tools and utensils, and street
fittings. Sometimes things made of wood such as furniture are painted in decorative patterns.



Paint is a very good way to give important information to people, using painted signs. Painted signs include lane
markings on the road, street signs of all sorts, advertising signs and warning signs.