House Paint

by: Kate MacVicar

House paint is used by many people to paint their house. There are many different colors, different brands and even different brushes to use. It isn't weird for someone to paint the interior or exterior of their house. In fact, it's something people do often. But do people that paint their house really know what's in their paint?

5 facts about the history of paint

1.) The pilgrims thought paint expressed vanity and happiness.  If anyone painted their house, they were accused of sacrilege.

2.) Between  1600 and 1800 people used only water and oil as a base. Oil was better for some colors and in some cases water was better for others.

3.) In the 1700's lead paint was popular because it could hold color well. But, the workers that made it began to get lead poisoning. It wasn't until 1978 that the US prohibited lead paint.

4.)Eventually, people figured out that house paint preserved wood and it became a rule, instead of just being a privilege.

5.) During World War II, linseed oil, a key factor in paint, became scarce. To try and find another solution, chemists mixed alcohols and acids to make alkyds (artificial resins). They were cheap to make, lasted a long time, and held color well. Soon, they replaced oil as a paint base.

Some paint has only two major components; the pigments and binders. The pigment is the paint's color and the binder is what holds that pigment on the wall. Other paints contain more like the solvents and additives.  Solvents are the liquids in paint that hold the pigments and transport the paint from the brush to the wall. Then the solvents evaporate and leaves the paint behind. Additives do small things like giving the paint a better smell or they help the paint stick better to surfaces.

One major material: The binder

The binder- Paint's main component is the binder or film-former. The binder helps the paint have more gloss, durability, texture, and toughness. It also holds the pigments together.  There are many different types of binders including oils (used for oil paint), alkyds (to speed up the drying process), eggs ( to make tempera paint) , gums ( used to make pastels, chalk and watercolors) , and waxes ( helps thicken paint). Some films are formed by cooling the binder; wax paints are a liquid when they're warm, but harden once they're cooled. Different binders are chosen based on how they work for certain paints. For example, if you want a thicker paint that drys faster you may use wax and alkyds as a binder.

Paint dates back a long time, to almost 40,000 years ago when homo sapiens used paint to do cave drawings. The homo sapiens lived in every content except Antarctica so paint's origin could be anywhere.


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