The Science of Paint: 4 Key Components in Every Can - Bid Evolution

The Science of Paint: 4 Key Components in Every Can

The Science of Paint: 4 Key Components in Every Can

We can say without a shred of hyperbole that the concept of paint is nothing short of miraculous. With just a few strokes, walls can be protected, injected with bold color, and given a brand new look. When done right, a few coats of paint can drastically change the feel of a space and affect people’s moods without them even realizing it.

Finishing Solutions Network connects you with thousands of vetted and expert contractors for your project needs, and many of those contractors specialize in the science of paint. We’ve learned quite a bit about paint over the years, and as infinite as the paint possibilities might be, all paint really comes down to four major components.

1. Pigments
A pigment is what you might typically relate to color, but in the case of paint, it’s the actual bolt of the product—that is, the stuff that’s left on the wall when you pull your brush away. The higher the grade of your pigments, the more your paint will increase in quality and price. Pigments are what give your paint its color and hide.

Going the cost-cutting route can result in some frustrations. If you use an inexpensive paint product, you may notice that the coat is translucent, and it’s not great at hiding previous coats. That speaks to low pigment quality. If you have to use more coats to cover an area, you aren’t saving money at all, you’re losing it in materials and time.

2. Binders
These little guys are versatile, doing everything from stain resistance to contributing to dullness or shine. Binders give a better adhesion to the surface and give the paint film its integrity. If your paint has more binders, it’s less likely to crack, bubble, or peel.

Ever heard a company advertise that a specific paint is 100% acrylic or latex? That’s a sentence that touts the binders used in the coating. You may also hear the word resin used instead of binder—companies tend to use the two terms interchangeably.

3. Vehicle
Your vehicle is the carrier that gets the paint out of the can and onto the wall. Because of regulations, a vast majority of today’s vehicles are water-based. In general, you want to use less of the liquid because the more the liquid is present, the thinner the paint will be.

There are a lot of high performance vehicles out there these days. A lot of companies use glycol (which mirrors the flow of oil-based paints from back in the day). In this regulated era, oil-based paints are typically only used on steel paint jobs.

4. Additives
These are a fun little bonus you find in your higher-end paint products. They always increase the paint cost, but provide benefits to the painter in return. Mildewcides that destroy mildews and prevent molds from forming are common additives, as are ones that prevent spoilage—actually pretty similar to what you might see in food. Your paint will last longer in storage with that additive.

There are other additives that help keep the colorant in the paint dispersed. In cheap paints, you often see a color separation upon opening the can. But with the right additives, the color stays dispersed throughout.

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