Paint Trivia: 9 Thought-Provoking Facts

Residential Painting Facts

Ways to add color to your home renovationWhen considering the topic of paint, you might think that there is little to know; however, paint actually possesses a rich and colourful (excuse the pun) history. Here are some historical and scientific facts about paint and colour in general that may surprise you – and inspire you during your next residential painting job.

The first paints were actually combinations of the moisture from saliva or animal fat with either ochre or charcoal (ochre is essentially a type of dirt or earth that can come in a variety of pigments). Some Ancient Egyptians even used clam shells as their paint canisters.

Michelangelo’s renowned painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel may have taken him approximately four years to finish, but the scrupulous restoration process that occurred four centuries later took twenty years. Next time you’re feeling impatient, just imagine all of those detailers perpetually looking up at that ceiling with their paint brushes in hand!

You may know that white is cool and black tends to heat up, but did you know that this is a result of white reflecting all of the colours that make up a light spectrum while black absorbs all of these same colours? White will appear white because it is reflecting the colour of light while black implies an absence of colour and instead converts the colours it absorbs into thermal energy or heat.

The most common favourite colour is blue. Interestingly, the most popular colour of car is white, followed by silver, black, grey, and…blue. While people clearly prefer the professional look of a shade on their automobile, it is fascinating that people’s favourite colour carries over into their choice of car.

Certain colours are said to have an effect on a person’s subconscious. Warm colours are thought to promote passion and energy while cool colours can invoke a sense of calmness and tranquility. Think about this when you start your next residential painting project.

This calming effect on the subconscious is part of the reason why most hospitals and clinics are painted white. Other reasons include white’s association with cleanliness and its high contrast with other colours (thereby allowing patients with impaired visibility to navigate the building better).

dsc00161Green has the benefit of having more shades of commercially available paint than any other colour in the industry. This is because of our ability to distinguish between more shades of green than all other colours. Humans are more sensitive to green because of its medial placement in the visible light spectrum while many shades of blue and red are lost to the respective ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths that human eyes cannot perceive.

Physicist Sir Isaac Newton may have developed the theory of gravity, but he also invented the colour wheel in 1706. When spun quickly enough, this disc has the illusion of looking white!

While the paint we see in interiors is often for aesthetic purposes, the paint we see on building exteriors and vehicles is first and foremost to provide weather resistance and to reduce the likelihood of corrosion or rusting. For many things, paint is more than just a pretty face and offers invaluable protection to the elements.

These are just a few of the interesting facts that you can think about the next time you engage in a residential painting project.