Basics of Building Materials Paints

Paint – The face of your house. A magic that makes the interiors of your house colorful and vibrant.
Let’s dive deep into the colorful world of paint and is also an important part of building material.

From a historical perspective, human beings used a paint-like substance as early as 30,000 years ago.

What is Paint?

Any liquid which, after applied to a surface, turns into a solid film can be called as paint.

What are the secret ingredients?

There are four: Pigment, binder, solvent, and additive.


It is the pigment that gives color to the paint. It hides surface imperfections. Pigments are classified into two types.
• Prime pigments
• Extender pigments
Prime pigments provide whiteness, color (colorants) and hiding properties.

Color pigments (colorants) can be further classified into two types:

  • Organic = Brighter colors

  • Inorganic = Earth tones

Extender pigments

Extender pigments give bulk to the paint.


Binders play many roles in the paint. It is responsible for binding pigment, adhesion, robustness, durability, resistance against cracking and peeling and retaining glossy effect.
Binders are naturally thick and a thinner is used before application.


Solvents are like a vehicle, a carrier, which helps bring the pigments and binders from the can to the surface. By combining pigments and binders, solvent helps create a coating of paint on the surface.

In oil-based paints, generally, paint thinner is used as a solvent. In latex-based paints, the carrier is water.


Additives enhance the quality and properties of the paint.
Thickening agents provide the necessary viscosity to the paint and help resist splattering of paint when it is applied on the surface.

Surfactants keep pigment properly dispersed in the paint and thus help achieve equal distribution of pigment and uniform color all over the surface.
Biocides are like a preservative to resist bacteria formation and mildew growth.

Defoamers in paint prevent bubble formation during application.
Co-solvents help paint to level out and spread well and prevent it from drying when it is applied.

While brushing, it helps binders form a good film of paint Done and science has been explored enough. Now, let’s explore the art behind the paint.

Types of paint finishes

“Matte, satin, eggshell, semi-gloss, and gloss.”

Matte paint

It’s a smooth and subtle finish. Hides imperfections well.
A good choice for ceilings and walls in formal settings. Suitable for office interiors, family rooms, and dining rooms.
Satin – Easy to clean. High durability. The finish is neither matte nor gloss; it falls in-between. Does not fade easily and a good choice for exteriors.

Suitable for bedrooms, dining rooms, and corridors.


Hides imperfections. Has a sheen but still subtle. Easy to apply. A larger surface can be covered with a minimal quantity of paint. Suitable for living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms.


Hard finish. Easy to clean. High durability. Reflects light and has a noticeable sheen. Brings life to the ambiance. Suitable for bathrooms, kitchens, doors, and windows.


The most durable finish. Reflects light well and has a greater sheen than any other finish. Makes the ambiance colorful and vibrant. Suitable for doors, windows and accent walls.

Let’s address an interesting and innovative question now.
Can interior paint be applied for exteriors?

No. Because, exterior paints require additional properties to withstand changing weather conditions, scorching sunlight and other outdoor situations.

So, exterior paints come with some additives which help paint endure external circumstances.

Is that all? Have we explored everything about paint?
No. There is still a lot we can speak. Known is a drop. Unknown is an ocean. Let’s explore further in the coming days.

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