Want to Know How Paint is Made? Here’s How

When it comes to painting, people often consider the color, sheen and the tool to be used for applying it. You might also be asking the paint brand or manufacturer of the local painters in your area that you are planning to hire. After all, you want the paint job to be as smooth and satisfying as possible. 

But aside from the sheen, brand, and color of paint, have you ever wondered what’s in a paint can and how it is made? What’s in latex paint that oil-based paint does not have? Why is this kind of paint dry faster than the others? Why do we need to prep the surface first before applying paint? 

These are valid questions, and it only right that you know what’s in a can of paint. For example, latex paint contains a good amount of water. This is why you need to wait for the water to evaporate completely before applying another coat on the surface. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of paint. 


What’s in latex paint? 

As mentioned, water is a major element in latex paint. It is a solvent that dissolves and disperses solids on the painted surface. It also contains resins and pigments that bind paint after drying and provide the color to the paint itself, respectively. Latex paint also has additives that smoothen the paint and ensures a faster drying time.  

Latex paint has a rich, silky substance like condensed milk, and a vibrant hue especially when swirled fresh with a wooden stick. But leave it untouched for months and you will be surprised to see a solid blob at the bottom and some liquid substance on top. On the contrary, matte and flat paint tends to have a chalky texture because they have more solids than liquid content. 


What’s in a solvent/oil-based paint? 

Oil-based paint also contains some kind of liquid substance, not water but instead, solvent. Specifically, mineral turpentine is used as a vehicle to dissolve and carry the other paint ingredients. Unlike latex paint, oil-based paint takes a little more time to dry. Other elements included in paint include: 

  • Pigment – gives color to the paint, often comes in powdered form 
  • Additives – meant to improve the paint’s physical properties (ex. Floetrol, Penetrol) 


The paint making process 

These are the steps of making paint. 


Step 1: Portioning

All of the ingredients are measured by weight or volume using calibrated vats. It’s like measuring ingredients in measuring cups when cooking. 


Step 2: Creation of mill base 

The raw pigments are dispersed, hence creating a substance called the mill base. 


Step 3: Let-down and shipping 

This is where the additives, solvents, and resins are combined in a vat, followed by the let-down product and mill base. These will then be prepared and shipped to the canning area and mixed in tanks. 


Step 4: Labeling and filling 

Empty cans of paint arrive are applied with labels. Different machines then fill up the cans for a gallon or five gallons. Paint cans are sealed, boxed, and placed on different pallets, and shipped to different areas. 


Now, you know what’s in your can of paint. Hiring a professional painter in Franklin TN will help you with your residential and commercial painting needs. Contact one today!

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