What’s in Your House Paint?

Painting has been used as a form of creative expression for thousands of years. Back then, paints were as natural as can be: often using “earth pigments” like charcoal and yellow ochre.

But paint has come a long way since our ancestors first did primitive paintings inside their caves. Modern paints are now sophisticated mixtures of various materials that can resist stains and are easy to clean

Because of the emphasis in today’s society on the use of environmentally friendly products, paint manufacturers are constantly updating their paints to make them “greener.” Not only are these new paints more environmentally friendly, but they are also safer and more durable.

So Many Choices

With paint manufacturers offering so many choices, home and business owners can have a hard time figuring out which paint they should buy. Knowing what paint products are made of can help you when you are buying paint.

What Is in Your Paint?

So what exactly is in the paint that you are using in your home?

These are the main ingredients that make up the common house paint:

  • Additives
  • Binders
  • Carrier
  • Pigments


The amount of these materials differ from one paint product to another, but these are basically the main ingredients. Additives are ingredients that are added to paint to boost its performance. These include antifoaming agents and materials that fight mildew. These are mostly used in modern paints.


Binders are materials that help in drying the liquid paint. As the name suggests, they bind the pigments together. There are latex-based and oil-based binders.


Also known as the liquid, the carrier is the ingredient in the paint that keeps it in liquid form until it has been applied. The carrier used will depend on the kind of paint. The carrier can be water, paint thinner, alcohol, and lacquer thinner.


The carrier is meant to evaporate after the paint has been applied to the surface, leaving the binder and pigments. The less carrier there is when the paint is applied, the thicker the resulting coat of paint.

There are three kinds of pigments that are used in paints:

  • Prime pigments
  • Color pigments
  • Extenders

The prime pigments are the ingredients that give paint its capability to hide surfaces. The most commonly used white pigment is known as titanium dioxide.

Color pigments, as the name suggests, are the sources of the color of the paint. They provide the paint color through the absorption of light. These pigments can be added to paint in the factories or the stores.

Extender pigments are used to lower the costs of painting by increasing the bulk of the paint. Although they provide less hiding capability than titanium dioxide, they positively impact other properties such as sheen, scrub resistance, and exterior color retention.

Although cavemen were very crafty and innovative, the paint we use now is built to make an impression and stand the test of time! One thing we think our ancestors can agree on is that weather a bedroom, business, or a cave, it’s best to hire a professional for all your painting needs.