What Ingredients Are in House Paint?

By J. Lang Wood
House paint contains compounds that make application easy.

Painting your home is one of the fastest ways to update its look and increase the value of your property. Colors should blend well with the look of the neighborhood and comply with any homeowner association rules. Darker colors tend to fade faster, so lighter shades provide greater value, according to HousePaintingInfo.com. A good quality house paint pays for itself in longer lasting wear as years pass.

Pigments

Pigments, which give paint its color, are fine chemical particles that provide color, hiding ability and texture. Clay, silica, carbon black, iron oxide and titanium dioxide provide these properties in pigment, according to PaintingKey.com. Pigments tend to separate from the solvent mixture; they will appear on the surface if you open a can of unshaken house paint. This is why mechanical shakers remix paint before its use.

Solvents

Solvents keep the paint components in solution so it can be applied. Oil-based paints use a petroleum distillate as a solvent. These solvents are toxic and flammable and should be used with care. Latex house paints use water as the primary solvent. Because of this, they are much less hazardous to use.

Binders

Binders, an important part of house paint composition, solidify to form the paint coating. Binders can be natural or synthetic compounds. Linseed oil, tung oil, alkyd resins, acrylics, polyesters, melamines, polyurethanes and latex are all typical binders in house paint. The word “latex” once described the synthetic rubber base that was used as a binder. While this substance is no longer used in house paints, “latex” continues to apply to all water-based paints, according to HomeTips.com.

Fillers

Fillers, a type of pigment to thicken the paint film, make it more cost-effective for the manufacturer. They are often cheap and inert ingredients such as diatomaceous earth, clay, lime, talc or barite, a non-metallic mineral. These fillers give paint texture and bulk for easy coverage.

Additives

Other additives in house paint provide a variety of features. These compounds may offer anti-microbial properties against mildew, reduce drag on the brush, add different kinds of texture or allow better sticking capability on irregular surfaces. Some of these additives help make the paint odor less overwhelming.