What chemicals are used to make paint

Emulsion paint

Facade painting with emulsion paint

As Emulsion paints These are viscous paints that consist of a chemical dispersion (mostly an emulsion) of binders and solvents, colorants (mostly pigments) and additives. In this general sense, the majority of liquid paints (lacquers, paints) are dispersions. Colloquially, it means standard wall paint, as can be bought on pallets in every hardware store. Most of the time, however Synthetic resin dispersion paints.

In addition, there are similarly structured products on the market that use mainly vegetable oils instead of synthetic and mineral oil-containing ingredients and as Natural dispersion paints are designated.

Economical meaning

In 2008, around 890,000 tons of emulsion paints and varnishes were produced in Germany. The total sales value of these products was 1.28 billion euros. The amount produced is divided into emulsion paints for interior use (70%), emulsion paints for facade use (18%) and dispersion varnishes (12%). Based on the sales value of the products, the proportions are 53%, 20% and 27%.[1]

Synthetic resin dispersion paints

Synthetic resin emulsion paints (also synthetic emulsion paints, paints or dispersions) are wall coatings that usually consist of a dispersion of synthetic resin and water. For indoor areas they are standardized in DIN EN 13300, those for outdoor areas in DIN EN 1062.


The main components are typically water as a diluent, synthetic resins made from mineral oil (mostly acrylic resins) or similar plastics (e.g. polyvinyl acetate) as binders, dyes or pigments. Titanium dioxide is usually used as the pigment for white, otherwise fillers such as calcium carbonate, silicates and quartz powder are added. Auxiliary materials (so-called additives) improve the technological and application properties. Such additives are, for example, stabilizers, defoamers, thickeners, preservatives and solvents. The synthetic resins used are acrylates or polyvinyl acetate, the latter are used for so-called latex paints. Synthetic resin dispersion wall paints with particularly high water resistance, for exterior and facade areas as well as for damp areas inside the house contain an increased proportion of synthetic resin. Synthetic resin emulsion paints with decorative additives such as glitter are also often referred to as latex paints.

Solid color

In addition to liquid synthetic resin emulsion paint, there are thixotropic (so-called compact) Paintings, known by the name Solid color®. Due to their thixotropy, they should be less spattering and spattering when painting. Compact paints have lost their market importance, since most emulsion paints are nowadays drip-inhibited (slightly jelly-like) and, in contrast to Fixed color can be applied much easier.


White emulsion paints can be colored with full-tone paints, tinting paints or pigment preparations. Pigment preparations are predispersed, binder-free products which, if used alone, would not form a film. Such additives are mostly used for automatic systems, so-called tinting systems. However, there are also a few manufacturers who offer pigment preparations for the professional sector.[2] Full tone and tinting paints are finished paints that contain film formers. Solid and tinting colors are usually used for manual tinting in the “do-it-yourself” area.

Tinted colors are now available in specialist and hardware stores. The colors are either mixed on site using computer control (point-of-sale tinting) or already tinted ex works (in-plant tinting or 'factory tinting'). In some countries, like the United States, it is point-of-sale tinting become the standard. Not only in hardware stores, but also in retail chains such as Wal-Mart. The tinting of small quantities in particular requires a high degree of dosing accuracy and precise adjustment of the pigment preparations used, which is why a minimum quantity is usually dispensed. In principle, the same pigments can be used manually and automatically, so that the same level of fastness of the resulting color shades is achieved. In practice, however, one is dependent on a limited selection of pigments with automatic dispensers, which must also cover all types of products offered. The color accuracy of automatic dispensing systems depends heavily on the number and type of pigments specified, as well as on the color formulations stored in the mixer.[3][4]

Environmental sustainability

The Federal Environment Agency generally certifies that synthetic resin emulsion paints are environmentally friendly. For interior products to be labeled with the Blue Angel, in addition to other limits, a maximum limit of 700 ppm VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) applies.[5]. This limit is far lower than that of the EU in the so-called Decopaint guideline specified limit of 100 g / l (from 2007) and 30 g / l (from 2010)[6][7]. In the case of systems that are marked with the Blue Angel, it can be assumed that almost no volatile substances are emitted.

Hygienic aspects

Emulsion paints usually contain preservatives and also biocides. These can lead to allergic reactions when used. With the help of suitable mineral additives, colors can also be stabilized without biocides. They are then physiologically harmless and are used for the production (coating) of food packaging (food approval). These colors are commercially available and marked accordingly and are preferably suitable as wall paints for children's rooms or hospitals.

Natural dispersion paints

Natural dispersion paints or paints are used in the same way as synthetic resin dispersion paints, but consist exclusively or for the most part of natural, non-synthetic ingredients. As before the invention of synthetic resin, vegetable oils such as linseed oil or castor oil are used as drying oils and the titanium dioxide is replaced by other mineral pigments. Mineral pigments have the advantage over organic pigments that they fade less in sunlight. Natural emulsion paints are usually more expensive than paints based on synthetic resin due to the fact that raw materials are rarely produced on a mass-industrial basis.

After the application, a slight odor of the natural oil arises in the room, which, however, subsides after a while (with good ventilation). Whether it is perceived as pleasant or unpleasant depends on the individual perception. The natural oil (especially linseed oil) can lead to yellowing, making white walls more yellowish. This color change happens evenly and is hardly noticeable. The formation of dust edges on picture frames is significantly less than with synthetic resin dispersions, as no static charge is generated.

Emulsion paints

Because the terms emulsion paint and synthetic resin emulsion paint are now used almost synonymously, different types of emulsion paints are referred to as emulsion paints. The well-known poster paint from Pelikan is referred to by the manufacturer as casein emulsion paint, for example, according to the binder used.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Production statistics for paints and varnishes in Germany in 2008; Paint and varnish 06/2009; page 12
  2. ↑ http: //www.mixol.de/de/techninfo/abtoenprogramm/allgemein/allgemein_index.html
  3. ↑ H.-A. Fire: Fit the pastes Paint & varnish 03/2005
  4. ↑ Fresh cell treatment for the mixing plant; Paint & varnish 04/2007
  5. ↑ RAL UZ 102
  6. ↑ Directive 1999/13 / EC
  7. ↑ Directive 2004/42 / EC