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12 Facts You Didn't Know About Paint

Paint color symbolizes many things in cultures throughout the world and has been made up of a variety of materials. From cave dwellers in pre-historic times to royalty in the medieval era to the modern-day family trying to pick that perfect color for their living room, paint has been ubiquitous in everyday life for some time now. Here are 12 facts that you didn’t know about paint to get you inspired for your next project.


  1. The first ready-to-use paint was brought to us by none other than Sherwin-Williams, in 1866. Previously, the paint had to be mixed manually, using a variety of materials: milk, olive oil, eggs, lime and other earth pigments, linseed oil, and many more. Later on, the company hit another milestone with the invention of a re-sealable tin can, so painters could preserve their paints.
  2. Paint has been around for thousands of years – about 30,000 years, to be more exact. Cave dwellers used paint to draw representations of life in those times, many of which are still visible today.
  3. Red doors have meant several things throughout history and different cultures. In the early pioneer days in the U.S., a red door typically meant that a house was a safe spot to lay your head for the evening and rest from a long day’s travel. In the Civil War, a red door meant that the house was a safe home for slaves trying to escape to the North in the Underground Railroad. In Scotland, a red door has traditionally meant that their home is mortgage-free. It was a celebration of owing no debt to the house. In China, a red door symbolizes good luck, and doors are often repainted red to celebrate the New Year.
  4. In the 1940s, linseed oil (which was a substance commonly used to make paint) was in short supply due to World War II. Because of this shortage, chemists discovered how to make artificial resins, which made paint cheaper and gave the color more durability.
  5. The Greek philosopher Plato is credited with discovering mixing primary colors together to create a new color. At the very least, he was the first to talk and write about it.
  6. The White House was originally white because of the lime-based whitewash that protected the inner stone surface. It wasn’t painted white until after the British set fire to it in 1814. To paint the entire outer surface of The White House would take about 570 gallons of paint.
  7. According to Zillow research, there are particular colors you can paint rooms in the house that can significantly increase its value. Powder blue and periwinkle bathrooms can increase the value of your home a whopping $5,000 over average, whereas homes with white or off-white bathrooms typically sell for $4,000 under average. That’s a potential gain of $9,000 by choosing one color over another in 1 room. Houses with blue kitchens can sell for about $2,600 more than those with yellow kitchens. Brown living rooms are very popular with buyers today and can bring the sale price of a home up to $1,800 over average. Finally, many buyers are partial to “greige” exteriors (a mixture of light gray and beige hues) and sell for around $3,500 more than a brown or taupe house. This might give you something to think about before you list!
  8. The Golden Gate bridge’s iconic “international orange” was strategically chosen for it to stand out in the city’s ever-present fog. Originally, the US Navy wanted the bridge to be painted yellow and black, so passing ships could easily see the bridge.
  9. According to the EPA, the US uses about 1.57 billion gallons of paint each year—that’s a lot of color!
  10. The US banned the use of lead paint in homes in 1978. Lead paint is toxic and can be very harmful to children who are exposed to it, causing damage to the brain and other vital organs. Children who have lead poisoning often get it through putting a lead-contaminated object into their mouths or by eating a peeling paint chip from the wall. This can also happen if a child handles something containing lead, then puts their hand in their mouth. If your home was built before 1978, you may want to take precautions, such as wiping down surface walls, mopping floors, and dusting regularly.
  11. The best time to paint your home is when it’s around 60-70 degrees outside. This will ensure that the paint won’t dry too quickly (when it’s too hot,) or take a long time to dry (when it’s too cold.)
  12. Different paint colors are said to affect your mood. For instance, greens and blues are reportedly good for stress relief and are best used in the bedroom. Vibrant colors, like oranges and reds, are known to invigorate and wake you up and might be best used in an office or a living room.


Need a room painted in your house? Thinking about changing the color of your home’s exterior? Call on the professional services of The Arizona Painting Company. Our team of experts is ready to take your call today.

Arizona Painting Company