Painting has been part of the human story for more than 30,000 years. From
painting cave walls to frescoes, from billboards to building walls - Painting has been
a way in which humans have continued their stories of progress.
In the 1700s, the first recorded paint mill in America was built in Boston by Thomas
Child. In the 1940s, the invention of the aerosol revolutionized the paint industry. It
was initially created by the military to dispense insecticide.
The United States Department of Agriculture was the first to create aerosol
mosquito repellent and also became the first producers of spray paint cans in the
1950s. Since then, spray paint has been a controversial product, mainly attacked for
reducing the ozone. Later, when graffiti became more of prominent social
phenomena, purchasing spray cans became stigmatized.
Pigments are used in spray paint to provide color and opacity. There are four basic
types of pigments used in spray paint. White pigments such as titanium dioxide are
used to scatter light and make the painted surface more opaque. Color pigments, as
the name implies, provide color to the paint mixture. These include a variety of
synthetic chemicals. Inert pigments are used as fillers that alter the film
characteristics of the paint. Finally, functional pigments provide extra performance
characteristics such as imparting protection from ultraviolet rays. The quality of the
spray paint product is evaluated at several stages.
During batching, the concentrate is checked to ensure it is the proper shade. This
may be done simply by visually comparing a sample of the fresh batch to an
approved standard. A small amount of the paint can be spread on a white
background to aid in this comparison. In addition, more sophisticated color-metric or
photometric instrumental methods of analysis may be used.
Analytical test methods, such as the Daniels Flow Point Test, are used to ensure that the paint
dispersion will be stable. Daniel Flow Gauge is a simple instrument used to assess
the ability of thick or paste-like materials such as paints or printing inks to flow.
So, what is the difference between industrial and commercial spray paint?
“While industrial spray painting relies on special air compressions that break the paint
particles into a fine mist, commercial spray paints are self-contained aerosol cans
that use liquefied gasses to atomize the paint." "It is also equally important to
recognize that graffiti and street art are not the same thing. While graffiti artists
only work with spray paint and pride themselves on knowing their way around a can
of the stuff, street artists use other media to create their pieces.”
The geography of the spray can finds itself erupting out of the European continent.
Companies like Montana, based in Spain; Molotow, based in Germany; and Ironlak,
based in Australia, were pleased to associate with street artists.
They offered professional-grade enhancements too, like different kinds of valves that emit
different types of mists. (Some artists now complain that American alternatives are
like buying a tube of paint with only one brush.) “The control you can get with the
can, from the pressure, is phenomenal,” Gastman said.
Painting, spraying, drawing- these particular expressions of art seem to hold a
contradictory place in society today. On one hand, many art connoisseurs visit
museums just to sit and revel in accomplished artists. Who have chosen to frame
their works. On the other hand, due to the invention of property, there is now a
history of criminalizing those who use paint in the form of a can.
This then poses the question of how we determine the value of art and simultaneously define it.
How do we determine the value of someone’s work? Share your thoughts below.