10 Facts: Paint

10 unusual facts about paint and color

You may think you know everything about paint, but did you know these ten surprising color facts?

  1. Purple signifies royalty because at one time only aristocrats could afford the pricey color. In Roman times, it took four million crushed mollusk shells to create just one pound of purple pigment.
  2. Lead paint has been almost entirely banned due to health hazards, but do you know why lead was used in paint in the first place? Because it creates paints that are bright, durable, flexible, fast-drying, and cheap.
  3. The White House is white because of the original slaked lime whitewash used to protect its the stone surface. It gets painted every year, taking 570 gallons to cover the exterior.
  4. Every year, more than 1.57 billion gallons of paint are sold in the United States.
  5. The Greek philosopher Plato discovered that you can mix two paint colors together to produce a third color.
  6. The first color wheel was developed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1706.
  7. The Golden Gate Bridge has always been painted the same color since it was completed in 1937. The name of the color is International Orange.
  8. Among the Aztecs, red pigmented paint was regarded as more valuable than gold.
  9. Noted painter Francis Davis Millet invented spray painting while working under tight deadlines to complete construction of the 1892 World's Columbian Exposition. Millet mixed oil and white lead, applying it with a hose and special nozzle and taking considerably less time than traditional brush painting.
  10. The first interior painting was done roughly 40,000 years ago in what is now France by prehistoric cave dwellers.

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