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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 413 (391)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 413
Page 413

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 413

Review of Paints, Varnishes, and Lacquers

Resume of Properties and Uses of Coatings; Special Materials and Future Possibilities

A decade ago the paint, varnish, and lacquer industry was in the process of transition. Although it had been on the threshold of becoming an industrial science for several decades, it took the impetus of war to give its chemists, chemical engineers, and other technically trained men, their first real opportunity to emphasize the fact that the protective organic coating industry is really a technologically young, vibrant, and progressive chemical engineering industry.

The industry' is thinking in terms of changing from batch processing to continuous methods of production, although it may be difficult to produce coatings continuously because many hundreds of different raw materials, for example, in varnish processingehave chemical properties within only relatively limited ranges. Continuous processing, however, will be applicable to the dispersion of pigments into vehicles for paints, enamels, and other pigmented coatings.

The adoption of many new analytical test methods has presented the industry with new subjects and ideas which are broadening the horizon and supplying new instrumentations and techniques which are establishing the art still more firmly as a chemical engineering industry.


Paint manufacturing is a progressive industry, dependent upon the knowledge and skill at the command of the manufacturer. In 1907 manufacturing practice was based largely on tradition, and since then the subject has received intensive study from trained specialists and the use of a multitude of devices for the measurement and evaluation of raw materials and finished products has been almost universal.

With scientists constantly seeking to improve the old and discover the new continual progress is inevitable. Even that ancient backbone of the industry, linseed oil, is assuming more and more the role of a raw material in the production of oils with special properties for definite purposes.

At the present day, all paint products have been improved, but there is still a selfish minority which promises everything and furnishes less than nothing, in that their products, failing quickly, require the extra expense of removal. Accordingly, the old dictum that ua responsible name on a sealed can is everywhere a guarantee of quality" still holds good.


In its simplest terms, paint is a mixture of various solid substances and liquids, in a consistency suitable for application to surfaces to form an adherent coating to protect or decorate.


BRIEF: Paint . . . and its allied products . . . are valuable helpmeets to the theatre owner who wants to keep his physical property looking attractive . . . in addition to giving it protective armor against the ravages of weather.

The selection . . . and application . . . of paints, lacquers, and varnishes . . . can be no hit-or-miss proposition, however . . . Their properties and uses must be fully understood . . . before they are applied.

The following article surveys in detail the important aspects of these three priceless theatre aids . . . in an effort to acquaint the showman with the ways in which they may best serve him.

In general use, paints can be divided into two general groups. The first, house paints, are those designed to protect and beautify the surfaces of materials used in the construction of buildings, The second, industrial paints, are those designed for use in the myriad products of industry, where special paints are designed for a specific purpose in accordance with the demands.

The Test of Painting

Service is the true test of paint value. The physical, chemical, and technical conditions governing the behavior of

paint in any given case are so numerous and so obscure that it is hopeless for anyone but an expert to comprehend them. .

Obviously, normal wear is the most desirable mode of disappearance of paint. It is one of the chief objects of the paint manufacturer and the paint technologist that their products meet this requirement.

The normal wear by paint may be accomplished, first, by careful selection of raw materials and unremitting laboratory control to insure uniformity in physical and chemical qualities: second, by constant chemical research for means of improvement; and, lastly, by experience with large scale exposure tests of products under intensified natural conditions, such as exposure in hot, humid, or dry climates, and the accelerated weathering machine.

House paint is designed to cover a wide range of conditions and the better grades of prepared paints to meet the average conditions with remarkable success. As between the many competing products, naturally it is to the record of success rather than to the composition of the paints that the consumer must look for enlightenment. It may be taken as axiomatic that no paint obtains permanent popularity except on the basis of substantial merit, Nothing could

THE RIGHT MATERIAL IN THE RIGHT PLACE. The board at the left was coated with an interior finish, while the board at the right was coated with house paint. After two years' exposure in Florida, the inferior finish, not intended for outside exposure, suffered serious deterioration, while the house paint, formulated for this particular use, was not noticeably affected by exposure. (S-W photograph.)
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 413