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(Excerpts from ART HARDWARE: The Definitive Guide to Artistsí Materials, by Steven Saitzyk © 1987)

Polymer Emulsion Paints and Media

AN EMULSION Is the suspension of tiny solids in a liquid. Milk is an example of an emulsion, and most solids, if made small enough, will tend to remain in suspension. A polymer is a larger molecule made of smaller and simpler chemical units most often arranged in a chainlike formation. A polymer emulsion is the suspension of polymers in a liquid. As the liquid evaporates, the suspended polymer solids come closer together until they touch and combine to form larger chains and eventually a film. A paint can be made by pigmenting a polymer emulsion. The type of polymer used determines the type of paint or medium acrylic polymers for acrylic paints and vinyl polymers for vinyl paints.

Polymer emulsion paints, by comparison with oil paints and watercolors, have a short history, which began in late 1948 with the development of polyvinyl acetate emulsion (PVA), commonly known as white glue. However, PVA was too sensitive to water and heat, and the paints made from it were not durable. The acrylic polymer emulsions now used in artists' paints are a byproduct of the attempt to develop a new type of house paint during the early 1950s. (Today, however, the amount of actual acrylic binder in house paint is often quite low. In some states it can be as low as 20 percent and still be called acrylic paint. This would be too low to use in fine artwork.) The first artists' acrylic polymer paint became readily available in North America around 1963 and in Europe about two years later.

The Manufacture of Polymer Emulsion Paint

Characteristics of Polymer Films and Paints

Acrylic Polymer Emulsion Paints

Acrylic Polymer Solution Paints

Polymer Emulsion Mediums

Auxiliary Products for Acrylic Painting

Acrylic Varnish, Gloss & Matte

Permanency of Acrylic Emulsion Paints.

Oil Paint and Acrylic Paint

Hazards of Acrylic Polymer Emulsions

(Excerpts from ART HARDWARE: The Definitive Guide to Artistsí Materials, by Steven Saitzyk © 1987)

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