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    Paint Property Experiments
    Compare Properties of Various Kinds of Paints
    For Science Labs, Lesson Plans, Class Activities & Science Fair Projects
    For Elementary School Students & Teachers







    Paint Properties Experiments
    This experiment is courtesy of 

    A Discovery Lab for Classroom Science Detectives

    Developers:

    Tom Davenport
    Edwin Forrest Elementary School
    Philadelphia School District
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Bob Stremme
    Longstreth Elementary School
    Centennial School District
    Warminster, Pennsylvania

    Dr. Allen Marks
    Building Products Research
    Rohm and Haas Company
    Springhouse, Pennsylvania

    Anne DeMassi
    Building Products Research
    Rohm and Haas Company
    Springhouse, Pennsylvania

     

    Grade Level:

    All elementary grade levels (as adapted)

     

    Discipline:

    Physical Science

     

    Goals:

    Upon completion of this lesson students will be able to:

    1. use the scientific method to determine the properties of various kinds of paints.
    2. identify the differences between water-based and solvent-based paints.
    3. collect data in appropriate qualitative or quantitative forms.
    4. use charts and graphs as a means of organizing data.
    5. use collected data to identify paint samples that are not properly labeled.
    6. work in scientific teams.
    7. use proper science safety techniques while working with chemical substances.

     

    Background:

    Investigating the properties of paint is a fun way to see how everyday materials are designed for specific uses. Paint is used for two main purposes: to decorate and to protect. Properties like gloss, color, and hiding are important for decoration. Properties such as resistance to stain, scrubbing, and weathering are important for protection. The properties of paint depend on the ingredients in paint. In this experiment, students can explore how these properties are measured and can use the difference in properties to distinguish one paint from another.

    Latex paints are suspensions of mineral and polymer particles in water. Solvent-based paints are suspensions of mineral particles in a polymer solution in an organic solvent. The particles are very small and can only be seen with a powerful microscope. The polymer is often called a "binder" because it acts as glue to bind the mineral particles together. The binder contributes to gloss, stain resistance, scrub resistance and weatherability. The mineral particles impart color to the paint and contribute to hiding and hardness in the dried paint film. The most common pigment used in paints is titanium dioxide (TiO2). This pigment is white and provides very good hiding. It is also used in colored paints along with other minerals that impart the color. There are a variety of other minor ingredients, generally called "additives". These additives contribute to properties such as viscosity (flowability), tendency to settle, freeze/thaw stability, mildew resistance, and many other properties. In this series of experiments the student will experience paints with different and sometimes non-intuitive properties (such as paints that are thick but do not hide well). Using the Scientific Method, they can measure these properties and then use them to identify an unknown paint.

     

    Suggested Format for Lessons:

    Lesson 1

    Unit introduction

     

    Lesson 2

    Safety rules

     

    Lesson 3

    Prepare dry paint samples

     

    Lessons 4 - 15

    Paint Tests (Choose which tests to perform and in which order.)

     

    Odor

    Use the proper technique to discern that wet paint looses its odor as it dries; determine that water based and oil based paints have a discernable odor

     

    Dry Time

    Define dry time; test wet paint samples as they dry over a period of time.

     

    Surface Tension

    Define surface tension; evaluate surface tension on wet paint samples as they dry.

     

    Gloss

    Define high gloss, semi gloss, and flat; learn how to evaluate dry paint samples for their gloss.

     

    Hiding

    Define hiding; test dry paint samples for their hiding properties.

     

    Acid/Base

    Prepare and use red cabbage indicator to determine the pH of dry paint samples

    Presence of Starch

    Use iodine to determine if dry paint samples the presence of starch in dry paint samples.

     

    Metal Marking

    Define metal marking; test dry paint samples for metal marking.

     

    Viscosity

    Define viscosity; measure the viscosity of wet paint samples.

     

    Staining

    Define stain; determine the stain resistance of dry paint samples.

     

    Density

    Define density; measure the density of wet paint samples.

     

    Scrubability

    Define scrubability; test dry paint samples for scrubability.

     

    Lesson 16 - Performance Based Culminating Activity

    Students will identify a "Mystery Paint" sample from among all the paints studied using their data and repeating any tests as necessary.

     

    Materials

    Group I - Water Based School/Hobby Paints - all white

    A Washable Tempera

    B Non-washable Tempera

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint

    D Fingerpaint

    Group II - Solvent Based Paint - all white

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr)

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron)

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum)

    Group III - Water Based House Paints - all white

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr)

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr)

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr)

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr)

    Group IV - Historical Paints - all white

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.)

    * Whitewash (homemade) * not tested

    Instant Coffee
    Jelly Rulers
    Food Coloring
    Toothpicks
    Mustard
    Permanent markers
    Paint Stirrers
    Iodine
    2-L soda bottle caps
    Cereal Boxes
    Eye Droppers
    Wax Paper
    Coins
    Paint Brushes
    Cabbage
    Ketchup
    Paper Towels
    Wooden Paint Stirrers
    Plastic Cups
    Plastic Gloves

     

    Notes to the Teacher:

    1. These labs can be completed independently of each other and in any order. In order to use the prepared materials to the maximum effect perform different tests on the same dry paint sample, doing the destructive tests last. Be aware that many of the experiments call for dry paint samples, which must have at least 24 hours drying time. The labs are written with the directions directed to the students.

    2. For safety reasons you may want to prepare the red cabbage indicator ahead of time, and/or control the use of the iodine, even dropping it on the paint yourself.

    3. These tests were conducted on 12 different varieties of paint. It is suggested that to gain the optimum number of differences among the paints, limit the testing to a maximum of 5 types of paint. You will need to assign labels to the paints ahead of the lesson (A, B, C, D, and E). The latex and solvent-based paints used in this experiment were purchased at Home Depot. The hobby / school paints were purchased at a craft store, A.C. Moore.

    4. The experiments can be performed as a class, in small groups, and/or individually.

    5. The experiments will go faster if all of the boards are prepared ahead of time by you, or a select group of students.

    6. The best results can be obtained by using paints from the different groups listed above. We recommend selecting one or two paints from each of the four groups. (For health reasons you may want to eliminate the solvent-based paints.) It is also possible to get good results from paints within a group, such as: the four paints in the hobby/school group, the three paints in the solvent-based group, or three paints in the water-based House paints (note that paints J & K give very similar results and should not be used together.)

    7. Each student or group of students need to keep a Research Portfolio that can be used to store all of the collected data, charts, graphs, and paint journal.

    8. Be sure to prepare dry mystery paint samples ahead of time for the culminating activity. These samples are not marked with the letters that were used throughout the unit, but need to be coded so that the teacher will know the identity of the mystery paint.

    9. Challenge your students by asking them to control variables by applying the same force and same angle to the dry paint samples while performing the tests.

    10. Whitewash is listed as one of the historical paints. It was not used in this testing. It is included as a possibility and a recipe for homemade whitewash is listed in the appendix. Because whitewash is so different from the other paints it is worth exploring and also used as a curriculum link between science and history.

     

     

    Lesson One - Unit Introduction

    1. Introduce unit by asking students a series of questions:

    - What are paints used for?
    - What kinds of paint have you used before?
    - Why can't soap and water be used to clean up all types of paint?

    Direct students to answer in their "Paint Journal" - which can be a separate section in their science notebook, or even a separate booklet. The paint journal, unit data, charts and graphs can be put into a research portfolio. Discuss student responses.

    2. Ask students to list any questions that they have about paint.

    3. List the paints, the letters that have been assigned to them, and the tests that will be studied in this unit. Ask students to copy this information into their paint journals for use as a reference.

    4. List the materials that the students will need to bring to school.

     

     

    Lesson Two - Safety Rules

    1. Since the students will engage in activities that could be messy and potentially hazardous, the teacher must help the students become aware of the following cautions:

    1. Safety glasses, clothing covering, and plastic gloves need to be worn while working with these materials. A large plastic trash bag can be used to cover clothing by cutting a hole in the bottom for the student's head, and holes in each side for arms. In place of gloves plastic sandwich bags held with rubber bands can be used to cover the hands.
    2. Care must be taken in the storage and disposal of all materials, especially paints. MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheets) are available for the paints that you will purchase. This information is either listed on the container, or can be obtained from the manufacturer. In some cases MSDS sheets can be accessed via the Internet. Unused paint needs to be disposed of in a safe manner that will not pollute the environment. Check with local regulations on how this is handled; this information may be available in the municipal section of the phone book. It is suggested that disposable brushes and containers be used for solvent-based paints.
    3. When the wet paints are used be sure to ventilate the room.
    4. Some students may encounter breathing difficulty because of asthma, allergic reactions, etc. when the wet paints are used. Most of the testing can be arranged on dry paint samples to alleviate this problem.

    2. Post safety rules on chart paper and have students write rules in paint journals. These rules can be offered by the teacher or by individual students and/or groups.

    Suggestions:

    - Safety glasses must be worn at all times.

    - Plastic gloves are to be worn when handling wet paint samples.

    - Open windows when using wet paint samples.

    - Leftover paint in containers and on brushes must be disposed of properly.

    3. Assign individual students or groups to gather information and report back to class on the following safety topics:

    -How are leftover paints, brushes, and paint containers safely disposed of in this school? in this local community?

    -What information is included on the MSDS sheets that come with the paint samples, and how can this information be used for safety.

     

    Lesson Three - Dry Paint Samples Preparation

    Dry paint samples must be prepared ahead of time in order to complete many of these tests. Depending on the tests chosen, one sample can be used for multiple tests. For example, one dry paint sample on a cereal box can be used to test gloss, hiding, acid/base, starch, scrubability and staining. Tests such as gloss and hiding, that do not have the potential to destroy the paint sample, need to be completed before the other tests are performed. This lesson may be completed ahead of time for the students, or during the beginning of the unit by the students.

    1. Cut out the fronts and back of cereal boxes. (You may want to ask the students to bring in the cereal boxes already cut) Decide how many paint samples you will put on each cereal box. Use the permanent marker to label appropriate sample letters.

    2. To ensure that each sample has the same amount of paint applied in the same manner the following technique should be used. Within the rectangle:

    1. Apply the brush strokes horizontally stroking from left to right.
    2. Cover these brush strokes with new strokes vertically from bottom to top.
    3. Cover these brush strokes with new strokes horizontally from right to left.

     

    Lessons Four - Fifteen Paint Tests

    The worksheets for these paints tests are written for the students to complete and are to be assigned by the teacher based upon the tests selected.

     

    Test for Odor

    Problem

    Can wet paint be identified as water based or solvent based by its odor?

    Hypothesis

    I think that different types of paint can/cannot be identified by their odor because:

    ___________________________________________

    Materials:

    Wet Paint Samples

    Procedure:

    1. As part of this test you must use the proper technique for testing a substance for smell. First, smell the cap or lid container after you have carefully removed it from the paint container. Second, holding the container near, but not right under the nose, waft (gently wave) the odor towards you, using your hand to cup the air above the container.

    2. Use the wet paint samples to determine odor. Write down a descriptive word for the sample. If working with a group see if agreement can be reached on which word(s) to use for each sample.

    Data:

    Paint Sample____     ___________________________

    Paint Sample____     ___________________________

    Paint Sample____     ___________________________

    Paint Sample____     ___________________________

    Paint Sample____     ___________________________

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

    Test for Dry Time

    Problem:

    What kind of paint dries fastest?

    Hypothesis:

    When paint samples are painted onto cereal boxes I think that sample _____ will dry the fastest.

    Materials:

    cereal boxes
    paint samples
    paint brushes
    permanent marker/ruler
    disposable plastic/rubber gloves or plastic bags

    Procedure:

    1. Divide the cereal boxes into paint sample areas and mark the areas with the letters used for the paint samples.

    2. Use the paint brush to paint the sample area with the technique used to prepare the dry paint samples.

    3. By lightly touching a gloved finger (or use plastic bag over hand) begin checking the paint samples at five minutes intervals and record their state as:

      W = wet - wet paint sticks to glove

      T = tacky - paint does not stick to glove but is sticky to touch

      D = dry - paint has completely dried, is not sticky at all

    Data for Dry Time, in minutes Dry

    10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 Time

     

     

     

     

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

    Test for Surface Tension

    Problem:

    What kind of surface tension do the paint samples have?

    Hypothesis:

    When wet paint samples are dropped onto wax paper I think that sample will have the highest dome (greatest surface tension).

    Materials:

    paint samples
    wax paper
    cereal box
    tape
    eye droppers
    permanent marker/ruler

    Procedure:

    1. Cover a cereal box panel with wax paper and use the permanent marker to mark a section for each paint sample.

    2. Use an eye dropper to place a drop of paint in each section.

    3. Observe the surface tension. The rounder, more dome-like the drop, the higher the surface tension- Using the following rubric describe the appearance of the paint drop as it dries.

    3 = a dome appearance

    2 = a semi-flat appearance

    1 = a flat appearance

    0 = can't form a drop.

    4. Check results 15 minutes after the paint has been dropped, and after 4 hours.

    Data for Surface Tension 15 minutes 4 hours

     

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Test for Gloss

    Problem:

    Which paint's gloss best reflects an image?

    Hypothesis:

    When looking for the clarity of my name as it reflects off the painted surface I think that paint sample _____ will reflect it the best.

    Materials:

    Dry Paint Samples on Cereal Boxes
    White Poster Board or index cards
    Thick Black Marker

    Procedure:

    1. On a small piece of white poster board or index card print your first name in large block letters, making the printed letters dark and thick.

    2. Hold the cereal box and your name board vertically at a 45-degree angle to each other. This works best with the boards held at arm's length, catching as much light as possible. Look to see how much of a reflection of your printed name can be seen in the paint.

    3. Using the following rubric describe the gloss of each sample.

    3 = letters can be clearly seen - High Gloss

    2 = letters can be seen but are clouded or faded - Semi Gloss

    1 = no reflection can be seen - Flat

    Data:

    Paint Sample ________ Gloss ________

    Paint Sample ________ Gloss ________

    Paint Sample ________ Gloss ________

    Paint Sample ________ Gloss ________

    Paint Sample ________ Gloss ________

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Test for Hiding

    Problem:

    What kind of paint does the best job of hiding what is underneath of it?

    Hypothesis:

    When the printing on the cereal boxes is covered with the white paint I think that paint ____________ will do the best job of hiding the letters and colors.

    Materials:

    Dry Paint Samples on the front of cereal boxes (best results if you use all of the same brand cereal fronts or backs.)

    Procedure:

    1. Place the dry paint samples all at the same distance from you. Carefully look for evidence of letters showing through the white paint. If the same brand of cereal box has been used for each of samples try to use the same words or section of the box to evaluate.

    2. Use the following rubric in order to evaluate the hiding properties:

    4 = Letters cannot be seen at all

    3 = Shadows seen, individual letters not recognizable

    2 = Letters can be seen under the paint, most words can be read

    1 = Letters/words can be easily read

    0 = Paint sample does not adhere to cereal box

    Data:

    Paint Sample ________ Hiding ________

    Paint Sample ________ Hiding________

    Paint Sample ________ Hiding________

    Paint Sample ________ Hiding________

    Paint Sample ________ Hiding________

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Test for Acid/Base - pH of a substance

    Problem:

    Are dry paints samples basic or acidic?

    Hypothesis:

    If I test the dry paint samples with red cabbage indicator I think ________________ are acidic; ________________ are neutral; and ________________ are basic. (fill in sample letters)

    Materials:

    red cabbage
    eye dropper
    dry paint samples on cereal boxes
    non-corrosive container
    distilled water

    Procedure:

    1. If red cabbage indicator has not been provided follow these directions. In a non- corrosive container place red cabbage leaves torn into little pieces. Fill the container to the top with red cabbage pieces. Carefully pour boiling water over the leaves, filling the container. Allow the container to cool to room temperature. Strain the red cabbage solution, discarding the leaves. You will be left with red cabbage indicator that has a purple color. Be sure to keep this solution refrigerated. When finished with the indicator it can safely be discarded down the drain.

    2. With the eye dropper place a drop of red cabbage indicator on each paint sample.

    3. Observe the results. If the drop stays the same purple color the pH of the paint sample is neutral. If the drop turns a red color the pH of the paint sample is acid. If the drop turns a blue/green color the pH of the paint sample is base. Using the following rubric record the data:

    P = purple   R = red   B = blue/green

    Data:

    Paint Sample A ______

    Paint Sample B ______

    Paint Sample C ______

    Paint Sample D ______

    Paint Sample E ______

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Test for Presence of Starch in a Substance

    Problem:

    Is starch present in the dry paint sample?

    Hypothesis:

    If I test the dry paint samples with iodine I think samples ____________________ contain starch.

    Materials:

    iodine
    dry paint samples on cereal boxes
    eye dropper

    Procedure:

    1. Be aware that iodine must be carefully handled. Your teacher may choose to drop the iodine for you.

    2. With the eye dropper place a drop of iodine on each paint sample.

    3. Observe the results. If the drop stays the same brownish color there is no starch in the paint. If the drop turns purple/black color that is an indication that a starch is present in the paint. Using the following rubric record the data:

    P = purple/black   Br = brown

    Data:

    Paint Sample A ______

    Paint Sample B ______

    Paint Sample C ______

    Paint Sample D ______

    Paint Sample E ______

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Test for Metal Marking

    Problem:

    Which paint sample will best withstand metal marking?

    Hypothesis:

    After using a nickel to metal mark each of the dry paint samples I think that paint sample ________________ will show the fewest metal marks.

    Materials:

    Dry paint samples on wood surfaces
    nickel

    Procedure:

    1. Paint a wood surface with each of the paint samples, following the directions of your teacher. If wood paint stirrers are not available you can also use tongue depressors, or pieces of flat wood trim. Let paint dry thoroughly.

    2. Hold the nickel between your thumb and pointer finger. Using the edge of the nickel gently rub the dry paint sample three times. Use this technique on each paint sample, using the same force and angle each time.

    3. Using the following rubric record the metal marking on each of the samples:

    0 = no visible marks

    1 = light metal marks

    2 = medium metal marks

    3 = dark metal marks

    Data:

    Paint Sample A ______

    Paint Sample B ______

    Paint Sample C ______

    Paint Sample D ______

    Paint Sample E ______

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Test for Viscosity

    Problem:

    What paint sample has the highest viscosity?

    Hypothesis:

    If 5 paint samples are placed on a vertical piece of wax paper covered cardboard, I think that sample ________________ will flow down the slowest (highest viscosity).

    Materials:

    paint samples
    wax paper covered cardboard
    ruler
    permanent markers
    2 liter soda bottle caps
    stopwatch

    Procedure:

    1. Cover a piece of cardboard with wax paper, taping the ends onto the back.

    2. On the wax paper covered cardboard mark two lines in the center of the board 10 cm apart. Draw a target circle slightly larger than the size of the cap placed 5 cm above the top line. Label the circle with the letter of the paint sample . Prepare a board for each of the paint samples that you will test.

    3. Place the same amount of paint into each cap. Pour as much of the paint onto the circle as possible, scrapping out the paint from the cap, if necessary.

    4. Quickly stand the board upright at a 90 degree angle and begin timing the paint sample as it crosses the first line, stop timing when it crosses the second line. Stop all timing after five minutes. Record the results for each paint sample.

    5. Repeat the experiment five times. Calculate the averages of the five tests for each paint sample and record the data on the chart.

    Data: Paint Samples

    A B C D E

    Test 1

    Test 2

    Test 3

    Test 4

    Test 5

    TOTAL

    AVERAGE

     

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Test for Stain

    Problem:

    Which paint is the most stain resistant?

    Hypothesis:

    After staining the paint sample with 5 substances I think that paint sample _________ will resist stains the best.

    Materials:

    Quarters
    Instant coffee
    Ketchup
    Mustard
    Grape jelly
    Red food coloring
    Coffee filters
    2-L soda caps
    tweezers
    Permanent Markers
    Dry paint samples

    Procedure:

    1. For each stain that will be tested draw a circle about the size of a quarter on the dry paint sample. Do not crowd the circles on the boards. Use a permanent marker to draw the circles and label the type of stain that will be used under it.

    2. Prepare the coffee solution by combining 2 g of instant coffee with 50 g of water. The rest of the staining materials are used full strength.

    3. Cut circles the size of quarters out of the filter paper. You will need these for the coffee and food coloring. Using tweezers dip a filter circle into the coffee. Carefully place the saturated filter on the correspondingly marked circle. Cover with a soda bottle cap so it does not dry out. Begin timing for 30 minutes. Repeat this procedure with food coloring.

    4. Place a small amount of mustard in the circle. Rub gently with your finger until the circle is completely filled. Begin timing for 30 minutes. Repeat this procedure with the ketchup, and jelly.

    5. After 30 minutes has elapsed carefully lift off the filter papers. Using a damp paper towel gently rub the other staining substances off of each circle.

    6. Using the following rubric to evaluate the staining effect on the paint:

    0 = no staining

    1 = light staining

    2 = medium staining

    3 = severe staining

    4 = staining material removed paint coat

    Data

    Jelly Mustard Coffee Ketchup Coloring

    Sample A

    Sample B

    Sample C Sample D

    Sample E

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Test for Density

    Problem:

    What is the density of paint?

    Hypothesis:

    When I measure the density of 5 different paints, sample _______ will have the greatest density.

    Materials:

    disposable cups
    scale
    calculator
    water paints

    Procedure:

    1. If your scale can be set, place the cup on the scale and set to zero. If you cannot reset scale to zero with the cup on it, weigh the cup while it is empty and subtract that weight from your total of the cup filled with paint each time. Try to use a volume of 15 to 25 ml.

    2. To get your base line, fill the container with water and weigh it. The weight of the water will equal the volume of the container. Use the marker to indicate a fill line that you will use each time and mark all of the cups with the same line.

    3. Weigh each sample and divide the weight of the paint by the volume of the container. Be sure to reset your scale zero each time.

    4. Record your results.

    Data:

    Weight Volume Density

    Water 1

    Sample 1

    Sample 2

    Sample 3

    Sample 4

    Sample 5

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Test for Scrubability

    Problem:

    What happens when I scrub different dry paint films?

    Hypothesis:

    When I scrub each of the dry paint samples with a toothbrush, sample ________ will be the most scrub resistant.

    Materials:

    dry paints samples on wood
    toothbrush
    plastic cups
    gloves or plastic bags
    plastic or newspapers
    Light Duty cleaner (Ajax or Dawn dish liquid)
    Heavy Duty cleaner (409 or Fantastic)

    Procedure:

    1. Protect the work surface with plastic or newspapers. Lay out the dry paint samples. Protect your hands by wearing gloves or using plastic lunch bags.

    2. Prepare the materials used for scrubbing. The 409 Cleaner and the Fantastic are used straight out of the container. Place a little of each in a plastic cup. The Ajax is mixed with water. Prepare by mixing 3 parts Ajax to 1 part water. The Dawn dish liquid is prepared as a 5% solution. Ask your teacher for help in preparing this solution.

    3. Dip toothbrush into 409 solution. Brush back and forth over the paint sample. Each back and forth counts as one stroke. Count the strokes needed to totally remove paint from the wood surface. Gently wipe surface with damp cloth as needed in order to check the paint sample. Repeat with all of the samples and cleansers.

    4. To be consistent the same person should test all of the paint samples using the same toothbrush each time, applying the same amount of pressure on each stroke. Each person in the group should test the samples and come up with a group average.

    5. Using the following rubric to evaluate the scrubability of the paint - the number of strokes needed to totally remove paint from the surface:

    100md = after 100 strokes there was medium damage

    100ld = after 100 strokes there was light damage

    (number) = number of stokes needed to totally remove paint

    Data

    409 Ajax Dawn Fantastic

    Sample A

    Sample B

    Sample C

    Sample D

    Sample E

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Lesson 16 - Culminating Activity

    Problem:

    Can unlabeled paint samples, Mystery Paint Samples, be identified by their properties?

    Hypothesis:

    Based upon data already collected I think that the sample received is Paint Sample _______.

    Materials:

    All of the materials used in the previous lesson.

    Mystery Paint sample prepared ahead of time and supplied by teacher.

    Procedure:

    1. Use the wet and dry samples that have been assigned. If necessary prepare new sample boards.

    2. Prepare a master chart that combines the results of all the tests performed so far.

    3. Determine which tests need to be performed in order to identify the paint sample.

    4. Using the directions previously given perform any tests that need to be repeated.

    5. Record the data and compare with the master chart

    6. Draw your conclusions and name the mystery paint.

    Data:

    Test Paint Sample that Matches the Mystery Paint

    Odor

    Dry Time

    Surface Tension

    Gloss

    Hiding

    Acid/Base

    Starch

    Metal Marking

    Viscosity

    Staining

    Density

    Scrubability

    Results:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

    Conclusions:

    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________
    _______________________________________

     

     

    Extensions: Literature, Writing, Math, and Social Studies

    Literature

    Help the students discover chapter two from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Tom tricks the town boys into whitewashing Aunt Polly's fence, which is "thirty yards of board fence nine feet high." Not only that, but they "pay " Tom for the privilege of doing his work. Tom collects an assortment of prizes, among them an apple core, a kite in good condition, and a dead rat on a string.

     

    Writing

    Basing the activity on Tom Sawyer whitewash painting experience, challenge the students to find a similar activity. How could they "trick" friends into doing some chores? Perhaps they could be "tricked" into using a riding power mower and would be willing to cut grass in exchange for new sports cards? Ask the students to present this experience as a short story, or write and act it out as a play.

     

    Math

    These experiments produce an abundance of facts. Challenge the students to arrange the facts in multiple charts and graphs. Assign each group a type of graph (pie, line, bar, etc.) and show the same facts arranged in multiple ways. The students could use one of the computer programs to help them produce a graph. Ask the students to look at the results of two different tests, such as gloss and hiding, and combine these figures into a graph. An example is included in the Appendix. In the viscosity test you ask each group member to run the test and get a group average. Here you can talk about averaging and variability (standard deviation, etc.). Also, the density section (ratios) is another good one for math.

     

    Social Studies

    With the introduction of milk paint and whitewash into the experiments a study of how paint was made and used during the Colonial Era could be introduced. During Colonial times special artisans were involved in making and using paint. Only important buildings received this special treatment. Whitewash was the common paint used. There are many versions of whitewash and since milk paint is also based on lime it makes sense that the simplified whitewash changed to a more durable milk paint as different ingredients were added. Challenge the students to begin with a simple whitewash recipe (see appendix) and add items that would have been available to the colonists to make a better paint. Further the study by adding different natural dyes to create colored paints.

     

     

    Glossary

    Dry time is the amount of time needed for the paint to completely dry. Paints dry from the surface down. Often a paint will appear to be dry, but has skinned over and is still wet underneath and will be tacky to the touch. Although the paint does not come off it has a sticky feel.

    Exterior paint is used outside. It needs to have good resistance to sun, rain, mildew, and dirt. Exterior paints often use binders, which have special resistance to light, heat, and moisture. Because of these special properties and their high binder content, exterior paints are often more expensive than interior paints.

    Flat Paint is paint which is not glossy. The lack of gloss helps mask imperfections in a surface. A dent in a glossy surface is very easy to see by the change in the reflections. This is one reason why we often use flat paints on large wall areas and semigloss or gloss paints on small areas such as trim.

    Flow is the motion characteristic of liquids moving with a continual change of place of the constituent particles. (see Viscosity)

    Gloss is a measure of how shiny a paint is. A glossy paint is very smooth and light reflects off it as it would off a piece of clear glass.

    Hiding is the ability of a paint to obscure what is beneath it. If a paint does not have good hiding, the painters may need to apply several coats of paint before they have a uniform color. In most paints, hiding comes from the white pigment titanium dioxide.

    Interior paint is a paint used inside a building. These paints do not usually require the weather resistance of exterior paints, but they often need to have good stain resistance and scrub resistance.

    Latex is a term derived from the latex which comes from rubber trees. The sap of the rubber tree is a white, milky substance which has tiny particles of rubber suspended in it. When synthetic rubber was discovered, the term "latex" was kept. We now use "latex" to describe many suspensions of small rubbery or plastic particles in water. The latexes used in our paints are most often based on vinyl or acrylic polymers.

    Paint is a mixture of a pigment suspended in a liquid that forms a thin adherent coating when spread on a surface. Paints are used for decoration and/or protection.

    pH is a numerical value used to express acidity or alkalinity, (acid or base). pH paper or liquid indicators are touched to the surface of a substance and a color change may occur. The exact color change is dependent on the indicator. Some common indicators are red cabbage juice, grape juice, and phenolphthalein (Ex-Lax).

    Scrub resistance measures how tough a paint is and how much washing it can withstand.

    Stain resistance measures how easily a material can stain a paint film and can be removed from the paint. If the stain penetrates into the paint, it can be very hard to remove.

    Surface tension is a measure of the inward force on the surface of a liquid that causes the liquid to form into drops. Surface tension is due to the tendency of a liquid to want to remain away from air. The attraction of the liquid molecules to themselves forces bubble shaped surfaces which minimize the amount of surface area for a given volume and minimize the number of liquid molecules which must contact the air. The surface tension forces compete with the other phenomena, such as gravitation, which tend to flatten out the spherical surfaces on larger length scales. The surface tension is sometimes thought of as a "skin" on the outer surface on a bulk liquid.

    Substrate is the base material on which experiments are performed. Some common examples of a substrate would be cardboard, wood, glass, plastic, paper, etc.

    Viscosity is the internal resistance to flow exhibited by a fluid. A liquid with a high viscosity (like maple syrup) flows slowly.

    Weatherability is the resistance to the damaging effects of weather, such as sun (light), rain, heat, cold, and dirt.

     

    Bibliography / Additional References

    Bennet, H. Everyday Chemistry. "Whitewash Formulae."

    The Chemical Publishing Co.: New York, 1934. p.38.

    Gray, Andrea and Michael J. Gavaghan. "What's (in) the Solution?"

    Projects Labs 1995. Rohm and Haas. p. 3.8.

    Homemade Milk Paint Recipes. http://www.realmilkpaint.com/recipe.html

    Myers, Tienne Moriniere, Dr. John Hook, Dr. Meredith Morgan. "Experiments

    With Paints." Project Labs 1991. Rohm and Haas. p.35.

     

    Appendix A: Scientific Method

    1. Problem: This is the question you want to answer. It is helpful to ask yourself "What do I want to find out?" Write your problem as a question.

    2. Hypothesis: This is an educated guess at the answer to the question. It should be based on what you will do and what you think you will find out. It should be written like this: " If I . . (tell what you will do) . . ., then I think. . .(tell what you think will happen). . . ."

    3. Procedure: This is a list of instructions that tells how to do your experiment. It should be a written as a list 1... 2... 3... 4... etc. It should include enough detail so that anyone reading it would be able to repeat your experiment like you did.

    4. Materials: This is a list of the things you will use to do your experiment. It should include information about the sizes and amounts of each item you used. Measurements must be metric.

    5. Data: As you do your experiments you should record what happens. Your data will tell such things as how many, how much time, or how big. Usually your data will appear in your project as a bar or line graph. Charts are also helpful.

    6. Results: This is a list of what happened in your experiment. Results tell in sentences what your data tells in a graph or a chart. Write the order things happened and how much.

    7. Conclusions: These are final statements that tell whether or not your hypothesis was true or not true. It can be begin with one of these two sentences, "The data supports my hypotheses" or, "The data does not support my hypothesis." You should write more sentences to explain how it was or was not supported. You can also explain why you think what happened in your experiment occurred.

    8. Application: This is a short paragraph that tells how people can use the information you found out in your project. Write how this information could actually help someone.

     

    Appendix B: Paint Costs

    Paint - all white Price / Oz Price per liter

     

    A Washable Tempera 1.99 / 16 4.22

    B Non-washable Tempera 1.99 / 16 4.22

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint 3.49 / 8 14.79

    D Finger paint 1.79 / 8 7.58

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr) 7.96 / 31.5 8.53

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron) 9.95 / 32 10.51

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum) 5.92 / 32 6.26

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr) 7.83 / 31.5 8.40

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr) 8.94 / 32 9.45

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr) 7.94 / 32 8.39

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr) 7.46 / 32 7.89

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.) 10.00 / 6 21.19

     

     

    Appendix C: Milk Paint

    Using Milk Paint as one of the samples will give the students a unique experience with a paint used during the Colonial period of our history. It comes in powder form and needs to be mixed up immediately prior to its use. It cannot be stored overnight. The paint is made with milk solids and has a distinct odor, texture, and coat. Because it so unique it reacts quite differently in many of the tests. Milk Paint can be obtained at some specialty hardware stores, or via mail order from The Old Fashioned Massachusetts Milk Paint Co., Inc., 436 Main Street, P.O. Box 222, Groton, Massachusetts 01450, 508-448-6336, fax: 508-448-2754

     

     

    Appendix F: Whitewash Recipe

    Many different whitewash recipes are available, containing a variety of different items. The following recipe contains basic ingredients. It settles very quickly, and must be constantly stirred during use. This whitewash dries to a chalky white/beige color. Some recipes call for the addition of finely crushed chalk for whiting.

    Ingredients: hydrated lime (see directions below), salt, water

    To hydrate lime, measure out 226 g of lime into a container. Cover the lime with water, stir, and allow to settle and rest for five minutes. This is also the method used to slake lime, a term frequently seen in whitewash recipes. Pour off excess water.

    To mix whitewash make a saline solution by combining 68 g of salt with 258 g of water. While stirring add the 226 g of hydrated lime.

     

     

    Appendix E: Lab Results

    Gloss 3 = letters can be clearly seen - High Gloss
      2 = letters can be seen but are clouded or faded - Semi Gloss
      1 = no reflection can be seen - Flat

     

    A Washable Tempera 1

    B Non-washable Tempera 1

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint 1

    D Finger paint 1

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr) 1

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron) 2

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum) 3

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr) 1

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr) 2

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr) 1

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr) 1

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.) 1

     

    Staining

    0 = no staining

    1 = light staining

    2 = medium staining

    3 = severe staining

    4 = staining material removed paint coat

     

    Coffee Red Coloring Ketchup Mustard Jelly

    A 4 3 4 4 4

    B 3 3 2 4 3

    C 3 3 0 2 3

    D 4 3 4 4 1

    E 1 2 0 2 0

    F 1 2 0 2 0

    G 0 2 0 2 0

    H 2 3 0 2 1

    I 0 2 0 2 0

    J 2 3 0 2 1

    K 3 3 2 2 2

    L 3 3 2 3 2

     

     

    Viscosity

    Time 4.5 ml paint needed to flow 10 cm

     

    A Washable Tempera :15

    B Non-washable Tempera :39

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint :37

    D Finger paint (5 � cm at end of 5 minutes)

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr) :06

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron) :19

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum) :07

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr) :08

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr) :10

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr) :14

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr) :20

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.) (7 cm at end of 5 minutes)

     

    Surface Tension

    3 = a dome appearance

    2 = a semi-flat appearance

    1 = a flat appearance

    0 = can't form a drop.

     

    15 Minutes 3 Hours

    A Washable Tempera 2 1

    B Non-washable Tempera 3 2

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint 2 1

    D Finger paint 3 3

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr) 1 1

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron) 2 2

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum) 1 1

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr) 2 1

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr) 2 1

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr) 2 1

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr) 2 1

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.) 3 3

     

    Acid/Base

    p = purple Starch p = purple/black

    r = red br = brown

    b = blue/green

     

    pH Starch

    A Washable Tempera b p

    B Non-washable Tempera b p

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint b br

    D Finger paint b p

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr) p br

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron) p br

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum) p br

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr) p br

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr) p br

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr) p br

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr) b br

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.) b br

     

    Dry Time /minutes

    W = wet - wet paint sticks to glove

    T = tacky - paint does not stick to glove but is sticky to touch

    D = dry - paint has completely dried, is not sticky at all

    10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 Dry in:

    Sample A W W W D 25 m

    Sample B W D 15 m

    Sample C D 10 m

    Sample D W W W D 25 m

    Sample E W W W W W W W T T T T

    Sample F W W W W W W W W W W W

    Sample G W W W W W W W W W W W

    Sample H W W W T T T T T D 50 m

    Sample I D 10 m

    Sample J D 10 m

    Sample K D 10 m

    Sample L W W T T T D 35 m

    Metal Marking

    0 = no visible marks

    1 = light metal marks

    2 = medium metal marks

    3 = dark metal marks

     

    Metal Mark

    A Washable Tempera 2

    B Non-washable Tempera 2

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint 3

    D Finger paint 1

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr) 1

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron) 1

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum) 1

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr) 1

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr) 1

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr) 3

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr) 3

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.) 1

     

    Density

    Weight(g) Volume(ml) Density(g/ml)

    Base Water 15.8 15.8 1.00

     

    A Washable Tempera 19.7 15.8 1.24

    B Non-washable Tempera 22.1 15.8 1.39

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint 25.1 15.8 1.58

    D Finger paint 18.5 15.8 1.17

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr) 22.9 15.8 1.44

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron) 20.5 15.8 1.29

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum) 18.0 15.8 1.13

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr) 20.9 15.8 1.32

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr) 20.8 15.8 1.31

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr) 23.3 15.8 1.47

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr) 22.9 15.8 1.44

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.) 17.3 15.8 1.09

     

    Hiding

    4 = Letters cannot be seen at all

    3 = Shadows seen, individual letters not recognizable

    2 = Letters can be seen under the paint, most words can be read

    1 = Letters/words can be easily read

    0 = Paint sample does not adhere to cereal box

     

    A Washable Tempera 1

    B Non-washable Tempera 2

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint 4

    D Finger paint 1

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr) 2

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron) 3

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum) 3

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr) 0

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr) 2

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr) 3

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr) 3

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.) 4

     

    Scrubability

    # of strokes to totally remove paint from the surface

    100 + = paint not removed from surface after 100 strokes

    md = after 100 strokes there was medium damage

    ld = after 100 strokes there was light damage

    409 Ajax Dawn Fantastic

     

    A Washable Tempera 3 2 2 4

    B Non-washable Tempera 10 4 6 12

    C Hobby Acrylic Paint 90 50 100+ 30

    D Finger paint 10 15 15 5

    E Oil Base Primer (Behr) 100+ 100md 100+ 100+

    F Oil Base Exterior Gloss (Duron) 100+ 100md 100+ 100+

    G Oil Gloss (Rustoleum) 100+ 100ld 100+ 100+

    H Latex Exterior Primer (Behr) 100ld 80 100+ 74

    I Latex Hi Gloss Enamel (Behr) 100+ 100+ 100+ 100md

    J Latex Exterior Flat (Behr) 60 100+ 100+ 70

    K Latex Interior Flat (Behr) 25 100md 100+ 30

    L Milk Paint (Mass. Milk Paint Co.) 100+ 100+ 100+ 100+

    This experiment is courtesy of 



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