Is there adhesive in paint?


My silly friend D says there is adhesive in paint. I think that is ridiculous! I read your column in the Reader today and thought you might know. What do you think?

-- Groverg1rl, the net

If D means that paint is just Elmer's glue with color in it, D's wrong. Paint (latex house variety I'm talking about) is basically dry pigment (coloring agent) dispersed in a binder (acrylic latex), all made really flowy with water and some other junk. You slap on the paint, the water evaporates, and the latex polymer forms a thin plastic film that sticks to the wall. Chemists can't really explain all the ins and outs of why things stick together. They know that things stick together best if the sticker and the stickee are really well smashed together, which suggests that it's some hanky-panky at all the points where they meet. Some kind of molecular mingling or valence hoochie-koo. Latex paint itself can make a great glue since it sticks well to hands, hair, clothes, shoes, newspaper, rugs, dogs, sometimes even walls. But not because it contains glue. It just acts like glue. Got it? Sorry, D.

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