A Concise History of House Painting
Most of us never give a second thought about how the practice of
interior painting for homes ever came about. While the choices in paints, colors, and application
techniques may be quite modern, the practice of painting walls is anything
but. In fact, the first evidence of painting goes back tens of thousands
of years to when prehistoric man left his artistic mark on the walls of caves.
3100 to 4000 BC
Cave walls with paintings have been discovered around the world, with the
most extensive collection being found in France and Spain. Some are quite
colorful, including shades of red, black, yellow, green, and brown, often
featuring the animals that were common during that time, such as buffalo
or horses. The “paints” used in these drawings came from natural
earth pigments such as charcoal, yielding black, and iron oxide, which
produced an ochre that ranged in color from pale yellow to red.
During 3100 B.C. the Egyptians established a system of painting that accurately
and consistently portrayed people with recognizable human forms. The Greeks
gave these drawings the name of
hieroglyphs (sacred engrave) around 500 B.C. to reflect the importance of their use in holy texts.
The Early First Century
Not surprising to many, the walls that the Egyptians painted nearly 2,000
years ago still have the intense color that they had when they were originally
painted. Some of these are found in tombs where the Egyptians put their
artistic talents to work to depict their belief in the afterlife. The
paints they used were made of all-natural ingredients and they have managed
to stand the test of time.
The printing press didn’t come along until 1440, leaving little evidence
of when interior painting officially became a common practice. Although
some evidence points to the turn of the thirteenth century, many believe
house painting was a profession even before that time.
During the 1400s, house painters were in “guilds” that practiced
as either a painting or staining company. The processes they used to mix
and apply paint were treated as top secrets that were only shared among
those who participated in the trade.
Early 1600s – A Step Back
Although house painting was considered a respectable profession during
the fifteenth century, the Pilgrims did not share this opinion in the
early seventeenth century. The settlers of the early American colonies
believed that painting your home symbolized wealth, immodesty, and vanity.
While this belief led to legal charges of sacrilege against a preacher,
many home owners continued to seek out painters to paint their homes,
which often featured murals and landscapes.
Modern Trends in House Painting
Although it is not known for certain the reason that people painted the
interior of their homes those many centuries ago, the practice has become
one that is not only acceptable, but expected. The paint that was used
was unpredictable in color and application, with the painter often relying
on brushes made from animal hair that made it even more difficult to apply.
Today, paint is available in a number of formulations and a plethora of
colors that are appropriate for any setting, materials, or design. Paints
not only add to the beauty of the home; they also have ingredients that
can protect it.
One thing that remains constant about interior and exterior painting of
homes today is that a professional application process will deliver the
best results and last for the longest possible time.
Contact us to learn more about our interior paint services.