10 More Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Paint, Painting, and Color

Think you know a lot about paint, painting, and color? See how many of the following facts you knew before reading them here. Be honest, now! If you know two or more of these facts, you’re at the top of the class. Also, be sure to check out Part 1 of this article series; it was so well received that we decided to publish this sequel.

Yellow Pencils1. Starting in the 1890s, pencils were painted yellow for symbolic reasons. The highest-quality graphite came from China, where the royal color was yellow. So, yellow pencils are “regal”.

Modern Barber's Poll2. Barber poles are painted red and white because in medieval times, barbers were also surgeons. The red and white stripes were used to symbolize clean and bloody bandages.

Pink Jail Cell3. To subdue inmates that are unruly or violent, prisons often place them in cells that are painted pink, a color that is known to have a calming effect.

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) Self-portrait, 1887-18884. Vincent Van Gogh, who today is regarded as one of the world’s greatest artists, sold only one painting during his lifetime.
photo credit: jan.tito

House of a remarkably successful businessman in 1860s 5. In the 1860s, a painted house was a sign of great wealth. Average Americans, who often could not afford to paint their homes, kept up appearances by nailing cedar clapboard to them.

Blackfriars Bridge, London6. After painting London’s Blackfriar Bridge green, a color known to be calming and soothing, suicides from the bridge dropped by 34%.
photo credit: Taz etc.

Colorful Crayons7. In 1982, Crayola® changed the name of one of its crayons from “flesh” to “peach” in recognition of the fact that all flesh is not the same color.

Radiating Color spectrum in green color tones8. Ever wonder why there are so many green color cards at the paint store? The human eye is able to distinguish more variations of green than of any other color.

Classical Greek Statue9. Many classical Greek and Roman statues that we see today as plain white marble were originally painted in various colors to make them look more realistic. The paint simply wore away over the centuries.

Santa Claus in green10. Before the 1950s, images of Santa depicted him wearing a green suit. The color changed to red only after Coca-Cola® started to use him in its advertising.

  • Deep Thinker?

     Personlally, I think that our eyes can distinguish the most between different shades of green is because our brain is used to seeing different shades in nature and has learned to tell the difference between them.

  • Erin Green

    Neat stuff!