Enamel paint
Overview
 
Enamel paint is paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

 that air dries to a hard, usually glossy, finish, used for coating surfaces that are outdoors or otherwise subject to hard wear or variations in temperature; it should not be confused with decorated objects in "painted enamel", where vitreous enamel
Vitreous enamel
Vitreous enamel, also porcelain enamel in U.S. English, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C...

 is applied with brushes and fired in a kiln. The name is something of a misnomer as in reality, most commercially-available enamel paints are significantly softer than either vitreous enamel or stoved synthetic resins, and are totally different in composition; vitreous enamel is applied as a powder or paste and then fired at high temperature.
Encyclopedia
Enamel paint is paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

 that air dries to a hard, usually glossy, finish, used for coating surfaces that are outdoors or otherwise subject to hard wear or variations in temperature; it should not be confused with decorated objects in "painted enamel", where vitreous enamel
Vitreous enamel
Vitreous enamel, also porcelain enamel in U.S. English, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C...

 is applied with brushes and fired in a kiln. The name is something of a misnomer as in reality, most commercially-available enamel paints are significantly softer than either vitreous enamel or stoved synthetic resins, and are totally different in composition; vitreous enamel is applied as a powder or paste and then fired at high temperature. There is no generally accepted definition or standard for use of the term enamel paint, and not all enamel-type paints may use it.

Typically the term "enamel paint" is used to describe oil-based covering products, usually with a significant amount of gloss in them, however recently many latex or water-based paints have adopted the term as well. The term today means "hard surfaced paint" and usually is in reference to paint brands of higher quality, floor coatings of a high gloss finish, or spray paints
Spray painting
Spray painting is a painting technique where a device sprays a coating through the air onto a surface. The most common types employ compressed gas—usually air—to atomize and direct the paint particles. Spray guns evolved from airbrushes, and the two are usually distinguished by their size and the...

. Some enamel paints have been made by adding varnish
Varnish
Varnish is a transparent, hard, protective finish or film primarily used in wood finishing but also for other materials. Varnish is traditionally a combination of a drying oil, a resin, and a thinner or solvent. Varnish finishes are usually glossy but may be designed to produce satin or semi-gloss...

 to oil-based paint.

Although "enamels" and "painted enamel" in art normally refer to vitreous enamel, in the 20th century some artists used commercial enamel paints in art, including Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 (mixing it with oil paint), Hermann-Paul
Hermann-Paul
René Georges Hermann-Paul was a French artist. He was born in Paris and died in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.Recent efforts to catalog the work of Hermann-Paul reveal an artist of considerable scope. He was a well-known illustrator whose work appeared in numerous newspapers and periodicals...

 and Sidney Nolan
Sidney Nolan
Sir Sidney Robert Nolan OM, AC was one of Australia's best-known painters and printmakers.-Early life:Nolan was born in Carlton, a suburb of Melbourne, on 22 April 1917. He was the eldest of four children. His family later moved to St Kilda. Nolan attended the Brighton Road State School and...

. The Trial (1947) is one of a number of works by Nolan to use enamel paint, usually Ripolin, a commercial paint not intended for art, also Picasso's usual brand. Some "enamel paints" are now produced specifically for artists.

Uses and categories of enamel paint

  • Floor enamel – May be used for concrete, stairs, basements, porches, and patios.
  • Fast dry enamel – Can dry within 10–15 minutes of application. Ideal for refrigerators, counters, and other industrial finishes.
  • High-temp enamel – May be used for engines, brakes, exhaust, and BBQs.
  • Enamel paint is also used on wood to make it resistant to the elements via the waterproofing and rotproofing properties of enamel. Generally, treated surfaces last much longer and are much more resistant to wear than untreated surfaces.
  • Model building
    Model building
    Model building as a hobby involves the creation of models either from kits or from materials and components acquired by the builder.Categories of modelling include:*Scale model building*Live steam models*Matchstick models*Military models...

     - This paint is usually sold in 14 ml tinlets (in the UK) and is available through specialist hobbyshops. Xtracolor and Humbrol
    Humbrol
    Humbrol Limited was a British manufacturer of model kits, toys and paints, producing under its own brand and the Airfix, Sky Marks, Young Scientist, 1st Gear, High Speed and W. Britain brands...

     are well known UK brands that have a wide range of colours, covering most of the ones used by various armed forces. Testors
    Testor Corporation
    Testor Corporation is a manufacturer of model kits, tools, and accessories based in Rockford, Illinois and is part of RPM International.- Beginnings :...

    , a US company, offers the Floquil brand for railroad models
    Rail transport modelling
    Railway modelling or model railroading is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modelled at a reduced scale...

    , and Pactra, Model Master and Testors brands for aircraft
    Model aircraft
    Model aircraft are flying or non-flying models of existing or imaginary aircraft using a variety of materials including plastic, diecast metal, polystyrene, balsa wood, foam and fibreglass...

     and car
    Model car
    A model car or toy car is a miniature representation of an automobile. Other miniature motor vehicles, such as trucks, buses, or even ATVs, etc. are often included in the general category of model cars...

    models. Liquid enamels are sold in 1/4 to 1 oz. bottles, and some colours are also available in spray cans.
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