Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2004

Paint Analysis

Q. Can a paint manufacturer be identified from a paint sample?

A. You can identify a paint manufacturer from a sample of paint only if you already have samples of other paints against which to compare your sample. It's much like identifying someone's fingerprint. If you want to identify the fingerprint of a criminal, you first need a database of fingerprints of all criminals so that you can compare the sample with the database. If the criminal in question is not already in the database, then you can't identify that person. The same is true for the paint sample.

If you have a sample of a paint but you don't have a database, then you can collect samples of similar paints made by the leading paint manufactures and hope that your sample will match one of the formulations in your new small database.

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