The idiom ‘watching paint dry’ is an expression of how utterly boring something is; you literally do nothing, and no one’s sure when it’s done. This is an unfair statement to be made against paint, watching paint is definitely a pointless waste of time, but paint itself is a fascinating subject.
First, modern painting services in Perth owe a lot of their existence not to a great artist, but a philosopher. Plato is credited as the first man to discover that you could mix two colours to create a third colour.
Mixing paint is basic paint-wheel knowledge, but one that unintentionally altered the course of painting history forever. For one thing, people who hire house-painting services to colour their houses or rooms purple can officially call themselves royalty.
This is because before mixing paints caught on, only aristocrats could afford the incredibly expensive pigment. The only way to make the colour back then was by crushing mollusc shells, and it took four million shells to produce a pound of purple pigment. So forget gold, purple was the real colour of indulgence.
Speaking of being more valuable than gold, the ancient Aztecs considered the colour red as the most important colour for decoration. And when it came to precious materials, jade was more valuable than gold. This is mainly because the ancient empire was so full of the yellow metal they might as well have been rocks (not really, but you see the point).
In fact, it was only during the European expeditions did gold become the standard measure of wealth and status. Gold rich areas started valuing the metal and colour more because other people did. The continuing rarity of the metal only strengthens its position as the most precious metal, as well as the colour of status.
The strangeness of colour perception extends far beyond ancient civilisations, however, and even infiltrated one of the world’s most iconic landmarks. Most people will recognise the city of San Francisco because of the Golden gate bridge. A name that’s caused a bit of confusion because the bridge looks bright red, a perception that continues to be false, as the colour of the bridge is actually called ‘International Orange’.
Paint has changed the way many people look at the world, and vice versa. It’s amazing to think about all the history behind the paint drying on your walls.