Pigment vs. Binder ~ What is the Difference?


 The pigment determines the color of the paint as well as the permanence of that color.

1) Chroma; Relative brightness
2) Opacity; transparent, translucent or opaque
3) Tinting strength or Color strength
4) Light fastness; How long before color shifts or fades


 The binder (acrylic polymer emulsion) determines paint handling characteristics, clarity, flexibility, UV resistance (non-yellowing), drying and curing times. While both are necessary for high quality paint, it can be argued that it is the binder that is most important, since it is the binder that the artist physically feels while working, and it is the binder that will hold the pigment for future years.

1) Clarity; Clear binders make true “color” paint films
2) Drying time; How fast paint will dry
3) Handling; Physical qualities – thick, fluid, sticky, smooth, brush drag
4) Archival; Non-yellowing binder won’t “yellow” colors over time
5) Environment Effects of the atmosphere on the paint film durability
6) Blocking Affinity of dry painted surfaces to bond (paintings stacked face to face)
7) Film hardness; Harder film is more durable over time
8] Flexibility of film; Flexible film is more durable over time
9) Adhesion; The types of substrates that paint adheres to, over what time period adhere it

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