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ink vs. dye vs. paint?


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#1 sharonspens

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 00:49

My husband asked me a question a few days ago, and I thought the answer might be found here. What is the difference between ink, dye, and paint? I mean, chemically what makes one different from the other?

Sharon in Indiana

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#2 RLTodd

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 01:42

First you have to know what kind of ink, what kind of dye, and what kind of paint we are going to talk about. If you don't, there are so many variations involved the explanation would take books.

Fountain pen ink is generally water and a dye. The dye in fountain pen ink is usually analine although it can be a natural based colorant. These days paint is frequenty a pigment suspended in an alkalyd base, unless you are an artist where it may be an oil base.
YMMV

#3 sharonspens

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 02:04

QUOTE(RLTodd @ Oct 7 2007, 09:42 PM) View Post
First you have to know what kind of ink, what kind of dye, and what kind of paint we are going to talk about. If you don't, there are so many variations involved the explanation would take books.

Fountain pen ink is generally water and a dye. The dye in fountain pen ink is usually analine although it can be a natural based colorant. These days paint is frequenty a pigment suspended in an alkalyd base, unless you are an artist where it may be an oil base.


Hm. You are right - this could require a book of responses. I think we've got it: fountain pen inks (which is what I meant) have some sort of dye in them to create the color. Paints, well, paints are a whole different breed of staining power!

Thanks for the insight; between making the first post and reading your reply I've been studying the Pendemonium web page, which has also given me some helpful hints.

Sharon

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Earnest Hemingway


#4 Penache

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 15:37

This is the way I think of the differences in my head.
A dye generally reacts and bonds, temporarily or permanently, with the material it is made for while paint just adheres and sits on top of the material as a layer. Paint is pigment suspended in some kind of binder and it is the binder that determines the behaviour of the paint.
Today, most inks are made of dye, water and helper chemicals. Other inks like India ink are actually pigments in binder and so react very differently.

Hope this helps. smile.gif
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#5 *david*

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 16:38

I don't know the cause, but the effect is that a paint bonds to a hard surface, while a dye does not and just washes off.

On a porous surface, a dye soaks in, while a paint bonds to the surface as best it can. Paints generally don't stain - they just stick tight.

The above information only applies to ordinary paints and ordinary dyes, and only to my limited experience.

An ink can have paint-like or dye-like characteristics, depending on how it's made. Fountain pen inks that are safe to use are generally dye-based, so that it soaks into the paper but doesn't bond to the pen.

#6 encephalartos

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 16:57

QUOTE(*david* @ Oct 8 2007, 09:38 AM) View Post
I don't know the cause, but the effect is that a paint bonds to a hard surface, while a dye does not and just washes off.

On a porous surface, a dye soaks in, while a paint bonds to the surface as best it can. Paints generally don't stain - they just stick tight.

The above information only applies to ordinary paints and ordinary dyes, and only to my limited experience.

An ink can have paint-like or dye-like characteristics, depending on how it's made. Fountain pen inks that are safe to use are generally dye-based, so that it soaks into the paper but doesn't bond to the pen.


Paint normally consists of a pigment and a base. So, for example, titanium dioxide makes white (but not for ink). You could get titanium
white in watercolor or gouache, acrylic, or oil paint at an art store. The same pigment is being used, but the base of the paint is a different
formula. Watercolor or gouache use gum arabic, glycerine, and other incredients. (gouache=opaque watercolor) Acrylic paint is based
on a plastic, but before it dries you can thin or wash the brushes with water. (Some people use acrylic in a watercolor style by adding a
lot of water to make transparent paint and paint on paper.) Oils are based on linseed oil, plus other ingredients.

Watercolorists talk about so-called "staining" paints, that soak into the paper and stain it. The "non-staining" paints can be lifted off
the paper with water, even after the dry. I think in the world of art supplies, paint vs. ink might be about a naming convention,
sometimes related to HOW the product is applied to paper or canvas. To keep paint from bonding to a brush, no matter what kind
of paint it is, washing or cleaning is required.

The difference between ink and paint, for some purposes, might be about HOW it is used. Fountain pen ink is a bit different from, say,
intaglio or relief printing ink, or the soy ink that they is used to print newspapers. India drawing ink has gum arabic and shellac and dries
waterproof. Also, now you can get acrylic-based drawing inks that are supposed to work in technical pens, but they look like a liquid
acrylic paint and use the same pigments.

#7 Tricia

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 18:16

Penache's definition is closest to what I learned back in my fabric-dyeing days. Dyes bond with the fabric (with appropriate help chemicals), while paints (pigments) stay on top of the fabric. You can get into weird 'vat' dyes like (real) indigo - which go through a strange leuco state - but I think underneath, they are still bonding to the fabric.

Not a chemist, though, so take it for what's it's worth. wink.gif

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#8 jbn10161

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 22:13

I think the answer has been put well and often earlier in this thread, that dye binds and paint covers. Here's a story that seems to confirm that. On a recent flight I sat next to a sales person (IIRC) from a company that--to me--was one of the world's larger paint companies. However, he said that they consider themselves to be a coatings company. They make lots and lots of different types of coatings, all of which are designed to protect surfaces, although some are designed to reduce friction and some to mark a surface. Paints, he said, are just colored coatings. Their primary purpose--from his industrial perspective--is to protect a surface, and the difference between his paints and his other coatings is that paints also coat the surface with color.
JN

#9 sharonspens

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:46

Hiya, folks - thanks for the all the really helpful responses! I knew I could count on someone here having an a plausible answer.

Sharon

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Earnest Hemingway


#10 coreyhallberg

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 16:48

Hello Im new to your forum and found it via a google search on this topic. First Ill intoduce myself a little better. I am an artist who uses several mediums to complete my work, i.e. inks, paint, pens, brushes , airbrush, tattoo machines, paper ,wood, metal, canvis, cloth, skin.
Rescently on another forum I belong to I brought up the question of what the differance between ink and paint is. Unfortunately I couldnt get the answer. Ive read through this thread and want to say thanks for the info listed. As I use paints and inks as well as dye based paint/ink I appreciate a forum with knowledge.
I tried googling the above and got very contradicting deffinitions and statements.

Any way I will get back to reading the rest of your foum.

#11 welfvet

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 17:43

QUOTE(coreyhallberg @ Dec 16 2007, 04:48 PM) View Post
Hello Im new to your forum

Any way I will get back to reading the rest of your foum.


Welcome.

Just be warned, there's a fair whack to read- you may not surface for a while thumbup.gif

Nic

#12 Jimmy James

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 18:24

QUOTE(jbn10161 @ Oct 8 2007, 05:13 PM) View Post
I think the answer has been put well and often earlier in this thread, that dye binds and paint covers. Here's a story that seems to confirm that. On a recent flight I sat next to a sales person (IIRC) from a company that--to me--was one of the world's larger paint companies. However, he said that they consider themselves to be a coatings company. They make lots and lots of different types of coatings, all of which are designed to protect surfaces, although some are designed to reduce friction and some to mark a surface. Paints, he said, are just colored coatings. Their primary purpose--from his industrial perspective--is to protect a surface, and the difference between his paints and his other coatings is that paints also coat the surface with color.


I once worked for a company that made software for mixing paint, which required interaction with a number of different "paint" companies. I'd say the vast majority of the reps I dealt with if not all of them would give you the same answer your plane-mate did. Dazzling color is important to them in that it helps sell coatings, but the prettiest color in the world isn't going to be acceptable to them if it won't protect in an acceptable fashion.

#13 Jeff Muscato

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 09:36

QUOTE(sharonspens @ Oct 7 2007, 08:04 PM) View Post
Paints, well, paints are a whole different breed of staining power!

I don't think that's quite right. As I understand it, paint does not stain, but merely covers. You can chip off paint; you can't chip off stain because it soaks in (i.e. stains) the material.

#14 coreyhallberg

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:43

When I airbrush a shirt I use the air to push the paint molecules into the fabfric causing a dying effect but 90% of the paint still adheres to the fabric instead of
'dying it"
However if Im using a dye based candy color urothane to do art work or a mural on a car or piece of metal it doesnt actually dye the metal but if not done properly can cause a bleeding into the other paints which is dying them. But on the same notes when Im working with canvas for portraits i use ink based products for the dying capabilities. I use glyceron for surface tension and flowability. Pigment size is a factor also.
Many paint manufacturers refer to their paints as inks to help describe the flowability and characteristics.






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