General Question

breedmitch's avatar

Why do painters wear white?

Asked by breedmitch (12098 points ) February 29th, 2008

Think about movie costuming. The traditional painter’s outfit is white painter’s pants, white shirt, and white cap. Don’t they know that every drop of paint is going to show? Or is that the point? Don’t you think it would be harder to get paint stains out of white than some other, darker color?

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5 Answers

jamms's avatar

I would think knowing you have paint on you would be better than having paint on you and spreading it to other surfaces. It makes messes easier to contain.

bulbatron9's avatar

Most people use white paint. Maybe white paint being the most commonly used color has a little something to do with it.

Randy's avatar

It shows what they do. Kinda like free advertising when they break for lunch or go into town to get supplies. :)

artemisdivine's avatar

Traditionally, most paint used by house painters was some shade of white. The wearing of white is simply because it does not contrast and show up the paint drops and splatters that are part of the days work. Blue Jean painters look pretty sloppy after a few days of painting, and less likely to be hired.
http://painterforum.com/white.html

Nobody seems to know for sure how the practice started, but there are a few theories about why “whites” made sense. In fact, the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, posed the same question to their memberships.

One advantage that just about everyone could agree on is that white connotes cleanliness. A painter, after all, removes dirt and crumbling plaster before applying paint. Many painters compared the purity of their “whites” to the uniforms of nurses, chefs, and bakers. Philadelphia One painters theory is that a white uniform is like a badge that says, “There’s no paint on me, so I’m doing a my job.” Obviously, it is as hard to hide paint smeared on a white uniform as it is to hide a ketchup stain on a chef’s apron.
http://charmville.com/painters.html

cake7's avatar

hmm I was totally thinking because some work outside and it doesn’t get too hot wearing white.

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