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Color Matching Paint Video Questions Mark as Favorite (4 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum. Last updated January 29, 2024.


In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about how technology, specifically focusing on spectrophotometry, can be used for paint matching. During the video, students will learn how the spectrophotometer interacts with the spectrum of visible light in order to match or reproduce specific paint colors.

Grade Level

High School and Middle School


By the end of this activity, students should be able to

  • Identify the four main components of a paint.
  • Explain the relationship between wavelengths of light and pigment molecules in order to identify specific colors.
  • Describe how a spectrophotometer is used to assist in matching the colors of a paint sample.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Energy
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • Visible Light
  • Mixtures


Teacher Preparation: minimal

Lesson: 10 minutes



  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • The video, Color Matching Paint was developed as a part of the 2017 AACT-PPG, Chemistry of Color content writing team project, sponsored by PPG Industries. The entire video series can be found here.
  • Additionally, 17 lesson plans related to the Chemistry of Color theme were developed by the content writing participants. You can learn even more about this project by reading an article from the September 2017 issue of Chemistry Solutions, written by the lead teacher involved in this project.
  • The running time of this video is approximately 3 minutes.
  • This video is intended for students to watch, and for teachers to integrate into their curriculum.
  • The student questions/answers are presented in sequential order in the video.
  • An answer key has also been provided for teacher reference.
  • Videos can be shown with the use of a classroom projector, or teachers can generate a Student Pass through their AACT membership to allow students to independently access the video.

For the Student



While watching the video, Color Matching Paint, answer the following questions:

  1. Give an example of a situation where specifically matching the color of a paint would be important:
  2. What are the 4 basic components of paint?
  3. In order to match an exact paint sample perfectly, you will need to determine the _________________ of light that the ________________ are absorbing.
  4. The “spectro” in Spectrophotometer is referring to what?
  5. A laboratory spectrophotometer works by splitting a beam of white light into the rainbow of different colors or _______________, using a prism.
  6. True or False? The spectrophotometer determines which wavelengths are in the light coming off of a sample. This allows it to determine the exact spectrum of light the new paint needs to produce.