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What is Paint? Video Questions Mark as Favorite (10 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Mixtures, Intermolecular Forces, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Solute & Solvent, Intermolecular Forces, Electromagnetic Spectrum. Last updated January 29, 2024.


In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the composition of paint. During the video, students will learn about the differences between three common paint types, water colors, oil-based and acrylic paint as well as the chemistry of each.

Grade Level

High School and Middle School


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

  • Understand that there is a chemical difference between water-based, oil-based and acrylic-based paints.
  • Make basic distinctions between the three types of paint.
  • Describe the main components that make-up paint, and indicate their purpose.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Solutions
  • Mixtures
  • Solute & Solvent
  • Intermolecular Forces
  • Molecular Formula
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polymers


Teacher Preparation: minimal

Lesson: 10 minutes



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

Teacher Notes

  • The video, What is 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 5 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • 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, What is Paint? answer the following questions:

  1. What are the 3 types of paint mentioned in the video?
  2. Where may have you used water colors?
  3. Water Colors are water based, that means that water is the _________.
  4. What part gives paint its color?
  5. True or False? We see different colors and different pigments because of the way the molecules in them absorb or reflect light.
  6. What keeps a pigment dissolved in solution and keeps is stuck to paper after it has dried?
  7. What is a disadvantage of oil colors?
  8. Acrylics use ________ as a solvent, but they are distinguished by their water-soluble ________ binders.
  9. Polymers are long chain like molecules composed of repeating units usually _________ and ____________ based.