The chemistry of paint: what's in the can, ongoing challenges and life in industry


Paint is often considered a relatively simple and mundane material, when in fact there is very rich chemistry used to deliver the properties of paint that consumers demand. The key polymer component in most waterborne paint is a latex polymer, but polymers are also used as additives such as rheology modifiers, polymeric pigments and pigment dispersants. Combining these polymeric materials with pigments and other additives, the final paint formulation is a complex mixture. The dried paint film derived from these formulations has a structure and composition tuned to deliver specific properties such as gloss, opacity, surface texture etc.


This talk will provide an overview of the chemistry of paint and how certain features are delivered through the careful selection of materials. Some current problems in the coatings field will be outlined, along with a chemist’s view of life in industry.


About the Speaker


Exterior Products Technical Manager

Dulux Australia

Phone: +61 3 9263 5669 E-mail:

1990–1994     BSc Hons (Chem), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

1995–1998     PhD (Chem), University of Otago, New Zealand

1998–1999     Post-doc, Institut Charles Sadron, Strasbourg, France. Gemini surfactants in solution.

1999–2001     Post-doc, University of Sydney. Surfactant mixtures at interfaces; gemini surfactants in solution.

2001–2006     Research Chemist, Polymer Technology Group, Dulux Australia

2006–2008     Technical Specialist, Emergency Response Service, Orica

2008–2016     Senior Team Leader, Latex Research, Polymer Technology Group, Dulux Australia

2016- 2018     Polymer Technology Manager, Dulux Australia

2018–             Exterior Products Technical Manager, Dulux Australia

2008–2016    Senior Team Leader, Latex Research, Polymer Technology Group, Dulux Australia

2016–2018    Polymer Technology Manager, Dulux Australia

2018-              Exterior Products Technical Manager, Dulux Australia


Research interests: Polymers, colloids, surfactants, coatings, exterior durability, emulsion polymerisation