Own business: production of watercolor paints

* The calculations use the average data for the World

Watercolor paints have been known since ancient times. It is unlikely that you can find a person who would never come across them in his entire life. Even if you are not an artist and are not fond of drawing, most likely, you have often painted with watercolors in childhood. Watercolor art paints are rather finely ground (finely dispersed) pigments of the highest grades mixed with gum arabic or glue with vegetable glue obtained by heating starch in the presence of acids. All these basic components of paints are water soluble, which is of no small importance. This mixture also includes a plasticizer, which may be honey or glycerin, and an antiseptic (phenol).

Quite high requirements are imposed on watercolor paints. They should have a fairly high degree of transparency, so they do not add white. After drying on paper, high-quality paints should not be erased with a light touch of a cotton swab. In addition, they must be resistant to sunlight and not fade on it. They should be easily taken with a wet brush and lay evenly on the paper in an even layer, without penetrating the back of the sheet and partially washed off with water. Good paints are sticky and quite viscous, do not crack when dried and easily dissolve with water. Watercolor paints acquire all these qualities due to high-quality binders, including gum resins (gums), the aforementioned gum arabic, honey, dextrin, molasses, cherry, plum, apricot and other adhesives obtained from stone fruit trees.

Watercolors are marketed dry in tablets and tiles placed in plastic boxes - cuvettes (mainly watercolor paints in this packaging are intended for children and for work on small projects and drafts), as well as in a paste-like state in tubes ( for professional artists and large-scale works). Gouache (poster) paints are very similar in composition to watercolor paints. But in addition to the above components, gouache also includes white, giving it a more dense, opaque, plastic and at the same time fluid consistency. Gouache has a higher hiding power than watercolor, as well as dullness and velvety. Gouache paints are available in tubes and in plastic jars.

Watercolor paints are produced by grinding powdered pigments with a water-soluble binder, which mainly consists of gum arabic, but also includes glycerin as a plasticizer, a wetting agent such as bile bile, and (if necessary) a thickener, for example, gummitragakant. Other types of thickeners include starch, dextrin, or swellable clay. Typically, a preservative that acts as an antifungal and bactericidal agent is also added to paints. In addition, in case of emergency, fillers can sometimes be added to other ingredients to control the properties of a particular paint, which can form a white color. Each of the pigments used in the paint composition has different requirements. Of great importance for the quality of the finished product is the exact observance of the given proportions of one or more ingredients. Therefore, the process of producing watercolor paints is considered to be complex, requiring employees to have extensive experience in this field and relevant knowledge.

Regardless of the method of packaging watercolor paints, the production technique has no fundamental differences and suggests the following steps: mixing the binder with the pigment, grinding the mixture, drying to a viscous consistency, filling the cups or tubes with paint, packing.

To mix pigments with a binder, mechanical tippers are usually used. In the production of small quantities of paint, batches can also be prepared manually in metal enameled containers with mixing using wooden blades. The binder is first loaded into the mixer, and then pigment is added in small portions in dry form and diluted with water (aqueous paste). Grinding of watercolors is carried out on three-roller paint machines. Since some pigments are quite sensitive to iron, experts advise using rollers made of granite or porphyry, and replace the steel filming knife in standard equipment with a wooden one. Although the latter option will be less durable, the quality of your products will be higher.

To grind the pigment, a paint-and-mortar machine is used, with which the pigment is thoroughly mixed with a binder until a uniform, colorful paste is formed. The quality and quantity of milling directly depends on the degree of grinding and hardness of the pigments, the amount of moisture in the mixture (the degree of wettability of the pigments), the viscosity of the binder, the speed of rotation of the shafts and the magnitude of their clamping. For example, when using coarse pigment, additional grindings will be required, which degrades the quality of the paint, contaminating it with materials when erasing the shafts and dust from a metal knife. To avoid this, the paste containing such pigments should not be rubbed more than five times. To grind watercolors, additional equipment will be required - separate paint grates for each group of pigments that are close to each other in color (obtained by a separate machine for white paints, for dark brown and black, for yellow, red and orange, for green blue and violet) .

In the manufacture of watercolor pastes, manufacturers usually use binders previously diluted with solutions. This is due to the fact that when using too thick a solution during grinding, it is impossible to get a fairly uniform colorful paste. In addition, the pigment in this case is not sufficiently saturated with a binder.

The frayed paint is sent to dry to remove excess moisture from the mixture and obtain a thick paste for filling into cups or tubes. The paste is dried in special drying chambers or on granite slabs at a temperature of about 35-40 ° C. After removing a certain part of the water, the thickened paste is carefully rolled into ribbons one centimeter thick, cut into individual squares, rectangles or circles corresponding to the area of ​​the cuvette, and stacked in cups. Boxes are closed and labels are stuck on them. There is also a more budgetary way of packing, in which the paint is laid with sheets of cellophane, and then wrapped in foil and paper with a label. In the production of watercolors in tubes, the filling of tubes with paste is carried out automatically by tube-filling machines. Then, in the latter case, more glycerol is added to the paint, which prevents them from drying out quickly and gives them greater solubility. On the other hand, with prolonged non-use of paint in tubes, pigment may be separated from the binder.

Previously, watercolors were issued with the GOST marking, which is now replaced by TU. This is due to the cessation of production in Russia of plant equipment necessary for the production of such products. However, most of the watercolor and gouache paint industries still use most of the domestic production (often very outdated). Part of the equipment can also be purchased from non-core suppliers. However, some component lines (for example, an installation for watercolor paints) will have to be purchased separately.

To place such equipment will require an area of ​​60 square meters. meters under the production workshop. In addition, you must allocate at least another 20 square meters. meters under the warehouses of raw materials and finished products. Paints are a compact product, but require special storage conditions. They should be stored indoors at a temperature of at least 0 ° C at a distance of not less than half a meter from the radiators.

Watercolor and gouache similar to it in production technology are among the most popular types of school paints and are glue and water-soluble. Since they use natural pigments as a coloring element, such paints are considered safe and do not require certification. Nevertheless, most manufacturers issue a sanitary-epidemiological report on such products, which confirms its high quality and causes more confidence from consumers. Please note: in addition to marking the certification center, information on the manufacturer, manufacturer and composition of products must be indicated on the packaging of your paints. For children, the most safe paints without chemical dyes and fragrances, only on the basis of corn glue, dextrin and natural honey-containing additives, are suitable. Both watercolor and gouache have an unlimited shelf life. Although over time the paints may well dry out a little, but to restore their working properties, just add a little water.

Of particular note is the issue of the range of enterprises for the production of artistic paints. If your products are intended for professional artists, then the latter use only the primary colors, preferring to create the desired shades by mixing several colors. And for children, on the contrary, the more colors of paints - the better. The optimal, according to most manufacturers, is considered to be a palette consisting of 12 colors, since it includes all the basic colors and at the same time its packaging is quite convenient and compact, does not take up much space in the portfolio.

For consumers, the choice of colors is no less important not only in the number of shades in the set, but also in its price. As a rule, 1-2 primary colors in a set are consumed most quickly, regardless of the breadth of the palette. The more colors in it, the more expensive the set at the same expense. Therefore, buying expensive sets is not profitable for parents. To attract customers, manufacturers often combine ordinary paints and decorative ones in one package (with sparkles, fluorescent, metallic effect, etc.). The cost of such sets is slightly higher than usual, but they are of interest.

Do not forget about the design of your colors. Convenient and durable boxes with transparent lids for customers to see their contents, and bright labels - all these, at first glance, little things are the key to the success of your company.

Paints are sold through office supply stores, children's goods stores, super- and hypermarkets, art goods stores, etc. According to preliminary estimates, the minimum costs for organizing the production of watercolor and gouache paints will amount to 300 thousand rubles. This amount includes the purchase of minimum production equipment, rental of premises for the workshop, purchase of raw materials and packaging (plastic ditches), label printing. Payback periods depend on many factors (production volumes, assortment, product quality, target audience, etc.) and range from 9 months.

Sysoeva Lilia

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