• Question: Can you make paint from tar

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      Asked by twincam world to Matthew on 18 Nov 2016.
      • Photo: Matthew Kitching

        Matthew Kitching answered on 18 Nov 2016:

        Hi Twincam

        Sorry for the late reply – we’ve been having problems with the website 🙁

        Tar is actually a pretty interesting mix of chemicals with lots of uses – you can find out about a lot of them on wikipedia!

        Tar can come from a lot of different places (wood, coal, peat for example) and you make it by heating these fuels up (but not burning them). When you do – you drive off some of the components that are light and can easily turn into gases, but your left behind with a thick gooey black liquid – which we call tar!

        Because its full of greasy molecules, its really good for making things waterproof! and it also has some of the complicated chemicals made by the plants left in it which makes it antibacterial! Apparently there’s a Finnish saying “if sauna, vodka and tar won’t help, the disease is fatal.” Now I’m not recommending you replace antibiotics with tar (i don’t reckon it tastes very good) but it shows you how useful it is 🙂

        Sorry – back to your question – YES YES YES! you’re a smart cookie – a whole range of paints can be made from coal tar! They’re often used on ships and boast (particularly underwater) because of how waterproof tar is! cool eh?

        hope that answers your question let me know if you want to know more 🙂