Why do painters wear white?

We get asked this question often… So why do painters wear the white uniform?? There are a lot of theories, but no one seems to have a clear answer to the question.  Some myths and legends go back to as early as the 16th century…

Photographer - François Kollar
le peintre en bâtiment 1932.
The house painter, 1932.

Legend has it that back in the 16th and 17th Century, painters made their pants from the white canvas sails of ships. One can imagine that when Samuel de Champlain set sail for Quebec, Canada with 200 colonists, of course there would be a few painters on board…right?

The theory that I like most is that late in the 19th Century, painters started to wear the white uniform to set themselves apart from the non-union painters. Back then they even wore neck ties to complete the look. How many painters wear neck ties today on the job? In my 25+ years of painting I’ve never seen one!

Although the mystery of painters in white pants or overalls still remains, we can give you a few good reasons why the good guys wear white!

·      White is a symbol of cleanliness. When a painter is on the job, he or she should show up with a nice, neat and tidy appearance.
·      The most common colour painters deal with is white and off-whites.  A painter in blue jeans is going to finish the day looking a lot messier than a painter in white.
·      White is a cooler colour. Our busy season is in the heat of the summer. If a painter is wearing darker colours, he or she is going to overheat much faster than the painter dressed in white.
·      Professional painters always wear white. It’s really that simple. Professional painting contractors know there is a tradition within the painting trade. So, wear your whites to your painting job!
Whatever the case may be, white is the universally accepted colour that professional painters wear. As such, professional painters proudly don their white clothes when they show up for another day of work.

This photo is in memory of William Heffernan, aka "Ferd"

Ferd worked with us for over 10 years. He was a master painter and a great friend. We miss him very much.
Joe Rotundo, Priority Painting.

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