why do painters wear white

Why Do Painters Wear White? 5 Main Reasons

Painting has never been an easy job. Preparing the paint and the wall can be stressful. Not to mention, really messy. It’s a bit confusing seeing painters wearing white doing a messy job. White is the most vulnerable color to want to wear when doing a paint job. So why do you think painters wear white?

No law limits painters to wearing white. One can wear any color of clothing in this profession, but why choose white? The paint job itself is not easy work and having paint smeared all over your clothes isn’t fun either. You would have to worry about washing it off or throwing the clothes away. So what do painters wear to protect their clothes?

While other painters come with plain white shirts, others however, put on protective gears like smocks or aprons to help reduce paint splatters.

5 Main Reasons Why Painters Wear White :

Why do painters wear white? Although wearing white isn’t compulsory for painters, there are some reasons why people of this profession stick to the color. Here are some reasons why painters wear white.

1. Union membership.

In the early 19th century, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades adopted the use of white as a standard of dressing. This separated the union members from non-members. It also made the profession stand out from other professions like farming. And it looks like, it sticks around for quite a long time now.

2. Painters wear white because of ease in washing.

With the stains and dirt attached with painting, it’s only natural that the clothes worn during the job would undergo series of thorough washing after.  Most stains are perfectly taken out with bleach.

When bleach is used on other colors, the clothes fade. However, when used on white clothes, it not only removes stain and dirt, it also removes bacteria and other contaminants that must have gotten on the clothes while working.

Also, white clothes tend to last longer than other clothes with different colors after it’s been used for some time. This prevents one from spending extra money to replace uniforms.

3. Uniformity

Imagine hiring a painting service and all the workers show up in conflicting colors? It wouldn’t look professional. Painters wear white because the uniformity of the color shows a level of professionalism and it also blends well with any environment.

Also, all colors fade when washed several times, white however, does not. Imagine a painting company that uses the color blue as their official attire for painting. After the uniform has been used and washed several times, the color might appear the same but would be in different shades.

Workers appearing for a job with different shades of colors might make them look unprofessional.

4. Painters wearing white gives out a good impression

Appearing in white would make a client feel relaxed around you. Cleanliness is also related to white color. Appearing in white gives a client confidence in your abilities as a painter. “He’s wearing white; he’d do a clean job”.

5. It’s a warning, when you see painters wearing white

When you enter a room and see a bunch of people wearing white, your subconscious mind would alert you that there will be a paint job going on. This prevents accidents like leaning on the walls or touching the walls from happening.

With the association of the color white to painters, there would be little need for a wet paint sign to warn people from touching the walls, stepping on brushes or rollers, tripping over paint buckets, walking under ladders or trays.

What Painters Wear Aside from White Clothes at Work:

The clothes worn while painting helps protect painters from hazards on the job. Some painters work with harmful chemicals, varnishes, harsh paints and other hazardous substances.

The appropriate attire to wear when painting includes;


Bandannas or baseball caps would help protect your hair from paint drips or chips. It would also keep your hair away from your face while you work.


Light, breathable shirts that would keep you cool. Also, avoid clothes that would brush against wet paint and ruin your work.


Old pants that give a relaxed feeling would be perfect for painting; a tight pant would restrict movement. Wearing pants that have room for a tool belt is also important when painting.


Work boots or sneakers that help make climbing on ladders or moving on slick floors easy is the best option for painting.

Eye gear:

Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris or paint splash.

A respirator:

A respirator supplies you with clean air when working in a room with little or no ventilation. It is similar to a mask but it prevents you from inhaling fine dust or paint fumes.

A paint mask:

Wear a paint mask when using a spray. It helps protect your nose and mouth from paint mist.

Not all painters dress the same. If painters wear white what do art painters wear? Art painters wear entirely different clothes from what normal painters wear. They wear clothes that make them stand out from other people. Most art painters wear black.


White might seem like the universal painters’ color. It is not compulsory, however, to wear white. So why do painters wear white? The color of the clothes you put on while painting doesn’t really matter as long as you can get the job done.

If seeing a group of men in white shirt who will do a paint job amuses you, what more if a group of birds suddenly appear? Grab your binoculars and enjoy bird-watching.

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