The last time there was a paint-splatter war was in the 1920s.
The painting war began in earnest in the 1940s when a spate of paint-spatter incidents brought down President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
It was the height of the Great Depression and paint-based products like paint and glue were everywhere.
But the paint wars didn’t just end in the early 20th century.
A decade later, in the 1950s, an epidemic of paint allergies killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and sparked the Great War.
“The paint wars are gone,” said Brian K. Smith, an associate professor of painting history at the University of Pennsylvania.
So are the paint-related wars.
In the late 1980s, the paint industry faced an unprecedented crisis.
More and more Americans were getting allergic to paints.
Some doctors and paint suppliers blamed the paint allergy on a new synthetic ingredient called “paint-reducing agents.”
In response, the paints industry fought back, claiming the new agents were harmful.
To some, the industry was right.
Over the next decade, the manufacturers of paints developed new compounds that would reduce the color of paint.
These included a new compound called methanol that caused paint to absorb a pigment called “coral.”
This would result in a new hue of paint that looked like a deep orange-red, instead of a dark blue-green.
At the same time, the companies added new additives to their paints, like polyvinyl chloride, to reduce the number of pigment-absorbing chemicals and to reduce toxicity.
As a result, the new paints were far more widely used than before, Smith said.
When the paint war ended in the late 1990s, it was the end of a new era.
And the new paint colors were just the beginning.
In the years since, there have been dozens of new paint-focused paint wars.
They began with the “color wars,” in which a company made a color that people hated, Smith explained.
Then came the “tasteless” wars, in which the paint companies tried to make a product that was too toxic.
Today, the entire paint industry has its own paint wars, which can span decades, said Chris Houser, a professor of chemistry and director of the Chemistry and Materials Institute at Penn State.
For example, in 2014, a California paint company called DuPont and a Japanese company called Shiro developed a paint that could kill bacteria in people with the B-cell lymphoma disease.
That paints also is the only type of paint you can buy in the U.S. to contain toxic chemicals.
While the paint makers were winning paint wars in the 1990s and early 2000s, they lost them in the paint market today, Housar said.
They’re now competing for the market with paint that is less toxic and more durable, he said.
That is the paint we need right now to keep the world safe and prosperous.
Another new paint war is underway: the “slimming” wars.
It’s a new trend in the art world where a manufacturer makes a product with a thinner surface than traditional paints.
The thinner the surface, the more paint it can absorb.
This means that thinner paints can hold up better in a paint war.
If you think of a thin, lightweight paint as a thin sheet of paper, the thinner that sheet is, the better it is at absorbing paint, Smith added.
Smith said that if the paint manufacturers can’t get the thinner paints they need, they’re in trouble.
Slimming is one of the most important steps in the manufacturing process, Smith noted.
Most paint manufacturers use thinner, lighter-weight paints.
And that thinning process is extremely difficult and expensive.
It requires the manufacturer to make dozens or even hundreds of layers of paint, depending on the thickness and density of the paint, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The thinner the paint used to be, the easier it is to produce thinner paints, said Andrew A. Riedel, an adjunct professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University who has studied the history of paints.
But in recent years, manufacturers have started using thinner, denser paints.
So the thinner the thinner, the harder it is for the manufacturer.
The more layers of thinner paint you use, the less the paint is absorbed, Riedell said.
The result is that paint war makers are scrambling to find a thinner, more durable paint that will work well with their thinner paints.
To that end, manufacturers like DuPont are adding new materials like phenolic compounds to their paint.
These compounds help the thinner paint absorb more paint, and also help it hold up against the more intense paint attacks