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Paint is a liquid or semi-liquid substance that once applied to a surface, dries to form an opaque film. This film may be of any colour. Paints are known from 40,000 years ago in cave paintings.

Various substances were used to produce paints including eggs to help them adhere to a surface and materials such as lead and cinnabar to colur them. Some of these could be very expensive but these typically produced clearer or brighter colours.

As paints evolved over times, different ranges of colours became available. Painted images found on paintings, sculpture, manuscripts and furniture of cloth does not necessarily reflect actual colours available for cloth as dyes are frequently chemically different to paints.

Much medieval sculpture was painted as were many surfaces including furniture and leather (at least in later medieval pattens).