We asked our team of painters in Melbourne “what is the number one question you get asked by our customers?” Their answer “Why do painters wear white?”
The truth is, no one really knows the exact answer to that question, there are several theories about the origin of the painters white uniform.
In the 20th century, organized labour unions started to use specific clothing to differentiate themselves from non-union workers. The white was a symbol of cleanliness, professionalism and solidarity to the union. In the past, it was common to see a black tie combined to the outfit.
Historically, a dyed cloth was more expensive, it is common to see painters walking around with different colours from different projects on their clothes. It is reasonable to surmise that they just wanted to save money on clothes that were going to be painted anyways.
Apart from the above history, we can deal with the painters reasoning, that they wear white because painters deal with prominently white paints, whitewashes and drywall repair dust which is better concealed on white clothing. They would look far worse walking on the streets if they had dark clothing on.
Look at the mess on this pair of jeans!
After years of painters wearing white, nowadays it is basically a silly unwritten law, just a way of painters differentiating themselves. If you spot a painter on a construction site, it is very easy to differentiate him/ her from the blue Plumbers or the brown Carpenters.
Just remember you can’t judge a book by its cover. In the same way, you cant judge the quality of tradesman by the colour of his/her clothes.
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