- Analysis of artworks and identification of their molecular components are of utmost importance for selecting proper conservation strategies and monitoring restoration. Accordingly, development of simple and readily applicable paint analysis assays is highly sought in conservation science and technology. We prepared transparent spin-coated films comprising polydiacetylene (PDA) derivatives upon poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) substrates and employed the PDA/PMMA films for color analysis of organic constituents in painting materials. We show that distinct color transformations were recorded upon addition of paint compounds to different PDA films. Quantitative analysis revealed that the colorimetric transitions were dictated by the interactions between the diacetylene headgroups and the tested compounds. This study underscores the significance of the diacetylene headgroup for molecular discrimination and points to the possible uses of the PMMA-supported PDA films for colorimetric screening of organic components in painting materials. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.