Common Painting Terms

Abrasive- Used for wearing away a surface by rubbing. Examples are powdered pumice, sandpaper, and steel wool.

Acrylic- Synthetic resin used in a latex coating.

Adhesion- Bonding strength.

Alkali- Caustic chemicals terminology.

Alkyd- Synthetic resin modified with oil. Good adhesion to a clean surface. Good gloss, color retention, and flexibility. Slow drying.

Alligatoring- Cracks in a paint surface, resembles alligator hide.

Binder- Resin, holds or binds pigment.

Bleaching- Process of restoring discolored or stained wood to normal color or making lighter.

Bleeding- Undercoat showing through the topcoat.

Blistering- Formation of bubbles on painted surface.

Breathing- Paint film's ability to give moisture vapor without causing blistering, cracking, or peeling.

Bristle- Working part of brush, either natural (usually hog hair) or artificial (nylon or polyester). (see About Painting Tools.)

Burnishing- Shiny or lustrous spots on paint surface, caused by rubbing.

Camel Hair- Trade name for tail hair from various types of Russian squirrels. Used for lacquering brushes and lettering quills.

Caulking Compound- A semi-drying or slow-drying plastic material used to seal joints or fill crevices around windows, chimneys, etc.

Chalking -Erosion of paint film, leaving pigment particles without a binder.

Coverage-Square foot of area paint will cover.

Crawling -Defect of poor adhesion; may cause to gather up in globs.

Crazing- Small, interlacing cracks on finish surface.

Curing- Final drying of a coating material.

Enamel- Once associated with only oil-based paint, now term for products that usually have some gloss to finish. (see Enamel Characteristics.)

Enamel Undercoaters- Primer coat for wood and other smooth surfaces. Highly pigmented to fill surface pores and wood grain.

Epoxy -Clear finish, excellent adhesion qualities. Water resistant.

Fading- Reduction of color strength.

Feathering- Tapering outermost paint area.

Film - Layer or coat of paint or other material applied to surface.

Finish Coat -Last coat of paint or other finish.

Flaking- Paint failure where small paint pieces detach from surface of previous coat of paint. Usually preceded by cracking or blistering.

Flat -Painted surface that absorbs light upon it, substantially free from gloss or sheen. (see Sheen Descriptions.)

Floating- Separation of paint pigments from wet paint.

Flow- Paint's ability during application to self level for a smooth, uniform appearance.

Gloss- Luster, sheen, brightness of paint. (see Sheen Descriptions.)

Hide or Hiding Power- Paint's ability to block out colors underneath it.

Hot Spots- Lime not completely cured, bleeds through coating on a plastered wall.

Latex Base Paint-Paint composed of acrylic or poly-vinyl resins or another emulsion resin where water is the solvent for thinning. (see Latex Paint Characteristics.)

Leveling- Ability of paint to form even surface without brush marks.

Nap- Length of fibers in a paint roller cover. (see About Painting Tools.)

Opacity- Ability of paint to hide previous surface or color.

Orange Peel- Texture of paint surface, resembles orange peel skin.

Oil Base Paint -In a general term, resins that require a solvent other than water. Also called alkyd based. (see Oil Paint Characteristics.)

Peeling- Paint curling or stripping.

Pigment- Solid component in the liquid. Usually of color. (see What Paint is Made Of.)

Primer (or Prime Coat)- Applied as a first coat of a painting system. Designed to improve adhesion and provide a uniform surface for finish coat.

Profile- Texture of surface, often describing steel surface.

Resin- The binder or film forming component (see What Paint is Made Of.)

Roller- Paint application tool with a movable cylinder covered with lambswool, fabric, foamed plastic, or other material. (see About Painting Tools.)

Runs- Blemished film caused by excessive flow of coating.

Sags- Excessive flow, causing runs or sagging in paint film during application. Usually caused by applying too heavy a coat of paint or thinning too much.

Sealer- Thin liquid to "close" a surface, prevents previous paint from bleeding through from surface.

Semi-gloss- A luster between full gloss and flat. (see Sheen Descriptions and Enamel Descriptions.)

Settling- Paint separation where pigments and other solids accumulate at bottom of container.

Sheen- Various degrees from lusterless to high gloss. (see Sheen Descriptions.)

Shellac- Derived from a natural resinous substance called Lac. A sealer and finish for floors, for sealing knots, and other purposes. (see Shellac Characteristics.)

Skinning- Formation that occurs on top of liquid paint in storage, usually after air exposure.

Solvent -Thin liquid to dissolve resin. Gives paint ability to stay in solution. (see What Paint is Made Of.)

Spackling- Compund Crack filler for preparing surfaces before painting.

Stain- Solution primarily to create color effects rather than form a protective coating. Is transparent or semi-opaque. Colors without completely obscuring the surface's grain.

Strip- Removal of old finishes.

Substrate- Surface to apply paint.

Thinner -Material to reduce the paint viscosity (thickness).

Undercoat- Primer or intermediate coating before finish coat.

Varnish- Transparent liquid to give decorative and protective coating. Applied as thin film. (see Varnish Characteristics.)

Vehicle- Liquid portion of paint: resin and solvent components.

Viscosity- Thickness of the wet paint.

Wrinkling- Paint takes on a rough or crinkled appearance.

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