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.