Terminology

Paint terminology

Click on one of the alphabet characters below to jump down to the relevant section of this page:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 A

  • ABRASION RESISTANCE
    Resistance to being worn away by rubbing or friction. Abrasion resistance is a matter of toughness, rather than hardness.
  • ABRASIVE BLAST CLEANING
    Cleaning and roughening of a surface (particularly steel) by the use of abrasives which are projected against a surface using compressed air, water, or centrifugal force.
  • ABRASIVE
    Used for wearing away a surface by rubbing. Examples are sandpaper and steel wool.
  • ACRYLIC
    A synthetic resin widely used to produce paint.
  • ACCELERATED WEATHERING
    Man-made methods of duplicating or reproducing actual weather conditions. A testing procedure used by coatings and resin manufactures to assimilate exterior exposure by the use of condensation, water spray, temperature variation and high intensity ultra violet light.
  • ACCELERATOR
    Accelerators speed up chemical curing reactions.
  • ACETONE
    A fast evaporating, highly flammable solvent that is a member of the ketone family. Used in some lacquer solvents and wood fillers.
  • ACID
    A substance that contains hydrogen that disassociates when put into solution with water producing hydrogen ions. Acidic is a condition where the ph is lower than 7.
  • ADDITIVE
    A substance added in small quantities to a coating to modify its properties (e.g. driers, fungicide, etc.).
  • ADHESION
    The degree of attachment between a coating film and the underlying paint or substrate.
  • AEROSOL
    Use of compressed gas to spray the product from its container.
  • AGGREGATE
    1) An inert particle larger than the mean pigment size in a coating.Aggregates are added to coatings to impart texture or non-slip properties to floor and deck coatings.
    2) A non-dispersed or non-wetted group of pigment particles
  • AGITATION
    A mixing or stirring motion.
  • AIR DRY
    To dry a coating at ordinary room conditions by simple exposure to air without heat or catalyst.
  • AIRLESS SPRAY
    This system requires no air, as it uses hydraulic pressure. Atomisation of the paint is achieved when the pressurized paint is forced through a small spray nozzle (tip). Due to the high pressure, one of its main advantages is that coatings do no need to be reduced nearly as much, thereby resulting in better hiding and higher film build.
  • ALKALI
    A substance such as lye, soda or lime that can be highly destructive to paint films. Alkaline is a condition where the pH is higher than 7.
  • ALKYD
    A synthetic resin widely used in the manufacture of paints and varnishes. Alkyd paint must be thinned and cleaned up with solvent or paint thinner. The terms alkyd paint and oil-based paint are generally used interchangeably.
  • ALLIGATORING
    A painted surface on which cracks, resembling the hide of an alligator, have formed. Common causes of this condition are the application of thick films which prevent the under surface from becoming thoroughly dry and hard, and from drying the paint in poorly ventilated rooms.
  • ALUMINIUM PAINT
    A paint that includes aluminium particles as pigment and gives a silver metallic finish when dried.
  • AMBIENT TEMPERATURE
    Surrounding temperature. Often means a comfortable and not extreme range. For proper coating cure.
  • ANODIZED ALUMINIUM
    Aluminium onto which a protective, often coloured, layer of oxide has been placed by electroplating.
  • ANTI-CORROSIVE PAINT
    Metal paint designed to inhibit corrosion and rusting. Applied directly to metal, usually as a primer.
  • AQUEOUS
    Containing water.
  • ATOMIZE
    The process of breaking a stream of liquid into fine particles.
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     B

    • BACK PRIMED
      When a coat of paint is applied to the back of woodwork to prevent moisture from entering the wood.
    • BALUSTRADE
      A railing or handrail supported by balusters. Generally used to surround a balcony.
    • BARGE BOARD
      A decorative wood board applied to the ends of gable rafters.
    • BARRIER COAT
      A coating or primer designed to shield or block the chemical or solvent interaction between a substrate and a finish coating.
    • BINDER
      The non-volatile portion of paint that binds the pigment particles together and adheres to the surface.
    • BLEACHING
      The chemical process of restoring discoloured or stained wood to its normal colour or making it lighter.
    • BLEEDING
      Migration of a colouring matter through a coating from the surface to which it was applied.
    • BLISTERING
      The formation of dome shaped bubbles on the painted surface caused by moisture in the substrate, by painting before the previous coat has dried thoroughly, or by excessive heat under the paint.
    • BLUSHING
      A gloss film turning matt or a clear lacquer turning white, usually caused by moisture condensation during the drying process.
    • BOXING
      A term used for the thorough mixing of paint. Achieved by transferring small quantities into a single container to obtain uniformity.
    • BREATH
      The ability of a paint film to permit the passage of moisture vapour without causing blistering, cracking, or peeling.
    • BRIDGING
      Ability of paint to span small gaps or cracks through its cohesion and elastic qualities.
    • BRISTLE
      The working part of a brush containing natural or artificial bristle.
    • BRUSHABILITY
      The ease with which a paint can be brushed.
    • BUBBLES
      Air bubbles in a drying paint film caused by excessive brushing during application or by over vigorous mixing that results in air entrapment.
    • BUILD
      Thickness or depth of paint film.
    • BURNISHING
      Shiny spots on a paint surface caused by rubbing. Good quality and higher sheen paints are more burnish resistant.

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     C

    • CATALYST
      An ingredient that speeds up a chemical reaction between other components.
    • CAULKING COMPOUND
      A semidrying or slow-drying material used to seal joints or fill crevices around windows, chimneys, etc.
    • CHALKING
      The formation of a loose powder on the surface of a coating generally caused by the degradation of the binder, which causes release of surface pigment.
    • CHECKING
      A kind of paint failure in which many small cracks that do not extend to the underlying surface appear in the surface of the paint.
    • CHIP BOARD
      A composite wood product made from flakes or chips of various wood types, bonded together by adhesive and pressure.
    • CHLORINATED RUBBER
      A binder or resin formed from the reaction of rubber with chlorine. These products show good chemical and water resistance.
    • COBWEBBING
      The premature drying of a coating that occurs mostly during a spray application, but also during rolling. The coating shows fine threads that resemble a spider's web.
    • COHESION
      The bond or force that binds a material together. Distinct from adhesion which is the binding force that holds an applied coating to a surface.
    • COLOURANT
      Concentrated colour that can be added to paints to make specific colours.
    • COLOURFAST
      Fade resistant, a colour unaffected by exposure.
    • CO-POLYMER
      The product obtained from the polymerisation or linking together of different monomers chemically. Some examples are styrene acrylic, polyvinyl acetate, etc.
    • COVERAGE
      The area over which paint can be spread to attain a specified film thickness. (See spreading rate)
    • CRACKING
      The type of failure characterised by the breaking of a dried coating in irregular lines wide enough to expose the underlying surface.
    • CRAZING
      Small, interlacing hairline cracks on the surface of paint.
    • CREOSOTE
      A liquid coating made from coal tar that is used as a wood preservative.
    • CURE
      To initiate the conversion of a polymer to its final, stable condition. Describes the drying or hardening of a paint film through heat, oxidation, chemical reaction or a combination of the former.
    • CUTTING-IN
      The brushing technique that is used when a clean, sharp edge is needed. Cutting-in is needed, for example the top of a wall where it meets the ceiling.

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     D

    • DEEP BASE
      A paint base, generally containing a small amount of prime pigment, used for tinting moderately dark or strong colours.
    • DEFOAMER
      A material used in the manufacture of a coating to reduce the foaming either in the processing step or during application.
    • DELAMINATION
      The separation of a dried coating from the substrate to which it is applied.
    • DENSITY
      The mass of a material per unit volume. Commonly expressed as kilograms per litre (kg/l). The density of water at 3.98 degrees C, is 1.0 kg/l.
    • DESCALING
      The mechanical or chemical removal of mill scale or rust from a ferrous surface.
    • DEW POINT
      The temperature at which condensation of water vapour in the air takes place. This can be calculated from temperature and humidity.
    • DISPERSANT
      A material that assists in breaking apart then stabilising pigment aggregates during the manufacture of paints.
    • DISPERSION
      Suspension of minute particles in a liquid medium.
    • DISTEMPER
      An early type of water-based coating.
    • DRIER
      A paint ingredient that aids the drying or hardening of the film.
    • DROP-SHEET
      A sheet of cloth or plastic used to protect surfaces during painting of nearby areas.
    • DRY FILM THICKNESS
      (DFT) The depth or thickness of a coating in the dry state. Usually expressed in microns.
    • DRY - SURFACE DRY
      The stage of drying when the paint is dry on the surface, but soft underneath. The surface is tack-free when it can be lightly touched with a finger tip without disturbing it.
    • DRY - HARD DRY
      Generally it is the stage of drying when the surface can be overcoated.
    • DRYING OIL
      An oil, generally of vegetable origin, that has the capability of drying (oxidizing) in air.
    • DRYWALL
      A sheet of material used for interior walls. Drywall typically consists of several thicknesses of fibre board or paper that have been bonded to a hardened core of gypsum.
    • DURABILITY
      The ability of paint to withstand the environment to which it is exposed, such as weather, sunlight, detergents, air pollution or abrasion.
    • DYE
      A colouring agent that is soluble in the medium in which it is mixed. This makes a dye distinct from a pigment, which is not soluble.

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     E

    • EARTH PIGMENTS
      The naturally occurring pigments obtained from soft rocks or from deposits such as ochre, umber, sienna, chalk, barites, clay and graphite.
    • EGGSHELL
      A gloss range between flat and semi-gloss. Note that eggshell is a degree of gloss, not a colour.
    • EFFLORESCENCE
      A deposit of salts that remains on the surface of masonry, brick, or plaster when water has evaporated.
    • EMULSION
      The suspension of small droplets of an insoluble liquid in another liquid medium. Has been used to describe water based polymers in general, whereas these materials are truly dispersions (insoluble solid particles suspended in a liquid medium).
    • EMULSION PAINT
      A coating in which the binder is emulsified, and the dominant liquid phase is water. Also often referred to as "latex paint".
    • ENAMEL
      A paint that forms an especially smooth, hard film. Enamels may be obtained in a full range of glosses. Consumers associate the term with alkyd (oil-based) products.
    • EPOXY
      A finish having excellent adhesion qualities; extremely abrasion and chemical resistant.
    • ETCH
      To roughen a surface by the use of a chemical agent (often acid), prior to painting, to improve the adhesion of the subsequently applied coating. This technique is used on metals and concrete.
    • EXPANSION JOINT
      A seam in concrete, plaster or wallboard designed to control or relieve stress in that surface. Used to reduce the possibility of cracking.
    • EXTENDER
      An inexpensive, non-hiding and inert pigment such as talc, clay etc.

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     F

    • FADING
      The loss of color due to exposure to light, heat, or weathering.
    • FEATHERING
      1. - Reducing the thickness of the edge of a filler or paint film by sanding prior to repainting.
      2. - The tapering off of a paint film by laying off with a comparatively dry brush.
    • FERROUS
      Compounds containing predominantly iron.
    • FERRULE
      The metal band that connects the handle and stock of a paint brush.
    • FLAKING
      A form of paint failure characterised by the detachment of small pieces of the film from the substrate or previous coat of paint. Cracking or blistering usually precedes it.
    • FLASH POINT
      The temperature at which a coating or solvent produces vapours that is capable of being ignited when exposed to a spark or flame.
    • FLASHING
      1. - The non-uniform appearance of a coating where there are noticeable variations in the gloss or colour. This can be caused by application to an inconsistently sealed surface, excessive film build where roller paths overlap (lapping), etc.
      2. - Sheet metal strip used to block water seepage around openings, roof penetrations or connections.
    • FLAT
      Practically no gloss.
    • FLOATING
      1. - Separation of pigment colours on the surface of paint.
      2. - Also refers to the act of smoothing plaster or concrete.
    • FLOCCULATION
      The re-agglomeration of dispersed particles (commonly pigment) due to instability, chemical reaction or poor dispersion.
    • FLOW
      The ability of a coating to level out and spread into a smooth film. Paints that have good flow usually level out uniformly and exhibit few brush or roller marks.
    • FUNGICIDE
      An agent that helps prevent fungus growth on paint.

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     G

    • GALVANIZED
      A thin coating of zinc that covers iron or steel to prevent rust.
    • GLAZE
      A glaze coat is a clear finish applied over previously coated surfaces to create a gloss finish for decorative or protective purposes.
    • GLAZING COMPOUND
      A putty used to set glass in window frames and to fill nail holes and cracks.
    • GLOSS
      The lustre or shininess of paints and coatings are generally classified as flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, or gloss; the latter has the highest reflecting ability.
    • GRAIN RAISING
      Swelling and standing up of the wood grain caused by absorbed water or solvents.
    • GRAINING
      Simulating the grain of wood by means of specially prepared colours or stains and the use of graining tools or special brushing techniques.
    • GRIND
      Expresses the fineness of the dispersed pigment particles in paint.

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     H

    • HAIRLINE CRACKS
      Narrow cracks in a substrate or coating film.
    • HARDBOARD
      Reconstituted natural wood, fabricated by reducing natural wood to fibres and then pressing the fibres together into panels of various thickness.
    • HIDING POWER
      The ability of a coating to obliterate the surface below it.
    • HIGH BUILD
      A coating designed to be applied or that applies in a thick film.
    • HOLIDAYS
      Voids, pinholes and missed areas in the dried paint film.
    • HOT SPOTS
      Lime spots, which are not completely cured, that bleed (burn) through a coating on a plastered wall.
    • HUMIDITY
      The measure of moisture in air. Relative humidity is the ratio of the quantity of water vapor in the air to the greatest amount possible at a given temperature.

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     I

    • INERT
      A chemically inactive material. A pigment is inert when it remains inactive and chemically unchanged in paint.
    • INHIBITOR
      Material that reduces the degrading effect of an environment, such as primer used to retard rusting or corrosion, UV inhibitor or fungus inhibitor.
    • INORGANIC
      A compound that does not contain substantial amounts to carbon.

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     K

    • KNOT
      A hard area on a wood surface caused by the previous presence of a branch. Knots can be prone to sap bleeding and shrinkage over time. High wood density in a knot can lead to poor penetration of an applied coating and heat build-up from the sun which can cause delamination of the paint from the surface.
    • K.U. (KREB UNIT)
      A unit of measurement of viscosity or consistency for liquid paint derived from tests using the Kreb-Stormer viscometer.

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     L

    • LACQUER
      A fast-drying clear or pigmented coating that dries by solvent evaporation.
    • LACQUER THINNER
      A solvent blend used to reduce the viscosity or solids level of lacquer coatings.
    • LAITANCE
      A white, milky material found on newly placed concrete surfaces. Laitance is distinguished from efflorescence, as it is in a liquid form whereas the latter is the dry crystalline material.
    • LAMINATE
      To bond a material to another by use of an adhesive.
    • LATEX
      Latex is the milky emulsion generally composed of a combination of starches, proteins, resins, etc. extracted from plants. The word latex has now been used interchangeably with emulsion.
    • LAYING OFF
      The final light strokes of the brush during a painting operation.
    • LEACHING
      A process by which a material is dissolved and carried away by a liquid such as water.
    • LEAFING
      The floating and overlapping of pigment particles on the surface of a paint film.
    • LEVELING
      The ability of a newly applied paint or varnish film to form a smooth surface, free from brush marks, roller, stipple, etc. (see flow)
    • LIFTING
      The wrinkling of an undercoat or previous coating shortly after application of another coat of paint or varnish. Most often caused by either too strong a solvent in the topcoat or the undercoat not being cured adequately prior to re-coating.
    • LIGHTFASTNESS
      The resistance to fading. Commonly describes the UV or sunlight resistance of a colour pigment.
    • LINSEED OIL
      A drying oil used in paint, varnish, and lacquer.
    • LONG OIL ALKYD
      An alkyd resin containing a large amount of oil. The less oil used in an alkyd resin, the faster the drying speed. In most cases, coatings made from long oil alkyds are air drying systems.
    • LUSTRE
      The gloss or shine of a finished surface.

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     M

    • MAINTENANCE PAINTING
      The selective repainting of surfaces on an ongoing basis with the focus on prevention of coatings or substrate failure.
    • MAR
      A mark caused by abrasion that damages the surface of a coating but does not remove significant amounts of material or break the film. Marring can appear as dulled gloss or as a lighter colour in the case of a dark coloured paint.
    • MARINE VARNISH
      Varnish specially designed for immersion in water and exposure to marine atmosphere.
    • MASKING TAPE
      A strip of paper or cloth similar to adhesive tape, which can be easily removed. Used to temporarily cover areas that are not to be painted.
    • MASTIC
      A heavy-bodied paste like coating of high build or solids often applied with a trowel.
    • METALLICS
      A class of paints that include metal flakes in their composition.
    • MICA
      Aluminum potassium silicate. A non-opaque pigment. The particle shape of mica is lamellar (platy) and is used extensively for film reinforcement to reduce permeability and to improve craking and checking resistance.
    • MICRON
      A metric unit of measurement. Often used for the thickness of paint films. Equal to one thousandth of a millimeter.
    • MILL SCALE
      The oxide layer formed during hot fabrication of steel and iron. Appears as a tightly bound black material that should be removed prior the priming.
    • MINERAL SPIRITS
      Paint thinners or solvents derived from petroleum. It is used as a replacement for turpentine
    • MINIMUM FILM FORMING TEMPERATURE (MFFT)
      The temperature below which the effective coalescence of emulsion particles in a water based paint cannot occur. Defects, such as poor water resistance, high permeability, colour and gloss variations, poor washability, etc., can result in paints cured below the MFFT.
    • MISCIBLE
      Materials capable of uniformly mixing or blending together.
    • MOISTURE CURED URETHANE
      A polyurethane resin or coating that cures by the reaction with moisture from the air. The moisture cured urethane resin properties can range from highly flexible to hard glass-like finishes.
    • MONOMER
      An organic compound capable of polymerizing, or linking together, with itself or with different monomers to form a polymer.

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     N

    • NITROCELLULOSE
      A cellulose extraced from wood or cotton that is used as a binder for laquers. A thermoplastic material soluble in strong solvents such as ketones, acetates, etc.
    • NONFERROUS
      A material that contains no iron. Generallly designates materials such as aluminium, copper, etc., but is also used for wood, plastic etc.
    • NON-VOLATILE MATTER (SOLIDS)
      The portion of paint left behind after drying, including the binder and pigment.

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     O

    • OCHRE
      A natural yellow iron oxide occuring in certain parts of the earth.
    • OIL LENGTH
      Used to classify alkyd resins by the proportional content of oil:
      Short Oil 30 - 40% oil
      Medium Oil 40 - 70% oil
      Long Oil greater than 70% oil
    • OPACITY
      Ability of a paint to hide the previous surface or colour.
    • OPAQUE
      A film or material that is not transparent or has hiding or colour.
    • ORANGE PEEL
      The irregular surface of a film, resembling the dimpled skin of an orange.
    • ORGANIC COMPOUND
      Chemicals based on carbon in combination with a restricted number of other elements.
    • ORGANIC PIGMENTS
      Pigments obtained from natural and synthetic sources that are organic in nature. These are differentiated from the inorganic pigments that contain some form of metal.
    • OVERCOATING TIME
      The time required for paint to dry before it can be overcoated.
    • OXIDE
      The product formed by the reaction of oxygen and metal.

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     P

    • PAINT GAUGE
      An instrument for measuring the thickness of a paint film.
    • PANTONE
      A colour specification system widely used in the printing industry.
    • PARAPET (WALL)
      The extension of an exterior wall above and/or through the roof of the structure.
    • PASSIVATION
      The act of making a surface or material inert or non-reactive to the environment around it. For example, zinc rich primers can passivate a steel surface from corrosion by acting as a sacrificial metal and preferentially corroding in place of the steel.
    • PASSIVE
      Chemically inactive.
    • PEELING
      Detachment of a dried paint film in relatively large pieces, usually caused by moisture or grease under the painted surface.
    • PH
      The measurements of the hydrogen ion activity in an aqueous solution. A measure of acidity or alkalinity. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, below 7 is acidic, and above 7 is alkaline. The mathematical scale used is a logarithmic one, so a change of one pH unit represents a ten-fold change in hydrogen ion activity.
    • PHOSPHORIC ACID
      An inorganic acid often used to remove light rust from steel and to assist in phosphatizing or passivating the steel surface.
    • PICKLING
      A treatment for the removal of rust and mill scale from steel. It involves the immersion of the steel in an acid solution containing an inhibitor.
    • PIGMENTS
      The solid, fine, insoluble particles dispersed in the binder, mainly used to provide colour, gloss control and hiding power.
    • PIGMENT VOLUME CONCENTRATION
      (PVC) The ratio of the volume of pigment to the volume of total non-volatile material (pigment and binder) in a coating. In other words, the volume occupied by pigment in the dried paint film.
    • PINHOLE
      Very small holes in the paint film, usually not deep enough to show the undercoat. Often due to improper solvent release or by the trapping of air in the film.
    • POLYMERIZATION
      The uniting of two or more molecules to form one larger molecule.
    • POLYURETHANE
      A film forming material used in a wide range of coatings, ranging from hard glossy enamels to soft flexible coatings.
    • POLYVINYL ACETATE
      A synthetic resin largely used as a vehicle for many water based paints. Often referred to as PVA.
    • PONDING
      The accumulation of a liquid or paint in a shallow depression. Some paints are prone to softening when applied in areas where water ponds. Oil based paints applied to a horizontal surface with a negative (reserve) slope can flow back into a thick film (i.e. ponding) that will stay soft for an extended time or dry to a wrinkled film.
    • POWDER COATING
      A 100% solids coating generally applied by electrostatic process as a fine, dry powder. Subsequently formed with heat into a continuous film.
    • PRESERVATIVE
      A chemical substance added to paint to prevent the growth of micro-organisms both in the can (biocide) and on the applied paint film (fungicide).
    • PRIME COAT
      The first coat on a substrate.
    • PRIMER
      The first of two or more coats of paint, varnish or lacquer. On steel, it is applied to improve adhesion of the succeeding coat and/or provide passive corrosion resistance to the metal surface.
    • PROFILE
      The surface roughness resulting from abrasive blasting, chemical etching, etc
    • PUTTY
      Dough like mixture of pigment and oil used to set glass in window frames and to fill holes and cracks.

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     Q

    • QUV
      A testing device designed to evaluate the weathering and fading properties of a coating by exposure to high intensity ultraviolet light provided by fluorescent lamps and condensing moisture.

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     R

    • REFLECTANCE
      The property of an opaque coating film or surface to reflect visible light. Rated on a scale from 1 (black) to 100 (bright white).
    • RELATIVE HUMIDITY
      The percentage of moisture or water vapour in the air relative to the maximum attainable at the same temperature.
    • RESIN
      A natural or synthetic material that is the main ingredient of paint and that binds ingredients together and aids adhesion to the surface.
    • RETARDER
      A chemical used to slow a chemical reaction.
    • RUNS
      Irregularities on a surface due to uneven or excessive flow, frequently due to a coat that was too heavy and not brushed out well.
    • ROPINESS
      Paint that dries with a stringy look because it did not flow evenly onto the surface.
    • RUST PREVENTIVE PAINT OR PRIMER
      The first coat of paint applied directly to iron or steel structures to slow down or prevent rust.

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     S

    • 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.
    • SANDING SEALER
      A clear or pigmented lacquer or alkyd used to seal a porous wood substrate or an applied wood filler. Designed to be easily sanded prior to application of finishing lacquer or varnish.
    • SAPONIFICATION
      The reaction of basic materials, such as metal oxide or hydroxides, with organic acids (as in oils and fats) to form soaps.
    • SCARIFY
      To abrade, roughen or create a profile on a surface.
    • SCRUBBABILITY
      The ability of a paint film to withstand scrubbing and cleaning with water, soap, and other mild household cleaning agents.
    • SEALER
      A thin liquid applied to seal a surface, to prevent bleeding of stains through from the surface, or to prevent undue absorption of the topcoat into the substrate.
    • SELF-CLEANING
      Controlled chalking of a paint film so dirt does not adhere to the surface.
    • SEMI-GLOSS
      Having a lustre between full gloss and flat.
    • SETTLING
      Paint separation in which pigments and other solids accumulate at the bottom of the container.
    • SHEEN
      The degree of lustre or gloss of a dried paint film.
    • SHELLAC
      Derived from a resinous substance called Lac, a secretion of a scale insect. Used as a sealer/finish for floors and for sealing knots.
    • SHOP COAT
      A primer or coating applied in a fabrication shop or plant prior to shipping to the site of erection or assembly, where the field or finishing coat (s) will be applied.
    • SILICONE
      These compounds are usually characterized by resistance to chemicals, heat, water and exterior durability. Silicones are widely used as high temperature lubricants and surface tension modifiers for coatings and water repellents.
    • SKIN
      Tough covering that forms on paints in partially filled containers or on exposure to air for some time.
    • SOFFIT
      The underside of a cornice, projection, opening or roof overhang between the fascia and the outside of the building.
    • SOLIDS
      The solids content of a paint that is left over after the solvent evaporates. (Same as non-volatile.)
    • SOLIDS BY VOLUME
      The total volume percentage of non-volatile material. Also known as volume solids. The solids by volume is used to calculate the dry film thickness (DFT) of a coating from wet film measurements taken during application, (i.e. where WFT = wet film thickness, VS = percent volume solids, DFT = WFT X VS).
    • SOLIDS BY WEIGHT
      The percentage of the total weight of a coating occupied by non-volatile compounds.
    • SOLVENT
      The volatile part of paint that evaporates during drying.
    • SOLVENT BASED PAINTS
      A general term for paints and coatings that use any of the organic solvents as the primary volatile thinner.
    • SPAR VARNISH
      Marine varnish.
    • SPATTER
      Small particles or drips of liquid paint thrown or expelled by centrifugal force when applying paint with a roller.
    • SPECIFIC GRAVITY
      The ratio of weight of a given volume to the weight of an equal volume of water at the same temperature. The density of water at 3.98 degrees C.is 1.0 kg/l. See also Density.
    • SPECULAR GLOSS
      The mirror-like shine of light from a surface. Gloss is distinguished from reflectance by the example of clear glass having a gloss but no true reflectance like that which is seen in a white coating.
    • SPIRIT STAIN
      A stain made by dissolving soluble dye matter in alcohol solvents.
    • SPOT PRIMING
      A method for protecting localized spots. The only areas primed are those that require additional protection due to rusting or peeling of the former coat.
    • SPRAYING
      A method of application in which the coating material is broken up into a fine mist that is directed onto the surface to be coated.
    • SPREADING RATE
      The area covered by a unit volume of coating material, expressed as square meters per litre. (See also Coverage)
      1)THEORETICAL SPREADING RATE will depend on the film thickness required. The theoretical coverage of paint calculated from volume solids and recommended dry film thickness. A required wet film thickness of 100 micron establishes a spread rate of 10 square meters per litre. The theoretical calculation does not consider losses due to overspray, spillage or other losses.
      2) PRACTICAL SPREADING RATE takes into account factors such as texture of the surface, porosity, method of application etc.
    • STAIN
      A transparent or semi-opaque coating that colours without completely obscuring the grain of the surface. A stain is not designed as a protective coating
    • STIPPLING
      A finish made by using a stippling roller on a newly painted surface before the paint is dry.
    • STREAKING
      The irregular occurrence of lines or streaks of various lengths and colours in an applied film; usually caused by some form of contamination.
    • SUBSTRATE
      Surface to be painted.
    • SURFACE TENSION
      The surface phenomenon exhibited in varying degree by all materials. Where the surface tension of a material is lower than a liquid, the liquid will not spread out over that surface. Where the surface tension of a liquid is lower than that of the surface, the liquid will spread out.
    • SURFACTANT
      An acronym for Surface Active Agent. Used to break down the surface tension of liquids to make them more miscible. Surfactants are divided into smaller classes that are relative to their functionality such as dispersants, emulsifiers, detergents, defoamers, etc.

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     T

    • TACKY
      Sticky condition of paint during drying; between wet and dry-to-touch stage.
    • TENSILE STRENGTH
      The maximum force of tension that a material will tolerate without damage.
    • TEXTURE PAINT
      Paint, normally containing some form of aggregate that can be manipulated by brush or roller to produce various effects.
    • THERMOPLASTIC
      A polymer that softens when exposed to heat and returns to its original condition when cooled.
    • THIXOTROPIC
      The property of a material that causes it to change from a thick, pasty consistency to a fluid consistency upon agitation, brushing, or rolling.
    • TINT BASE
      Paint designed to have colourant added to it.
    • TITANIUM DIOXIDE
      The most widely used prime white hiding pigment in paints.
    • TOPCOAT
      A coat designed to provide protection and colour. (Previous coats are referred to as primers and undercoats.)
    • TURPENTINE
      A paint thinner obtained by distilling pine tree secretions. This has now been replaced with mineral spirits.
    • TWO PACK COATING
      A coating supplied in two separate parts, which must be mixed in the correct proportions before use (e.g. epoxy). The mixture will then remain in a usable condition for a limited time (known as the pot life).

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     U

    • ULTRAVIOLET
      (UV) Light of short wave length (generally below 360 millimicrons) which is invisible but has a destructive effect on paint.
    • UNIVERSAL COLORANT
      Tinting colour that is universally compatible with alkyd and water based paints.
    • U V ABSORBER
      A particular material added to paint to absorb UV light and increase the life of the paint film.

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     V

    • VARNISH
      A transparent coating designed to give a decorative and protective coating.
    • VEHICLE
      The liquid portion of paint in which the pigment is dispersed.
    • VISCOSITY
      The resistance to flow of a product. Viscosity is often referred to as consistency. The higher the viscosity, the thicker the fluid.
    • VOLUME SOLIDS
      The volume of the non-volatile portion of a composition divided by the total volume of the coating and expressed as a percentage. The volume solids can be used to calculate dry film thickness at a defined spreading rate or spreading rate at a defined thickness.

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     W

    • WASHABILITY
      The ability of a paint to be easily cleaned without wearing away.
    • WATER SPOTTING
      A paint appearance defect caused by water droplets or condensation on the surface.
    • WEATHERING
      The effect exposure to weather has on paint films.
    • WET EDGE
      Length of time a wall paint can stand and be brushed back into the next stretch without showing a lap.
    • WET FILM THICKNESS (WFT)
      The thickness of a liquid film immediately after application.
    • WETTING AGENT
      Chemical compounds used in solutions, emulsions or mixtures to reduce the surface tension and give greater ease of dispersion and stability to the solution or to improve the wetting of the substrate to which it is applied.
    • WITHERING
      A loss of gloss often caused by varnishing open-pore woods without filling pores, use of improper undercoats or applying topcoat before undercoat has dried.
    • WRINKLING
      Development of ridges and furrows in a paint film when the paint dries. Normally caused by excessive film thickness or by overcoating an insufficiently dried first coat.

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     Y

    • YELLOWING
      The development of a yellow colour in paints and varnishes. Oil based paints are known to yellow.

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     Z

    • ZINC CHROMATE
      Rust-inhibiting pigment, used in primers for steel.

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