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Glossary

ACRYLIC:
An artificial polymer used as the binding product for high-performance water-based paints and sealants. Some acrylic polymers are used in auto finishes and appliance coatings.

ADHESION:
The capacity of a dry paint film or sealant to remain attached to the surface. Adhesion is perhaps the sole most important property of a paint or sealant.

AEROSOL:
Container dispensing a fine spray of pressurised liquid paint etc, normally high in solvent.

ALGICIDE:
A chemical substance, frequently added to exterior paints and sealants, thus preventing the growth of algae on painted exterior surfaces.

ALKALI:
A basic chemical substance often present in fresh cement, concrete and plaster.

ALKALI BURN:
This occurs when the alkalinity in fresh masonry causes the breakdown of the paint's binder, thus resulting in colour loss and overall deterioration of the paint. This is more likely to occur when vinyl acetate copolymer water-based and solvent-based paints are applied to masonry surfaces that are less than a year old.

ALKYD:
A synthetic resin for use in solvent-based paints. An alkyd resin is made by the reaction of a drying oil with a hard, synthetic material.

ANTI-CORROSIVE PAINT:
A long lasting innovative paint designed to minimise rust or corrosion of metal when used directly onto the metal surface.

ANTI-FOULING PAINT:
Used mostly on boats the paint is specifically design to minimise the marine growth often found growing on boat hulls.

APPLIED HIDING:
Refers to the opacity of the paint film, but also to how it hides, depending on its thinness and how smoothly it flows out. This will vary depending on the application of the paint (brush, roller, spray, etc.).

BACKER ROD:
An extruded foam rod that is generally placed in joints with a depth greater than 12 mm to fill in some of the gap prior to the application of the sealant. Foam backer rods come in a selection of diameters, with a range from 3mm to 20mm.

BINDER:
A component of paint that "binds" the pigment particles into a uniform, continuous paint film, and makes the paint adhere to the surface. The nature and quantity of binder helps establish most of the paint's performance properties - wash ability, toughness, adhesion, colour retention, and durability. In sealant, a component that "binds" the pigment particles into a homogeneous compound and makes the sealant adhere to the surface. The main performance properties of sealant - durability, adhesion, and flexibility at low temperatures - are determined by the binder.

BIOCIDE:
A biologically active paint and sealant additive prevents fungal / algal contamination from growing on the applied paint film. It prolongs the life of the paint by preserving the paint prior to use.

BLEACHING:
Fading of the original colour, commonly caused by exposure to sunlight.

BLEEDING:
discoloration of the paint caused by the migration of material from the substrate.

BLISTERING:
The formation of dome-shaped, hollow projections of paint (bubbling.)

BLOCK FILLER:
A thick liquid used to smooth out and prepare very rough masonry surfaces. It is normally brush-applied.

BLOCK RESISTANCE:
The ability of a coating/material to resist sticking to itself when used on two surfaces that come into contact with each other, e.g., door with frame; window sash and sill.

BOXING:
The mixing together of the different cans of like paint to be used on a job, to ensure regularity, particularly of the colour.

BREATHE:
To allow the passage of moisture vapour from the substrate through the paint film.

BUILD (OR FILM BUILD):
The depth that a paint tends to be applied in, when using the normal application technique for that paint.

BURNISHING:
The formation of shiny areas on a painted surface, as a result of rubbing or washing.

CALCIUM CARBONATE:
A mined material (chalk) that is used as an extender or filler for paint and sealant.

CHALKING:
decline of the surface of an exterior paint upon weathering into a faded, powdery substance. Chalking occurs when the paint's binder is degraded by harsh environmental conditions. Chalk should be removed prior to repainting.

CHECKING:
Cracks in the top layer of paint. Checking occurs when the paint loses its elasticity.

CHEMICAL RESISTANCE:
The ability of a coating to resist damage by chemicals.

CHIME:
The rim around the opening of a paint can into which the lid is positioned.

CLAY:
A white, mined mineral used as an extender - predominantly in interior paints.

COALESCENT:
A pure solvent used in water-based paints that acts as a provisional plasticiser, to aid in film formation. It helps the binder form a continuous film when applied, mostly at the low end of the application temperature range recommended for the coating.

COATING:
A paint, stain, varnish, lacquer, or other finish providing a defensive and/or decorative layer over a substrate.

COLOUR RETENTION:
The longevity of a paint. The ability to keep its original colour. More important in exterior paint subject to harsher conditions and weathers.

COLOUR WHEEL:
A circular chart with wedge-shaped segments of different specific colours. Used in colour decorating. Close colours compliment where opposite colours contrast.

COLOURFAST:
The grading of a colour and how well it lasts with extreme fading.

COLOURISER:
A concentrated liquid or dry colour that is added to a paint to attain a specific colour.

COMBUSTIBLE:
Refers to any liquid with a flash point at or above 37°C.

COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS:
Colours that lay directly opposite on the colour wheel. The colours contrast and therefore stand out more highlighting each other.

CONSISTENCY:
The thinness or brush ability of a paint.

CORROSION INHIBITOR:
Any substance applied to preserve the life of a material when applied. May be a paint undercoat, an additive, a pigment, or a coating applied to the surface.

CORROSION-RESISTANT:
capability of a substance to resist weakening due to a chemical reaction with its environment. Corrosion resistant substances generally contain corrosion inhibitors.

COVERAGE:
The spread rate of a paint or coating, usually expressed in m²/l. With pigmented coatings, it can refer to applied hiding power. This is taking into account when considering the amount of coatings needed to a surface.

CRACKING:
this results as the paint ages and can be in differing degrees.

CROCODILING:
A scaly pattern that appears on paint due to the failure of the paint to bond to a glossy coating beneath it. It can also be due to the application of a hard coating over a soft primer, or (with solvent-based paint) because the wood was recoated before the undercoat was dry.

CUSTOM COLOUR:
Special colours that are made by adding colouriser to paint or by intermixing paints of different colours. This enables any colour to be produced, Consistency is only achieved by machine as hand mixing is to unreliable.

CUTTING IN:
Painting one surface touching another that must be left unpainted, a door for example where the surround is left.

DEAD MATT:
Having no sheen or gloss.

DEGLOSSER:
Preparation to the wall prior to painting resulting in the surface being rougher to achieve a better bond with the paint when applied.

DEGREASER:
Used to remove or decrease oils and grease.

DILUENT:
A liquid that is included in a coating, or can be added primarily to reduce its viscosity. A diluent is not necessarily a solvent for the binder.

DRY DUST-FREE:
Drying stage of a coating at which airborne dust particles will not adhere to it.

DRY TACK-FREE:
Drying stage of a coating at which it is not sticky or tacky to the touch.

DRY TO RECOAT:
Drying stage of a coating when the paint is at a point where a second paint or layer can be applied above.

DRY TO SAND:
Drying stage of a sandable coating where the coating is ready to be sanded and smoothed.

DRY TO TOUCH:
Drying stage of a coating at which it has tough enough that it may be touched lightly without any of it adhering to the finger.

DRYING TIME:
The time needed from the first coat to the dry to recoat stage.

DURABILITY:
The ability of the substance to resist corrosion and weathering. For interior paint this refers to the impact of washing the paint.

EASE OF APPLICATION:
This refers to the paints consistency whether it will spatter or run, how many coats are needed.

EGGSHELL:
with a gloss level between gloss and satin, eggshell does produce some reflection and shine.

ELASTICITY:
Whether the paint can flex with the material it is bonded to without a loss in the aesthetics (cracks appearing.)

EMULSION:
A combination (usually milky-white) in which one liquid is dispersed (but not dissolved) in another. A water-based paint or sealant binder is often referred to as an emulsion, even though it is a dispersion of solid polymer particles in a liquid (water).

ENAMEL:
High quality and dirt resistant paints usually of a high gloss. For use in high traffic areas such as kitchens or bathrooms.

EXTENDER:
A low-hiding, inexpensive pigment that fills out and extends the high-hiding and coloured pigments' capabilities, provides bulk to the paint, and can positively or negatively have an impact on many properties. Some common extenders are clay, calcium carbonate, and silica.

FADING:
Lightening of the colour normally due to exposure of weather, generally ends up with patches of fading.

FEATHERING:
A process used to blend a small area into its surroundings after spot-priming, applying filler, or scraping off an area of old paint.

FERROUS:
A metal that contains iron; as a rule ferrous metals are likely to rust.

FILLER:
A powder mixed with water or a ready-mix compound that is used to fill large cracks in walls. It dries hard and can be sanded and painted, but doesn’t have much elasticity.

FILM FORMATION:
The configuration of a continuous dry film by a binder, either pigmented or not. In an emulsion paint this process is the result of the water evaporating and the subsequent fusion of the binder particles.

FLAKING:
The detachment of pieces of paint from the substrate, caused by a loss of adhesion and/or elasticity.

FLAMMABILITY:
How resistant a substance is to catching on fire. The less resistance to fire the higher the flammability.

FLASH:
Uneven gloss or colour resulting from an unsealed substrate or excessively high or low temperatures during drying.

FLASH POINT:
The lowest temperature at which the vapours of a liquid can catch fire.

FLEXIBILITY:
The elasticity of a substance after drying without cracking.

FLOW:
How paint moves after application to eliminate brush or roller marks.

FUNGAL RESISTANCE:
How a paint holds resistance to growth of fungus on its surface.

FUNGICIDE:
This is a chemical added to many paints to discourage the growth of fungus.

FUNGUS:
It forms most often on areas that tend to be damp and receive little or no sunlight. It is plant life and grows continuously.

GALVANISED:
A ferrous metal that is covered with zinc as rust prevention.

GLAZING:
Thin topcoat of transparent paint used to modify or preserve the tone of an underlying colour.

GLAZING COMPOUND:
A sealant, or putty that is used to fasten a glass pane into its frame.

GLOSS:
The shininess or how a coating reflects light. Matt paints have low gloss; high gloss paints have very noticeable shine.

GLOSS RETENTION:
The ability of a coating to maintain its gloss once applied - pertains especially to satin and gloss exterior coatings.

GRAIN:
Applies to wood, the direction is of main importance but also the size, the flow of the wood, layering of the lines.

GRAIN CRACKING:
Cracking of a coating, lying along the grain of a wood.

GRAIN RAISING:
The swelling and standing up of short, broken fibres of wood caused by absorption of a liquid. Water is predominantly disposed to cause this.

GYPSUM:
Natural crystalline calcium sulphate used to extend the paint pigment

HARDBOARD:
Smooth or textured man-made compressed wood fibres.

HARDNESS:
The pressure or weathering a substance will stand before the substance changes or distorts from its original form.

HARDWOOD:
Such as oak, maple, ash, beech and walnut. It refer to trees that have broad leaves but not the actual durability of the wood.

HIDING POWER:
The capability of paint or stain to obscure the plane over which it has been applied. Hiding power is provided by the paint's pigment, and is affected by how generously the paint tends to apply, and how well brush marks flow.

HOLLOW SPHERE POLYMERIC PIGMENT:
A white pigment used in water-based paints to provide opacity. A polymeric shell containing water or air which providing a light scattering.

HUE:
The colour not tone, a light blue and dark blue are the same hue but a light blue is a different hue to a light green.

INERT:
Chemically inactive; corrosion resistant.

INORGANIC:
Minerals and simple salts are inorganic materials as they are not of animal or vegetation origin.

INSOLUBLE:
The inability to be dissolved or break apart in water.

INTERCOAT:
A layer of paint that has one coat underneath and one above and is therefore not visible. Also refers to something occurring between coats, as in "intercoat adhesion."

JOINT:
The gap or space created when two building materials adjoin, such as where two pieces of moulding join or where the Kitchen sink  and kitchen wall meet.

KNOTTING COMPOUND:
Clear finish mostly applied over floors.

LACQUER:
Coating based on synthetic thermoplastic film-forming material that is dissolved in organic solvent. Dries by evaporation of the solvent.

LAP:
The painter must paint without visible lap mark for an aesthetically pleasing finish. A lap mark is where one paint mark or line meets or extends into another previously painted line or the same colour.

LATEX:
A milky-white, fine dispersion of a solid resin in an aqueous medium. Also used to describe water-thinned paints, the principal vehicle of which is latex.

LATEX PAINT:
Water-based paint made with an artificial binder (latex), such as acrylic, vinyl acetate copolymer, or styrene acrylic latex.

LEAD:
Lead compounds were previously used to create white pigment and were used in primers to prevent tannin bleed-through. Lead is a soft malleable metal.

LEVELLING (OR FLOW AND LEVELLING):
how a pain flows so there are no visible marks from the application.

LIGHT REFLECTANCE VALUE (LRV):
The gloss of a paint and therefore the amount of light reflected by the shine.

LINSEED OIL:
Drying oil obtained from flaxseed. It is darker and slower drying than most other drying oils. Once widely used in coatings, it now has limited use in solvent-based house paint and oil wood finishes.

LIQUID SANDER, LIQUID SANDPAPER:
Removes gloss in order to aid the bonding power of the surface so paint applied to the surface sticks.

LITRE:
A metric unit of volume. 4.546 litres = 1 imperial gallon.

MARBLING:
A paint that has colours un-mixed so there is a difference through the flow of the paint.

MARINE FINISHES:
Innovative paint designed to resist corrosion from salt water.

MASONRY:
Mineral-based building material such as cement, mortar, stone, brick, and stucco.

MATT PAINT:
Some times with a silk finish matt is a paint with no gloss or shine. Frequently used on interior walls.

MEDIUM DENSITY FIBREBOARD:
Compressed wood fibres, medium refers to the weight or thickness of the wood.

MINERAL SPIRITS:
A hydrocarbon solvent distilled from petroleum; paint thinner may be mostly or all mineral spirits.

MOISTURE RESISTANCE:
The ability of a coating to resist swelling, blistering or other damage caused by moisture.

MSDS:
Material Safety Data Sheet. An informational document provided by the manufacturer regarding the safety and handling procedures and precautions for materials used in the workplace.

MUD-CRACKING:
This happens when the paint is applied to thickly in such places as corners so the top layer dries but the underneath is still settling.

NAIL HEAD RUSTING:
The head of the nail rusts and can show through the paint layer above, generally happens on exterior surfaces when galvanised nails haven’t been used.

NAP:
The fibres on a paint roller cover.

NAPHTHA:
Predominantly used by professional painters A petroleum distillate solvent that thins paint and can be used to clean areas after painting.

NEUTRAL COLOURS:
Light colours such as whites or burgundy that go well with other colours and act to soften brighter colours on none feature walls.

NON-VOLATILE:
The pigment and binder left on a coating after the paint has dried.

OIL-BASED PAINT:
Paints made with such oils as linseed, soya or tung oil, as the medium and binder, and mineral spirits or paint thinner as the thinning agent. They are not used very often as they take longer to dry than emulsion paints and require more time to recoat.

OPACITY:
How strong or thick the paint is so how well light passes through the paint.

OPAQUE STAIN:
Changes the natural colour of a wood but is thin so the natural grain and texture of the wood is still visible.

OXIDATION:
The way a subject reacts when exposed to oxygen such as the rusting of a metal.

PAINT:
An opaque coating generally made with a binder, liquids, additives, and pigments. Applied in liquid form, it dries to form a permanent film that protects and improves the aesthetics of the substrate.

PEELING:
when paint hasn’t bonded well to a surface or due to ageing loses the bond and therefore flakes away from the surface it is intended to be upon.

PENETRATING FINISH:
A coating that becomes intertwined into a surface so it is not distinguishable between the original surface and the applied surface as appose to forming a film.

PERMEABLE:
The ability of a paint to allow substrate such as water vapour to pass through the paint without harm or distortion to the paint.

POLYMER:
A plastic-like material produced from chemical "monomers" which in turn have been produced from alcohols and petrochemicals. Certain polymers are used as water-based paint and sealant binders. The binder's polymer particles are small and carried in water. The binder polymer particles and water mixture is known as an emulsion or as "latex."

POLYURETHANE VARNISH:
A see-through coating that is based on a modified alkyd resin.

POLYVINYL ACETATE COPOLYMER:
A binder most widely used in interior emulsion paints.

PRESERVATIVE:
Used to prolong the life of a substance as it inhibits the growth of microorganisms onto the substance.

PRIMARY COLOURS:
Red, yellow and blue are the only three colours that cannot be produced from mixing other colours and are therefore the three colours used to produce all others.

PRIMER:
The initial coat applied to a surface generally a protective coat containing little pigment but also aiding the ability of secondary coats to bond to the surface.

PRINT RESISTANCE:
How durable a paint is and the ability it holds not to gain discolouration marks when objects are placed or pressed upon it.

RELATED COLOURS:
Colours that are adjoining on the colour wheel.

SAND FINISH:
A painted or plastered area that has been roughened or textured by the application of sand grains within the paint or cement.

SATIN FINISH:
A paint with a gloss level between high gloss and eggshell/silk.

SECONDARY COLOURS:
orange, green, and purple are created by mixing just two of the primary colour together. The primary and secondary colour together form a basic colour wheel.

SEMI-TRANSPARENT STAIN:
That which alters the colour and therefore the appearance of wood but leaves the texture and grain visible.

SETTLING:
The paint is stirred as the different weights of the different elements cause separation in storage, also known as settling.

SHEEN:
A low gloss, such as satin where the appearance isn’t that of matt but the reflection isn’t as strong as that of a gloss.

SILANE:
A silicone-like substrate added to help the bonding of substance specifically under wet or moist conditions.

SINGLE-COLOUR SCHEME:
The use of just one colour, also know as monochrome.

SKIN:
A hardened film that develops on the top of paints due to exposure to the air.

SOFTWOOD:
Broad leaf trees such as fir, soft woods do not necessarily have a less durable surface than hard woods.

SOLUBLE:
How well a substrate can disappear in the water. Salt is soluble in hot water but is only partially soluble in cold water.

SPATTER:
Drops of paint the spin or fall of the roller during application due to the overloading of the roller.

SPONGE PAINTING (SPONGING):
Interior painting method in which natural sea sponges are used to apply or in part remove a "glaze coat" of paint.

SPRAY:
Method of appliance in which the paint is broken up into a thin mist and directed to the surface under force. Specific types of spray equipment are: aerosol, airless, and air assisted.

SPREAD RATE:
The volume of a coating that can cover a given area. The application of the coating must also be taken into account.

STAIN RESISTANCE:
How well a substance can withstand pressure or marking without permanent discolourantion.

STENCILING:
Application of a specific design by placing a cut-out design in front of the brush.

STRIPPING:
Removable of old paint or wall-paper prior to the application of the new.

STYRENE-BUTADIENE:
Sometimes used in water based paints it has similar properties to that or synthetic rubber.

SUBSTRATE:
The surface to which the paint or varnish is applied.

SYNTHETIC:
Man-made, rather than a naturally occurring product.

TACKY:
A part of the drying process the paint may be ready for a second coat but cannot withstand to muchpressure at this stage without marks appearing.

TINT:
A more subtle colour created when white is added to a colour to lessen the tone such as a pastel colour.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE (TIO2):
An expensive, white pigment used to colour paints.

TONE:
The darkness or lightness of a colour when placed into the greyscale.

TOPCOAT:
This is the coat holding the preferred colour it is the last paint to be applied to a surface.

TOUCH UP:
The finishing of a section where small areas are re-done due to dents, miss-paints or overlaps in the final stages of the painting process.

TOXIC:
Harmful or poisonous.

TRANSPARENT:
The ability to enable light to permeate without diffusion or scattering; clear.

TURPENTINE:
Now replaced with white spirit turpentine was originally used to thin paints or aid in the cleaning process for brushes and such.

ULTRAVIOLET RESISTANCE:
How well a substance can be subject to UV rays from exposure to sunlight without a change in the appearance of the substance.

UNDERCOAT:
A coating, that provides improves the bonding strengths of a surface.

UNDERTONE:
An understated colour of partial strength that suggests to the dominant colour of a coating.

URETHANE:
A binder that has elasticity.

VALUE:
The tone of a colour such as light, medium or dark.

VARNISH STAIN:
Holding less penetration to a true stain due to the opacity of the varnish.

VEGETABLE OIL:
Oil gained from vegetation growth.

VISCOSITY:
The liquid depth of a covering.

VOLATILE:
How easily components of the subject evaporate or disperse.

WASHABILITY:
How well a paint stands to being scrubbed or wiped without changes in its appearance.

WATER REPELLENTS:
Clear varnishes for outside use designed to protect from the effects of liquid penetration.

WATER-BASED PAINT:
Made with acrylic and water it has a low odour and dries quicker than other paints.

WEATHER RESISTANCE:
How durable a paint is in standing up to rain or generally weathering ad adaption to conditions.

WET ADHESION:
Important on exterior surfaces it is how well a paint bonds to a surface despite wet or moist conditions.

WET EDGE RETENTION:
The duration of time a recently applied varnish can stand, then be brushed or rolled again, without showing lap marks.

WET FILM THICKNESS:
depth of a film straight after application before it begins to dry.

WOOD FILLER:
It is used to smooth the appearance of wood prior to painting, mainly used on hardwoods such as oak.

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