Eagle Eye Painting

Eagle Eye Painting

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Painting Glossary!

Wall Painting

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ABRASION - The process by which a coating or a surface layer is removed or eroded by rubbing, scraping, sanding, or blasting with an abrasive material.

ABRASION RESISTANCE - The ability of a coating to resist being worn away and to maintain its original appearance and structure when subjected to rubbing, scraping, or .erosion. ABRASIVE - A material used for wearing away a surface. 1.) Rubbing abrasives such as powdered pumice, rottenstone, sandpaper, or steel wool are used to smooth rough surfaces before painting or to produce fine finishes on woodwork. 2.) Blast cleaning abrasives are particles of controlled mesh sizes propelled by compressed air, water, or centrifugal force to clean and roughen a surface. Various types include: a.) natural minerals, such as sand, flint, garnet, staurolite, and olivine; b.) mineral slags from copper, nickel, or coal; c.) manufactured materials, such as aluminum oxide, cast steel, malleable iron, chilled cast iron, glass beads, plastic pellets, and baking soda; d.) agricultural items, such as walnut shells, corncobs, rice, and peach pits.

ABRASIVE BLAST CLEANING - The process of propelling an abrasive material against a surface by means of air pressure, centrifugal force, water pressure, or a mix of compressed air and water. The purpose is to clean and usually to roughen or profile the surface. Stand-off distance, angle of attack, and dwell time affect the quality and effectiveness of the process. ABRASIVE BREAKDOWN RATE - The rate at which abrasive particles become too small to be reused after a certain number of blasting cycles.


ABSORPTION - Process of soaking up, or assimilation of one substance by another.

ABSTRACT - A pattern or motif not based on natural forms, such as an abstract pattern of wall covering.

ACCELERATOR - A material that speeds the curing or crosslinking of certain coatings.

ACCENT - Any bright object or color used in decorating that draws attention.

ACID ETCHING - (1) A method of preparing concrete for painting, using a solution of diluted hydrochloric acid, diluted phosphoric acid, or citric acid to clean the surface and provide a texture for improved coating adhesion. (2) A method of cleaning impurities from steel, such as pickling.

ACRYLIC RESIN - A synthetic resin made from derivatives of acrylic acid, having excellent color and clarity. Used in both emulsion and solvent-based paints.

ACTIVATOR - A catalyst or curing agent.

ADDITIVE - A substance added to a coating formulation to adjust, enhance, or improve the emulsion, suspension, drying, application, weathering, or other properties.

ADHESION - The degree of attraction between a coating and a substrate or between two coatings; sometimes called "bonding strength." Adhesion is a measure of attraction between coatings; cohesion is a measure of attraction within a coating.

ADVANCING COLOR - A color that gives an illusion of being close or advancing toward the observer. Warm colors such as red or orange are considered advancing colors. See also RETREATING COLOR.

AERIAL LIFT - Portable, heavy-duty equipment used to raise a worker from the ground to an elevated job site. See also BOOM LIFT, SCISSORS LIFT.

AGITATOR - Device for stirring or mixing.

AIR ABRASIVE BLAST CLEANING - A process using compressed air to propel abrasive particles against a surface to be cleaned. The terms "closed blast cleaning" and "open blast cleaning" indicate whether a localized containment surrounds the blast stream or not. AIR-ASSISTED AIRLESS SPRAYING - A modification of the airless spraying paint application system. It uses pressurized air at the edges of the airless spray pattern to more fully atomize paint. As a result, lower airless spray pressure can be used to achieve proper atomization.

AIR COMPRESSOR - Machinery that creates high air pressure by forcing or compressing large quantities of air into a receiving tank. The volume output, measured in cubic feet per minute, depends upon the compressor size. In painting, compressed air is used for air abrasive blast cleaning, air-operated power tools, spray painting, air-fed hoods, etc.

AIR DRY - The process of curing or drying a coating at ordinary room conditions (temperature of 60 to 80 F with 40 to 60 percent relative humidity).

AIR ENTRAPMENT - Air bubbles trapped in wet or dry paint film.

AIRLESS SPRAYING - A coating application system that uses hydraulic pressure instead of air to atomize paint. Atomization is achieved by forcing the paint at high pressure (2,000 to 3,000 psi) through a spray nozzle with a small orifice. The spray pattern and flow of paint are controlled by the size and shape of the orifice.


AIR VOLUME - Quantity of air measured in cubic feet (usually per minute) at normal atmospheric pressure.

ALCOHOL SOLVENT - A solvent with high polarity and a strong affinity for water. Alcohol solvents used in paints include ethanol (ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol), isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol), and n-butanol (n-butyl alcohol). Methanol (methyl alcohol, wood alcohol) is used mainly in paint removers.

ALIPHATIC SOLVENT - Hydrocarbon solvent composed mainly of open chain hydrocarbons derived from paraffin-based crude oil. Typical aliphatic solvents include VM&P naphtha, hexane, and heptane. See also AROMATIC SOLVENT, NAPHTHA.

ALKALI - A substance that neutralizes acids, such as lye, soda, lime, etc. Alkalies or strong alkaline solutions are highly destructive to oil paint films.

ALKALINE CLEANER - A cleaner that saponifies certain oils and greases and washes away other types of contaminants. Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) is an example. Use of trisodium phosphate (TSP) is no longer allowed in some areas because of environmental regulations.

ALKALINE PAINT STRIPPER - A paint stripper made of relatively diluted concentrations of caustic soda (sodium hydroxide), potassium hydroxide, and other highly alkaline materials, often combined with solvents and detergents. These strippers are effective only on oleoresinous-type coatings.

ALKYD RESIN - A synthetic resin which is a condensation product involving a polybasic acid and a polyhydric alcohol, usually with the addition of a modifying agent. Alkyd resin is used in paints, varnishes, and lacquers. See also LONG OIL, MEDIUM OIL, SHORT OIL, OIL LENGTH.

ALLIGATORING - A paint surface defect that forms cracks resembling alligator hide. Also known as crocodiling. See also CRACKING.

ALL-OVER DESIGN - Floral, foliage, or scroll patterns, as distinguished from stripes and textures, that cover an entire wall covering without any feature standing out prominently.

ALUMINUM LEAF - Aluminum in very thin sheets or flakes used for decorative applications.

ALUMINUM PAINT - A coating mixture of finely divided aluminum particles combined with a suitable vehicle.

ALUMINUM PASTE - Metallic aluminum flake pigment in paste form, consisting of aluminum, solvent, and various additives. The metallic aluminum pigment can be in the form of very small, coated leaves or amorphous powder, known by the respective designations of "leafing" and "nonleafing." [Paint/Coatings • Dictionary]

AMBIENT TEMPERATURE - The temperature of the surrounding area or environment.

AMIDE - Curing agent combined with epoxy resins.

AMINE - Curing agent combined with epoxy resins.

ANALOGOUS - Similar or comparable; adjacent colors on a color wheel.

ANCHORAGE - The mechanical effect of paint "keying" itself into the surface to which it has been applied.

ANCHOR PATTERN - Contour or roughness of a surface, especially after blast-cleaning, that gives paint an anchor for gripping to the substrate and forming a tight bond. Also known as "profile."

ANGLE BLASTING - Blast cleaning with the angle between the blast stream and the surface being less than 90 degrees.

ANGLE OF ATTACK - Angle of the blast stream to the surface. Common angles of attack: 45 to 60 degrees for old paint; 60 to 70 degrees for general blast cleaning; 80 to 90 degrees for rust, mill scale, and heavily pitted surfaces.

ANTI-CORROSION PAINT - Coating used for preventing the corrosion of metals and, more particularly, specially formulated to prevent the rusting of iron and steel. ,

ANTI-FOULING PAINT - Final coat of paint applied to the hull of a ship below the water line; formulated to prevent the growth of barnacles, algae, and other organisms.

ANTIQUE FINISH - A finish that gives a surface the appearance of age or wear.

ANTI-SHINNING AGENT - Any material added to a coating to prevent or retard the processes of oxidation or polymerization that result in the formation of an insoluble skin on the surface of the coating in a container.

APPLICATION - Any process by which a coating is applied to a surface, including brushing, spraying, dipping, rolling, flowing, troweling, and spreading with a pad or mitt.

APPLICATOR - (1) A person or contractor who applies a coating. (2) A tool for applying coatings.

APPLIQUE - A design or ornament applied to another surface. In wall covering, cutouts applied to a plain, textured, or figured background.

APPRENTICE PAINTER - One engaged in learning the painting trade who is covered by a written agreement with an employer, association of employers, or other responsible agency. Such an agreement provides for a certain number of years of reasonably continuous employment and for participation in an approved program of training in related technical and general subjects.

ARCHITECTURAL COATING - Coating intended for on-site application to interior or exterior surfaces of residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial buildings. [ASTM D 16]

ARCING - Swinging a spray gun away from a perpendicular position to the surface, causing the coating to be applied thinner at the end of a spray pass than at the center.

AROMATIC SOLVENT - Hydrocarbon solvent with greater solvency than aliphatic solvents. Xylene (xylol), toluene (toluol), and high flash naphtha are aromatic solvents used in coatings. See also ALIPHATIC SOLVENT, NAPHTHA.

ASPHALT - Black or dark brown solid or semisolid cementitious material that gradually liquefies when heated. The predominating constituents are bitu-mens, which occur in solid or semisolid form in nature or are obtained by refining petroleum.

ASPHALT CUTBACK - Asphalt or coal tar dissolved in a suitable aliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbon solvent to lower its viscosity for application. Also known as bitu-minous cutback.

ASPHALT EMULSION - An emulsion of minute particles of asphalt or coal tar, emulsifying agents, and inert filling materials in water. Unlike straight bit-umens, these emulsions do not need to be heated for application.

ASPHALT MASTIC - A mixture of sand, crushed limestone, and fiber bound with asphalt to produce a thick film coating.

ASPHALT VARNISH - A varnish usually composed of asphalt or pitch, heat-treated with gilsonite, and thinned with mineral spirits or naphtha.

ATOMIZE - The process of breaking a stream of liquid into small particles, such as a spray nozzle does to paint during application. Back to top


BACK BLOCKING - Applying additional thickness of gypsum wallboard by adhesive at a back joint, usually on ceilings, to reduce ridging or beading.

BACKER ROD- A rod of foam or similar material that is inserted into wide joints or cracks (generally from 3/8 inch to 3 inches or more) to provide a backing for caulking or sealant material.

BACK PRIMING- Applying a coat of paint to the back of woodwork or exterior siding to prevent moisture from getting into the wood and causing the grain to swell.

BARRIER COAT- Coating used to isolate a paint system from the surface to which it is applied in order to prevent chemical or physical interaction between them (e.g., to prevent the paint solvent from attacking the underlying paint or to prevent bleeding from underlying paint or material).

BARRIER PIGMENT- A pigment that can improve a coating's ability to provide a good barrier between the environment and the substrate it protects.

BASKET-WEAVE DESIGN- In wall covering, a loosely woven fabric effect that represents the weave of a basket or coarse matting.

BATCH - The total quantity of paint or other material that is manufactured in a single processing and/or filling operation.

BATCH DATE - The manufacture date of a batch of paint. It is useful for gauging shelf life. If the batch date is not apparent on the can, contact the supplier for information.

BEAD - Heavy accumulation of a coating that occurs at the lower edge of a panel or other vertical surface as the result of excessive flowing.

BELT SANDER - A power tool with a continuous belt of abrasive that moves in one direction.

BINDER - Nonvolatile portion of a paint which serves to bind or cement the pigment particles together. Oils and varnishes are examples of binders.

BITUMASTIC - An asphalt or coal tar mastic (thick-film) protective coating used primarily for waterproofing.

BITUMEN - Originally asphalt; now any mineral hydrocarbon, but usually black pitchy material.

BITUMINOUS COATING - An asphalt or tar compound used to provide a protective finish for a surface. It may be applied as hot melt, solvent cutback, or water emulsion.

BLAST ANGLE - Angle of blasting nozzle or angle of par-tide propelled from centrifugal blasting wheels to a surface being blast-cleaned.


BLASTING ENCLOSURE - A movable enclosure that is held against a surface being blast-cleaned. It usually has a vacuum to remove spent abrasive, dust, and paint particles simultaneously with the blasting operation.

BLAST NOZZLF - Device through which abrasive is propelled during blast cleaning. The liner material (ceramic, cast, iron, tungsten carbide or boron carbide) determines the life and cost of the nozzle. The design (straight bore or Venturi style) controls velocity and the blast pattern.

BLAST. POT - A container that holds abrasive material until it is fed to the blast nozzle in air abrasive blast cleaning systems.

BLEACHING - Restoring natural color to, stained or discolored wood or making wood lighter in color by using an acid or bleaching agent.

BLEACH SOLUTION - A solution of water and household bleach used to disinfect and remove mildew from a surface before painting.

BLEEDING - The diffusion of coloring matter through a coating from the substrate; also, the discoloration arising from such diffusion. [ASTM D 16] Bleeding often can be prevented or reduced by application of a barrier coating. The term also applies to diffusion of rust or wax through a coating.

BLENDING - (1) Mixing two or more materials together. (2) Gradually shading from one color to another, as in glazing.

BLISTERING - (1) Formation .of dome-shaped projections in paints or varnish films resulting from local loss of adhesion and lifting of the film from the underlying surface. It may be caused by solvent entrapment, moisture diffusion through the coating, or excessive moisture, heat, or sap in a substrate. (2) A bubble of entrapped air or a paste lump under wall covering.

BLOCK COAT - A barrier coat or transition primer/tie coat between incompatible paints.

BLOCK FILLER - A heavily pigmented coating used to fill the pores of cinder or concrete block.

BLOCKING - The undesirable sticking together of two painted surfaces when pressed together under normal conditions or under specified conditions of temperature, pressure, and relative humidity.

BLUSHING - Film defect that appears as a milky opalescence as the film dries; can be a temporary or permanent condition. It is generally caused by rapid evaporation, moisture, or incompatibility. Frequently synonymous with blooming.


BODY - Apparent consistency or viscosity of a paint as assessed subjectively. A practical term widely used to give a qualitative picture of consistency.

BODY BELT - A belt worn around the waist and properly used to hold a worker in position on an elevated vertical workplace, such as a wall. OSHA is phasing out use of body belts for fall protection.

BODY HARNESS - A full-body harness is a device, worn around the torso, including the shoulders, chest, waist, upper legs, and thighs as part of a personal fall arrest system. It attaches to a lanyard and lifeline, which is secured to a structure.

BOLT - A roll of wall covering containing the surface area equivalent of two or three single rolls. A bolt usually provides more usable material and less waste than the equivalent number of single rolls. Bolts are priced by the linear yard.

BOND-BREAKER TAPE - A special tape used to prevent caulk or sealant from sticking to the back of a joint. It allows the sealant to move with the joint.

BOND COAT - Coating used to improve the adherence of succeeding coats.

BONDING STRENGTH - The adhesion between a coating film or wall covering adhesive and a substrate or previous coating film.

BOOKING - Folding a strip of wall covering paste side to paste side after the adhesive has been applied or activated and giving it a brief curing period before hanging it.

BOOM LIFT - Portable, heavy-duty equipment with a single or articulated arm that can maneuver an enclosed work platform and worker(s) to a position above or below the area where the boom lift is cated; sometimes called a "cherry picker."

BORDER - A narrow strip of wall covering used as a decorative accent. It may be placed along walls at the ceiling, around windows or doors as a frame, or around a room to create a chair-rail effect.

BOSUN'S CHAIR - A chair-like device suspended from a single cable or rope and designed for use by a single individual, who is limited to working in a sitting position. It provides accessibility to work areas not easily reached by larger scaffolding systems.

BOUNCE BACK - The rebound of atomized paint particles during spray application. This effect is most pronounced when paint is being applied into corners or boxed areas. See also DRY SPRAY, OVERSPRAY.

BOXING - Mixing paint by pouring it from one container to another several times to assure uniform consistency and smoothness.

BREAKING STRENGTH - The ability of a wall covering to resist initial tearing.

BRIDGING - The ability of a coating to cover a crack, a void, or other small gap on a surface.


BRISTLE - Fibers bundled together and attached to a handle to form a brush for application of coating materials. Bristles may be natural (hog hair) or synthetic (nylon, polyester, or blends).

BROAD KNIFE - A multipurpose hand tool with a blade up to about 10 to 12 inches wide. It can be used to fill holes and cracks with spackling compound or patching material, to apply joint compound and drywall tape to seams of drywall panels, to crease wall-covering, or as a cutting guide.


BRUSHABILITY - The ability or ease with which a paint . can be brushed under practical conditions.

BRUSH MARK - Marks in a coating produced by the bristles of a brush during application. Brush marks may or may not remain in the dried coating, depending on its leveling characteristics.

BRUSH-OFF BLAST CLEANING - Blast cleaning standard with the lowest quality requirements. According to Steel Structures Painting Council Surface Preparation Specification No. 7, "Brush-off Blast Cleaning" (SSPC-SP 7), a brush-off blast cleaned surface is free of all visible oil, grease, dirt, dust, loose mill scale, loose rust, and loose paint. Tightly adherent mill scale, rust, and paint may remain on the surface. Brush-off blast cleaning also is defined in NACE No. 4, "Brush-off Blast Cleaned Surface Finish."

BUBBLING - Film defect, temporary or permanent, in which bubbles of air, solvent vapor, or both are present in the applied film.

BUG HOLE - An air pocket left on or near the surface of vertical formed concrete or horizontal laid concrete. Bug holes should be filled before painting in order to provide a uniform, solid substrate.

BUILT-UP SCAFFOLD - A scaffold constructed from the ground up at a job site. There are two main types: 1.) TUBE AND COUPLER SCAFFOLDING, which uses external couplers to join the posts, braces, runners, and bearers of the system; 2.) TUBULAR WELDED FRAME SCAFFOLDING, which has prefabricated welded" panels of various sizes that are joined with horizontal, diagonal, and cross-bracing supports and secured with locking devices.

BURLAP - Woven fabric of jute, hemp, or flax, which maybe fused to a backing and used as a wallcovering.

BUTT END - The narrow, untapered end of a gypsum wallboard panel.

BUTT JOINT - Joint where butt ends of gypsum wallboards meet.

BUTT SEAM - A wallcovering seam made by aligning the edge of one wallcovering strip tightly against the next strip without any overlap.

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CAKING - Hard settling of paint pigment in an unopened container during storage.

CALCIMINE- A water-thinned paint composed essentially of calcium carbonate or clay, and glue.

CATALYST- A reaction promoter. A substance that induces, alters, or accelerates a chemical reaction. A catalyst is unchanged by the reaction it creates. -In the paint industry, catalysts accelerate the cure of paint films.

CATALYTIC CURING- Mechanism by which a coating is crosslinked by the action of a catalyst as opposed to oxidation, etc. Examples of such systems are two-part epoxies and polyurethanes.

CATALYZED EPDXY COATING- A coating based on an epoxy resin (e.g., epoxy/amine or epoxy/polyamide).

CATHODIC PROTECTION - Reduction or elimination of corrosion of a metal achieved by making current flow to it from a solution by connecting it to the negative pole of some source of current. The source of the protective current may be a sacrificial metal, such as zinc, magnesium, or aluminum. The current may also be derived from a generator or battery applied through an appropriate anode, which may be consumed by the applied current, as in the case of steel, or remain substantially unaffected by the current, as in the case of graphite or platinum.

CAULKING COMPOUND - Soft, plastic material, consisting of pigment and vehicle, used for sealing joints in buildings and other structures where normal structural movement may occur or for preventing leakage. Caulking compound retains its plasticity for an extended period after application. It is available in forms suitable for application by gun or knife and in extruded preformed shapes.

CEILING JOIST - Wood or metal horizontal' framing member used for hanging drywall panels on a ceiling.

CEMENT-BASED PAINT - A paint composed of portland cement, lime, pigment, and other modifying ingredients.

CEMENTITIOUS COATING - A coating generally made of inert aggregates with an inorganic binder or cementing agent.

CENTRIFUGAL BLAST CLEANING - A blast cleaning process (usually enclosed) that uses rotating, motor-driven, bladed wheels to hurl abrasive (usually steel shot, steel grit, or a shot/grit mixture) at the surface being cleaned.

CFM - Cubic feet per minute, a measurement of compressed air flow.

CHAIR RAIL - A wood molding strip placed on walls at chair-back height for protection. Wallcovering border sometimes is hung to create a chair-rail effect.

CHALKING - The decomposition of a paint film into a loose powder on the film surface. Chalking should be removed before recoating a surface.

CHALKING RESISTANCE - The ability of a pigmented coating to resist chalking.

CHECKING - Formation of slight breaks in many possible patterns in the surface of a paint film. The breaks should be called "cracks" if they penetrate to the underlying surface. See also CRACKING.

CHECKING RESISTANCE - The ability of a coating to resist checking.

CHEMICAL STRIPPING - The use of paint remover or chemical stripping material to soften an existing coating for removal by scraping and/or flushing.

CHINTZ PAPER - In wallcovering, a paper reproducing a printed cotton drapery material. It usually is printed in brightly colored designs.

CHIPPING - (1) Removal of paint or rust and scale by mechanical means (such as a chipping hammer). (2) Total or partial removal of a dried paint film in flakes by accidental damage or wear during service.

CHIPPING HAMMER - A hand tool used to remove layers of loose paint, loose rust, and loose mill scale from steel surfaces. The heads of chipping hammers come in various configurations.

CHIPPING RESISTANCE - The ability of a coating or layers of coatings to resist total or partial removal, usually in small pieces, resulting from impact by hard objects or from wear during service.

CHLORINATED RUBBER - Synthetic resin made by chlorinating rubber or other polymers under specified conditions. It is soluble in aromatic hydrocarbons, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and turpentine; it is insoluble in lacquer solvents and alcohol. Coatings made from chlorinated rubber resins have good chemical resistance.

CHLORINATED SOLVENT - An organic solvent that contains chlorine atoms. Examples are chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, ethylene dichloride, methylene chloride, tetrachlorethane, and trichlorethylene. They are used as paint removers and cleaning solutions.

CHROMA - Intensity or depth of color. The quality of a color that relates to its concentration.

CLOSED ABRASIVE BLAST CLEANING -Compressed air or centrifugal blast cleaning done within a localized containment or enclosure that surrounds the abrasive stream. The enclosure is held to the surface to create a seal and is equipped with a vacuum to remove spent abrasive and debris simultaneously with the blasting operation. When compressed air is used to propel the abrasive, the technique often is called "vacuum blasting." When wheels are used to propel the abrasive, the technique often is called "wheel blasting."

CLOSED-COAT ABRASIVE - An abrasive material, such as sandpaper, in which the grains completely cover the backing material. See also OPEN-COAT ABRASIVE.

CLOSED-GRAIN WOOD - Wood with tight, close grain that requires little preparation to make it smooth. Examples include birch and maple. See also OPEN-GRAIN WOOD.

COALESCENCE - The mechanism of film formation by evaporation of water from an emulsion or latex coating.

COALESCING SOLVENT (OR AGENT) - A solvent with a high boiling point, which, when added to a coating, aids in film formation by temporary softening of the vehicle. The coalescing solvent softens and melds the individual pigmented resin particles during the final stages of drying, enabling a relatively continuous coating film to be formed.

COAL TAR - A black or dark brown, solid or semisolid, cementitious material that gradually liquefies when heated. It is obtained as a residue from the coking of coal.

COAL TAR EPDXY COATING - A high performance, corrosion-resistant coating with both coal tar and epoxy resin in the binder or vehicle.

COAL TAR URETHANE COATING - A high performance, corrosion-resistant coating with both coal tar-and polyurethane resin in the binder or vehicle.

COATED ABRASIVE - Abrasive material bonded to a backing material. It comes in various forms, including sheets, rolls, discs, belts, and flaps. See also NON- WOVEN ABRASIVE PAD.

COATING - (1) A liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition that is converted to a solid protective, decorative, or functional adherent film after application as a thin layer. (2) Generic term for paints, lacquers, enamels, etc.

COATING SYSTEM - A protective film consisting of one or more coats, applied in a specified order by prescribed methods.

COATING WORK - An all-inclusive term to define all operations required to accomplish a complete coating job; construed to include materials, equipment, labor, preparation of surfaces, control of ambient conditions, application of coating systems, and inspection.

COBWEBBING - Production of fine filaments (cobwebs) instead of the normal atomized particles when some coatings are sprayed.

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (CFR) - A codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government. Included in the CFR are a large number of regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that apply to painting operations.

COHESION - The propensity of a single substance to adhere to itself. The ability of a single coating layer to resist internal partitioning or fracturing.

COLD CHECKING - Formation of checks slight breaks in a coating film after exposure to hot and cold temperature cycles.

COLD CRACKING - Formation of cracks breaks in a coating film that penetrate to the underlying surface as a result of cold temperatures or temperature cycling.

COLOR - (1) The colors of the spectrum. (2) The colorants used to produce various colors in paints and stains. (3) The act of applying color to an object with paints and stains. (4) An aspect of appearance based on visual response to light, and consisting of the three dimensions of hue, saturation, and light.

COLORANT - Any substance that imparts color to another material or mixture. Colorants can be either dyes or pigments. See also UNIVERSAL COLORANT.

COLORFASTNESS - The degree of permanency of a color in a coating or wallcovering in the presence of light or after repeated cleaning.

COLOR PIGMENT - Organic or inorganic pigment that provides color to a paint.

COLOR RANGE - The extent of colors. This includes tints, tones, and shades of basic hues and mixtures thereof. Paint manufacturers' systems of color tint bases used in conjunction with colorants to produce a wide range of colors, including pastel, mid-tone, deep-tone, ultra deep-tone, and variations thereof.

COLOR RUN - The amount of rolls of wallcovering produced at any one time. A repeat run at another time probably will not exactly match the color(s) of the original run, so it is given another run number.

COMBING - Using a comb or similar device to create a pattern in a wet coating.

COMMERCIAL BLAST CLEANING - Moderate grade of blast cleaning. According to Steel Structures Painting Council Surface Preparation Specification No. 6, "Commercial Blast Cleaning" (SSPC-SP 6), a commercial blast cleaned surface is free of all visible oil, grease, dirt, dust, mill scale, rust, paint, oxides, corrosion products, and other foreign matter; staining is limited to no more than 33 percent of each square inch of surface area. Commercial blast cleaning also is defined in NACE No. 3, "Commercial Blast Cleaned Surface Finish."

COMPANION WALLCOVERING - A set of two wallcoverings usually designed and colored for use in the decoration of the same or adjoining rooms; sometimes referred to as ensembles.

COMPATIBLE - The capability of different materials, including paints, to be blended or mixed without detrimental effects, or to be applied-on top of one another.

COMPLEMENTARY COLORS - Two contrasting or opposite colors on the color wheel. Examples: blue and orange, red and green, purple and yellow.

COMPLIANCE COATING - A coating whose volatile organic compound content does not exceed that allowed by regulation. Compliance coatings may be waterborne, low solvent (high solids), or powder.

COMPLIANCE PROGRAM - A written program required of an employer by federal law to identify the methods, such as engineering, work practice, and administrative controls, that will be implemented to reduce employee exposure to a hazardous material to a level at or below the permissible exposure limit (PEL).

CONCRETE - A mixture of portland cement, aggregates, water, and sometimes admixtures.

CONSISTENCY - The apparent viscosity of a non-Newtonian material when shearing forces of varying degree are applied to it in various ways (e.g., when it is stirred in the can, poured from one container to another, brushed, or. otherwise spread out over a surface). See also THIXOTROPIC, VISCOSITY.

CONSOLIDANT - A liquid wood epoxy that reinforces or restores damaged or disintegrated wood. It consists of resin and a hardener that, when mixed together properly, can be used to repair rotted, dried out, or spongy wood. It also can be used to reinforce other porous building materials, such as plaster.

CONTAINMENT - An enclosure designed to limit dust, debris, paint chips, paint dust, spent abrasives, and overspray from contaminating the environment. The type, concentration, and toxicity of the contamination determine the extent of containment required. Types of containment include free-hanging enclosures, partial structure enclosures, total structure enclosures, and total structure enclosures with negative pressure.

CONTAINMENT SYSTEM - A system that includes the containment structure (i.e., containment walls, floor, supporting structure, and entryways); ventilation system (forced or natural air input ports, and natural or mechanical exhaust); and, in some cases, dust collection equipment.

CONVENTIONAL AIR SPRAYING - A coating application method using a nozzle to direct compressed air to atomize the liquid paint stream. The adjustments on air spray equipment offer the applicator a high degree of control of the application process.

CONVERTER - A material that causes change; a catalyst, curing agent, promoter.

COPAL - A natural resin exuded from various tropical plants, and often are named for their place of origin, such as Zanzibar and Manila.


CORE BOARD - A gypsum wallboard panel designed to receive one or more successive layers of regular gypsum wallboard.

CORNER BEAD - An angled metal strip that is attached to the outside corner of drywall panels and finished with joint compound. It is designed to protect the corner from damage.

CORNICE HOOK - A steel, hook-like device that attaches to a roof, parapet, or other structural support for rigging scaffolding.

CORRELATED - Different types of merchandise related in color and design, such as wallcovering and fabric or a series of wallcoverings that are made to be used together.

CORROSION - The deterioration of metal or concrete by chemical or electrochemical reaction resulting from exposure to weather, moisture, chemicals, or other agents in the environment in which it is placed.

CORROSION-INHIBITIVE PIGMENT - A pigment which when made into a paint has the property of minimizing corrosion of the substrate to which it is applied.

COUPLINGS, AIR HOSE - Devices used to join hoses used in abrasive blasting. Couplings should be wired together to prevent them from accidentally disconnecting during use.

COVERAGE - Ambiguous term used in some cases to refer to "hiding power" and in others to mean "spreading rate." The more precise terms are preferred. See also SPREADING RATE, HIDING POWER.

CRACKING - Generally, the splitting of a dry paint or varnish film, usually as a result of aging. The following terms are used to denote the nature and extent of this defect: 1.) HAIR-CRACKING - Fine cracks that do not penetrate the topcoat; they occur erratically and at random. 2.) CHECKING - Fine cracks that do not penetrate the topcoat and are distributed over the surface, giving the semblance of a small pattern. 3.) CRACKING - Specifically, a breakdown in which the cracks penetrate at least one coat and which may be expected to result ultimately in complete failure. 4.) CRAZING - Resembles checking, but the cracks are deeper and broader. 5.) CROCODILING or ALLIGATORING - A drastic type of crazing, producing a pattern resembling the hide of a crocodile. 6.) MUD CRACKING - Sharply defined wide cracks usually occurring in a pattern. Associated with shrinkage of pigmented coatings upon drying. Often results from excessive film build.

CRACKING RESISTANCE - The ability of a coating to resist breaks of the film where the breaks extend through to the surface painted and the underlying surface is visible.

CRACKLE - Topcoat cracking caused by premature application of the topcoat to a previous coat that is insuf- ciently dry.

CRACKLE FINISH - A finish with a topcoat that shrinks and cracks to reveal an undercoat, usually of a different color.

CRATERING - Formation of small, round depressions in a coating film but that do not expose the previous coat or the substrate.

CRAWLING - A defect in which a wet coating "crawls," leaving an uneven and sometimes uncoated surface area shortly after application.


CREVICE CORROSION - Corrosion that occurs within or adjacent to a crevice formed by contact with another piece of the same or another metal or with a nonmetallic material. When this occurs, the intensity of attack is usually more severe than on surrounding areas of the same surface.

CROCKING - (1) Removal of color upon abrasion or rubbing. (2) Staining of a white cloth by rubbing lightly over a colored surface.

CROCKING RESISTANCE - The ability of a wallcovering or coating not to transfer color when rubbed -or abraded.


CROSSLINKING - A particular method by which chemicals unite, or link, to form polymer films.

CROSS-SPRAY APPLICATION - A two-pass spray operation. An area first is covered by parallel spray passes in one direction; then, while the coating is still wet, the area is covered again with parallel spray passes made at a right angle to the first. "gas checking," may result from the presence of combustion products of natural gas or coal gas in the atmosphere while the film is drying.

CURE - The process by which a coating changes from its liquid state into a final, more stable, solid, protective film by chemical reaction with oxygen, moisture, or chemical additives, or by application of heat or radiation.

CURING AGENT - An additive, sometimes called a hardener or promoter, that helps a coating film cure by chemical reaction. See also CATALYST.

CURING COMPOUND - A coating designed to retard rapid evaporation of moisture from fresh concrete during the curing process in order to strengthen it.


CUTTING IN - Painting corners and the perimeter of windows and doors with a brush prior to roller application of paint to the walls and ceiling. An operation calling for most careful workmanship to keep a clean edge, such as cutting in on a window sash. Back to top


DECORATIVE PAINTING- Painting done primarily for appearance rather than for protection.

DEEP(Color) - Intense, strong color with no apparent presence of black.

DEEP-TONE BASE- Paint base used to develop deep colors. Might contain small amount of white.

DEFOAMER- Additive used to control or prevent foam during the manufacture or application of coatings.

DEHUMIDIFY- To remove water vapor from the atmosphere.

DELAND:NATION- Separation of a coat or coats of paint . from the previous coat or from the substrate.

DENSITY- A measure of mass per unit volume. The density of paint is usually expressed as pounds per gallon.

DESCENT CONTROL- A mechanical device that connects a lanyard to a lifeline in a personal fall arrest system. It works like a rope grab, and limits the distance that a worker wearing a properly connected body harness can fall. However, a descent control also lets the worker unlock the grabbing device and slowly descend the lifeline to the ground or surface.

DETAIL SANDER- A power tool with a small, oscillating sanding pad attached to a handle for smoothing otherwise inaccessible corners and edges.

DETERGENT- A synthetic, organic cleaning agent that is liquid- or water-soluble and has wetting agent and emulsifying properties.

DEW POINT - Temperature at which air becomes saturated with water and produces dew or moisture.

DIMPLE - Impression in drywall board formed by the crowned head of a hammer without breaking the paper facing.

DIPPING - Application method in which an object is immersed in a coating and then withdrawn. Excess coating material that drains off can be collected and recycled. This method is used in factories to coat small, difficult to paint, or fabricated items.

DISBONDING - Coating separation. Intercoat disbonding is the failure of a coating to adhere to a previous coating layer or to the substrate to which it has been applied. Intracoat disbonding is the failure of a coating layer to cohere or hold itself together.

DISCOLORATION - A change in the color of a coating or wallcovering after application. Causes may include exposure to sunlight or chemical atmospheres.

DISC SANDER - A power tool that uses a revolving, flat, circular, abrasive disc to remove heavy coatings or contaminants. A disc sander works well on metal or concrete, but because it can easily gouge a surface, it may be too rough for wood or plaster.

DISPERSING AGENT - Additive that increases the stability of a suspension of powders or pigments in a liquid medium. Also called a dispersant.

DISPERSION - (1) Process of dispersing a dry powder or pigments in a liquid medium in such a way that the individual particles become separated from one another and are reasonably evenly distributed throughout the entire liquid medium. (This usually is accomplished by rapid, high-shear mixing or agitation.) (2) Two-phase system in which one phase; called the dispersed phase (usually solid or liquid), is permanently distributed as small particles through the second phase, called the continuous phase (usually liquid).

DOUBLE CUT SEAM - A wallcovering seam made by overlapping two strips of wallcovering, cutting through both strips at the same time, and then removing the overlapping and underlapping pieces.

DOUBLE ROLL - A package of wallcovering containing the surface area equivalent of two single rolls.

DRAG - The resistance of paint to being spread by a brush. Paint with a lot of drag is hard to work with a brush.

DRIER - Compound of certain metals that hastens the drying action of oil-based paints and varnishes. Most driers are solutions of metallic soaps in oils and volatile solvents.

DROP - (1) The hanging of one strip of wallcovering. (2) One vertical descent of a scaffold.

DROP CLOTH - A large piece of fabric or plastic used to protect furniture, rugs, and other articles, as well as bushes, shrubs, sidewalks, etc., from damage.

DROP MATCH - A diagonal match of the design elements of a wallcovering pattern. A drop match may be either a half drop (every other strip is the same) or a multiple drop (the design repeats every three, four, or more strips).

DRY FALL/FOG COATING - A coating specially formulated with a solvent system that will evaporate after spray application in the time required for overspray to freely fall about 9 to 13 feet to the floor or ground. These coatings are designed for application to interior or exterior surfaces where overspray can be a problem.

DRY FILM THICKNESS(DFT) - Thickness of a coating when dry; often measured with a dry film thickness gauge and expressed in mils or microns.

DRY-HIDING - Increase in the hiding power of a paint that occurs in the drying process. It is most significant in nonglossy paints. See also WET-HIDING.

DRYING OIL - An oil that converts to a solid film when exposed to oxygen in the air. Vegetable oils (i.e., linseed, tung, dehydrated castor, oiticica) and fish oils (i.e., menhaden) are used.

DRYING TIME - Time required for an applied film of a coating to reach the desired stage of cure, hardness, or non-tackiness.

DRY SPRAY - A rough, powdery, non-coherent film produced when an atomized coating partially dries before reaching the surface. See also BOUNCE BACK, OVERSPRAY.

DRY-TO-HANDLE TIME - The drying time needed for a film of paint or varnish to harden sufficiently so that it can be handled without marring.

DRY-TO-RECOAT TIME - The drying time required between the applications of successive coats of paint or varnish.

DRY-TO-TOUCH TIME - The drying time needed for a film of paint or varnish to harden sufficiently so that it is tack free when touched lightly.

DRYWALL - A generic term referring to various types of gypsum wallboards that are assembled to form a complete wall product or used for other building purposes such as soffit. Special types of drywall panels include: 1.) WATER-RESISTANT

DRYWALL - A drywall used for tile backing in high-moisture areas, such as kitchens and baths. 2.) FOIL-BACKED DRYWALL - A drywall designed to form a vapor barrier when the foil side faces the framing. 3.) TYPE X DRYWALL - A drywall treated to be extra fire-retardant. 4.) EXTERIOR SOFFIT DRYWALL - A drywall made for eaves, soffit, porch or patio ceilings, and other exterior areas not directly exposed to weather. 5.) PREDECORATED DRYWALL - A drywall treated with paint or wall covering during manufacturing. 6.) BACKING BOARD - A drywall designed for use as a base layer for multi-ply constructions.

DRYWALL NAIL - A nail specially coated with cement or made with concentric rings and grooves for securely attaching drywall panels to wood framing.

DULL FINISH - A coating with almost a dead flat finish.

DULL RUBBING - Rubbing a dried film of finishing material to a dull finish, usually with abrasive materials such as pumice, rottenstone, or steel wool moistened with oil or water.

DUST FREE - The absence of dust on a surface or a coating film.

DUTCH METAL - Thin leaves of bright brass used for overlaying in the same manner in which gold leaf is applied.

DWELL TIME - The time that a blasting nozzle remains pointed at any spot on the surface being cleaned. Loose contaminants and paint require a shorter dwell time to remove than tightly adherent materials.

DYE - A material used for dyeing or staining, usually dissolved in oil, water, or alcohol. Aniline colors is a term loosely used for coal tar dyes or derivatives.

DYE LOT - The dye lot or printing number on rolls of wall covering indicates whether they were printed at the same time. Because of slight differences in the color, alignment, and appearance of wall coverings printed in different runs, only rolls from the same print run should be used for a job.

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EDGE CRACKING- Cracks in the edges of drywall joints usually as a result of extreme drying conditions, such as high temperature and low humidity. A skim coat of joint compound usually will cover these cracks.

EFFLORESCENCE- An encrustation of soluble salts, commonly white, deposited on the surface of coatings, stone, brick, plaster, or mortar; usually caused by salts or free alkalies leached from mortar or adjacent concrete as moisture moves through it.

EGGSHELL - (1) Gloss lying between semigloss and flat (resembling that of an egg shell). Generally thought to be between 20 and 35 as determined with a 60-degree gloss meter. (2) An off-white color.

ELASTOMERIC COATING - A coating made with an elastomer, a polymer with elastic properties, such as rubber.

ELECTRODEPOSITION - Dip coating application method that uses an electrical field to coat at item, which acts as an electrode and attracts the oppositely charged particles of paint in the dip tank. The paint coats the item and forms a continuous, uniform film.

ELECTROSTATIC SPRAYING - A spray coating method in which atomized paint particles are charged with a high voltage electrical current, and the object or surface to be painted is grounded so that the spray is drawn to it. Electrostatic spraying offers high transfer efficiency and low overspray.

ELONGATION - The increase in length of a material under tension, usually expressed as a percentage of the original length.

EMBEDDING - Setting tape into joint compound as part of the process of finishing drywall joints.

EMBOSSING - A raised effect created by impressing a design on the back of wallcovering by means of metal rollers.

EMBRITTLEMENT - The process of becoming brittle, which may happen to a paint film with age and weathering.

EMERY CLOTH - A cloth coated with abrasive material; similar to sandpaper.

EMULSIFICATION - The process of dispersing one liquid in another (the liquids being mutually insoluble or sparingly soluble in each other). When water is one of the liquids, two types of emulsions are possible: oil in water (water is the continuous state), and water in oil. The term "oil" describes any organic liquid sparingly soluble in water.

EMULSIFIER - A material which, when added to a mix. tore of dissimilar materials, such as oil and water, or a solid and water, will produce a stable, homogeneous emulsion. An emulsifier must both promote emulsification and stabilize the finished product.

EMULSION - A liquid preparation in which minute particles or globules of another liquid, not ordinarily miscible, remain in suspension. The suspension of very small particles of oil in water or water in oil by an emulsifying agent. An emulsion in which the dispersed particles are a solid is called a suspension.

EMULSION PAINT - A paint, the vehicle of which is an emulsion of binder in water. The binder may be oil, oleoresinous varnish, resin, or other emulsifiable material. It is common practice to use the terms "emulsion" and "latex" synonymously.

ENAMEL - Topcoat which is characterized by its ability to form a smooth surface; originally associated with a high gloss, but may also include lower degrees of gloss, i.e., flat enamels.

END SEAL - Paint applied to the ends of boards in order to seal the pores to prevent the entrance of moisture that would cause decay and affect the paint film.

EPDXY AMINE - Amine-cured epoxy resin.

EPDXY ESTER - An epoxy resin partially esterified with fatty acids, rosin, etc.; single package epoxy.

EPDXY POLYAMIDE - An epoxy resin crosslinked with polyamides; also called amide-cured epoxy resin.

EPDXY POLYAMINE - An epoxy resin crosslinked with polyamines; also called amine-cured epoxy resin.

EPDXY RESIN - A resin derived from bisphenol. Used in varnishes and enamels similar to alkyds; also used in catalyzed coatings for industrial maintenance work. Outstanding chemical resistance and toughness are its chief features.

EROSION - Wearing away of the topcoating of a painted surface, e.g., by chalking or by the abrasive action of wind-borne particles of grit, which may result in exposure of the underlying surface.

ESTER SOLVENT - Organic solvent made from an alcohol and an organic acid by eliminating water. Ester solvents used in paints include ethyl acetate, isobutyl acetate, ethylene glycol, and monoethyl ether acetate.

ETCH - A method of cleaning and/or roughening a metal or concrete surface by treating it with an acid or other chemical agent before painting.


EXTENDER PIGMENT - A pigment with low hiding power, but one that may contribute desirable properties to paint products, such as durability and porosity, when used properly. Aluminum potassium silicate (mica), calcium carbonate, and magnesium silicate are examples. Back to top


FABRIC- (1) Woven material (usually cotton) used as backing for vinyl wallcovering. (2) Specialty wallcovering material, such as muslin or silk, used alone or with a printed finish.

FADING - Subjective term used to describe the lightening of the color of a pigmented paint following exposure to the effects of light, heat, time, temperature, chemicals, etc.


FAN PATTERN - Shape of area where atomized paint is deposited during spray application.

FAST DRYING - A coating that dries quickly, generally in less than 24 hours.

FAST SOLVENT - Solvent that evaporates rapidly under atmospheric conditions.

FAUX FINISHES - Decorative application of solid color coats and glazes to simulate marble, granite, wood grain, etc. Also included are so-called fantasy finishes, which include spattering, rag rolling, sponging, stippling, etc.

FEATHERING - (1) Reducing the thickness of the edge of a dry paint film (e.g., the edge of a damaged area) by sanding or rubbing down prior to repainting. (2) Tapering off the edges of a coat of paint by "laying off" with a comparatively dry brush. (3) Flickering a spray gun at the end of each pass to get a tapered coating edge. (4) Tapering joint compound at the edges of a drywall joint to provide a uniform finish.

FIELD PAINTING - Coating work, including surface preparation, paint application, and inspection, done at a job site rather than in a shop.

FILLER - A pigmented composition for filling the pores or irregularities in a surface preparatory to application of other finishes. [ASTM D 16] Wood fillers are used on open-grain woods, such as oak or walnut; block fillers are used on concrete or masonry.

FILM - A layer or coat of material applied to a surface.

FILM BUILD - The achievable film thickness of one coat of paint.

FILM FORMATION MECHANISM - A film's method of drying or curing. The most common film formation mechanisms for coatings are oxidation, solvent evaporation, and polymerization.

FILM FORMER - (1) A material capable of being, applied to form a continuous dry film. (2) The part of a coating that remains on the substrate after 'curing.

FILM INTEGRITY - Degree of continuity of a coating film.

FILM THICKNESS - The wet or dry thickness of a coating on a substrate. Film thickness is measured in mils (thousandths of an inch) or microns (millionths of a meter). See also DRY FILM THICKNESS, WET FILM THICKNESS.

FILM THICKNESS GAUGE - A tool used to measure the wet or dry film thickness of a coating in mils or microns.

FINISH - An entire paint or coating system; the texture,' color, and sheen of a surface.

FINISH COAT - The last layer of coating in a painting operation. A finish coat is formulated specifically for environmental resistance and appearance. See also. TOPCOAT.

FIRST COAT - The first layer of coating - sealer or primer - applied on a paint job.

FIRST LAYER - Base layer of gypsum wallboard attached to framing in multi-ply construction.

FISH EYES - Paint defect which manifests itself by the crawling of wet paint into a recognized pattern resembling small "dimples" or "fish eyes."

FISH OIL - Drying oil obtained from fish such as menhaden and sardines.

FLAKING - Detachment of small pieces of paint film.

FLAME SPRAYING - Spray application of a coating whereby metal wire, metallic powder, or thermoplastic powder is melted using a spray gun with a torch-like flame and then sprayed with compressed air. See also METALIZING, THERMAL SPRAYING, PLASMA SPRAYING.

FLAMMABILITY - Measure of the ability to burn. This word is preferred to the word "inflammability;" which sometimes is interpreted as not flammable.

FLASHING - The non-uniform appearance of a coating that dries with spotty differences in color or gloss, usually due to improper sealing of porous areas.

FLASH POINT - The lowest temperature of a liquid at which it gives off sufficient vapor to form an ignitable mixture with the air near the surface of the liquid or within the container used. Materials with a flash point below 100,F (38 C), such as most solvents and solvent-borne coat- ings, are considered dangerous.

FLASH RUSTING - Rusting that occurs on metal within minutes to a few hours after cleaning is complete.

FLAT APPLICATOR - A rectangular pad with an attached handle used to paint flat surfaces.

FLAT PAINT - Paint having no luster or gloss in the dried film, usually measuring less than 15 on an 85-degree gloss meter. See also GLOSS.

FLATTING AGENT - An ingredient in a coating added to reduce its gloss or produce a rubbed effect.

FLAT VARNISH - Varnish made to dry with a low-gloss finish.

FLEXIBILITY - Degree to which a coating after drying is able to conform to movement or deformation of its supporting surface without cracking or flaking.

FLOATING - The separation of pigments and/or colorants on a coating's surface.

FLOCK FINISH - A velvet- or damask-like finish produced with finely chopped fibers of fabric that are adhered to wallcovering in a pattern.

FLOOR AND DECK PAINT - A paint designed for excellent abrasion resistance and smooth finish. Because it is rarely applied to vertical surfaces, it is made with maximum flow to insure good leveling.

FLOOR TOPPING - A special coating applied to a concrete floor to protect it from harsh chemicals, abrasive and mechanical wear, and other detrimental conditions.

FLORAL - Wallcovering whose design features flowers and foliage, usually in natural colors and not conventionalized.

FLORAL STRIPE - Striped wallcovering pattern in which flower motifs are introduced.

FLOW - The degree to which a wet paint film can flow out (level) after application so as to eliminate brush marks and produce a uniform surface on drying. This also applies to a coating's ability to level out to eliminate roller marks, orange peel from spraying, and other film irregularities.

FLOW AGENT - Compound added to a paint to improve its flow properties after application.

FLOW COATING - Application method in which paint is poured or flowed over an object or a surface, such as the interior of pipes and small vessels or the exterior of areas inaccessible by other application methods.

FLUID TIP - The removable end of an air spray gun from which the atomized paint is sprayed and in which the needle is located.

FLUORESCENT PAINT - Luminous paint that glows only during activation by ultraviolet or "black" light. See also LUMINOUS PAINT.

FOIL - Thin, flexible sheets of metallic material backed with paper or fabric for use as wallcovering.

FORCED DRYING - Accelerating the drying process of a coating by increasing the surrounding temperature and air circulation.

FOREIGN MATTER - Insoluble foreign particles such as sand, lint, dust, and dirt that get mixed with the coating material before, during, or after application, causing the formation of raised specks in the dried film.

FORM RELEASE AGENT - Material that is applied to concrete forms to allow easy removal from poured concrete after it has cured.

FRACTURE - A break in the face paper of gypsum wall-board that requires identical treatment as joints.

FRIABLE - A material that is easily made into powder.

FULL COAT - An applied coating at its maximum or specified film thickness.

FULL GLOSS - A smooth and almost mirror-like surface when viewed from all angles; usually above 70 on a 60-degree gloss meter.

FUNGICIDE - An additive that enhances a coating's ability to resist the growth of fungus (mildew). Back to top


GALVANIC CELL- A cell created by electrically connecting dissimilar metals or alloys in contact with the same electrolytic solution. A current then flows, accelerating the corrosion of the more active metal and preventing the corrosion of the less active metal until the more active metal is consumed.

GALVANIC CORROSION - Accelerated corrosion of the more active of the dissimilar metals or alloys electrically connected in a galvanic cell and galvanic protection of the less active of the dissimilar metals or alloys in the connection.

GALVANIC PROTECTION - (1) The selective use of galvanic corrosion to protect one metal from deterioration by connecting it to another, more active (electrically negative), sacrificial metal. Both metals must be in contact with the same body of an electrolytic solution. Zinc, magnesium, or aluminum, can be used as sacrificial metals for the galvanic protection of steel. (2) Corrosion protection of a metal in contact with an electrolytic solution by use of an impressed direct electrical current.

GALVANIZING - Applying a zinc coating to steel by dipping it in molten zinc, by depositing zinc on the steel electrolytically, or by other methods.

GELLING - Any process whereby paint or varnish thickens to jelly-like consistency. See also LIVERING.

GENERIC - (1) Belonging to an entire class or group. (2) Non-proprietary.

GILDING - Applying metal leaf for decorative effects. Gold, palladium, brass, and aluminum are used in gilding wood, metal, plaster, glass, and other surfaces.

GLAZING - Process of applying transparent or translucent coatings over a painted surface to produce blended effects.

GLAZING COMPOUND - A dough-like material consisting of pigment and vehicle, used for sealing window glass in frames. It differs from putty in that it retains its plasticity for an extended period.

GLOSS METER - Device for measuring sheen or luster.

GLOSS RETENTION - Ability of a coating to retain its original degree of sheen or gloss.

GOLD LEAF - Gold pounded into extremely thin sheets or ribbons for use in gilding.

GRAININESS - Roughness of a protective film resembling grains of sand.

GRAINING - Simulating the grain of wood by means of specially prepared colors or stains and graining tools.

GRAIN RAISING - Swelling of wood fibers caused by moisture, producing an undesirable rough surface.

GRASSCLOTH - A wallcovering made by gluing woven natural grasses onto a paper backing; also machine-printed wallcovering that simulates grasscloth.


GRIT - (1) Coarse foreign particles in paint materials and coatings, often of irregular shape, that are hard, abrasive, and resistant to disintegration. [ASTM D 16] (2) A blast cleaning abrasive with sharp, irregular edges that is obtained from slag, minerals, steel, and other materials.

GROUND COAT - (1) Coating material applied before graining colors, glazing, or other finish coat. (2) In wallcovering, the coat of pigment applied to raw stock as background color before top colors are applied.

GUIDE COAT - A coat similar to the finish coat but of a . different color to assure good coverage when applying the finish coat.

GYPSUM - A mineral (calcium sulfate dihydrate) that is the principal core material in drywall panels. Strength and fire-resistance are its key features.

GYPSUM BACKING BOARD - Gypsum panel used as a base layer in multi-ply construction.

GYPSUM WALLBOARD - A mill-fabricated construction panel, usually 4 by 8. feet in dimension, with a gypsum core that is surfaced on the front, back, and edges with a paper covering. See also DRYWALL. Back to top


HALF-SHEET SANDER - A power tool with a flat, rectangular pad to which a half sheet of sandpaper is clamped. Half-sheet sanders work well on large, flat surfaces.

HAND TOOL CLEANING - The use of non-power hand tools to clean a surface of loose paint, loose rust, loose mill scale, and other loose contaminants prior to coating application. Steel Structures Painting Council Surface Preparation Specification No. 2, "Hand Tool Cleaning" (SSPC-SP 2), is a consensus standard covering the procedures for hand tool cleaning of steel surfaces.

HARDENER - Additive (crosslinking agent, resin, or other modifier) used to promote or control the hardening or curing reaction of a coating, adhesive, or resin system. See also CURING AGENT, CATALYST.

HAZARD - A danger that may result in personal injury or death when a substance or object is used in a particular quantity or manner, or when a procedure is done without regard for safe working practices. Hazards in painting operations include toxic substances, ignitable and/or explosive materials, electrocution, falls, confined spaces, hand- and power-operated equipment, and lead paint removal.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM (HMIS) - A comprehensive hazard communication system developed by the National Paint & Coatings Association that includes 1.) assessment of chemical hazards in the workplace, 2.) use of colors, numbers, letters, and symbols to communicate degrees of acute health, flammability, and reactivity hazards; proper personal protection equipment; and other information, and 3.) and employee training.

HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE - (1) Any material that poses a threat to human health and/or the environment. Typical hazardous substances are toxic, corrosive, ignitable, explosive, or chemically reactive. (2) Any substance named by the Environmental Protection Agency to be reported if a designated quantity of the substance is spilled in the waters of the United States or if otherwise emitted into the environment.

HAZARDOUS WASTE - By-products of society that can pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly managed. A hazardous waste possesses at least one of four characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity), or appears on special EPA lists. Elements that can cause paint debris to be classified as hazardous due to toxicity include lead, barium, cadmium, chromium, and mercury.

HEAT AGING - Deterioration of a coating, wallcovering, or other material as a result of exposure to elevated temperatures.

HEATER - A heat-generating device used to control the viscosity of coating materials for plural-component, airless, and conventional spraying systems. Heaters can be placed in the supply container, in the supply hose, or both.

HEAT GUN - A tool used to blow very hot air onto a painted surface to soften the paint film for removal with a scraper. A heat gun should be used with care; it can be a fire hazard when used improperly.

HEAT RESISTANCE - The ability of a coating to resist deterioration when exposed continuously or periodically to high temperatures.

HEAT STRIPPING - Using a heat gun to soften a paint film for removal by scraping.

HEAVY-CENTERED SPRAY PATTERN - An uneven spray pattern having more coating in the center and less at the edges.

HIDING PIGMENT - Pigment with a high refractive index to give a coating the most hiding power. Rutile titanium dioxide, anatase titanium dioxide, zinc sulfide, and zinc oxide are materials with high refractive indices.

HIDING POWER - The ability of a coat of paint, which has been properly applied, to hide a surface or a previous coating on that surface.

HIGH BUILD COATING - A coating with a thickness of about 5 to 30 mils (125 to 750 microns), which is more than most paint films.

HIGH EFFICIENCY PARTICULATE AIR (HEPA) FILTER - An air filter made to remove 99.97 percent of all particles larger than 0.3 micron.

HIGH FLASH (HI FLASH) NAPHTHA - A hydrocarbon solvent mixture composed primarily of aromatic compounds and having a flash point above 113 F (45 C).


HIGH SOLIDS COATING - Paint containing considerably higher solids (nonvolatile matter) than conventional. Usually, paints with greater than 60 percent solids by volume are considered high solids coatings, although the term often is applied to any coating that meets any of EPA's Control Technique Guidelines.

HIGH VOLUME-LOW PRESSURE (HVLP) SPRAYING - A spray application method using a high volume of air delivered at low pressure to atomize paint into a lower velocity stream than conventional spraying.

HOLIDAY - An application defect whereby a small area, is left uncoated.

HOLIDAY DETECTOR - An instrument using electric current to detect nicks, scrapes, pinholes, or weak spots in a coating film.


HOSE - Flexible tubing of varying sizes, lengths, and materials used to connect components of blast cleaning, spray application, and respiration equipment.

HOT MELT COATING - A composition which liquefies readily on heating and is applied to various surfaces in molten condition. "burning," which damages the paint film. To prevent this, a special primer coat should be applied first.

HOT SPRAYING - Spray application of a coating that has been heated to reduce its viscosity. Using heat instead of adding volatile solvents to reduce viscosity makes it possible to apply materials with higher solids content that are VOC compliant.


HUE - The name of a color, such as red, blue, or orange.


HYDROCARBON SOLVENT - Aliphatic, aromatic, or cyclic (cycloparafflnic, naphthenic) solvent consisting of only carbon and hydrOgen atoms. See also ALIPHATIC SOLVENT, AROMATIC SOLVENT, NAPHTHA. Back to top


IMIVIISCIBLE- Not miscible (mixable). A quality of any liquid that will not mix with another specified liquid, in which case it forms two separate layers or exhibits cloudiness or turbidity.

IMPACT RESISTANCE- A measure of resistance to impact; ability to resist deformation from impact.

IMPACT TOOL- A hand or power tool that cleans by striking a surface. Examples include needle guns, rotary peeners, chipping and scaling hammers, power chisels, etc.

INCOMPATIBILITY - Inability of a material to mix with or adhere to another material.

INERT - Chemically inactive; resistant to corrosion.

INHIBITIVE PIGMENT - A coating pigment that inhibits corrosion of metal substrates or other undesirable effects.

INHIBITOR - (1) General term for compounds or materials that have the effect of slowing down or stopping an undesired chemical change such as corrosion, oxidation or polymerization, drying, skinning, mildew growth, etc. [Paint/ Coatings Dictionary] (2) In wet cleaning methods for steel, a material that can be added to the water or applied as a rinse to prevent flash rusting. See also RETARDER.

INORGANIC - Not organic; generally, a chemical compound containing no carbon.


INSPECTOR - A person assigned to inspect coatings by means of examination, observation, or measurement to determine the conformance of coating work to specifications. An inspector can represent an owner, contractor, or material supplier.

INTERCOAT ADHESION - The ability of one layer of a coating to adhere to the next or to the substrate.

INTERCOAT CONTAMINATION - Contamination or foreign matter between two coating layers or between a coating and the substrate.

INTERCOAT DISBONDING - Failure of a coating to ad here to a previous coating layer or to the substrate.

INTERMEDIATE COAT - One of more coats applied between the primer coat and the finish coat.

INTRACOAT ADHESION - Cohesion within a coat of paint; the ability of a paint film to hold itself together.

INTRACOAT DISBONDING - Failure of a coating layer to cohere or hold itself together.

INTUMESCENTCOATING - A fire-retardant coating that when heated forms a foam produced by nonflammable gases, such as carbon dioxide and ammonia. This results in a thick, highly insulating layer of carbon (about 50 times as thick as the original coating) that serves to protect the coated substrate from fire. See also FIRE-RETARDANT COATING.

ISOCYANATE - A compound containing the functional group -N=C=O, a basic chemical building block for polyurethane coatings. Isocyanate may be highly toxic in its unreacted form. Back to top


J-CLAMP - A metal clamp used to attach hardware to scaffolding cable.

JOB STANDARD - The minimum acceptable standard of quality for a coatings project established prior to beginning the work.

JOINT COMPOUND - Patching compound used in drywall construction to tape and finish joints, conceal fasteners and corner beads, fill surface dents or irregularities, and create a smooth finish; sometimes called "mud."

JOINT RIDGING OR BEADING - Slight bead or protrusion occurring in center of finished drywall joint, usually caused by insufficient drying of successive applications of joint compound.

JOINT TAPE - Mending tape, usually made of strong fiber paper, that is embedded in joint compound to conceal and smooth the seam between drywall panels.

JOURNEYMAN PAINTER - A painter with training and experience as an apprentice.

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KETONE SOLVENT- Organic solvent containing the CO grouping; commonly used ketones are acetone (di-methyl ketone), MEK (methyl ethyl ketone), and MIBK (methyl isobutyl ketone). Ketone solvents have relatively strong solubility parameters and exhibit strong hydrogen bonding and high polarity.


LAC -A natural resin secreted by insects that live on the sap of certain trees in Far Eastern countries and refined to make shellac.

LACQUER - A coating composition that is based on synthetic, thermoplastic, film-forming material dissolved in organic solvent that dries primarily by solvent evaporation. Typical lacquers include those based on nitrocellulose, other cellulose derivatives, vinyl resins, acrylic resins, etc.

LADDER HOOK - A device that attaches to the top of a ladder and connects. to a roof, pipe, or similar anchorage for support. building settlement, earthquake damage, nail or screw pops.

LADDER JACK - A metal bracket that attaches to a straight ladder or an extension ladder; used in pairs to form a ladder jack scaffold.

LADDER JACK SCAFFOLD - A light-duty scaffold with a plank or lightweight stage supported by a pair of ladder jacks attached to heavy-duty ladders.

LADDER, PORTABLE - A ladder that can be moved, compared to one affixed to a building or structure. Portable ladders have either fixed or adjustable length, and are either self-supporting or non-self-supporting.

LADDER SHOE - A slip-resistant device that mounts on the base of a ladder side rail to give the ladder stability. Some ladder shoes adjust to the level of the surface.

LADDER, TYPES OF - (1) STEPLADDER - A self-supporting ladder of fixed height with flat steps, a movable back frame hinged to the front legs, and a spreading device to hold the ladder open. (2) DOUBLE STEPLADDER - A stepladder with steps on both sides. (3) STRAIGHT LADDER - A non-selfsupporting, fixed length ladder with two parallel rails joined by rungs. (4) EXTENSION LADDER - A non-self-supporting ladder with two or three sections that can be adjusted in length. (5) TRESTLE LADDER - A self-supporting ladder of fixed height with two runged sections joined at the top with hinges and a spreader. (6) EXTENSION

TRESTLE LADDER -A trestle ladder with a vertical extension section. (7) SECTIONAL LADDER - A non-self-supporting ladder with two or more sections that lock together. (8) ARTICULATED LADDER - A ladder with locking joints that enable it to be used as a straight ladder, stepladder, work table, etc. (9) PLATFORM LADDER - A self-supporting, non-adjustable ladder with a platform at the highest standing level.

LADDER WORKING LENGTH - The distance along the side rails of a non-self-supporting ladder from the lower to the upper support points.

LAITANCE - A thin, weak, brittle layer of cement and aggregate on a concrete surface usually caused by an overly wet or overworked mixture, improper or excessive finishing, or a combination of factors. Laitance should be removed before painting to expose hidden voids in the surface.

LANYARD - A flexible line that connects a body harness or body belt to a lifeline or anchorage. Some lanyards have a shock absorber or other type of deceleration device to reduce the impact of a fall being stopped.

LAP - The region where one area of a coated surface merges into an adjacent, freshly coated area during application of a single coat to the entire surface. The "objective of the painter is to avoid showing the lap.

LATENT DAMAGE or DEFECTS - Damage to a surface by causes beyond the control of the painting contractor. Examples include, but are not limited to, LATEX - A dispersion of rubber, synthetic resin, or polymers used in paints, adhesives, or coatings.

LA EX PAINT - A paint containing a stable aqueous dispersion of synthetic resin, produced by emulsion polymerization, as the principal constituent of the binder. Modifying resins also may be present. See also EMULSION PAINT.

LEAD-BASED PAINT - Paint or other surface coatings that contain lead in excess of limits established under section 302(c) of the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (1 mg/sq cm of surface or 0.5 percent lead by weight). [Housing and Community Development Act of 1992] Lead in household paint has been banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission since 1978.

LEL METER - A device used to measure the concentration of combustible vapors in an air sample.

LEVELING - Formation of a smooth film on either a horizontal or vertical surface without brush or roller marks or other irregularities.

LIFELINE - A line that connects all components of a personal fall arrest system to an anchorage on a building or structure. A vertical lifeline attaches above the work area and hangs to the ground; a horizontal lifeline hangs between two anchors.

LIFTING - Softening and raising or wrinkling of a previous coat by the application of an additional coating; often caused by the solvents.

LINING PAPER - Plain wallpaper applied to a rough, cracked, or irregular surface before wallcovering is hung to provide a smooth substrate. Also used as a lining for specialty wallcovering materials.

LINSEED OIL - Oil obtained from linseed (flaxseed); known for its durability and excellent drying properties.

LIQUID WOOD FILLER - Low viscosity material, usually containing extending pigment, used as a first coat on open-grain woods. Sometimes called a primer/surfacer.

LIVERING - An abnormal and irreversible increase in the consistency of a coating material.

LONG OIL - High ratio of oil to resin in a medium. (1) LONG OIL ALKYD - An alkyd resin containing more than 60 percent of oil as a modifying agent. (2). LONG OIL VARNISH - An oleoresinous varnish, other than alkyd, containing more than 25 gallons of oil per 100 pounds of resin. A long oil varnish is usually slower drying, tougher, and more elastic than a short oil varnish. See also MEDIUM OIL, SHORT OIL, OIL LENGTH.

LONG OIL LOWER EXPLOSIVE LIMIT (LEL) - The concentration at ordinary ambient temperatures of a compound in air below which an explosion will not occur if the mixture is ignited. The concentration is expressed as a percent of the gas vapor in air by volume. When the concentration is above the lower explosive limit and below, the upper explosive limit (UEL), the mixture will burn and explode. See also UPPER EXPLOSIVE LIMIT.

LOW SOLVENT COATING - A coating that contains a lower amount of volatile organic compound (VOC) than conventional organic solvent-borne coatings. Low solvent coatings usually fall into the three major groups of high solids, water-borne, or powder coatings.

LUMINOUS PAINT - A coating that emits light rather than just reflect it. There are three classes: fluorescent, which requires ultraviolet light to activate it; daylight fluorescent, which emits additional light from absorbed solar radiation; and phosphorescent, which continues to glow for some time after the external energy is removed. Back to top


MAINTENANCE COATING- A coating, other than the original, of which the primary function is protection; used to maintain commercial, institutional, and industrial structures, public utility facilities, etc.

MAINTENANCE PAINTING - (1) Any coating work done subsequent to that associated with construction. (2) In broad terms, all repainting of industrial structures for protection or aesthetics.

MARBLING - Simulating the look of marble on a surface with special coating materials and graining tools.

MASTIC - (1) Adhesive composition. Loosely used to describe a plastic filler, stopper, putty, or adhesive. (2) Sometimes, a high build coating.

MATERIAL SAFETY BATA SHEET (MSDS) - A compilation of information required under the OSHA Communication Standard on the identity of hazardous chemicals, health and physical hazards, exposure limits, and precautions. Employees should have ready access to Material Safety Data Sheets for materials in the workplace.

MECHANICAL DRYWALL TOOL - Any mechanical device used to apply joint compound and/or joint tape or to finish joints in the drywall finishing, process.

MEDIUM OIL - Medium ratio of oil to resin. (1) MEDIUM OIL ALKYD - An alkyd resin containing between 40 and 60 percent oil as a modifying agent. (2) MEDIUM OIL VARNISH - An oleoresinous varnish, other than alkyd, containing between 18 and 25 gallons of oil per 100 pounds of resin. See also LONG OIL, SHORT OIL; OIL LENGTH.


MESH GRID - A device that hangs inside a 5-gallon. paint pail. Rolling a paint roller over a mesh grid works paint into the roller cover and removes any excess.


METALLIC PAINT - Paint containing flecks of aluminum or other metal, used to achieve a metallic finish.

METAL SPRAYING - Application of a spray coat of metal (usually zinc or aluminum) onto a prepared surface. The metal, in wire or powder form, is melted in a special spray gun, which then uses compressed air to spray it onto the surface.

MICROMETER - (1) A measurement of coating thickness equal to one millionth of a meter; abbreviated as pm. Also called a micron. (2) An instrument for measuring surface profile.

MICRON - A measurement of coating thickness equal to one millionth of a meter; abbreviated as. Also called a micrometer. (25.4 microns equal 1 mil.)

MID-TONE BASE - Paint base used to develop colors darker than a pastel. Tint strength of white has been reduced.

MIL - One thousandth of an inch (0.001 inch); used to measure coating thickness. The metric equivalent is micron (1 mil equals 25.4 microns).

MILDEW - A fungus that grows on paint and other materials in damp places, causing discoloration and deterioration.

MILDEW RESISTANCE - A coating's ability to resist the growth of mildew.

MILL SCALE - The heavy oxide layer formed during hot fabrication or heat treatment of metals.

MINERAL SPIRITS - A petroleum-derived solvent used for thinning paint. Odorless mineral spirits have been refined to remove some odorous constituents.

MISCIBLE - Capable of mixing or blending uniformly

MIST COAT - Thin tack coat; thin adhesive coat.

MIXING - Combining and agitating, either by handl or with a powered mechanical mixer, all ingredients in a paint to create a uniform, consistent liquid with even color and texture. See also BOXING, STRAINING.

MOISTURE TRAP - A device that removes moisture, from the air lines of abrasive blasting or spray painting equipment. A bleed valve lets water drain out of the trap.

MONOMER - A simple molecule that links with other monomers to form polymers. Trade jargon for joint compound used in drywall finishing.

MUD CRACKING - A paint film defect that looks like dried mud cracks. See also CRACKING.

MULTICOLOR COATING - A water-based coating with suspended droplets of multicolor lacquer or oil-based paint that is applied by spray to create a decorative speckled finish.

MULTIPACKAGE COATING - A coating made of crosslinking paint materials that must be stored in separate containers and mixed in the correct proportion before use. Once the materials are mixed, a chemical reaction begins and the paint remains usable for a limited time.

MURAL - (1) A painting applied directly to a wall or ceiling. (2) A wallcovering with a mural scene that continues over several strips to cover one wall of a room or the greater part of a wall without a repeat. Also called a scenic.

MURIATIC ACID - A commercial term for hydrochloric acid, which is used to clean and etch concrete and masonry Back to top


AIL POPPING - Slight protrusi'on of nail heads from drywall panels caused by shrinkage of framing lumber, structural movement, or improper nailing. NAP - The fibers on a paint roller cover, usually described in terms of length. Generally, short-nap covers (1/4 to 1/2 inch) are used on smooth surfaces; long-nap covers (3/4 to 1 1/2 inches) are used on rough or irregular surfaces.&P naphtha) or aromatic (high flash naphtha) compounds.

NATURAL RESIN - A solid organic substance, originating in the secretion of certain plants or insects, which is thermoplastic, flammable, nonconductive of electricity; breaks with a conchoidal fracture (when hard); and dissolves in certain specific organic solvents but not water. Copal and rosin are examples of natural resins. See also SYNTHETIC RESIN.

NEAR-WHITE BLAST CLEANING - High grade of blast cleaning. According to Steel Structures Painting Council Surface Preparation Specification No. 10, "Near-White Blast Cleaning" (SSPC-SP 10), a near-white blast cleaned surface is free of all visible oil, grease, dirt, dust, mill scale, rust, paint, oxides, corrosion products, and other foreign matter; staining is limited to no more than 5 percent of each square inch of surface area. Near-white blast cleaning also is defined in NACE No. 2, "Near-White Blast Cleaned Surface Finish."

NEEDLE GAUGE - An air pressure gauge with a needle connected to the air inlet:It is used to check the air pressure of a blast system by inserting the needle into the blast hose just behind the nozzle and pointing the tapered tip into the air flow.

NEEDLE GUN - A power impact tool with a bundle of steel needles mounted in front of a piston that strikes them against the surface being cleaned. Needle guns are useful for cleaning irregular surfaces, such as corners and crevices or around bolt and rivet heads.

NEUTRALIZATION - The process of neutralizing 1.) excess acidity or alkalinity in concrete, masonry, or plaster; or 2.) chemical strippers used on wood.

NONFLAMMABLE - Incombustible; fireproof.

NON-GRAIN-RAISING STAIN - A solution of dye dissolved in alcohol, ketone, etc., that does not raise the grain of woods.

NONMETALLIC. ABRASIVE - A natural, byproduct, or manufactured material used as abrasive for blast cleaning. See also ABRASIVE.

NONVOLATILE CONTENT - The portion of a coating that does not evaporate during drying or curing under specified conditions, comprising the binder and, if present, the pigment. Note: the percent volatile content is obtained by subtracting the nonvolatile content from 100. Also known as nonvolatile matter.

NONWOVEN ABRASIVE PAD - A web of nylon fibers embedded with abrasive 'material and used to clean contaminants from all types of surfaces or to feather the edges of a repair area with the surrounding surface. See also COATED ABRASIVE.


NOZZLE ORIFICE GAUGE - A tapered metal rod that is inserted into a blast cleaning nozzle to determine the size of its orifice. Back to top


OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT - The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was developed to assure safe and healthful working conditions by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the act; by assisting and encouraging the states in their efforts to ensure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health; and by other means.

OIL-BASED COATING- A paint that contains drying oil, oil varnish, or oil-modified resin as the basic vehicle ingredient.

OIL LENGTH- The ratio of oil to resin in a medium. For an oleoresinous varnish, oil length may be expressed in terms of parts by weight of oil to one part by weight of resin or, in American practice, in terms of U.S.A. gallons of oil per 100 pounds of resin. For an alkyd resin, oil length is expressed as the percentage of oil by weight in the resin.

OIL STAIN - A solution of dye in a blend of oil or varnish and aromatic solvent.

OIL VARNISH- A varnish that contains resin and drying oil as the basic film-forming ingredients and is converted to a solid film primarily by chemical reaction.

OLEORESINOUS VEHICLE - A vehicle prepared by the addition of a resin to a drying oil. These two components may or may not be further processed to obtain specified properties.

OPACITY- The property of a paint that enables it to hide and color a surface.

OPEN ABRASIVE BLAST CLEANING- An air abrasive blast cleaning operation without any localized containment around the blast stream.

OPEN-COAT ABRASIVE- An abrasive material, such as sandpaper, in which the grains cover approximately 50 percent of the backing material. It is used when loading or filling with particles of the material being sanded, may be a problem. See also CLOSED-COAT ABRASIVE.

OPEN-GRAIN WOOD- Wood with porous, open grain that must be treated with a filler for a smooth surface. Examples include oak and walnut. See also CLOSED-GRAIN WOOD TIME - The length of time a wallcovering adhesive is tacky and bondable.

ORANGE PEEL- A coating film defect with the textured look of an orange peel.

ORBITAL SANDER- A power sander with a flat abrasive pad that vibrates in small, circular motions. It is used for coarse to fine sanding, depending on the particular tool and abrasive used.

ORGANIC- Generally, a chemical compound containing carbon.


ORIFICE- Opening or hole in a spray or blast nozzle.

OUTRIGGER BEAM- A fixed or movable arm that extends beyond the edge of a roof or structure for rigging scaffolds.

OVERLAP SEAM- A wallcovering seam in which one strip of walicovering overlaps the next strip by 1/2 inch or more. This seam usually is reserved for use on corners, archways, and similar areas that may be difficult to cover.

OVERSPRAY- (1) Atomized paint particles that deflect from or miss the surface being sprayed. (2) Spray particles that are not wet enough to fuse when they reach the surface. See also DRY SPRAY, BOUNCE BACK.

OXIDATION- (1) In coatings, the introduction of oxygen into a molecule, thereby producing a cured film. Alkyds and drying oil-based coatings cure by oxidation. (2) Corrosion of metals and degradation of other substances caused by oxygen in the air. Back to top


PAINT - (1) To apply a thin layer of a coating to a substrate by brush, spray, roller, immersion, or any other suitable means. [ASTM D 16] (2). Any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition designed for application to a substrate in a thin layer that is converted to an opaque solid film after application. Used for protection, decoration or identification, or to serve some functional purpose.

PAINT BRUSH- A hand-held painting tool with a bundle of natural or synthetic bristles bound to a handle by a ferrule, or metal jacket, that is connected to a handle with nails or by crimping. Types include sash and trim, wall and ceiling, enamel and varnish, masonry, and roofing brushes.

PAINT FAILURE - (1) The premature deterioration of a coating resulting from problems of workmanship, substrate conditions, formulation of material, coating specifications, exposure conditions, etc., or a combination of factors. (2) The condition of a paint film at the end of its useful life. Paint failure manifests itself in a wide range of characteristics.

PAINTING/DECORATING CONTRACTOR- The individual or company responsible for the application of paints, coatings, wallcoverings, or other decorating products.

PAINT MITT - A fabric-covered mitt worn on the hand and used to apply paint by rubbing it onto surfaces such as spindles or pipes that cannot be coated efficiently by other means.

PAINT REMOVER - A chemical compound that softens old paint or varnish so it can be removed with a scraper. Also called chemical stripping.

PAINT ROLLER - A paint application tool with a fabric-covered tube, or roller cover, that fits over a handled frame, which is designed to roll paint onto a surface. Paint rollers are most productive on large, flat surfaces. (Special rollers are used for trim, corners, edges, and piping. Types of rollers include: 1.) DIP ROLLER, which is loaded with paint by dipping it into a paint tray or pail; 2.) FOUNTAIN ROLLER, which has a hollow core that is filled with paint and pores in the core to allow paint to saturate the roller cover; and 3.) PRESSURE-FED ROLLER, which has a pressure-fed supply hose to the center of the roller and pores in the core to allow paint to saturate the cover.

PAINT TRAY - A tray with a well for holding paint and a rough-textured ramp for working paint into a roller cover and removing excess loading.

PALM SANDER - A small power sander with a handle that fits comfortably in the palm of the hand.

PARAPET CLAMP - A device designed to fit over and clamp onto a parapet along the perimeter of a roof or structure for rigging a scaffold.

PASS (SPRAY) - One horizontal or vertical pass with a spray gun.

PASTE - WaRcovering adhesive. PASTEL - A light tint color.

PASTE MACHINE - A machine used to apply adhesive or prepaste activator to wallcoverings. Paste machines come in various sizes and types, including table and floor models.

PATTERN MATCH - The meeting of all parts and colors of a pattern at the seams of adjacent strips of wallcovering. [ASTM F 1141] Wallcovering strips generally match in one of three ways: 1.) RANDOM MATCH -The design matches anywhere along the length of the strips. 2.) STRAIGHT-ACROSS MATCH - The design elements of the pattern match horizontally from strip to strip. 3.) DROP MATCH - The design elements match diagonally rather than horizontally. A drop match may be either a half drop or a multiple drop. With a half drop match, every other strip is the same. With a multiple drop match, the design repeats every three, four, or more strips.

PATTERN NUMBER - A number that indicates the design and color of a roll of wallcovering. The pattern numbers should match for all rolls used for a job. See also DYE LOT.

PEELABLE WALLCOVERING - A wallcovering from which the decorative surface may be dry-peeled from the substrate, leaving a continuous layer of the substrate on the wall. See also STRIPPABLE WALLCOVERING.

PEELING - Detachment of particles of a paint, varnish, or lacquer film from a surface. Possible causes include dampness, grease, an improperly prepared surface, or excess moisture behind the surface.

PERMISSIBLE EXPOSURE LIMIT (PEL) - The limit of exposure to a toxic material or harmful substance that a worker is permitted under OSHA regulations. PELs are expressed as parts per million (ppm) or micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) and typically are based on time-weighted average concentrations for a normal 8-hour workday and a 40-hour work week. See also THRESHOLD LIMIT VALUE. pH - A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid or solid material. A pH reading of 7 is neutral; less than 7 is acidic; greater than 7 is alkaline. The further the pH reading is from 7, the more acidic or alkaline the solution or material is.

PHENOLIC ALKYD RESIN - Alkyd resin system modified with a phenolic resin. Phenolic modifications can perform satisfactorily in water immersion, a service in which unmodified alkyd resins are unsuitable.

PHENOLIC RESIN - Synthetic resin made by condensing phenol or a similar compound with formaldehyde.

PHOSPHATING - Pretreatment of steel or certain other metal surfaces by chemical solutions containing metal phosphates and phosphoric acid as the main ingredients to form a thin, inert, adherent, corrosion-inhibiting phosphate layer that serves as a good base for subsequent paint coats.

PHOSPHORIC ACID - A weak acid sometimes used to remove light rust from steel and to pacify the steel surface.

PICKLING - Treatment for the removal of rust and mill scale from steel by immersion in an acid solution containing an inhibitor. Pickling should be followed by thorough washing and drying before painting. This process is further defined in Steel Structures Painting Council Surface Preparation Specification No. 8, "Pickling" (SSPC-SP 8).

PIGMENT - Finely ground, natural or synthetic, inorganic or organic, insoluble dispersed particles (powder) which, when dispersed in a liquid vehicle to make paint, may provide, in addition to color, many of the essential properties of a paint - opacity, hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance. The term is used to include extenders as well as white or colored pigments. See also BARRIER PIGMENT, COLOR PIGMENT, EXTENDER PIGMENT, HIDING PIGMENT, INHIBITIVE PIGMENT, SACRIFICIAL PIGMENT.

PIGMENT VOLUME CONCENTRATION (PVC) -Ratio of the volume of pigment to the volume of total nonvolatile matter (i.e., pigment and binder) present in a coating. The figure is usually expressed as a percentage.

PINHOLE - A small, pore-like hole in a coating film, caused by solvent or moisture release or a porous substrate.

PINPOINT RUSTING - Tiny, dispersed points of rust that can appear at pinholes and holidays in a coating.

PIT - A small hole in the surface of a metal or other material that is deeper than its diameter.

PITTING - Formation of pits in a metal surface, usually as a result of corrosion.

PLASMA SPRAYING - A spray application process in which metallic or thermoplastic powders are melted in the plasma arc cavity that contains the gas stream of the plasma gun and sprayed onto the surface being coated. See also FLAME SPRAYING.

PLASTER OF PARIS - A quick-setting paste, sometimes used as a patching material, made by mixing gypsum powder with water.

PLASTIC-COATED WALLCOVERING - Wallcovering with a coating of transparent plastic to withstand washing and resist stains.

PLASTICIZER - An additive designed to soften and promote flexibility in a coating film.

PLURAL COMPONENT SPRAYING - A paint application method that proportions and mixes two or more components of a paint material in the process of delivering them to a spray gun. Plural component spraying is used for coatings with a pot life that is too short to mix and apply by conventional and airless spray equipment.

POLYESTER RESIN - Synthetic resin made from polyhydric alcohols and polybasic acids, usually dispersed in a suitable monomer. Alkyd resin is a specific type of polyester resin.

POLYMER - A substance, the molecules of which consist of one or more structural units (monomers) repeated any number of times; vinyl resins are examples of true polymers.

POLYMERIZATION - Chemical reaction in which two or more small molecules (monomers) combine to form large molecules (polymers, macromolecules) that contain repeating structural units of the original molecules. For example, this effect takes place by oxidation when paints or varnishes dry to form a film.

POLYURETHANE - A film-forming substance produced when an isocyanate reacts with other substances to produce an organic compound known as a urethane. It shows good chemical, solvent, and abrasion resistance. Polyurethane coatings can be obtained as air-drying, moisture-cured, or catalyzed types. See also URETHANE COATING.

POPPING - Development of craters or pinholes in a coating of paint or varnish while it is curing.

POROSITY - The absorption, of a paint by the surface being coated. The ability of a surface to absorb a liquid, vapor, or gas.

POST-CURING - An after-application treatment (liquid curing solution, heat, radiation, etc.) that enhances a coating's level of cure or properties. See also SELF-CURING.

POT LIFE - The useful life of a coating material after its container is opened, or after catalysts, activators, hardeners, or other ingredients are added to initiate the curing reaction.

POWER FILE - A power tool with a straight or curved file used to remove burrs or to smooth metal, wood, plastic, or fiberglass surfaces.

POWER TOOL - A hand-held tool powered by air pressure or electricity. Power tools can be grouped into three categories: 1.) IMPACT TOOLS, which clean by striking a surface; 2.) ROTARY TOOLS, which use rotating abrasives to clean a surface; or 3.) ROTARY IMPACT TOOLS, which clean a surface by both rotary and impact action. Commonly used power tools include power chippers, needle guns, descalers, wire brushes, sanding discs, and grinding wheels.

POWER TOOL CLEANING - The use of hand-held power tools to clean and prepare a surface for coating. Steel Structures Painting Council has two surface preparation specifications for power tool cleaning of metal surfaces. 1.) SSPC-SP 3, "Power Tool Cleaning," specifies the removal of all loose paint, loose rust, and loose mill scale, etc., but not adherent paint, rust, or mill scale, which are defined as those that cannot be removed by lifting with a dull putty knife. 2.) SSPCSP 11, "Power Tool Cleaning to Bare Metal," specifies the removal of all visible oil, grease, dirt, dust, mill scale, rust, paint, oxide, corrosion products, and other foreign matter, and, when painting is required, a surface profile of not less than 1 mil.

POWER WASHING - The use of pressurized water (typically less than 5,000 psi) with or without detergents or chemical additives to clean a surface of contamination and debris. See also WATER BLAST CLEANING.

POWER WIRE BRUSH - A power tool with a brush made of knotted or crimped wire bristles in the form of a wheel or a cup used to clean steel, concrete, or masonry.

PRESERVATIVE - Additive used to prevent growth of microorganisms in a container or on an applied film of coating material.

PRE-TRIMMED WALLCOVERING - Wallcovering from which selvage has been trimmed at the factory.

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE PAINTING - Periodic application of a coating to an entire surface or to selected areas to maintain appearance or protection.

PRIMARY COLORS - The three pigments, red, yellow, and blue, which cannot be produced by any mixture of other pigments. Mixing equal parts of two primary colors forms the secondary colors. See also SECONDARY COLORS.

PRIIVIER - (1) The first coat in a painting operation. It is designed to promote adhesion of subsequent coats. (2) A coating applied to a surface to improve the grip of wallcovering adhesive.

PROFILE - Contour or roughness of a surface. For wood and metal, surface profile is simply the texture of the cleaned surface. For metal, it is the roughened surface that results from abrasive blasting, power tool cleaning, etc.

PROFILE COMPARATOR - An instrument used to determine the profile of a blast-cleaned surface by visual or tactile comparison of the surface with a series of reference surfaces having known profile depths.

PROFILE DEPTH - A measure of the roughness or profile of a surface based on the distance between its peaks and valleys.

PSI - Pounds per square inch; a measure of compressed air pressure. One psi equals 6.895 kilopascals (kPa).

PSYCHROMETER - An instrument that measures wet and dry bulb temperatures of air. With the aid of psychrometric tables, these measurements can be used to determine dew point and relative humidity.

PUTTY - A dough-like material consisting of pigment and vehicle, used for sealing glass in window frames and for filling imperfections in wood or metal surfaces. See also GLAZING COMPOUND.

PUTTY KNIFE - A hand tool with a blade 1 to 2 inches wide used to apply putty or patching materials. Back to top


QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA)- Verification of the conformance of materials and methods of application to the governing specification in order to achieve a desired result.

QUALITY CONTROL (QC) - Administrative and engineering procedures employed to attain the desired level of quality assurance. Back to top


RAILROADING - The application of wallcovering strips in a horizontal plane.

RANDOM MATCH - In wallcovering, a match of the design anywhere along the length of the strips.

REACTIVE DILUENT - A viscosity reducer for coatings which has low volatility and will become a permanent part of the coating through chemical reaction, usually under ambient conditions. It is used in high solids coatings to reduce the loss of organic solvents into the atmosphere.

RECOAT TIME- Time interval required between applications of successive coats.

REDUCE- To add a solvent or thinner to a coating, varnish, resin, latex, or emulsion for the purpose of lowering its viscosity and/or nonvolatile content.

REFLECTANCE - The ability of a coating film to reflect or return the light that falls upon its surface.


REPEAT - The distance from the center of one motif or pattern of a wallcovering to the center of the next.

REPLICA TAPE - A specially constructed tape used to measure surface profile. The tape is pressed against the surface, after which the impression created by the profile in the tape is measured with a micrometer.

RESIN - (1) General term applied to a wide variety of more or less transparent and fusible products, which may be natural or synthetic. They may vary widely in color. Higher molecular weight synthetic resins are more generally referred to as polymers. (2) In a broad sense, the term is used to designate any polymer that is a basic material for coatings and plastics. See also NATURAL RESIN, SYNTHETIC RESIN.

RESPIRATOR - A mask covering the user's breathing zone to either supply breathable air or filter impurities from the ambient air.

RESPIRATOR FIT TEST - Test to assure that a respirator properly fits a user. A qualitative fit test is a go/no go test that determines whether or not the respirator wearer has established a good face-to-face-piece seal. A quantitative fit test measures the effectiveness of the respirator fit against a challenge agent. Both tests can be used for half-mask or full-face respirators.

RETARDER - A component added to a composition to slow down a chemical or physical change.

RETREATING COLOR - A color, such as blue or green, that sometimes gives the appearance of retreating from the viewer. See also ADVANCING COLOR.

RIDGING - A slight bead or protrusion that forms along a finished drywall joint. One cause is additional joint compound being applied before the preceding coat has dried.

RIGGING - (1) The process of selecting and setting up supports, cables and ropes, and scaffolding systems to provide safe access to elevated work areas. (2) The cables, ropes, and related equipment used with scaffolding.



ROLLING SCAFFOLD - A tubular welded frame scaffold equipped with casters on the bottom of the frame legs or posts that enable it to be rolled.

ROOF COATING - An asphalt material designed for application to roofs.

ROPE - A cord made from natural fibers (e.g., manila hemp), synthetic fibers (e.g., nylon), or steel strands (wire rope or cable). Rope comes in various diameters and strengths. In the painting industry, it is used primanly for rigging and scaffolding.

ROPE GRAB - A metal device that attaches to one end of a lanyard and fits onto a lifeline. It is made to grip the lifeline and lock when pulled downward so that it will prevent a worker who falls from an elevated work site from sliding down the lifeline. See also DESCENT CONTROL.

ROPEY - Detrimental quality of paint that does not flow on evenly and dries with slight ridges.

ROSIN - A natural resin obtained from pine trees.

ROTARY PEENER - A rotary impact power tool used to remove heavy coatings and contaminants from steel and concrete. The tool has round carbide cleats attached to the ends of flexible flaps mounted in a rotating hub. Other types of abrasive hubs for rotary impact power tools are cutter bundles or "stars" and rotary hammers.

ROTTENSTONE - A brown siliceous stone used as an abrasive; similar in nature to pumice stone, though softer in texture.

RUBBING VARNISH - A hard-drying varnish which may be rubbed with an abrasive and water or oil to a uniform smooth surface.

RUN - Narrow downward movement of a paint film, resulting in an irregular surface.

RUN NUMBER - A production number for wallcovering, also called a printing number or dye lot number, that indicates whether different rolls were printed at the same time.

RUST - Reddish material, primarily hydrated iron oxide, formed on iron or its alloys resulting from exposure to humid atmosphere or chemical attack.

RUST GRADE - The initial condition of unpainted steel before surface preparation. SSPC-Vis 1, a visual standard for the surface preparation of steel, outlines four rust grades: 1.) RUST GRADE A - The surface is completely covered with adherent mill scale; little or no rust is visible. 2.) RUST GRADE B - The surface is covered with both mill scale and rust. 3.) RUST GRADE C - The surface is completely covered with rust; little or no pitting is visible. 4.) RUST GRADE D - The surface is completely covered with rust; pitting is visible. Back to top


SACRIFICIAL PIGMENT - A pigment that is consumed by corrosion while it protects an underlying steel surface. Zinc dust is the only sacrificial pigment used in paint.

SAFETY NET - A protective net suspended under a person working at a height. Safety nets used for fall protection must be installed as close as practical beneath the work area, but no more than 30 feet.

SAND BLAST CLEANING - Blast cleaning a surface,, with sand, flint, or other crystalline silica abrasive:; See also ABRASIVE BLAST CLEANING.

SAND DOWN - Remove gloss of an old finish prior to repainting.

SANDING - Using sandpaper by hand or with a power sander to either smooth a rough surface to achieve a better finish, or to roughen a smooth surface to improve adhesion of a coating.

SANDPAPER - A strong paper coated with flint, emery, garnet, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, or other abrasive material and used for sanding a surface by hand or machine.

SATIN FINISH - A dried paint film with a luster resembling satin. It generally ranks between eggshell, which measures 20 to 35 on a 60-degree gloss meter, and semigloss, which measures 35 to 70 on a 60-degree gloss meter.

SCAFFOLD - A temporary built-up framework or suspended platform or work area designed to support workers, materials, and equipment at elevated or otherwise inaccessible job sites. See also BUILT-UP SCAFFOLD, LADDER JACK SCAFFOLD, ROLLING SCAFFOLD, SUSPENDED SCAFFOLD, SWING SCAFFOLD.

SCALING - A type of paint failure that is the last stage of( cracking. Moisture entering cracks in the paint film destroys its adhesiveness and causes flaking or scaling.

SCARIFYING - A method of preparing concrete or other surfaces for coating by use of a scarifier, which has sharp, rotating knives in a self-contained unit.


SCISSORS LIFT - An elevating device that raises a work enclosure vertically by means of crisscrossed supports similar to those on a scissors car jack.

SCRAPER - A hand tool used to scrape peeling, flaking, or blistering paint, rust, and other debris from surfaces before painting. Scrapers come in many types, shapes, and sizes that are designed for general use or for specific applications.

SCRUB RESISTANCE - The resistance of a coating or wallcovering to wear from repeated scrubbing with a brush, sponge, or cloth and a detergent solution.

SCUFFED JOINT - Raised nap on the face paper of drywall panels as a result of excessive sanding at the edges of a finished joint. Scuff marks should be treated with joint compound.

SEALER - (1) A liquid composition to prevent excessive, absorption of finish coats into porous surfaces. (2) A( composition to prevent bleeding. (3) In wallcovering, a coating applied to porous surface to prevent it from absorbing moist from the wallcovering adhesive. See also SIZE.

SEAM ROLLER - A narrow roller used for pressing down wallcovering seams.

SECONDARY COLORS - The colors produced by mixing equal amounts of two primary colors. The secondary colors are orange (formed by red and yellow), green (yellow and blue), and purple (red and blue). See also PRIMARY COLORS.

SELF-CURING - A coating that cures without any special after-application treatment. See also POST-CURING.

SELF-PRIMING - Use of the same coating for primer and for subsequent coats. It may be thinned differently for the various coats.

SELVAGE - Unprinted edge of a roll of wallcovering intended to protect the design and carry instructions for matching, etc. If not trimmed by the manufacturer, the selvage must be trimmed by hand before the wall-covering is hung.

SEMIGLOSS - A gloss range between high gloss and eggshell, approximately 35 to 70 on the 60-degree gloss scale. See also GLOSS.

SETTLING - Accumulation of pigments and fillers at the bottom of a coating container. 3ET-TO-TOUCH TIME - The time required for a wet coating to dry enough that it can be touched without sticking to a finger.

SHADE - A color to which black has been added; the opposite of tint. Gold is a shade of yellow.

SHADING - Variation in the color, texture, or gloss within the same strip of a wallcovering.

SHADOWING - A coating of paint showing through a subsequent coating.

SHEEN - The degree of luster of a dried, fully cured paint film.

SHELF LIFE - The amount of time a coating or other material remains in usable condition.

SHELLAC - A lacquer made from lac, a natural resin. It is used as a sealer to prevent coatings from being absorbed into a substrate or to prevent stains from bleeding through a topcoat. It also is used as a wood finish.

SHORT OIL - Low ratio of oil to resin in a medium. (1) SHORT OIL ALKYD - An alkyd resin containing less than 40 percent oil in solids. (2) SHORT OIL VARNISH - A varnish containing little oil in comparison with the amount of resin present, less than -15 gallons of oil per 100 pounds of resin. See also MEDIUM OIL, LONG OIL, OIL LENGTH.

SILICONE ALKYD RESIN - Alkyd resin modified with silicone, which can improve durability, gloss retention, and heat resistance of the alkyd resin.

SILICONE RESIN - Group of resins containing a substantial amount of silicon, distinguished by their outstanding heat resistance, high water repellency, and chemical resistance.

SINGLE-PACKAGE COATING - A crosslinking coating that can be stored in a single container, as opposed to a multipackage coating.

SINGLE ROLL - The standard unit of measure for wall-covering. Wallcovering usually is packaged in double-or triple-roll lengths called bolts, but prices usually are quoted by the single-roll equivalent.

SIZE - (1) A liquid composition to prevent excessive absorption of all paints into plaster, old wall paint, and similar porous surfaces. (2) A thin solution of glue, starch, or other water-soluble adhesive used to plug the pores of plaster, drywall, and other surfaces to prevent them from absorbing wallcovering adhesive. See also SEALER.

SKIM COATING - Technique of applying a thin coat of finishing compound over the entire surface of gypsum wallboard panel. This knocks down the nap of the paper and provides even sheen and absorption, sometimes called for under high sheen enamel paint systems.

SKIN - (1) A tough layer that forms on the surface of paint or varnish in the container as a result of exposure to air. (2) An ungrounded, non-washable type of wallpaper.

SKIP - A spot on a surface that was missed in the coating application process or that did not receive the proper film thickness.

SNIPPY - A term for paint too heavy-bodied for uniform application, which causes the brush to skip on the surface, leaving some spots insufficiently coated and others with too heavy a coating.

SLOW DRYING - A coating that dries slowly, generally requiring 24 hours or more.

SLOW SOLVENT - Solvent that evaporates slowly under application conditions.

SOIL - Disfiguring foreign materials such as dirt, soot, or stain, other than microorganisms, deposited on or embedded in a dried film of applied coating material; also called dirt.

SOLIDS - Nonvolatile matter in a coating composition, i.e., the ingredients of a coating composition which, after drying, are left behind and constitute the dry film.

SOLIDS BY VOLUME - The volume of the nonvolatile portion of a composition divided by the total volume, expressed as a percent.

SOLIDS BY WEIGHT - The weight of the nonvolatile portion of a composition divided by the total weight, expressed as a percent.

SOLUBILITY - Degree to which a substance may be dissolved.

SOLVENT - (1) Liquid, usually volatile, which is used in the manufacture of paint to dissolve or disperse the film-forming constituents, and which evaporates during drying and, therefore, does not become part of the dried film. Solvents are used to control the consistency and character of the finish and to regulate application properties. (2) Solvents also are used to dissolve and remove oil, dirt, grease, soil, and waxes from metal surfaces.

SOLVENT-BORNE COATING - Coating which contains only organic solvents. If water is present, it is only in trace quantities.

SOLVENT CLEANING - The use of organic solvents, detergents, alkaline cleaners, and steam cleaning to remove oil, grease, dirt, soil, and other soluble contaminants from a surface. Steel Structures Painting Council Surface Preparation Specification No. 1, "Solvent Cleaning" (SSPC-SP 1), is a consensus standard covering the procedures for solvent cleaning of steel surfaces.

SOLVENT CUT-BACK - An asphalt or coal tar bitumen that is dissolved in a suitable aliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbon solvent to lower its viscosity for application at ambient temperatures.

SOLVENT ENTRAPMENT - The failure of solvent to evaporate from a paint film due to poor drying conditions or recoating too soon. It may cause blisters or pinholes, sometimes called solvent pop.

SOLVENTLESS COATING - A paint formulation with no materials that, evaporate during application and curing; a coating with 100 percent solids.

SOLVENT RELEASE - The ability of a resin to influence the rate at which solvent evaporates from a coating.

SPACKLING COMPOUND - Patching material used to fill cracks, nail holes, dents, and other irregularities in order to provide a smooth surface for painting or wallcovering. It dries hard, forms a permanent bond, and generally is non-shrinking.

SPALLING - The chipping or fragmenting of a surface or surface coating caused, for example, by differential thermal expansion or contraction.

SPAR VARNISH - A very durable varnish designed for severe service on exterior surfaces. It must be resistant to rain, sunlight, and heat. The name comes from its original use on the spars of ships.

SPECIFICATION - A detailed, written explanation of material and workmanship quality standards to be used in the execution of all or a portion of the work.

SPONGE - A natural or synthetic porous material used for cleaning surfaces with water and detergent.

SPOT PRIMING - A method for protecting localized spots of a surface. The only areas primed are those that require additional protection due to rusting or peeling of the former coat, or newly patched plaster.

SPRAY GUN - A tool designed for spray application of paint or coating material.

SPRAY HEAD - The fluid needle, fluid tip, and air cap of a conventional spray gun.

SPRAYING - An application method in which coating material is sprayed onto a surface after being atomized, usually by a compressed air jet (conventional air spray) or by direct pressure flow through a small orifice nozzle (airless spray). See also AIRLESS SPRAYING, AIR-ASSISTED AIRLESS SPRAYING, CONVENTIONAL AIR SPRAYING, ELECTROSTATIC SPRAYING, PLURAL COMPONENT SPRAYING, THERMAL SPRAYING.

SPRAY NOZZLE - The fluid orifice of an airless spray gun.

SPRAY PATTERN - The shape of the area covered by the paint spray from a spray gun.

SPRAY POT - (1) A pressurized tank that supplies paint to a spray gun. It may be equipped with an air-driven agitator to prevent settling of the pigment. (2) A small paint reservoir, sometimes called a cup, attached to light-duty, suction-fed spray gun.

SPREADING RATE - The area of surface covered per coat of paint at a specified dry film thickness per unit volume of coating material (square feet per gallon or square meters per liter).

STAIN - (1) A transparent or semitransparent coating that colors a substrate, usually wood, without obscuring the grain or other texture. Opaque stains do not penetrate into a substrate like true stains, but instead leave a thin colored coating on the surface. (2) An undesirable discoloration.

STAIN RESISTANCE - The ability of a coating or wall-covering to resist staining from a material capable of discoloring it.

STANDARD - An established practice or reference used as a basis for comparing or measuring quality, quantity; performance, etc., determined by general or consensus agreement.

STAND-OFF DISTANCE - The distance from a blasting nozzle to the surface being cleaned. Stand-off distance determines both the cleaning power and the size of the blast pattern. The closer the nozzle, the smaller the blast pattern and the stronger the abrading action.

STEAM CLEANING - Cleaning a surface with low pressure live steam.

STEEL WOOL - Fine strands of steel used for cleaning and abrading surfaces.

STENCILING - A method of applying a design to a wall or other surface by brushing ink or paint through a cut-out pattern or template.

STIPPLING - A decorative finish made by using a stippling brush or roller stippler to apply paint in a random pattern to a surface with a base coat of a different color.

STRAIGHT-ACROSS MATCH - A match of the design elements of a wallcovering pattern horizontally from strip to strip.

STRAIGHTEDGE - A ruler or strip used to keep a straight edge when trimming wallcovering.

STRAINING - The process of removing any large particles from mixed paint by pouring it through a wire screen, cheese cloth, or other straining device.

STRETCH - The width of a section of wall that is painted before moving a ladder or scaffold.

STRIKE-THROUGH - A separation of a coating from the previous coating or substrate resembling a knife cut through the finish. Also known as cut-through.

STRIP - A length of wallcovering cut to fit the height of a wall; in scenics or murals, a single section of the design.

STRIPING - Painting the edges of a surface before priming or before applying a full coat to give them extra protection.

STRIPPABLE PAINT - A coating with minimal adhesion for easy removal from a surface, such as when used for temporary corrosion protection.

STRIPPABLE WALLCOVERING - A wallcovering that can be dry-stripped without damaging the wall or leaving excess residue. See PEELABLE WALLCOVERING.

STRIPPING - Removing an old finish with heat or chemicals. See also CHEMICAL STRIPPING, HEAT STRIPPING, PAINT REMOVER.

STUD - Wood or metal vertical framing member to which drywall or wallboard panels are attached.

SUBSTRATE - Any surface to which paint, coating, or wallcovering is applied.

SUCTION - A force that draws coating material into the pores of a surface.

SURFACE - (1) The substrate to which paints, coatings, or wallcoverings are applied. (2) The finish obtained after the coating work has been completed.

SURFACE DRYING - The drying of the surface of a coating film before the rest of the film. The result may be that the under portion dries slowly, solvent is trapped within the coating, or the coating remains soft for an extended period of time.

SURFACE PREPARATION - Any treatment of a surface to prepare it for coating, such as washing with water, detergent solution, or solvent; filling, puttying, spackling, or repairing; cleaning with hand or power tools; water washing or jetting with or without abrasive; or abrasive blast cleaning.


SURFACER - A coating applied over a primer to provide a uniform surface thick enough to permit some sanding before application of a topcoat. Also known as primer surfacer.

SURFACTANT - Surface active agent used to break down surface tension of liquids to make them more miscible, such as in oil and water emulsions. A component of universal colorants.

SUSPENDED SCAFFOLD - A scaffold suspended from bridges or other steel structures using rigging devices attached to the flanges of I-beams with various sizes of clamps or rollers.

SWEEP BLAST CLEANING - A fast pass of the abrasive blasting pattern over a surface to remove loose material and to roughen the surface sufficiently to successfully accept a coat of paint. This method sometimes is specified as SSPC-SP 7, "Brush-Off Blast Cleaning."

SWING SCAFFOLD - A scaffold with a platform or stage that is suspended from a structure by two ropes or cables and that can be raised or lowered as needed either manually or with a hoist powered by electricity or compressed air.

SYNTHETIC RESIN - Originally, a member of a group of synthetic substances that resemble and share some of the properties of natural resins, but now used for materials that bear little resemblance to natural resins. The term generally is understood to mean a member of the heterogeneous group of compounds produced from simpler compounds by condensation and/or polymerization. See also NATURAL RESIN. Back to top


TACK- The degree of stickiness of a paint or varnish film during the drying period.

TACK CLOTH- A clean, soft, lint-free cloth treated with diluted varnish to make it tacky or sticky. It is used to wipe a surface to remove small particles of dust.

TACK-FREE - Absence of tack or stickiness in an applied coating.

TAPERED JOINT - A joint where tapered edges of dry-wall panels meet.

TEAR RESISTANCE - For wallcoverings, the ability to resist additional tearing once a tear begins. See also BREAKING STRENGTH.

TENSILE STRENGTH - Resistance to elongation; the greatest longitudinal stress a substance can bear without rupturing or remaining permanently elongated.

TEXTURE - (1) Roughness or tactile pattern worked into Wet texture coating before it dries. (2) The feel of wallcovering material that is embossed or flocked.

TEXTURE COATING - Thick, highly pigmented material usually applied by roller, but sometimes by spray, and worked with a brush, trowel, roller, or other appropriate tool to provide various textured patterns and effects.

THERMAL SPRAYING - A process for applying metallic wire, metallic powder, and thermoplastic powder. The material is melted and sprayed onto a surface to produce a uniform coating. Gas wire guns and electric arc guns are used for spraying metallic wire; plasma guns are used for spraying metallic and thermoplastic powders. See also FLAME SPRAYING, METALIZING, PLASMA SPRAYING.

THERMOPLASTIC - A material that becomes soft when heated and hard when cooled. While the material is soft, it can be reformed or molded.

THERMOPLASTIC COATING - A coating that forms a film by solvent evaporation is called a thermoplastic coating because it can be softened and reformed by heating.

THERMOSET - A material that permanently sets when subjected to heat or chemical reaction and cannot be softened and reformed by reheating.

THERMOSET COATING - A coating that forms a film by a chemically crosslinking reaction (oxidation, polymerization) is called a thermoset coating because it is not softened or deformed by heating.

THICKENER - An additive that increases the viscosity of a coating.

THINNER - A volatile liquid used to improve the application properties of a coating, normally by reducing viscosity. A thinner may be a single solvent or a combination of solvent types. Often, specific thinners are required by the manufacturer of a coating to prevent damage to coating properties that may occur when an inappropriate thinner is used. See also SOLVENT, DILUENT.

THIXOTROPE - An additive that makes paint thixotropic.

THIXOTROPIC - The property of certain coatings that become liquid when stirred or agitated and thicken or coagulate again when left undisturbed.

THIXOTROPIC PAINT - Paint which, while free-flowing and easy to manipulate under a brush, sets to a gel within a short time when it is allowed to remain at rest. A thixotropic paint is less likely to drip from a brush than other types and can be applied in thicker films without running or sagging.

THRESHOLD LThIIT VALUE (TLV) - The air concentrations of chemical substances to which it is believed that workers may. be exposed daily without adverse effect. See also PERMISSIBLE EXPOSURE LIMIT.

TIE COAT - A paint formulated specifically to provide a transition from a primer or undercoat to a finish coat. Tie coats are used to seal the surface of a zinc-rich primer, to bond generically different types of coatings, or to improve the adhesion of a succeeding coating.

TINT - A color to which white has been added; the opposite of shade. Pink is a tint of red.

TINTING - Adjusting the color of paint to a wide range of tints, shades, or tones.

TINTING STRENGTH - The coloring power of a standard paint or pigment.

TONAL VALUE - Relative strength of a color in reference to black and white. Color of light tonal value contains much white; color of dark tonal value contains much black.

TONE - The result of adding both black and white to a~ color.

TOOTH - (1) The profile of a substrate, created to promote coating adhesion. The roughness inherent in the surface or created mechanically or by etching. (2) Characteristic of a paint that provides good anchorage or adhesion for succeeding coats.

TOPCOAT - The finish coat of a coating system, formulated for appearance and/or environmental resistance.

TOUCH-UP PAINTING - The correction of deficiencies in the specified work to achieve a properly painted surface, which is one that is uniform in appearance, color, and sheen; free of foreign material, lumps, skins, runs, sags, holidays, misses, strike-through, or insufficient coverage; and free of drips, spatters, spills, or overspray.

TOXIC - Poisonous.

TRIMMER - Machine or device that removes selvage from wallcovering.

TR.IfJODIUM EHOSPHATE (TSP) - A strong alkaline chemical cleaner. Because of changes in environmental rules, it no longer is permitted to be used in some areas.

TURPENTINE - A solvent obtained by distilling oleo-'. resinous secretions from pine trees. It is seldom used for paint formulation, but still is sold and used as a thinner for oil paints and varnishes.



ULTRA DEEP BASE- Paint base used to develop deep intense colors with no apparent white.

ULTRAVIOLET(UV) - A band of electromagnetic radiation, part of which is especially destructive to paint films.

UNDERCOAT- Any coat applied after the primer and prior to the finish coat; an intermediate coat. An undercoat may be used on wood trim and some metals where exceptional smoothness is desired.

UNDERCUTTING - The gradual penetration and spread of corrosion beneath a coating from a break or pinhole in the film or from unprotected edges.

UNIVERSAL COLORANT - Tinting colors formulated to be compatible with a wide variety of solvent-thinned and water-thinned paints.

UPPER EXPLOSIVE LIMIT (UEL) - The concentration at ordinary ambient temperatures of a compound in air above which an explosion will not occur if the mixture is ignited. The concentration is expressed as a percent of the gas vapor in air by volume. When the concentration is below the upper explosive limit and above the lower explosive limit (LEL), the mixture will burn and explode. See also LOWER EXPLOSIVE LIMIT.

URETHANE ALKYD (URALKYD) RESIN - Alkyd resin system modified with isocyanate. This modification can decrease drying time and enhance resistance to chemicals, moisture, weathering, and abrasion of the alkyd resins.

URETHANE COATING - A coating whose vehicle contains a polyisocyanate monomer reacted with various other materials. Urethane coatings can be obtained as air-drying, moisture-cured, or catalyzed types. Back to top


VACUUM BLASTING- An air abrasive blast cleaning system equipped with an enclosure around the abrasive stream and a vacuum to remove spent abrasive and debris as the blasting is being done. See also CLOSED ABRASIVE BLAST CLEANING.

VACUUM-SHROUDED POWER TOOL- Power tool equipped with a vacuum shroud to capture dust, debris, and other materials while they are being generated and prevent them from escaping into the environment.

VALUE- The lightness or darkness of a color.

VARNISH- A liquid composition that is converted to a translucent or transparent solid film after application in a thin layer. See also OIL VARNISH, SPAR VARNISH.

VARNISH MAKER'S AND PAINTER'S (VM&P) NAPHTHA - A hydrocarbon solvent mixture composed of aliphatic compounds.

VARNISH STAIN- A varnish containing a stain.

VEGETABLE OIL - Drying oil obtained from the seeds or nuts of vegetables. Examples are linseed, soybean, and tung oil.

VEHICLE - The liquid portion of paint in which the pigment is dispersed. It is composed of binder and solvent.

VINYL FABRIC - A wallcovering made from a vinyl resin, available in a variety of textures and patterns.

VINYL RESIN - A synthetic resin made from vinyl compounds. Vinyl acetate is commonly used in latex paints. Polyvinyl chloride is used in some solvent-thinned coatings where high chemical resistance is needed. There are many other vinyl derivatives that appear in various specialized coatings.

VISCOSITY - The fluid thicknesg of a liquid coating material. A high viscosity coating is thick; a low viscosity coating is thin.


VOLATILE - (1) The easily evaporated components of any coating composition in contrast to the nonvolatile components. [Paint/Coatings Dictionary] (2) Any liquid that evaporates quickly.

VOLATILE CONTENT - Percentage of materials in a coating that evaporate.

VOLATILE QRGANIC COMPOUND (VOC) - Any organic compound which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions except for those designated by the EPA as having negligible photochemical reactivity. Back to top


WALLBOARD- Building material such as plasterboard or plywood used for interior walls.

WALLCOVERING- Any type of paper, vinyl, fabric, or specialty material that is pasted onto a wall or ceiling for decoration and/or protection. Wallcoverings come in a wide array of colors, patterns, textures, and performance characteristics, such as washability and abrasion resistance.

WALLCOVERING ADHESIVE (PASTE)- Adhesive material in powder or premixed form used to apply wallcovering to a substrate. Some wallcoverings are prepasted in the factory, and the adhesive in activated before application.

WALLCOVERING, TEXTILE - Fabrics such as linen, cotton, velour, chintz, silk, and felt, which are used unbacked or paper-backed for wallcovering.

WASHABILITY- Ease with which dirt can be removed from a paint (or wallcovering) surface by washing; also refers to the ability of the coating to withstand washing without removal or substantial damage.

WASH PRIMER- A thin, acid-modified pretreatment generally applied to aluminum or galvanized surfaces to enhance corrosion resistance and adhesion of subsequent coatings. Also called etch primer.


WET ABRASIVE BLAST CLEANING - Adding water to an abrasive blast cleaning operation by injection of water into the abrasive stream or external application of water to the abrasive stream as it exits the blast nozzle. The term also is used to describe injection of abrasive into pressurized water for blasting.

WET EDGE TIME - Length of time that a wall paint can stand and be brushed or rolled back into the next stretch without showing lap marks.

WET EILM THICKNESS (WFT) - Thickness of a liquid film immediately after application; often measured with a wet film thickness gauge and expressed in mils or microns.

WET FILM THICKNESS GAUGE - Tool for measuring wet film thickness.

WET-HIDING - The hiding ability of a wet coating after application and before it dries. See also DRY-HIDING.

WATERBORNE COATING - Latex paint and paint containing a water-soluble binder. See also WATER-DISPERSIBLE COATING.

WATERBORNE STAIN - Solution of dye, water, and alcohol.

WATER-DISPERSIBLE COATING - An organic coating which normally is solvent-borne, but by adjusting the chemistry can be dispersed in water.

WATER JETTING - Using water at high pressure (10,000 to 25,000 psi) or ultra high pressure (greater than 25,000 psi) to clean a surface. Abrasive may be injected into the water jetting stream to increase the cleaning power and to roughen the surface.

WATER-THINNED COATING - A coating that is waterborne and uses water for thinning. The binder may be a material that requires water for setting, that is soluble in water, or that is emulsifiable in water.

WAX - Any of a group of materials used for polishing woodwork after staining or finishing. Waxes generally are soluble in common solvents, and offer protection for a surface against water and impact. Carnauba, candelilla, and beeswax are examples.

WELD SPATTER - Metal beads produced during the


WHIP CHECK - Safety cable that connects air hoses across a coupling to keep the hoses from flying around if the connection separates.

WHITE METAL BLAST CLEANING - Highest grade of blast cleaning. According to Steel Structures Painting Council Surface Preparation Specification No. 5, "White Metal Blast Cleaning" (SSPC-SP 5), a white metal blast cleaned surface is free of all visible oil, grease, dirt, dust, mill scale, rust, paint, oxides, corrosion products, and other foreign matter. White metal blast cleaning also is defined in NACE No. 1, "White Metal Blast Cleaned Surface Finish."

WIRE BRUSH - A hand tool or a power tool attachment made of wire bundles used to clean dirt, loose rust, loose paint or varnish, plaster spatter, and other debris from a surface.

WIRE BRUSH CLEANING - Cleaning a surface with a wire brush that is either a hand tool or a power tool.

WIRE ROPE - Cable made of steel strands wrapped around a core, and often used in rigging and scaffolding.

WIRE SEAM - A wallcovering seam in which the edge of one strip of wallcovering overlaps the next very slightly (about 1/16 inch).

WOOD - Lumber, usually classified as being hardwood or softwood and having open grain or closed grain.

WOOD FTI LER - A material in liquid or paste form used to fill cracks or holes in wood during surface prepara- Lion.

WORK CAGE - A single-point adjustable suspension scaffold unit enclosed with guards, midrails, and toe-boards, and large enough for the operator to work standing up. It allows access to work areas not easily reached by larger scaffolding systems.

WORK MIX - The mixture of various sizes of abrasive material that results from the periodic addition of new abrasive to recycled abrasive during a blast _cleaning operation. Sometimes called operating mix.

WRINKLING - A defect that causes small furrows or ridges in a coating film. Back to top


YELLOWING- Development of a yellow color or cast as a result of aging or chemical attack.


ZINC DUST - Finely divided zinc metal, gray in color. Used mainly in metal primers, especially for galvanized iron.

ZINC-RICH PRIMER - A primer for ferrous metals, incorporating zinc dust at a concentration sufficient to make the dried film electrically conductive, thus providing cathodic protection to the ferrous substrate. See CATHODIC PROTECTION.

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For more information about our company, please contact Mike Cramer (painting since 1986) by phone at (925) 260-6194 or by email. eagleeyepainting@att.net

Painting Tips

Keeping Track of Paint Colors - Some paint colors are so close that it can be difficult to match your previously painted Bay Area area home or business with the paint at the store when you need to repair scratches or touch up the surface. If you keep track of the color in a notebook or on the paint can, there is still a danger that you will lose your note keeping device in the months that it can take before repainting is necessary.

Using Paint Primer - One of the reasons that many Bay Area amateur paint jobs end up looking dull or listless once they are dry is that the painter fails to use a primer before applying the first coat of paint. Primer is actually one of the most important parts of the process. It keeps stains or imperfections from the deeper layers of the wall from showing through your paint, helps your paint to spread evenly to the wall without significant blisters and increases the time between paint jobs.

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We are all about giving you Quality work in a Professional and timely manner. We are licensed, bonded, insured and are accredited with the Better Business Bureau. We do Quality work with a warranty to back it up. We are all about quality work that lasts and outstanding customer service. We give so much more than what any other company can,,, clean quality detailed work done truly in a professional way since 1986. We take a lot of pride in the work we give 🙂