Glossary of Painting Terms

Abatement
Involves either removal of a painted surface, covering a painted surface with an impermeable surface, or covering the surface with a heavy-duty coating (encapsulant).

Acrylic
A synthetic resin used in high-performance water-based coatings. A coating in which the binder contains acrylic resins.

Adhesion
The ability of dry paint to attach to and remain fixed on a surface without blistering, flaking, cracking, or being removed by tape.

Aerosol
A product that uses compressed gas to spray the coating from its container.

Air Cure
One method by which liquid coatings cure to a dry film. Oxygen from the air enters the film and cross-links the resin molecules. Also called "Air Dry " and " Oxidizing.”

Binder
Solid ingredients in a coating that hold the pigment particles in suspension and attach them to the substrate. The nature and amount of binder determines many of the paint’s performance properties: washability, toughness, adhesion, color retention, etc.

Blistering
Formation of dome-shaped projections in paints or varnish films resulting from the loss of adhesion and lifting of the film from the underlying surface.

Body
The thickness or viscosity of a fluid.

Catalyst
Substance whose presence increases the rate of a chemical reaction such as drying time.

Chalking
Formation of a powder on the surface of a paint film caused by disintegration of the binder during weathering. Chalking can be affected by the choice of pigment or binder.

Chroma
A measurement of color. The degree of saturation of a hue. A color at its full intensity has maximum chroma.

Coating
A paint, varnish, lacquer or other finish used to create a protective and/or decorative layer.

Cohesion
A bonding together of a single substance to itself. Internal adhesion.

Colorant
Concentrated color (dyes or pigments) that can be added to paints to make specific colors.

Colorfast
Non-fading in prolonged exposure to light.

Color Retention
The ability of paint to keep its original color. Major threats to color retention are exposure to ultraviolet radiation and abrasion by weather or repeated cleaning.

Corrosion Inhibitive
A type of metal paint or primer that prevents rust by preventing moisture from reaching the metal. Zinc phosphate, metaborate, and strontium chromate (all pigments) are common ingredients in corrosion-inhibitive coatings. These pigments absorb any moisture that enters the paint film.

Cure, Curing: The process whereby a liquid coating becomes a hard film.

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