-M- Painting Terms

Marblezing- The application of a finish process used to make it have the appearance of marble. 

Marine Varnish- Varnish that is specially designed for immersion in water and exposure to the elements, including the marine atmosphere. It is often called spar varnish.

Masking Paper-A paper that is held in position by a strip of masking tape and used to temporarily protect surfaces adjacent to those being painted.

Masking Tape- Easily removable tape used to temporarily cover bands or small areas next to the area to be painted. It is important to remove masking tape promptly, because it is likely to dry out and leave a troublesome residue if left for more than two days or exposed to sunlight and heat.

Masking- Temporary covering of areas not to be painted.

Mastic-A heavy-bodied paste-like coating of high build. Mastic is often applied with a trowel.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) A document that lists hazardous ingredients and safety information related to products used in the workplace.

Metallics- Paints that include metal flakes.

Mildew Resistance- The ability of a coating to resist the growth of molds and mildew. Mildew is particularly prevalent in warm, humid climates.

Mildewcide- An agent that helps prevent mold or mildew growth on paint.

Mil- One one-thousand of an inch.

Mill White- One coat high hiding for interior paint.

Mineral spirits- Petroleum solvent for paint thinning and clean-up.

Mottling- An uneven layer of paint,speckling.

Multicolor Finishes- Paints containing flecks of colors different from the base color.


-L- Painting Terms

Lacquer- A clear or pigmented coating that dries quickly by evaporation of solvent.

Lacquer Thinner-Solvent such as ethyl alcohol, ethyl acetate and toluene that is used for thinning or cleaning up lacquer.

Lap- To lay or place one coat so it extends over and covers the edge of the previous coat.

Latex-A water-thinned paint such as polyvinyl acetate, styrene butadiene or acrylic.

Leveling- Ability of a film to flow out free from ripples, pockmarks and brush marks after application.

Lifting- Raising and lifting of the undercoat as a result of the top coat.

Linseed Oil-A drying oil used in paint, varnish and lacquer.

Lint-free Roller- A fabric roller, designed not to shed.


-K- Painting Terms

Ketones- Organic solvents containing CO grouping: commonly used ketones are Acetone, MEK methyl ethyl ketone and MIBK-methyl isobutyl ketone.


-J- Painting Terms

Japan Drier- Mild mixture of driers, used to increase dry time. 

Joint Cement- Cement used in dry wall construction as a bedding compound for joint tape and as a filler for nail holes.

Joint Tape- Special paper tape or paper-faced cotton tape used over joints between panels of wallboard to conceal the joint and provide a smooth surface for painting.


-I- Painting Terms

Industrial Paint- Paint that would normally be used to paint industrial items such as structural steel, chemical plants, and pulp and paper mills. It usually has greater chemical resistance and a faster drying time than regular house paint.

Inhibitive Pigment- One which retards corrosion process.

Inhibitor- Primer or other material used to retard rusting or corrosion.

Inlay- Decorative ornamentation set into the surface of a particular space.

Inorganic- Containing no carbon.

Intercoat adhesion- The adhesion between two coats of paint.

Interior- The inside surface of a structure.

Intumesce- To form a voluminous char on ignition; foaming or swelling when exposed to a flame.


-H- Painting Terms

Hardener- Curing agent; catalyst.

Hardboard- Reconstituted natural wood that is fabricated by reducing natural wood to fibres and then pressing the fibres together into panels of various thicknesses.

Hiding Power- The ability of a coating to obliterate the surface below it.

Hold-Out- The ability of a paint film to dry to its normal finish on a somewhat absorptive surface.

Holidays- Voids in the dried paint film.

Honeycombing- Lack of vertical film integrity; voids.

Hot Spots- Incompletely cured lime spots that bleed through the coating on a plastered wall.


-G- Painting Terms

Galvanized- Protected from rust by a thin coat of zinc (on iron or steel).

Gilding- The application of metal in any form (gold or metallic leaf, metallic foil, metallic paint, etc.). Used to complement a decorative finish.

Glaze- A term used to described several types of finishing materials.

Glazing- Application of transparent or translucent pigment on a painted surface to produce blended effect.

Gloss Meter- An instrument using a standard scale to measure the amount of light reflected by paint.

Gloss-The ability of the finished surface to reflect light in a mirrorlike manner. The higher the gloss, the more scrubbable and durable the finish. Degrees of gloss include flat, velvet, eggshell, low lustre, semi-gloss and high gloss.

Grain Raising- Swelling and standing up of the wood grain caused by absorbed water or solvents.

Graining-Simulating the grain of wood by means of specially prepared colors or stains and the use of graining tools or special brushing techniques.

Ground Coat-The base coat in an antiquing system. It is applied before the graining colors, glazing or other finish coat


-F- Painting Terms

Fabric Roller- An application tool made from a high nap fabric and designed to apply paint by saturating with paint and rolling across the surface.

Fading- Reduction in brightness of color.

Fanning- (spray gun technique).

Fan Pattern- Geometry of spray pattern.

Faux- Faux is a French word used to describe something made to resemble something else. It also means (fake).

Feather Sanding- Sanding to taper the edge of dried paint film.

Ferrous- Iron containing

Ferrule- The metal band that connects the handle and stock of a paint brush.

Filaments- The part of a synthetic paint brush that holds and applies the paint. In a natural bristle brush, the filaments are often referred to as bristles.

Filler- A composition used for filling fine cracks and pores to make the surface smooth before paint is applied.

Film- A layer or coat of paint or other material applied to the surface. The layer remaining after the paint has dried is often called the dried film.

Fingers- Broken spay pattern; fingerlike

Finish Coat- Topcoat.

Flaking- Small pieces of paint surface coming off. Cracking or blistering usually occurs before flaking.

Flammable- Easily set on fire.

Flash point- The temperature at which a coating or solvent produces vapors that are capable of being ignited when exposed to a spark or flame.

Flat- Practically no gloss even when the surface is viewed from an angle. A flat finish has even less gloss than an eggshell finish. Flat paint is less durable than higher gloss paint.

Flexibility- The ability of a coating to expand and contract during temperature changes.

Flow- The ability of a coating to level out and spread into a smooth film. Paints that have good flow usually level out uniformly with few brush or roller marks.

Flocking- A coating process producing velvet-like surface.

Foam Roller- A tool that is similar to a fabric roller but made from synthetic foam rubber. It is designed for clear, fine finishes.

Fresco- Is any of several related painting types done on plaster, walls or ceilings.

Frieze- A horizontal band of decoration around a room, building, mantle, etc.

Frogging- Misting.

Frottage- A faux painting technique, from the french word meaning “to rub”. A base coat is applied, and then a colored glaze is rolled over the base coat. A variety of materials such as paper or plastic is rubbed over the wet glaze to create different textured looks.

Fungicide- An agent that helps prevent mold or mildew growth on paint.


-E- Painting Terms

Efflorescence–  A deposit of salts that remains on the surface of masonry, brick or plaster when water has evaporated.

Eggshell-  A gloss range between flat and semi-gloss. The sheen closely resembles the lustre of an eggshell. Note that eggshell is a degree of gloss, not a color.

Emulsify- To disperse (as an oil) in an emulsion.

Emulsion Paint- Water base paint with an emulsified resin.

Enamel-  A paint that forms an especially smooth, hard film. Enamels may be obtained in a full range of glosses and can be either latex or alkyd (oil). Consumers, however, often associate the term with alkyd (oil-based) products.

Epoxy- Products made from synthetic resin derived from petroleum. Epoxies, which are generally cured by catalysts, are perhaps the most durable of all coatings.

Erosion- The wearing away of a paint film as a result of exposure to the weather.

Etch- Prepare the surface by chemical means to improve the adhesion of coatings.


-D- Painting Terms

Decorative Painting- The process or art of coating a surface with paint intended to decorate a room or piece of furniture.

Decorative Plaster- A versatile surface coating product, that may be rolled and then troweled on the wall for a variety of faux and decorative painting effects. 

Density- Weight per unit volume.

Dew Point- Temperature at which moisture condenses.

Dispersion-  Suspension of minute particles in a suitable medium.

Distressing- To create an aged look, achieved through a variety of faux procedures.

Drier-  A paint ingredient that aids the drying or hardening of the film.

Drop Cloth-  A sheet of cloth or plastic used to protect surfaces during painting of nearby areas.

Dry Dust Free- The stage of drying when particles of dust that settle on the surface do not stick to the paint film.

Dry Tack Free-  The stage of drying when the paint no longer feels sticky or tacky when touched.

Dry To Handle-  The stage of drying when a paint film has hardened enough that the painted surface may be used without becoming marred.

Dry To Recoat- The stage of drying when the next coat can be applied.

Drying Time- The period from the time a coating is applied until the time when it attains a specified state of tackiness or hardness.

Drywall-  Any substitute for plaster such as wallboard, plasterboard, gyproc or sheetrock.