Glossary

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Hover over the term for the full description.
Crazing
The formation of surface cracks, often as a fine network, which do not penetrate to the underlying s…
The formation of surface cracks, often as a fine network, which do not penetrate to the underlying surface of a paint film. Crazing is sometimes caused by the softening effect of solvents from excessive paint coats as in lacquer repair operations.
Cross-Coat
A method of paint application often used with high solids paint. The technique involves a side-to-si…
A method of paint application often used with high solids paint. The technique involves a side-to-side application followed by  a top-to-bottom application with very little flash time.
Cross-draft Booth
A spray booth in which air movement is horizontal from end to end.
A spray booth in which air movement is horizontal from end to end.
Cure
The process, usually a chemical change, by which paint is converted from the liquid to the solid sta…
The process, usually a chemical change, by which paint is converted from the liquid to the solid state.
Cured Paint
Paints that have completed the curing process. Cured paints include all factory-applied paints and r…
Paints that have completed the curing process. Cured paints include all factory-applied paints and refinish paints that have air dried for more than 30 days. Wax application is recommended only for cured paints. 
Custom Painting
Unique painting, frequently with special effects or designs, normally designed by owner of vehicle o…
Unique painting, frequently with special effects or designs, normally designed by owner of vehicle or individual painting the vehicle. 
Cut
Refers to both the dissolving of solid material in a solvent and the reducing of the viscosity of a …
Refers to both the dissolving of solid material in a solvent and the reducing of the viscosity of a liquid by the addition of a thinner.
Cut-through
The result of sanding or buffing through one layer of paint and into the substrate below. A cut-thro…
The result of sanding or buffing through one layer of paint and into the substrate below. A cut-through is common from clearcoat to basecoat or from primer to metal. 
DA (Dual Action)
Refers to a power tool used for sanding substrates.
Refers to a power tool used for sanding substrates.
DA (Dual Action) Sander
A machine used for random orbital sanding and buffing. The pad of a DA sander travels in a randomize…
A machine used for random orbital sanding and buffing. The pad of a DA sander travels in a randomized orbital pattern, rather than taking a simple circular path. DA sanders minimize the swirl marks that commonly result from rotary sanding. 
Degradation
The gradual or rapid disintegration of a paint film, normally due to weathering.
The gradual or rapid disintegration of a paint film, normally due to weathering.
Degreasing
Cleaning a substrate by removing greases, oils, and other surface contaminants.
Cleaning a substrate by removing greases, oils, and other surface contaminants.
Delamination
The loss of adhesion between two layers of paint, causing material to separate from the painted surf…
The loss of adhesion between two layers of paint, causing material to separate from the painted surface or substrate. 
Density
An expression of the mass of a substance per a given volume. 
An expression of the mass of a substance per a given volume. 
Detailing
Careful, in-depth cleaning and polishing of a vehicle's surface finish and or interior surfaces.…
Careful, in-depth cleaning and polishing of a vehicle's surface finish and or interior surfaces.
Diacetone Alcohol
A slow-evaporating solvent for paint.
A slow-evaporating solvent for paint.
Dieback
A condition in which the topcoat appears to sink into the primer coat causing a loss of gloss. Also,…
A condition in which the topcoat appears to sink into the primer coat causing a loss of gloss. Also, a loss of gloss due to improper solvent selection.
Diluent
A liquid which increases the capacity of a solvent for the binder. Diluents cannot dissolve the bind…
A liquid which increases the capacity of a solvent for the binder. Diluents cannot dissolve the binder themselves. They are usually used to control viscosity or flash time. 
Dipping
To apply paint to an article by immersing the article in a container of the paint and then withdrawi…
To apply paint to an article by immersing the article in a container of the paint and then withdrawing the article and allowing the excess paint to drain from the part. 
Dirt Nibs
Small specks of foreign material in a dried paint film. They can be removed by scuff sanding and pol…
Small specks of foreign material in a dried paint film. They can be removed by scuff sanding and polishing. 
Disk Sander
Power sanding tool used for grinding, sanding, and polishing repaired metal areas.
Power sanding tool used for grinding, sanding, and polishing repaired metal areas.
Dispersion Coatings
A type of paint in which the binder molecules are present as colloidal particles. Characterized by a…
A type of paint in which the binder molecules are present as colloidal particles. Characterized by a higher percent sprayable solids than is possible with solution-bases paints.
Dissolution
Metallic particles from the basecoat surface in the clearcoat. If severe, the effect can alter the t…
Metallic particles from the basecoat surface in the clearcoat. If severe, the effect can alter the tone and exaggerate the metallic appearance. 
Distinctness of Image
A measurement of the accuracy of a reflection in a paint film.
A measurement of the accuracy of a reflection in a paint film.
Downdraft Booth
A spray booth in which the air movement is from the ceiling through the floor.
A spray booth in which the air movement is from the ceiling through the floor.
Drier
A salt of certain metals, which when added to an enamel, paint, varnish, or oil hastens the drying o…
A salt of certain metals, which when added to an enamel, paint, varnish, or oil hastens the drying or hardening of the film through evaporation. 
Dry
The change from a liquid to a solid which takes place after a paint is deposited on a surface. This …
The change from a liquid to a solid which takes place after a paint is deposited on a surface. This involves both the evaporation of the solvents and any chemical changes that occur. 
Dry Coat
A paint having a very low solvent content which produces a gritty film appearance.
A paint having a very low solvent content which produces a gritty film appearance.
Dry Film Thickness
The resultant film thickness of a coating after it has reached its final state of dry or cure.
The resultant film thickness of a coating after it has reached its final state of dry or cure.
Dry Sanding
A method of abrading the surface by hand or machine without the aid of any water.
A method of abrading the surface by hand or machine without the aid of any water.
Dry Spray
Sprayed paint which loses so much solvent in the air that it becomes too dry to flow out over the su…
Sprayed paint which loses so much solvent in the air that it becomes too dry to flow out over the surface. This normally occurs when the chosen reducer is too fast for the atmospheric conditions.
Drying Oil
A liquid that will change to a solid under normal atmospheric conditions when spread out in a thin f…
A liquid that will change to a solid under normal atmospheric conditions when spread out in a thin film. 
Durability
Refers to the retention of gloss and performance properties in a paint film during use or exposure t…
Refers to the retention of gloss and performance properties in a paint film during use or exposure to sunlight.
Dust Contamination
Contamination due to visible dust particles of various sizes and forms which are embedded or form ra…
Contamination due to visible dust particles of various sizes and forms which are embedded or form raised spots in the coating.
Dust Free
Condition when a paint film has dried enough that it will no longer allow dust to penetrate and stic…
Condition when a paint film has dried enough that it will no longer allow dust to penetrate and stick to the finish.
Electrocoating
The process by which electrically charge paint is plated on conductive surfaces of the opposite char…
The process by which electrically charge paint is plated on conductive surfaces of the opposite charge. 
Electrodeposition
A method by which paint is applied electrically by immersing electrodes and the work to be painted i…
A method by which paint is applied electrically by immersing electrodes and the work to be painted in a water base paint and applying direct current electricity to them.
Emulsion
A suspension of fine particles in a liquid. The dispersed particles may be binder, pigments, or othe…
A suspension of fine particles in a liquid. The dispersed particles may be binder, pigments, or other ingredients.
Enamel
A paint which forms a film by chemical union of its component molecules during cure, a paint having …
A paint which forms a film by chemical union of its component molecules during cure, a paint having a highly glossy, finished appearance. 
Epoxy
A type of paint, adhesive or plastic noted for high mechanical strength, good adhesion and chemical …
A type of paint, adhesive or plastic noted for high mechanical strength, good adhesion and chemical resistance.
Ester
A type of organic compound used as active solvents.
A type of organic compound used as active solvents.
Ethyl Acetate
A fast evaporating ester solvent. 
A fast evaporating ester solvent. 
Ethyl Alcohol
An inexpensive, fast evaporating solvent, cosolvent, or diluent.
An inexpensive, fast evaporating solvent, cosolvent, or diluent.
Evaporation
The change from liquid to a gas. When solvents leave a wet paint film, they usually do so by evapora…
The change from liquid to a gas. When solvents leave a wet paint film, they usually do so by evaporation. 
Evaporation Rate
The speed with which any liquid evaporates.
The speed with which any liquid evaporates.
Extender Pigment
An inert, usually colorless and semi-transparent pigment used in paints to fortify and lower the pri…
An inert, usually colorless and semi-transparent pigment used in paints to fortify and lower the price of pigment systems. 
Factory-applied Paint
Paint applied to a vehicle at the factory of the original equipment manufacturer. Factory-applied pa…
Paint applied to a vehicle at the factory of the original equipment manufacturer. Factory-applied paint is often cured by baking. 
Fading
The gradual loss of color of a paint film due to a chemical or physical change.
The gradual loss of color of a paint film due to a chemical or physical change.
Fan
The spray pattern of a gun.
The spray pattern of a gun.
Featheredge Splitting
Fractures or cracks along the featheredge which occur during drying or shortly after the topcoat has…
Fractures or cracks along the featheredge which occur during drying or shortly after the topcoat has been applied over primer surfacer. This problem occurs due to poor preparation, use of too fast solvents in primer, improper flash time and/or too aggressive solvents in topcoat. 
Featheredging
Tapering a paint edge from substrate to topcoat or between layers of material by sanding.
Tapering a paint edge from substrate to topcoat or between layers of material by sanding.
Ferrous
Describes any metal composed of or containing iron.
Describes any metal composed of or containing iron.
Fiberglass
Very fine staple fibers of glass that are spun together; it is used as insulation, and for parts and…
Very fine staple fibers of glass that are spun together; it is used as insulation, and for parts and repairs on automobile and truck bodies. 
Filiform Corrosion
Lifting and penetration at the paint film-to-substrate border from defects in the paint film. 
Lifting and penetration at the paint film-to-substrate border from defects in the paint film. 
Filler
Commonly, a heavily pigmented paint used to fill imperfections and pores in a substrate.
Commonly, a heavily pigmented paint used to fill imperfections and pores in a substrate.
Film
A very thin continuous sheet of material. Paint forms a film on the surface to which it is applied.
A very thin continuous sheet of material. Paint forms a film on the surface to which it is applied.
Film Thickness
The thickness of a dry paint is important. Thin films may appear to be the wrong color and may have …
The thickness of a dry paint is important. Thin films may appear to be the wrong color and may have durability issues. Thick films are likely to crack in use. The thickness of paint films on iron or steel surfaces is easily determined with a magnetic gauge. 
Film Thickness Gauge
A device used to measure the coating thickness on a substrate. Magnetic units are used to measure th…
A device used to measure the coating thickness on a substrate. Magnetic units are used to measure the thickness of ferrous metals; electronic units are used on non-ferrous substrates. 
Finish
A protective coating of paint; to apply a paint or paint system.
A protective coating of paint; to apply a paint or paint system.
Finishing Film
A fine graded abrasive disc for sanding top coat automotive paints before repainting or compounding.…
A fine graded abrasive disc for sanding top coat automotive paints before repainting or compounding. 
Fish Eye Eliminator
Additive used in paint to prevent the occurrence of fish eyes in a freshly painted surface. 
Additive used in paint to prevent the occurrence of fish eyes in a freshly painted surface. 
Fish Eyes
A surface depression or crater in the wet paint film. Fish Eyes are caused by repulsion of the wet p…
A surface depression or crater in the wet paint film. Fish Eyes are caused by repulsion of the wet paint by a surface contaminant such as oil or silicone. The depression may or may not reveal the surface under the paint.
Flake
A pigment consisting of flat particles. Usually aluminum or metallic, providing special color effect…
A pigment consisting of flat particles. Usually aluminum or metallic, providing special color effects to the final paint job. 
Flake Orientation
The appearance of the metallic particles in a paint film during and after dry or cure. Selection of …
The appearance of the metallic particles in a paint film during and after dry or cure. Selection of the correct aluminum flakes in the color mixing formula, proper application, will lead to good flake orientation and thus to good color match and appearance. 
Flaking
A paint failure characterized by paint film falling off the substrate.
A paint failure characterized by paint film falling off the substrate.
Flash
The first stage of drying where some of the solvent evaporates. This dulls the surface from an excee…
The first stage of drying where some of the solvent evaporates. This dulls the surface from an exceedingly high gloss to a normal gloss or flat appearance. 
Flash Point
The temperature at which the vapor of a liquid will ignite when a spark is struck.
The temperature at which the vapor of a liquid will ignite when a spark is struck.
Flash Rusting
A surface rust occuring from improper cleaning or exposing bare metal to the air and moisture for to…
A surface rust occuring from improper cleaning or exposing bare metal to the air and moisture for too long of a period. 
Flash Time
The time between paint application and consecutive coats.
The time between paint application and consecutive coats.
Flat
Lacking in gloss.
Lacking in gloss.
Flattener
An additive used to lower the gloss of topcoat, single-stage colors and clears.
An additive used to lower the gloss of topcoat, single-stage colors and clears.
Flex Additive
A substance added to paint to improve its performance characteristics such as impact resistance, fle…
A substance added to paint to improve its performance characteristics such as impact resistance, flexibility, and elongation over plastic or flexible substrates.
Floating
The tendency of pigment particles in a wet paint film to separate from one another and concentrate i…
The tendency of pigment particles in a wet paint film to separate from one another and concentrate in particular areas. 
Flocculation
Clumping together of pigment particles within the wet paint.
Clumping together of pigment particles within the wet paint.
Flooding
The tendency of pigment particle to rise to the surface during cure and produce a changed color at t…
The tendency of pigment particle to rise to the surface during cure and produce a changed color at the surface and a lack of uniformity in the color appearance through the film.
Flop
The change in value, hue, and chroma of a metallic or pearl car finish when it is viewed from differ…
The change in value, hue, and chroma of a metallic or pearl car finish when it is viewed from different angles. 
Flow
The leveling characteristics of a wet paint film. The ability of a liquid to run evenly from a surfa…
The leveling characteristics of a wet paint film. The ability of a liquid to run evenly from a surface and to leave a smooth film behind.
Fluid Needle
Part in a spray gun that opens and closes fluid passages.
Part in a spray gun that opens and closes fluid passages.
Fluid Tip
Part of a spray gun that meters and directs the fluid stream.
Part of a spray gun that meters and directs the fluid stream.
Force Dry
A method of accelerating the drying of paint by using heat.
A method of accelerating the drying of paint by using heat.
Front-end Solvent
A fast-evaporating solvent that leaves the paint very soon after application.
A fast-evaporating solvent that leaves the paint very soon after application.
Glaze
A polish that is safe for use on fresh paints. Some glaze contain a mild abrasive that will remove m…
A polish that is safe for use on fresh paints. Some glaze contain a mild abrasive that will remove minor surface imperfections. When a glaze with an abrasive is used, it should be followed by application of wax on cured paint or a hand glaze on fresh paint. A glaze also does not contain silicone. 
Gloss
The ability of a surface to reflect light. Measured by determining the percentage of light reflected…
The ability of a surface to reflect light. Measured by determining the percentage of light reflected from a surface at certain angles. 
Gloss Meter
An apparatus for measuring the gloss of paint film.
An apparatus for measuring the gloss of paint film.
Gravelometer
A device that propels rocks at a painted substrate to measure the resistance the finish has to rock …
A device that propels rocks at a painted substrate to measure the resistance the finish has to rock chips. 
Gravity-feed Gun
A paint gun with the paint reservoir on the top of the gun, which allows the paint to flow into the …
A paint gun with the paint reservoir on the top of the gun, which allows the paint to flow into the spray area by gravity.
Grinding
Preparing the metal for repair in the body shop business.
Preparing the metal for repair in the body shop business.
Grit
Refers to the abrasive size used in sandpaper.
Refers to the abrasive size used in sandpaper.
Gritty
A product is said to be gritty when it contains large particles, from insufficient dispersion or whe…
A product is said to be gritty when it contains large particles, from insufficient dispersion or when it contains large hard particles of foreign materials. 
Grounding
A safety practice where two objects are interconnected with clamps and bare wire. This equalizes the…
A safety practice where two objects are interconnected with clamps and bare wire. This equalizes the eletrical potential between the objects and helps prevent static sparks that could ignite flammable materials. 
Gun Body
Part of the spray gun to which all required parts are bolted or attached.
Part of the spray gun to which all required parts are bolted or attached.
Hardener
A necessary component specifically designed to ensure cure of an enamel finish. Also, another name f…
A necessary component specifically designed to ensure cure of an enamel finish. Also, another name for an activator.
Haze
The development of a cloudy area in the paint film or in clear liquid.
The development of a cloudy area in the paint film or in clear liquid.
Head-on
Viewing the repaired area from an angle that is perpendicular to the car.
Viewing the repaired area from an angle that is perpendicular to the car.
Hiding or Hiding Power
The ability of a paint film to mask the color or pattern of a surface. Hiding power is measured by d…
The ability of a paint film to mask the color or pattern of a surface. Hiding power is measured by determining the minimum thickness at which a film will completely obscure a black and white pattern. 
High Boilers
Solvents with boiling points above 100 degrees Celsius. Often called tail solvents. 
Solvents with boiling points above 100 degrees Celsius. Often called tail solvents. 
High Solids
Paints are described as having high solids when they contain more than 50-60% solids. High solids pa…
Paints are described as having high solids when they contain more than 50-60% solids. High solids paints have lower VOC's.
Holdout
The ability of a surface to keep the topcoat from sinking in and causing a decrease in appearance or…
The ability of a surface to keep the topcoat from sinking in and causing a decrease in appearance or gloss.
Hot Spray
The technique of applying paint at elevated temperatures. The elevated temperature reduces the visco…
The technique of applying paint at elevated temperatures. The elevated temperature reduces the viscosity so that higher solids materials can be sprayed, and allows application with less solvent. 
Hue
The color we see: red, blue, green, and yellow, and all shades in between.
The color we see: red, blue, green, and yellow, and all shades in between.

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