Glossary

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Hover over the term for the full description.
HVLP (High Volume, Low Pressure)
Describes a paint gun that uses a high volume and low pressure of atomizing air to apply material to…
Describes a paint gun that uses a high volume and low pressure of atomizing air to apply material to a surface. This provides high transfer efficiency and lower overspray.
Hydrocarbon
A compound which contains only carbon and hydrogen, which are distillate byproducts of petroleum, na…
A compound which contains only carbon and hydrogen, which are distillate byproducts of petroleum, natural gas and coal. 
Hydrolysis
Reaction with water. Usually refers to a decomposition process leading to paint failure. 
Reaction with water. Usually refers to a decomposition process leading to paint failure. 
Hydroscopic
A paint film that readily absorbs water.
A paint film that readily absorbs water.
Immiscible
Incapable of mixing in or blending.
Incapable of mixing in or blending.
Induction Period
An allotted amount of time upon mixing of components for compatibilization. The process is common am…
An allotted amount of time upon mixing of components for compatibilization. The process is common among the use of epoxy/polyamide coatings. 
Industrial Fallout
Chemical compounds present in the air which are deposited on the horizontal surfaces of vehicles and…
Chemical compounds present in the air which are deposited on the horizontal surfaces of vehicles and which may damage the finish. 
Infrared
Light energy used for curing paint.
Light energy used for curing paint.
Infrared Light
That portion of the spectrum responsible for most of the heating effects of the sun's light. Not…
That portion of the spectrum responsible for most of the heating effects of the sun's light. Not visible to the human eye.
Inhibitor
A chemical added to retard some particular reaction. 
A chemical added to retard some particular reaction. 
Initiator
A chemical added to help start a chemical reaction such as polymerization or curing.
A chemical added to help start a chemical reaction such as polymerization or curing.
Iridescents
All colors that contain aluminum, mica, or other particles that impart a metallic appearance to the …
All colors that contain aluminum, mica, or other particles that impart a metallic appearance to the color. 
Isocyanate
A hardening agent used with acrylic urethane and other two component reaction type paints. 
A hardening agent used with acrylic urethane and other two component reaction type paints. 
Kick-out
The precipitation of dissolved binder or additive from solution as a result of solvent incompatibili…
The precipitation of dissolved binder or additive from solution as a result of solvent incompatibility. 
Lacquers
Paints that dry by evaporative loss of solvent. The film remains susceptible to attack by the same o…
Paints that dry by evaporative loss of solvent. The film remains susceptible to attack by the same or similar solvents.
Latex
An emulsion; usually a dispersion of a polymer in water.
An emulsion; usually a dispersion of a polymer in water.
Let-down Panel
Panel made by a paint technician with different methods of application and amounts of material, resu…
Panel made by a paint technician with different methods of application and amounts of material, resulting in different shades of the same color. 
Leveling
Elongation of paint film occuring from the time the paint particles form a wet film on the surface t…
Elongation of paint film occuring from the time the paint particles form a wet film on the surface to the time the film hardens and dries. 
Lifting
The attack by the solvent in a paint on the substrate which results in distortion or wrinkling of th…
The attack by the solvent in a paint on the substrate which results in distortion or wrinkling of the preceding dried or partially cured layers.
Lightness
The whiteness of a paint. Measured by the amount of light reflected by a surface. A perfect white is…
The whiteness of a paint. Measured by the amount of light reflected by a surface. A perfect white is one which reflects 100% of the light in the visible spectrum.
Line Checking
A paint film failure similar to cracking, lines or cracks are parallel and range from very short up …
A paint film failure similar to cracking, lines or cracks are parallel and range from very short up to about 18 inches.
Loading
The build-up of sanding debris between the abrasive particles on sandpaper or sanding discs during u…
The build-up of sanding debris between the abrasive particles on sandpaper or sanding discs during use. Loading reduces the cutting effectiveness of the abrasive. 
Low Boilers
Solvents with low boiling points, usually less than 50 degrees Celsius. Also called front end solven…
Solvents with low boiling points, usually less than 50 degrees Celsius. Also called front end solvents. 
Low Film Build
The condition of a paint film when it is too thin to provide protection to the substrate or withstan…
The condition of a paint film when it is too thin to provide protection to the substrate or withstand environmental conditions. 
Luster
Gloss or sheen of a finish.
Gloss or sheen of a finish.
Makeup Air
A system that brings and heats air from the outside to a desired air flow and temperature.
A system that brings and heats air from the outside to a desired air flow and temperature.
Masking
Application of paper or other material and tape to cover an object that must be protected from overs…
Application of paper or other material and tape to cover an object that must be protected from overspray.
Masking Paper
Paper designed to prevent paint from bleeding through.
Paper designed to prevent paint from bleeding through.
Matching
In painting, to make colors look the same.
In painting, to make colors look the same.
Matte
A surface with minimal reflection. 
A surface with minimal reflection. 
Melamine
Used as a hardener in OEM finishes, a hard resin used to modify alkyd resins and other films formed …
Used as a hardener in OEM finishes, a hard resin used to modify alkyd resins and other films formed used in baking finishes. 
Metal Conditioner
An acid-type cleaner which removes small amounts of rust and corrosion left from mechanical metal cl…
An acid-type cleaner which removes small amounts of rust and corrosion left from mechanical metal cleaning.
Metallic Paint
Paint which contains metallic pigment usually in the form of tiny flakes.
Paint which contains metallic pigment usually in the form of tiny flakes.
Metamerism
A term used to describe colors that match under a specific light source, but do not match under all …
A term used to describe colors that match under a specific light source, but do not match under all light sources. It is primarily causes by the use of different pigments to achieve the colors. 
Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)
A fast-evaporating solvent.
A fast-evaporating solvent.
Micro-checking
A condition which appears as severe dulling of film.
A condition which appears as severe dulling of film.
Middle Solvent
A solvent that evaporates at a medium rate, leaving the paint primarily during flash-off.
A solvent that evaporates at a medium rate, leaving the paint primarily during flash-off.
mil
A measure of paint film thickness, equal to one one-thousandth of an inch.
A measure of paint film thickness, equal to one one-thousandth of an inch.
Mil Base
A colored paint containing a very large amount of pigment. Used to tint paint or to make paint.
A colored paint containing a very large amount of pigment. Used to tint paint or to make paint.
mil gauge
A device that measures the thickness of paint film applied to the surface.
A device that measures the thickness of paint film applied to the surface.
Mist Coating
A light spray coat of high solvent content material for blending and/or gloss enhancement and metall…
A light spray coat of high solvent content material for blending and/or gloss enhancement and metallic control in single-stage color. 
Mix Ratio
The proportion of ingredients to be blended together to make a ready-to-spray paint.
The proportion of ingredients to be blended together to make a ready-to-spray paint.
Mixing Stick
Instrument used to gauge the correct ratio of paint material being mixed for ready-to-spray configur…
Instrument used to gauge the correct ratio of paint material being mixed for ready-to-spray configuration.
Mold Release Agents
Chemical compounds which must be removed by a pretreatment prior to refinishing plastic parts to ins…
Chemical compounds which must be removed by a pretreatment prior to refinishing plastic parts to insure adhesion.
Molecule
The smallest possible unit or amount of any substance which retains the characteristics of that subs…
The smallest possible unit or amount of any substance which retains the characteristics of that substance.
Mottling
A film defect appearing as blotches or surface imperfections, normally due to metallic or pearl not …
A film defect appearing as blotches or surface imperfections, normally due to metallic or pearl not being properly oriented in the paint film. 
MSDS
Materia Safety Data Sheets.
Materia Safety Data Sheets.
Near-specular
Describes an angle of less than 45 degrees; used to evaluate color match of a repaired area. 
Describes an angle of less than 45 degrees; used to evaluate color match of a repaired area. 
New & like new finishes
Finishes that have maintained a brilliant, high-gloss performance.
Finishes that have maintained a brilliant, high-gloss performance.
Non-ferrous
Describes metals which contain no iron.
Describes metals which contain no iron.
Non-sparking Tools
Tools which are made from beryllium-copper, aluminum or bronze greatly reduce the possibility of ign…
Tools which are made from beryllium-copper, aluminum or bronze greatly reduce the possibility of igniting dusts, gases, or flammable liquid vapors. 
OEM
Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Oil Base Paints
Paints which form solid films by the air-induced crosslinking of certain plant oils known as drying …
Paints which form solid films by the air-induced crosslinking of certain plant oils known as drying oils. 
Opaque
Impervious to light or not transparent.
Impervious to light or not transparent.
Open Coat
A type of sandpaper coating in which abrasive particles are scattered in a low density to prevent it…
A type of sandpaper coating in which abrasive particles are scattered in a low density to prevent it from clogging up.
Orange Peel
An irregularity in the surface of a paint film resulting from the inability of the wet film to "…
An irregularity in the surface of a paint film resulting from the inability of the wet film to "level out" after being applied. Orange peel appears as a characteristically uneven or dimpled surface to the eye, but usually feels smooth to the touch. 
Orbital Sander
Type of sander that uses a circular motion to accomplish the sanding of different materials. 
Type of sander that uses a circular motion to accomplish the sanding of different materials. 
Organic Materials
Compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and other elements with chain or ring structures.
Compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and other elements with chain or ring structures.
Outdoor Exposure
Outdoor exposure is perhaps the most realistic way to measure the behavior of a paint film. 
Outdoor exposure is perhaps the most realistic way to measure the behavior of a paint film. 
Oven
A piece of equipment used to bake finishes. Typically uses at OEM manufacturers, whose applied finis…
A piece of equipment used to bake finishes. Typically uses at OEM manufacturers, whose applied finishes may require high temperatures to cure.
Overall Painting
A type of refinish in which the entire car is completely repainted.
A type of refinish in which the entire car is completely repainted.
Overbake
The result of curing paint film at too high a combination of time and temperature. The film often be…
The result of curing paint film at too high a combination of time and temperature. The film often becomes too hard and may embrittle.
Overlap
That specific area of coverage in which one spray pattern application is extended over and partly co…
That specific area of coverage in which one spray pattern application is extended over and partly covered by the next application. 
Over-reduce
To add more thinner or reducer to a paint than is normally necessary for application. This is someti…
To add more thinner or reducer to a paint than is normally necessary for application. This is sometimes done in order to lower the paint viscosity, to aid in blending, or to achieve a special color effect. 
Overspray
An overlap of dry spray particles on areas that were not mean to be painted, or on previously painte…
An overlap of dry spray particles on areas that were not mean to be painted, or on previously painted areas where they do not melt in. 
Oxidation
The chemical combination of oxygen and the vehicle of a paint which leads to drying; the destructive…
The chemical combination of oxygen and the vehicle of a paint which leads to drying; the destructive combination of oxygen with a dry paint film leading to degradation or the destructive combination of oxygen and a metal.
Oxygenated Solvent
An organic solvent containing oxygen as part of the molecular structure. Alcohols and ketones are ox…
An organic solvent containing oxygen as part of the molecular structure. Alcohols and ketones are oxygenated compounds often used as paint solvents. 
Paint
A material which, when applied as a liquid to a surface, forms a solid film for the purpose of decor…
A material which, when applied as a liquid to a surface, forms a solid film for the purpose of decoration and/or protection. Generally a paint contains a binder, solvent, and pigment.
Paint Remover
A chemical that breaks down an old finish by liquefying it.
A chemical that breaks down an old finish by liquefying it.
Paint Repair
A type of refinish repair job in which a complete section (door, hand, rear deck, etc.) is repainted…
A type of refinish repair job in which a complete section (door, hand, rear deck, etc.) is repainted.
Paint Strainer
A filter used to clean paint as it is poured into the gun cup.
A filter used to clean paint as it is poured into the gun cup.
Particle Size
The size of the pigment particle in a dispersion.
The size of the pigment particle in a dispersion.
Passivation
The conversion of a metal surface to a less reactive state. A process used to reduce the corrosion r…
The conversion of a metal surface to a less reactive state. A process used to reduce the corrosion rate of a metal surface. 
Pearls
Finishes which include mica flakes in addition to the pigment and binder. DuPont’s Hot Hues le…
Finishes which include mica flakes in addition to the pigment and binder. DuPont’s Hot Hues lets your create your own custom automotive paint colors using Hot Hues color offerings and adding a variety of Hot Efx pearls and special effect pigments.
Peeling
The failure of paint film to adhere to its substrate. Peeling results when contaminated surfaces are…
The failure of paint film to adhere to its substrate. Peeling results when contaminated surfaces are painted, when there is an excessive difference between paint and surface polarity or thermal expansion, or when there is solvent incompatibility. 
pH
A measure of the acidity or basicity of a substance in aqueous solution. 7 is neutral. Below 7 is ac…
A measure of the acidity or basicity of a substance in aqueous solution. 7 is neutral. Below 7 is acid and above 7 is basic. The scale is from 0 (strong acid) to 14 (strong base).
Phosphating
The formation of a layer of zinc, iron, or manganese phosphate crystals on the surface of the part t…
The formation of a layer of zinc, iron, or manganese phosphate crystals on the surface of the part to be painted. 
Phosphoric Acid
An acid commonly used as a catalyst to speed up the cure of some baking finishes, usually alkyd/nitr…
An acid commonly used as a catalyst to speed up the cure of some baking finishes, usually alkyd/nitrogen resin combinations. Also a cleaner for ferrous metals. 
Pickling
The use of a chemical solution to prepare a surface for painting or bonding by dissolving away surfa…
The use of a chemical solution to prepare a surface for painting or bonding by dissolving away surface oxides and other impurities. 
Pigment
Small particles added to paint to influence properties such as color, corrosion, resistance, mechani…
Small particles added to paint to influence properties such as color, corrosion, resistance, mechanical strength, etc. Pigments may be colored, semitransparent, black, white, or colorless. They must be incorporated into a paint system by some dispersion process.
Pinholing
A defect consisting of tiny holes in the paint. Defects such as pinholing, popping, bubbling, and cr…
A defect consisting of tiny holes in the paint. Defects such as pinholing, popping, bubbling, and cratering are caused by solvent vapors forming from the substrate or the paint and rising to the surface. 
Pitting
The appearance of hole or pits in a paint film while it is wet. 
The appearance of hole or pits in a paint film while it is wet. 
Plastic Filler
A compound of resin and fiberglass used to fill dents on car bodies.
A compound of resin and fiberglass used to fill dents on car bodies.
Plasticizer
A low molecular weight substance added to polymeric materials such as paints to improve their flexib…
A low molecular weight substance added to polymeric materials such as paints to improve their flexibility.
Poise
A measure of viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter.
A measure of viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter.
Polish
A specially formulated blend of components designed to remove minor paint surface imperfections, suc…
A specially formulated blend of components designed to remove minor paint surface imperfections, such as fine scratches, light oxidation, water spots, and swirl marks left by the use of rubbing compounds. 
Polishing
The use of polishes, either by hand or machine, to level and provide more gloss to a finish.
The use of polishes, either by hand or machine, to level and provide more gloss to a finish.
Polishing Compound
A material applied to a vehicle's surface which removes minor imperfections with minimal cutting…
A material applied to a vehicle's surface which removes minor imperfections with minimal cutting action. Buffing restores film to a high gloss appearance.
Polyester
A polymer formed from a reaction between many pairs of polycarboxylic acid and alcohol molecules.&nb…
A polymer formed from a reaction between many pairs of polycarboxylic acid and alcohol molecules. 
Polyester Putty
A plastic filler material used to fill imperfections prior to painting.
A plastic filler material used to fill imperfections prior to painting.
Polyolefin
A class of plastic materials used to make flexible bumper covers, etc.
A class of plastic materials used to make flexible bumper covers, etc.
Polyurethane
A chemical linkage in finishes that is characterized by durability and high gloss. Also, used for so…
A chemical linkage in finishes that is characterized by durability and high gloss. Also, used for some plastic and flexible parts. 
Popping
A paint defect characterized by raised bumps in the surface caused by solvent vapor forming within t…
A paint defect characterized by raised bumps in the surface caused by solvent vapor forming within the paint after it has begun to "skin over."
Powder Coatings
Any coating which is applied to the surface as a dry, finely ground powder and then heated above its…
Any coating which is applied to the surface as a dry, finely ground powder and then heated above its melting point so that the powder particles flow together to form a film. 
Precoat
This is a coating category that exists in many automobile refinishing regulations. It typically refe…
This is a coating category that exists in many automobile refinishing regulations. It typically refers to a coating that is applied directly to bare metal to deactivate the metal surface prior to the application of a waterborne or low VOC primer. The purpose of the precoat in a coating system is to improve the adhesion and corrosion performance of the undercoat system. 
Pressure-feed Gun
A spray gun equipped with a separate paint container that is pressurized and connected to the spray …
A spray gun equipped with a separate paint container that is pressurized and connected to the spray gun by means of hoses.
Primer
The first coat of paint applied to a substrate, designed to provide adhesion and corrosion resistanc…
The first coat of paint applied to a substrate, designed to provide adhesion and corrosion resistance.
Primer-sealer
An undercoat which improves adhesion of the topcoat, and which seals old painted surfaces that have …
An undercoat which improves adhesion of the topcoat, and which seals old painted surfaces that have been sanded; usually does not require sanding.
Putty
A high viscosity, heavily pigmented material used to fill holes or to smooth out a rough surface.
A high viscosity, heavily pigmented material used to fill holes or to smooth out a rough surface.
Quarter Panel
Side Panel which is generally a quarter of the total length of the vehicle and extends from the rear…
Side Panel which is generally a quarter of the total length of the vehicle and extends from the rear door to the end of the car.

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