Glossary

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Hover over the term for the full description.
Ready-To-Spray
Describes paint which has been properly mixed with all necessary components and is ready to apply to…
Describes paint which has been properly mixed with all necessary components and is ready to apply to the substrate. 
Recoating
The application of fresh paint material over a recently painted material. 
The application of fresh paint material over a recently painted material. 
Reduce
To lower the viscosity of a paint by the addition of solvent or thinner. 
To lower the viscosity of a paint by the addition of solvent or thinner. 
Reducer
A solvent used to reduce or thin enamels to sprayable viscosity.
A solvent used to reduce or thin enamels to sprayable viscosity.
Refinish
Repair of an OEM or previously painted substrate.
Repair of an OEM or previously painted substrate.
Resin
A solid or semisolid material, usually polymeric, which deposits a film and is the actual film formi…
A solid or semisolid material, usually polymeric, which deposits a film and is the actual film forming ingredient in paint. Solutions of polymers are often called resins, but the term actually applies only to the film forming solids, not to the solution. 
Respirator
A device worn over the face to filter particles and fumes out of the air being breathed.
A device worn over the face to filter particles and fumes out of the air being breathed.
Retarder
A slow-evaporating solvent added to a paint to prolong the drying time. Typically used to reduce ora…
A slow-evaporating solvent added to a paint to prolong the drying time. Typically used to reduce orange peel or blushing.
Rubbing Compound
An abrasive that smoothes and polishes the paint film. Also called polishing compound. 
An abrasive that smoothes and polishes the paint film. Also called polishing compound. 
Rust
The corrosion product which forms on iron or steel when it is exposed to oxygen and water. Also call…
The corrosion product which forms on iron or steel when it is exposed to oxygen and water. Also called oxidation.
Sagging
Excessive flow on a vertical surface resulting in drips and other imperfections on the painted surfa…
Excessive flow on a vertical surface resulting in drips and other imperfections on the painted surface. Occurs not only when the paint is wet, but also during baking in certain types of paints.
Sand
To smooth a surface with an abrasive paper or cloth.
To smooth a surface with an abrasive paper or cloth.
Sandblasting
A method of cleaning metal, usually steel, by applying an abrasive with pressurized air.
A method of cleaning metal, usually steel, by applying an abrasive with pressurized air.
Sander
A power tool used with abrasives to sand or polish surfaces quickly. 
A power tool used with abrasives to sand or polish surfaces quickly. 
Sanding Block
A hard, flexible block to provide a smooth, consistent backing for hand sanding.
A hard, flexible block to provide a smooth, consistent backing for hand sanding.
Sandscratch Swelling
Exaggerated distortion of sanding marks in the underlying surface, usually caused by solvents in the…
Exaggerated distortion of sanding marks in the underlying surface, usually caused by solvents in the topcoat attacking the substrate.
Sandscratches
Tracking in the topcoat of sanding marks in the substrate.
Tracking in the topcoat of sanding marks in the substrate.
Saturation
A term referring to a color's purity or richness. The more chroma in a color, the more saturated…
A term referring to a color's purity or richness. The more chroma in a color, the more saturated that color is.
Scuff Pad
An abrasive pad used to lightly sand a surface.
An abrasive pad used to lightly sand a surface.
Sealer
An undercoat that enhances adhesion. Provides uniform color holdout and an even, level surface for t…
An undercoat that enhances adhesion. Provides uniform color holdout and an even, level surface for topcoat application. 
Seeding
The development of tiny insoluble particles in paint which results in a rough or gritty film.
The development of tiny insoluble particles in paint which results in a rough or gritty film.
Semi-gloss
An intermediate gloss level between high and low gloss.
An intermediate gloss level between high and low gloss.
Settling
Gravity separation of one or more components from a paint and the resulting layer of material on the…
Gravity separation of one or more components from a paint and the resulting layer of material on the bottom of a container.
Shade
Variation of a color. A color that is basically blue can have a red shade or yellow shade as well as…
Variation of a color. A color that is basically blue can have a red shade or yellow shade as well as being blue. Shade is also called tone or undertone, since it describes the subtle tone of a color. 
Sheen
The gloss or flatness of a film when viewed at a low angle.
The gloss or flatness of a film when viewed at a low angle.
Sheet Molded Compound
Fiber plastic material molded to a certain form and used as an outer panel on a vehicle.
Fiber plastic material molded to a certain form and used as an outer panel on a vehicle.
Shrinkage
Loss of solvent during the drying/curing process of a paint film. 
Loss of solvent during the drying/curing process of a paint film. 
Sidedraft Booth
A spray booth in which air movement is from the front to back.
A spray booth in which air movement is from the front to back.
Side-tone
Viewing the repaired area from an angle just past the reflection of the light source.
Viewing the repaired area from an angle just past the reflection of the light source.
Silicone
A chemical compound with excellent water repellency and a slippery feel. Silicones are commonly used…
A chemical compound with excellent water repellency and a slippery feel. Silicones are commonly used in automotive waxes to enhance application and ease or removal, and to increase gloss and durability. 
Silicone Oils
Oil liquids containing polymers of alternating silicone and oxygen atoms. They have a surface tensio…
Oil liquids containing polymers of alternating silicone and oxygen atoms. They have a surface tension lowering effect when mixed with paints. 
Sink-in
Term applied when one coat of paint is partially absorbed by the previous one.
Term applied when one coat of paint is partially absorbed by the previous one.
Siphon-feed gun
A spray gun that has the paint container connected directly below it. Air flowing across the feed cr…
A spray gun that has the paint container connected directly below it. Air flowing across the feed creates a vacuum and draws the paint from the container. 
Skinning
The formation of a thin, tough film on the surface of a liquid paint film, usually due to oxidation,…
The formation of a thin, tough film on the surface of a liquid paint film, usually due to oxidation, hardening, or drying of the paint.
Soft Interface Pad
A support pad to which a finishing film abrasive disc can be attached. A soft interface pad reduces …
A support pad to which a finishing film abrasive disc can be attached. A soft interface pad reduces the pressure transmitted to the surface to be finished and moderates the cutting effect of the abrasive. 
Solids
The part of the paint that does not evaporate but stays on the surface to form a film. Usually measu…
The part of the paint that does not evaporate but stays on the surface to form a film. Usually measured on a weight or volume basis. 
Solution
Homogeneous liquid or mixture of two or more chemical substances. 
Homogeneous liquid or mixture of two or more chemical substances. 
Solvation
The phenomenon in which the molecules of a solvent surround and are attached to a particle of the ma…
The phenomenon in which the molecules of a solvent surround and are attached to a particle of the material dissolved.
Solvency
The ability of a liquid to dissolve a solid. Measured by the viscosity of a solution at a certain co…
The ability of a liquid to dissolve a solid. Measured by the viscosity of a solution at a certain concentration of solid resin. The same solvent may have different solvency for different resins. 
Solvent
A liquid which will dissolve something, usually resins or other binder components. Commonly an organ…
A liquid which will dissolve something, usually resins or other binder components. Commonly an organic liquid.
Solvent Blend
The particular mixture of liquids that gives a paint the desired flow or evaporation properties.
The particular mixture of liquids that gives a paint the desired flow or evaporation properties.
Solvent Density
The weight per unit volume of a solvent or solvent mixture.
The weight per unit volume of a solvent or solvent mixture.
Solvent Popping
Bumps or small craters that form on the paint film, which are caused by trapped solvent. 
Bumps or small craters that form on the paint film, which are caused by trapped solvent. 
Solventborne
Describes a paint which contains organic solvents rather than water as its primary liquid component.…
Describes a paint which contains organic solvents rather than water as its primary liquid component.
Spot Repair
A type of refinish job in which a section of the car smaller than a panel is refinished. The paint i…
A type of refinish job in which a section of the car smaller than a panel is refinished. The paint is usually blended into the surrounding area.
Spray
Paint is atomized in a spray gun and the stream of atomized paint is directed at the part to be pain…
Paint is atomized in a spray gun and the stream of atomized paint is directed at the part to be painted. Atomization may be high pressure air, by high pressure stream, by high fluid pressure, or by electrical means in an electrostatic process. 
Spray Booth
An enclosure used to paint a vehicle. It has controlled air flow and occasionally temperature contro…
An enclosure used to paint a vehicle. It has controlled air flow and occasionally temperature control or baking capacity.
Spray Gun
A device that mixes paint and compressed air to atomize and control the spray pattern as the paint l…
A device that mixes paint and compressed air to atomize and control the spray pattern as the paint leaves the fluid needle and cap.
Spreader Adjusting Valve
The adjustment valve on a compressed air spray gun which directs an air stream against the sides of …
The adjustment valve on a compressed air spray gun which directs an air stream against the sides of an atomized paint cloud to adjust the spray pattern.
Squeegee
A rubber block used to wipe off wet sanded areas and to apply filler or putty.
A rubber block used to wipe off wet sanded areas and to apply filler or putty.
Stabilizer
Something added to paint to prevent degradation.
Something added to paint to prevent degradation.
Steel
A ferrous metal commonly used as a substrate for paint, which must be painted to prevent corrosion.&…
A ferrous metal commonly used as a substrate for paint, which must be painted to prevent corrosion. 
Straight Line Sander
Sander that uses a back-and-forth movement to sand a surface using sandpaper on its shoe.
Sander that uses a back-and-forth movement to sand a surface using sandpaper on its shoe.
Strength
The opacity and/or tinting power of the pigment. The measure of the ability of a pigment to hide or …
The opacity and/or tinting power of the pigment. The measure of the ability of a pigment to hide or color.
Strippable Coating
Also called booth coating. A coating which is easily peeled from booth walls, floors, or other areas…
Also called booth coating. A coating which is easily peeled from booth walls, floors, or other areas needed protection from overspray. When the coating becomes sufficiently covered, it is peeled or scraped away and replaced by a new layer of strippable material. 
Styrene
A low cost, colorless monomer which polymerizes readily. Widely used to make plastic articles and po…
A low cost, colorless monomer which polymerizes readily. Widely used to make plastic articles and polyester finishes.
Substrate
The object or material to be painted. It may be bare metal or and old finish.
The object or material to be painted. It may be bare metal or and old finish.
Suction-feed Gun
A spray gun that has the paint container connected directly below it. Air flowing across the feed cr…
A spray gun that has the paint container connected directly below it. Air flowing across the feed creates a vacuum and, thus, draws the paint from the container. 
Supplied Air Respirator
A respirator that provides safe breathing air to a painter while working with paints. The air supply…
A respirator that provides safe breathing air to a painter while working with paints. The air supply provides not only breathing air but positive pressure on the edges of the mask to eliminate any contaminants from the outside air.
Surfacer
A heavily-pigmented paint designed to be applied to a substrate for the purpose of smoothing or unif…
A heavily-pigmented paint designed to be applied to a substrate for the purpose of smoothing or uniforming the surface for the subsequent coats of paint. Usually sanding is required.
Tack
The stickiness of a paint film or an adhesive. The time it takes for an air drying paint to reach a …
The stickiness of a paint film or an adhesive. The time it takes for an air drying paint to reach a tack-free state. 
Tack Cloth or Rag
A cloth coated with a sticky substance used to remove dirt and lint prior to painting.
A cloth coated with a sticky substance used to remove dirt and lint prior to painting.
Tack Coat
The first enamel coat, applied full and allowed to flash only until it is quite sticky.
The first enamel coat, applied full and allowed to flash only until it is quite sticky.
Tack-free Time
An indicator of a coating's hardness development. The surface of the film will not finger pring,…
An indicator of a coating's hardness development. The surface of the film will not finger pring, yet the film is not dry and hard throughout. 
Tail Solvent
A slow-evaporating solvent that leaves the paint at a slow rate and allows the film to continue to r…
A slow-evaporating solvent that leaves the paint at a slow rate and allows the film to continue to resist pressure marks.
Tape Tracking
Markings left behind on a paint film when material was taped before it was hard enough to resist pre…
Markings left behind on a paint film when material was taped before it was hard enough to resist pressure marks. 
Tempering
Baking of plastic parts to drive off internal mold release agents prior to painting.
Baking of plastic parts to drive off internal mold release agents prior to painting.
Theoretical Coverage
Describes a paint's film thickness or hiding power. Defined as the number of square feet a coati…
Describes a paint's film thickness or hiding power. Defined as the number of square feet a coating will cover at 1 mil film thickness. 
Thermal Cycling
Alternately heating and cooling a painted object to determine what effect this variation has on the …
Alternately heating and cooling a painted object to determine what effect this variation has on the paint's properties. 
Thermoplastic
A type of polymer paint or plastic which softens and melts when heated and then resolidifies upon co…
A type of polymer paint or plastic which softens and melts when heated and then resolidifies upon cooling. An example is acrylic lacquer paint. 
Thinner
Solvent added to a lacquer to reduce its viscosity to sprayable consistency. 
Solvent added to a lacquer to reduce its viscosity to sprayable consistency. 
Through Cure
The completion of the curing process point at which no further chemical reaction can occur to aid in…
The completion of the curing process point at which no further chemical reaction can occur to aid in film formation.
Tint
An individual pigment from a family of pigments used on a mixing machine to produce a color match to…
An individual pigment from a family of pigments used on a mixing machine to produce a color match to the vehicle to be painted.
Tinting Strength
The ability of a pigment to change the color of a paint to which it is added. Some pigments have hig…
The ability of a pigment to change the color of a paint to which it is added. Some pigments have high tinting strength and only a small amount is necessary to make a large change in color. 
Titanium Dioxide
A non-toxic, non-reactive, white pigment. Has the greatest hiding power of all white pigments.
A non-toxic, non-reactive, white pigment. Has the greatest hiding power of all white pigments.
Toluene
A widely used solvent or diluent or a cosolvent. A fast-evaporating, high solvency, aromatic hydroca…
A widely used solvent or diluent or a cosolvent. A fast-evaporating, high solvency, aromatic hydrocarbon.
Top Coat
The final layer of paint applied to a substrate. Several coats of topcoat may be applied in some cas…
The final layer of paint applied to a substrate. Several coats of topcoat may be applied in some cases.
Touch up
A method of repainting performed on a new or used vehicle for any reason. Also refers to correcting …
A method of repainting performed on a new or used vehicle for any reason. Also refers to correcting minor scratches by a brush, etc.
Transfer Efficiency
The measure of materials applied vs. amount of material originally sprayed.
The measure of materials applied vs. amount of material originally sprayed.
Transparent
Allowing light to pass through; not opaque. 
Allowing light to pass through; not opaque. 
Trichlorethylene
A solvent used to degrease and clean metal substrate for painting.
A solvent used to degrease and clean metal substrate for painting.
Tri-coat
A basecoat, followed by a transparent midcoat, followed by clearcoat; to provide a special color eff…
A basecoat, followed by a transparent midcoat, followed by clearcoat; to provide a special color effect on the vehicle. 
Two-component System
Materials such as some paints, fillers, and adhesives which require the addition of a hardener or ac…
Materials such as some paints, fillers, and adhesives which require the addition of a hardener or activator to accomplish a chemical reaction, causing them to cure.
Two-tone
Two different colors on a single paint job.
Two different colors on a single paint job.
Ultraviolet Light
That portion of the spectrum which is largely responsible for the degradation of paints. It is invis…
That portion of the spectrum which is largely responsible for the degradation of paints. It is invisible to the eye and is also called "black light." It also can be used to cure some paints.
Underbake
The result of curing a paint film at too low a combination of time and temperature. The film may be …
The result of curing a paint film at too low a combination of time and temperature. The film may be too soft for good durability.
Undercoat
A first coat; primer, sealer, or surfacer applied to the substrate. Frequently used to provide corro…
A first coat; primer, sealer, or surfacer applied to the substrate. Frequently used to provide corrosion protection and adhesion.
Urethane
A type of paint or polymer which results from the reaction of an isocyanate with a hydroxyl containi…
A type of paint or polymer which results from the reaction of an isocyanate with a hydroxyl containing component. Urethanes are noted for their toughness and abrasion resistance.
UV Stabilizers
Chemicals added to paint to absorb the ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight. Ultraviolet radiat…
Chemicals added to paint to absorb the ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation decomposes the polymer molecules in a paint film and thus UV stabilizers are used to prolong paint life. 
Value
The degree of darkness or lightness of a color.
The degree of darkness or lightness of a color.
Vehicle
All of a paint except the pigment. This includes solvents, diluents, resins, gums, driers, etc. The …
All of a paint except the pigment. This includes solvents, diluents, resins, gums, driers, etc. The liquid portion of a paint. 
Veiling
The formation of a web or strings in a paint as it emerges from a spray gun.
The formation of a web or strings in a paint as it emerges from a spray gun.
Velometer
A device that measures air flow.
A device that measures air flow.
VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
Assigned to each automobile by its manufacturer to identify the model, year, production sequence and…
Assigned to each automobile by its manufacturer to identify the model, year, production sequence and other vehicle specific information. 
Vinyl
A class of monomers which can be combined to form vinyl polymers. Widely used to make chemical resis…
A class of monomers which can be combined to form vinyl polymers. Widely used to make chemical resistant finishes, tough plastic articles, phonogram records and floor tiles. 
Viscosity
The flow rat of a liquid. Solvents affect the fluidity of the paint. Paint viscosity must allow prop…
The flow rat of a liquid. Solvents affect the fluidity of the paint. Paint viscosity must allow proper atomization and flow-out. 
VOC Content
The measure of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) in the solventborne paints. Usually states as …
The measure of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) in the solventborne paints. Usually states as the weight in pounds of non-exempt solvent per gallon of paint. 
Volatility
The tendency of a liquid to evaporate. Liquids with high boiling points have low volatility and vise…
The tendency of a liquid to evaporate. Liquids with high boiling points have low volatility and vise versa. Volatility affects flash-off time and fire hazard consideration. 
Volume Solids
The percent, on a volume basis, of the non-volatile material in a paint.
The percent, on a volume basis, of the non-volatile material in a paint.
Wash Primer
A primer that forms an anti-corrosive chemical film when applied on a sheet of metal. Also called an…
A primer that forms an anti-corrosive chemical film when applied on a sheet of metal. Also called an etching primer.

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