Archie Paint Glossary - A

Archie Paint Glossary - A

archie paint manufacturer The following glossary contains terms used commonly in the paint and coatings industry to describe the characteristics, usage and components of paints and coatings.


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Abatement :

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

Abrasion :

Wearing away of a surface in service by action such as rubbing, scraping or erosion.

Abrasion resistance :

The ability of a material to withstand mechanical action such as rubbing, scraping, or erosion that tends to progressively remove material from the surface.

Abrasive :

Any material used to wear away, smooth or polish a surface; for example, sandpaper that is used to smooth wood.

Absorption (light) :

The light energy (wavelengths) not reflected by an object or substance. The color of a substance depends on the wavelength reflected.

Abuse-resistant drywall :

A heavy-duty type of drywall, available in 1/2- and 5/8-inch thicknesses, that has heavier paper than regular panels and a reinforced core.

Accelerated weathering :

Tests designed to simulate, but at the same time intensify and accelerate, the destructive action of natural outdoor weathering.

Accelerator :

A substance used in small proportions to increase the speed of a chemical reaction. Accelerators are used in paint to hasten the curing of a coating system.

Accent :

In a room scheme, a small area of intense color that contrasts, either in hue or tone, with the lighter or more muted prevailing colors. Often provided by accessories and trimmings, accents add detail and draw the eye to various elements.

Accent light :

A type of light that highlights an area to emphasize that aspect of a room's character.

Accent lighting :

A type of lighting that highlights an area or object to emphasize that aspect of a room's character.

Accessible designs :

Those that accommodate persons with physical disabilities.

Accordion folding :

A folding technique used for a booked strip of wallpaper. The paper is folded back and forth to keep pasted sides together and allow relaxing or expanding time. This fold also makes long strips easier to manage during the installation.

Acetate :

The plastic sheet material often used for making stencils.

Acetone :

A solvent used in fast dry, film building coatings. Good solvent, with a low flash point.

Achromatic :

Lacking color, black, gray or white.

Acid demand :

The amount of acid required by a body of water to raise the pH to neutral (7).

Acrylic :

A type of synthetic polymer used as the binder for high-performance water-based paints and caulks. Some acrylic polymers are used in auto finishes, appliance coatings, etc. 

Acrylic paint :
A water-soluble paint with a plastic polymer (acrylic) binder.

Acrylic resin :

An aqueous dispersion of acrylic resins, water-white in color, very transparent, and resistant to discoloration, moisture, alcohol acids, alkalis and mineral oils. Usually made by polymerization of acrylic acid and methacrylic acid.

Acrylic varnish :

A coating that contains the same medium used to make water-soluble paints and glazes.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) :

A plastic formulation (typically black in color) used for some rigid pond shells, also for drainpipe in plumbing systems.

Activator :

The curing agent of a two compound coating system.

Active :

A state in which a metal tends to corrode; opposite of passive.

Active solvent :

A liquid which can dissolve a paint binder when used alone.

Actual dimension :

The exact measurements of a piece of lumber after it has been cut, surfaced and dried. Example: A 2x4's actual dimensions are 1-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches.

Actual dimension (lumber) :

The exact cross-sectional measurements of a piece of lumber after it has been cut, surfaced and dried.

Actual dimensions – masonry :

The measured dimensions of a masonry unit.

Actual length (rafters) :

Length of a rafter after half the thickness of the ridgeboard has been subtracted.

Adaptable :

Refers to design that can be easily changed to accommodate a person with disabilities.

Adapter :

A fitting that connects two pipes of different sizes or materials.

Additive :

A substance added in a small amount, usually to a fluid, for a special purpose - such as to reduce friction, corrosion, etc.

Adhesion :

The ability of a dry paint film or caulk to remain attached to the surface. Adhesion is probably the single most important property of a paint or caulk.

Adhesive aeration :

A condition where the adhesive is filled with miniature air bubbles. Mixing or whipping the adhesive in too vigorous a manner is usually the cause. These bubbles can cause small blisters to form beneath the wallpaper, especially when installing nonbreathable types.

Adhesive mastic :

A pastelike cement used for applying floor and wall tiles; a waterproof caulking compound used in roofing.

Adhesive penetration :

The process where the adhesive soaks into the wallpaper substrate during the relaxing or booking period.

Adhesive viscosity :

The internal friction of an adhesive that restricts its tendency to flow or spread. The viscosity controls the amount of adhesive you can spread at a given thickness. Adhesive viscosity also affects drying time.

Adhesive volatility :

The evaporation time associated with a particular adhesive. Volatility increases during the hot summer months, especially if you are working on new construction and there is no air conditioning.

Adhesive wrinkles :

Wrinkles or ridges that occur immediately following the installation of wallpaper, caused by further expansion of the paper. Inadequate booking time is often a cause. Adhesive wrinkles normally dry out within 24 to 48 hours. Wrinkled wallpaper should generally be removed and reinstalled rather than fixed.

Adulteration :

Any admixture of less value than the accepted standard, or the partial substitution of one substance for another without acknowledgment.

Advancing colors :
Warm, saturated colors that seem to come forward toward the viewer. Advancing colors can make rooms seem more cozy and objects slightly larger.

Aerosol :

A container (usually a hand-held size) of coating material that is pressurized for spray (atomized) applications. Enamels and varnishes are often sold in aerosol cans.  Historical Note: Aerosol paint products have not contained chlorofluorocarbons--CFCs--since 1978.

Aeration cell :

An oxygen concentration cell; an electrolytic cell resulting from differences in dissolved oxygen at two points.

After-tack :

Film defect in which the coated surface, having once reached a tack-free stage, subsequently develops a sticky condition.

Agglomerate :

Clumps of pigment crystals which have formed loose clusters containing entrapped air. Usually undesirable in paint, as they tend to settle out and have poor optical properties.

Aggregates :

Crushed stone, gravel or other material used with cement and water to form concrete.

Aging :

Allowing to stand undisturbed for a period in order to develop certain characteristics. Some materials improve upon aging, others have a tendency to lose their value.

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."

Air barrier :

An air-infiltration barrier or house wrap that can be used to protect a storage area in the attic from moisture and dust.

Air barrier tape :

A moisture-proof tape that covers the joint and sticks to the substrate. Duct tape or contractor's tape work well.

Air brush :

Very small spray gun, not much larger than a fountain pen, designed as an artist's tool.

Air cap (air nozzle) :

The structure at the front of a spray nozzle which directs compressed air against the paint to form and shape an atomized cloud of droplets.

Air chamber :

A vertical, air-filled pipe that prevents water hammer by absorbing pressure when water is shut off at a faucet.

Air drying :

The most common form of curing a coating in which drying takes place by oxidation or solvent evaporation by simple exposure to air without heat or catalyst.

Air entrapment :

The inclusion of air bubbles in liquid paint or a paint film.

Air gap :

The distance between the outlet of a faucet and the overflow level of the fixture.

Air-dried lumber :

Lumber that is dried by being exposed to air, rather than an oven or kiln.

Air-dried wood :

Lumber that is stacked with spacers to allow air to circulate and is usually marked indicating its maximum moisture content at the time it leaves the mill.

Air-entrained (concrete) :

Concrete that has been mixed with an admixture that causes tiny bubbles of air to be held in the mixture as the concrete sets. Air-entrained concrete is more workable and less vulnerable to frost.

Airless spraying :

Process of atomization of paint by forcing it through an orifice at high pressure.

Alkali :

An alkaline, or “basic,” chemical substance such as lime or lye. Generally present in fresh cement, concrete, or plaster. 

Alkali burn :

A condition that occurs when the alkalinity in fresh masonry causes the breakdown of a paint’s binder, resulting in color loss and overall deterioration of the paint film. Most likely to occur with vinyl-acrylic latex and oil-based paints applied to masonry surfaces that are less than a year old. 

Alkyd :

A synthetic resin used in oil-based paints. An alkyd resin is made by reacting a drying oil with a hard, synthetic material. 

Alkali :

An aqueous liquid which has a pH value of between 7 and 14. A base or caustic material.

Alkyd paints :
Paints with artificial resins (alkyds) forming their binder; often imprecisely called oil-based paints. Alkyds have replaced the linseed oil formerly used as a binder in oil-based paint.

Alkyd resin :

A modified polyester-type resin used widely in the coatings field. Alkyd resin coatings are outstanding in their weather resistance.

Alligatoring :

A scaly pattern that appears on paint due to the inability of the paint to bond to a glossy coating beneath it. It can also be due to the application of a hard coating over a soft primer, or (with oil-based paint) because the wood was re-coated before the undercoat was dry. 

Alligation :

Fine cracks resembling alligator skin that appear in a primer-sealer coat. Alligation can result when there is grease, dirt or wax buildup on a wall surface, when the temperature is low, or when the product is not thoroughly mixed.

Alligatored finish :

Any finished surface that shows numerous cracks caused by aging and drying.

Alcohol :

A group of solvents of relatively high evaporation rate but with fairly low solvent strength. Methanol, ethanol, and isopropyl are common alcohols.

Aliphatic :

A class of organic solvents which are composed of open chains of carbon atoms, derived from paraffin base crude oil. Aliphatics are relatively weak solvents. Among the typical aliphatic hydrocarbons are gasoline, mineral spirits, naphtha and kerosene.

Alizarin crimson :

One of the basic pigments, alizarin crimson is synthetically derived from coal tar and ranges from scarlet to maroon.

Allowance – wallpaper :
The 2 to 3 inches of material for trimming included at the top or bottom of a strip of wallpaper.

Alternating rolls :

The technique of working with two separate rolls of wallpaper to minimize waste while installing a drop-match patterned design.

Aluminum :

A lightweight, corrosion-resistant metal used for vertical and horizontal siding.

Aluminum oxide :

A long-life grit for abrasive wheels and sandpapers.

Aluminum paint :
A paint, usually solvent-based, that contains aluminum particles and provides a metallic appearance. 

Aluminum-oxide sandpaper :

A tan-colored sandpaper that is commonly used on sanding belts and disks.

Ambient lighting :

General illumination that surrounds a room. There is no visible source of the light.

Ambient temperature :

Room temperature or the existing temperature of the surroundings.

American single roll :

An increasingly uncommon unit of wallpaper, usually containing between 34 to 36 square feet. These rolls vary from 20.5 to 36 inches in width and from 4 to 7 yards in length.

Amide :

A functional group which can act as an epoxy resin curing agent.

Amine :

Materials often used as curing agents for epoxy coatings.

Amphoteric :

Possessing both basic and acidic properties.

Anaerobic :

An absence of unreacted or free oxygen.

Analogous colors :
Any three colors located next to one another on the color wheel.

Anchoring :

Mechanical bonding of a coating to a rough surface, as contrasted with adhesion, which is chemical bonding.

Angle of incidence :

Angle between the axis of an impinging light beam and a line perpendicular to the specimen surface.

Angle of view :

Angle between the axis of observation and perpendicular to the specimen surface.

Anhydrous :

Containing no water.

Aniline dye :

A synthetic tinting medium made from coal-tar products, which can be dissolved in water or alcohol and used to change the color of wood.

Anionic surfactant :

One which has a negative charge and migrates toward the anode or positive pole while in solution.

Anode :

The positive terminal of an electrical source. In a corrosion cell, the anode is the electrode that has the greater tendency to go into solution. The point at which corrosion occurs.

Anodic protection :

An appreciable reduction in corrosion by making a metal an anode and maintaining this highly polarized condition with very little current flow.

Anti-fouling Paint
Paints formulated especially for boat decks and hulls, docks and other below-water-line surfaces and structures to prevent the growth of barnacles and other organisms on ships' bottoms.

Anti-corrosive coating :

A paint made with neutral or slightly alkaline pigments and a water resisting vehicle to be used as a primer on steel and other metals to prevent or retard corrosion.

Anti-mildew agent :

A coating additive, usually toxic in nature, which inhibits the growth of mildew, fungus and other organisms.

Anti-settling agent :

A material which slows down the natural settling of pigments and prevents hard settling.

Anti-skinning agent :

A type of antioxidant, usually volatile, which when added to a varnish or an oil, will tend to prevent a skin of partially oxidized material from forming on the surface of the liquid while in the container or before being applied to the work.

Antioxidant :

A material which, when added to a varnish or an oil, retards or prevents oxidation and drying.

Antique finish :

A finish usually applied to furniture or woodwork to give the appearance of age.

Antiquing :

Any technique used to make a painted surface look old; usually refers to a thin glaze that is applied to a surface, allowing the undercoat to show through.

Appliance finish :

Generally, the thermoset coatings, which are characterized by their hardness, mar resistance and good chemical resistance.

Apron – bathtub :

The front extension of a bathtub that runs from the rim to floor.

Apron – furniture :

The board between the tops of a table's legs that supports the top or, in the case of a chair, the seat. Also called the "skirt."

Apron – window :

The piece of trim around the interior side of a window that sits below the window stool and supports it.

Apron tile :

Trim or facing on the side or in front of a countertop edge.

Applied hiding :

Refers not only to the opacity of the paint film, but also to how it hides, depending on its thickness and how smoothly it flows out. Must take into account how the paint is applied (brush, roller, spray, etc.). 

Aqueous :

Pertaining to water; an aqueous solution is a water solution.

Arbor :

Garden structure that can support plants and serves as a transition between sections of a yard or as an architectural feature that complements the landscape.

Arc :

Any portion of a circle, such as those found in an archway or curved wall.

Arch bead :

A plastic or metal strip designed to finish curved drywall seams in arched doorways or windows.

Architectural coatings :

Coatings intended for on-site application to interior or exterior coatings of residential, commercial or institutional buildings -- as opposed to industrial coatings. Also called Trade Sales Coatings.

Architectural grade lumber :

The best-looking and most expensive grade of lumber.

Armoire :

A large, ornate cupboard or wardrobe that is used for storage.

Aromatic :

An organic chemical possessing the benzene ring structure. Benzene, toluol and xylol are typical aromatic hydrocarbons.

Art deco :

A decorative style that was based on geometric forms. It was popular during the 1920s and 1930s.

Art nouveau :

A late-nineteenth-century decorative style that was based on natural forms. It was the first style to reject historical references and create its own design vocabulary, which included stylized curved details.

Artificial break :

The point where the wallpaper or border ends against a decorative wood strip, spindle or other object. This lets the wallpaper or border end without an obvious mismatch.

Artist's acrylics :

Paints that contain pigments suspended in acrylic resin, similar to latex paint but of much higher quality.

Artist's oils :

The tube or oil-stick paint associated with fine-art paintings. They consist of pigments suspended in linseed oil, and come in a wide range of saturated colors.

Arts and crafts movement :

A decorative style that began in England during the late nineteenth century, where it was known as the Aesthetic Movement. Lead by William Morris, the movement rejected industrialization and encouraged fine craftsmanship and simplicity in design.

Asphalt :

A bituminous compound, dark brown or black in color, used in the manufacture of asphalt roofing shingles.

Asphaltic concrete :

A mixture of liquid asphalt and aggregate used as a paving material.

Astragal :

A vertical strip attached to the opening edge of one door in a pair, forming a jamb for the other door to close into.

Atom :

The smallest particle of an element.

Atomize :

To break a liquid into a mist or droplets. Spray guns atomize paint by forcing the paint through a small orifice under high pressure and through air stream interaction.

Attic :

The space between the rafters and the ceiling joists.

Available lighting conditions :

The ambient light in a room, including natural light and artificial light. Imperfections in the wall surface or wallpaper are more evident as the ambient light increases.

Awning window :

A window with a single framed-glass panel. It is hinged at the top to swing out when it is open.

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