This glossary of Paint terms is one of the largest available on the Internet.

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Paint Terms Beginning with the Letter: C

CATALYST: An ingredient that speeds up a chemical reaction; sometimes used in two-component paint systems.
CAMEL HAIR: Trade name for tail hair from various types of Russian squirrels. Used for lacquering brushes and lettering quills.
CAULKING COMPOUND: A semidrying or slow-drying plastic material used to seal joints or fill crevices around windows, chimneys, etc.
CALCIMINE: A water-thinned Paint composed essentially of calcium carbonate or clay and glue.
COALESCING: The settling or drying of an emulsion paint as the water evaporates.
CHALKING: The formation of a loose powder on the surface of a paint after exposure to the elements.
CLEAR COATING: A transparent protective and/or decorative film.
CHECKING: A kind of paint failure in which many small cracks appear in the surface of the paint.
COLORFAST: Fade resistant.
COATING: A paint, varnish, lacquer, or other finish used to create a protective and/or decorative layer.
COLORANT: Concentrated color that can be added to paints to make specific colors.
COHESION: Attraction of molecules within a coating [how it holds together).
CONTACT CEMENT: Completely non staining cement. Ideal for applying wall Paneling, and for covering counters, cabinets and table tops with both porous and non-porous surfacing materials ranging from linoleum to plastic laminates.
COLOR UNIFORMITY: Ability of a consistent color across its entire surface, Particularly during the coating to maintain a uniform weathering process.
COVERAGE: The area over which a given amount of Paint will spread and hide the previous surface. (Usually expressed in square feet per gallon).
COPPER STAINING: Usually caused by corrosion of copper screens, gutters, or downspouts washing down on painted surfaces. Can be prevented by painting or varnishing the copper.
CRAZING: Small, interlacing cracks on surface of finish.
CRAWLING: Varnish defect in which poor adhesion of varnish to surface in some spots causes it to gather up in globs.
CRACKING: The type of paint failure characterized by breaks in irregular lines wide enough to expose the underlying surface.
CREOSOTE: A type of liquid coating made from coal tar that is used as a wood preservative. It should not be used on wood that will be painted later.
CUSTOM COLOR: Special colors made by adding colorant to paint or by intermixing colors, which permits the retailer to match a color selected by the consumer.
CURING: Final conversion or drying of a coating material.
CUTTING IN: Careful painting of an edge, such as wall color at the ceiling line or at the edge of woodwork.


Painting tips & tricks of the day

Doing clean touch ups
During light painting jobs, put a "Zip Lock" type sandwich bag in a plastic margarine tub and fold the bag edges over the rim. Pour the paint into the bag of your "paint tray" and once the job is over, remove the bag and seal it, or throw it away.


Giving old wood a fresh look
Exterior wood siding can be painted, or stripped and painted. Strip paint using a torch by burning the old paint and scraping it lightly being careful not to damage the wood. Clean the surface with trisodium phosphate (TSP), which you can find in the paint department of your local home renovation centre. Repair siding where needed and caulk. If you are repainting in the same colour, apply the finishing coat after the wood is dry. If you are changing colours, apply a primer coat followed by the new colour, using exterior paint (an oil based primer will be necessary if going from oil to latex). Avoid painting in full sun, at sunset, in the early morning, in the rain or in the wind. To keep bugs from sticking to the fresh paint, simply add two tablespoons of citronella to the paint.




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