We try not to confuse anyone with technical jargon, but just in case something pops up, we've created a handy glossary with a simple explanation of the technical terms that crop up from time-to-time. If there is something you're still not sure of, we're always happy to try help. Please don't hesitate to get in touch by email, telephone or using Live Chat.



ABRASION RESISTANCE: How tough a paint is to being worn away rubbing or friction. this is essential for quality floor finishes.


ABRASIVE: Used for wearing away the surface material or coating by rubbing, such as sanding.


ADHESION: How well the paint or coating can stick to the surface.


AEROSOL: A substance released as a spray by using compressed gas.


AIRLESS SPRAY: An airless paint spraying system that gives a glass-smooth layer of coating over a surface that is practically impossible to achieve using a brush or roller.


ALKALI: A substance such as lye, soda or lime that can damage the paint surface


ALKYD: Synthetic resin combined with oil to make an oil-based coating giving a good adhesion to a clean surface and an attractive gloss.


ANCHORING: Mechanical bonding of a coating to a rough surface.


ANTI-CORROSIVE PAINT: Metal paint designed to fight against corrosion. Applied directly to metal.


ANTI SLIP CLEAT: Piece of metal covered with a anti slip properties to help combat slips.



BINDER: Film-forming ingredient in paint that binds the pigment together.


BITU-MEND COATING: A coating that it suitable for asphalt surfaces.


BLISTERING: The formation of bubbles or on the painted surface caused by moisture in the wood.


BLUSHING: A gloss film turning flat or a clear lacquer turning white due to moisture condensation during the drying process.


BREATHE: The ability of paint to let moisture vapor pass through without causing blistering, cracking, or peeling.


BRIDGING: Ability of paint to span small gaps or cracks in the surface due to elastic properties.


BRISTLE: The natural bristles (usually hog hair) or artificial bristles (nylon or polyester) used on a brush.


BRUSHABILITY: How well or easy the paint is to apply by brush.


BRUSH MARKS: Marks caused by a brush.


BRUSH-OUT: It consists of brushing out a sample of paint onto a slab of wood or other material, so you can see how the finished job will look.


BUBBLES: Air bubbles in a drying paint film appear because of excessive brushing during application or by vigorous mixing.


BUILD: Thickness or depth of a paint film.



CATALYST: An ingredient that is added to speed up a chemical reaction.


CARBIDE BORDED: A cover of a very hard material made of carbon and heavy metals.


CAULKING COMPOUND: A soft plastic material used to seal joints or fill crevices around windows, chimneys.


CHALKING: The appearance of a loose fine powder on the surface of a paint film.


CLEAR COATING: A transparent layer applied over the base colour to enhance the shine and durability of the paint.


COALESCING: The settling or drying of an emulsion paint as the water evaporates.


COATING: Paint, varnish, lacquer or other finish used to create a protective and/or decorative layer.


COHESION: The sticking together of particles of the same substance.


COVERAGE: The area covered by paint expressed in square meter per litre.


CRACKING: Breaks in irregular lines wide enough to expose the underlying surface.


CURING: The time a coating needs to dry.


CUTTING IN: Using a paint brush to paint areas that are too tight for rollers, such as edges between the floor and walls.



DURABILITY: The ability of paint to last or hold up well.


DRY TACK FREE: When the paint does no longer feel sticky or tacky when touched.


DRY TO RECOAT: Stage of drying required for applying a second coat.



EFFLORESCENCE: A deposit of salts that remain on the surface when water has evaporated.


EGGSHELL FINISH: The degree of gloss between a flat and gloss finish.


EMULSION PAINT: Paint in which particles are suspended in water or oil.


EPOXY: Clear finish having excellent adhesion qualities; extremely abrasion and chemical resistant.


EROSION: The damage of a paint film caused by exposure to the weather.


ETCH: Preparing the surface of the floor with chemicals to improve the adhesion of coating.



FLAKING: When the coating of paint breaks off the surface.


FLAT: A plain, non-glossy surface appearance.


FLEXIBILITY: Ability of a coating to expand and contract when temperature changes, or if the surface is subject to movement.


FLOW: The ability of a coating to level out uniformly and spread into a smooth film.


FILLER: A product used to fill the pores of wood before applying a coating.


FILM: Layer or coat of paint or other finish.


FINISH COAT: Last coat of paint or other finish.



GALVANIZED: A thin coating of zinc that covers iron or steel to prevent rust.


GLOSS: Paint or coating which provides a shiny, light reflective finish.


GLOSS METER: A standard scale for measuring the level of shininess or light reflectance of paint.


GRAIN RAISING: Swelling and standing up of the wood grain caused by absorbed water and solvents.



HARDBOARD: Made of highly compressed wood fibers.


HARDNESS: The level of resistance to denting, scratching or marring.


HIDING POWER: The ability of a paint to hide the previous surface or colour.



IPA CHEMICAL CLEANER: Cleans surfaces before grip tape is applied.


INHIBITOR: A substance that decreases the rate of rusting.


INTERCOAT ADHESION: The adhesion between two coats of paint.


INTERIOR: The inside surfaces of a structure.


INTERMEDIATE COAT: The coating between the primer and finish often called a barrier coat.



LACQUER: A fast-drying clear pigmented coating.


LAP: To lay or place one coat so its edge extends over and covers the edge of a previous coat, causing an increased film thickness.


LATEX: A water-thinned paint, referring to the use of rubber as a resin.


LEVELING: Gives a flat and even surface.


LIFTING: Ability of a film to flow out free from ripples, pockmarks and brush marks after application.


LIGHTFASTNESS: The fading of colour under the influence of light.


LINSEED OIL: A drying oil used in paint, varnish and lacquer.



MINERRAL SPIRITS: Paint thinners or petroleum-based solvents.


MASKING: Temporary covering an area.


MASKING TAPE: A tape used to temporarily cover areas that are not to be painted.


MASTIC: A heavy-bodied paste like coating of high build often applied with a trowel.


MASTIC ASPHALT: Mix of sand, limestone fine aggregate and bitumen.


METALLICS: A class of paints that include metal flakes in their composition.


MILDEW RESISTANCE: The ability of a coating to resist the growth of moulds and mildew. Mildew is particularly prevalent in moist, humid and warm climates.


MILDEWCIDE: An agent that helps prevent moulds or mildew growth on paint.


MOULDABLE CEMENT: concrete material that can be shaped by hand.



NAILHEAD RUSTING: Rust stains that bleed through the coating and strains the surrounding area.


NAP: The length of fibers in a paint roller cover.


NONVOLATILE: The portion of paint that does not evaporate at normal temperature and pressure.



OIL STAINS: usually opaque or transparent, it lets a greasy stain on the surface.


OPACITY: The ability of a paint to hide the previous surface or colour.


OPAQUE COATING: A coating that hides the previous surface coating.


ORANGE PEEL: Film having the roughness of an orange caused by poor roller or spray application.



PAINT GAUGE: Instrument for measuring the thickness of paint film.


PAINT REMOVER: A compound that takes away the paint layer.


PEELING: Removal of a dried paint film in large pieces.


PIGMENTS: A substance that gives the paint or coating colour.


PINHOLE: Very small holes in paint film.


POLYASPARTIC: A polyaspartic coating is a protective layer of aliphatic polyurea that is applied to metal or concrete floor surfaces.


POLYURETHANE: Wide range of coatings, ranging from hard gloss enamels to soft flexible coatings. Good to very good adhesion, hardness, flexibility and resistance. Surface preparation critical.


POLYVINYL ACETATE: A synthetic resin largely used as a film-forming ingredient in water-based paints. Often referred to as PVA.


POT LIFE: Amount of time after mixing a two-part paint system during which it can be applied.


PRIME COAT OR PRIMER: The first coat or undercoat applied to prepare the surface.


PROPELLANT: The gas used to expel materials from aerosol containers.



REMOVERS: Liquid used to remove coating


RESIN: A natural or synthetic material that is the main ingredient of paint and that binds ingredients together. It also aids adhesion to the surface.


ROLLER: A paint application tool having a revolving cylinder.



SAGS: A downward drooping movement of the paint that occurs immediately after application.


SATIN FINISH: A semi-glossy appearance.


SCRUBBABILITY: The ability of a paint film to resist wearing or degradation.


SEALER: A thin liquid applied to protect a surface from damage, corrosion and staining.


SEMI-TRANSPARENT: Between transparent and opaque.


SETTLING: Paint separation in which pigments accumulate at the bottom of the container.


SHEEN: A soft gleam on a surface.


SHELLAC: A natural resin used as a sealer and finish for floors, for sealing knots and other purposes.


SKIN: Tough covering that forms on paints if container is not tightly sealed.


SOLVENT: The volatile part of paint composition that evaporates during drying.


SPRAYING: A method of application dispersed in a gas with an aerosol.


SPREADING RATE: The area to which paint can be spread; usually expressed as square meter per metre.


STAIN: The action of colouring a material by applying a penetrative dye or chemical. It can be a transparent or semi-opaque coating that colours without completely obscuring the grain of the surface.


STREAKING: The irregular occurrence of lines or streaks of various lengths and colours in an applied film; usually caused by some form of contamination.


STRIP: Removal of old finishes with paint removers.


SUBSTRATE: Surface to be painted.


SURFACE TENSION: The property of a coating that makes it tend to shrink when applied.



TACKY: When the coating is not fully dry, or sticky.


TEXTURE: The roughness of a surface.


THINNERS: A solvent used to thin oil-based paints.


THIXOTROPY: To change from a thick, pasty consistency to a fluid consistency upon agitation, brushing or rolling.


TINT BASE: A colour system to which colorants were added.


TONER: A chemical solution used to change the colour.


TOUCH UP: To paint over minor blemishes, small chips or scratches.


TURPENTINE: A colourless liquid, which is used as a thinner for oil paints and varnishes, distilled from the products of the pine tree.



UNDERCOAT: A coating or primer that goes before the visible final coating is applied.



VARNISH: A clear transparent hard protective finish or film.


VISCOSITY: The thickness of a coating as related to its ability to flow as a liquid.


VOC: Volatile Organic Compounds are solvents or organic gases released from solid or liquids.



WASHABILITY:  The ability of paint to be easily cleaned out.


WATER EMULSIONS: Mixture of pigment and synthetic resin in water with low solvent emission.


WATER SPOTTING: A paint appearance defect caused by water droplets.


WEATHERING: The effect of exposure to weather on paint films.


WRINKLING: Cause lines or ridges when the paint dries.



YELLOWING: When the coating discolours, especially with age.