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F. A. Q.---Paint Quiz


We have created this Glossary of Painting Terms which you should become familiar with to better enable you to perform more Professional Style Painting! You should also read our Frequently Asked Questions and our Tips-Hints for more help!

| A | B | C | D |
| E | F | G | H | I |
| J | L | M | N | P |
| R | S | T | V |


  • Acrylic: A water base synthetic Paint
  • Alcohol: De-Natured Alcohol used for cleaning-up latex Paint and for thinning and cleaning-up Pigmented Shellac Stain Sealer, plain Rubbing Alcohol works too
  • Alkyd: An oil base synthetic Paint
  • brushesAngle Edge Brushes: Brushes with the end of the bristles tapered (we don't recommend using these, Flat Edge Brushes are better)... In the picture, the Angle Edge Brush is on the LEFT
  • Apron: The piece directly below the Sill that contacts the wall and gives a more "complete" and eye-pleasing appearance to a Window Casing
  • Back Prime: Priming the back side of a surface
  • Baseboard: The finished wood piece placed at the bottom of a wall, running the full length of the wall, and sometimes having a smaller "Shoe Molding" attached to it's bottom edge
  • Bi Fold: A Door that is hinged along the vertical centerline and folds together when opened
  • Block Sanding: Wrapping a piece of sand paper around a small block (usually wood) to give a flat surface for sanding larger flat areas
  • Boxing: Pouring containers of Paint together back and forth to superficially mix them together
  • Casing: The outer-most trim pieces that surround an opening, such as a window or door
  • Cove: A rounded corner or edge between a wall and a ceiling
  • Curing: The time consuming process of allowing Paint to fully bond internally, usually about two weeks for most Paint
  • Cutting In: A Brushing technique used to apply Paint to produce a true finished-line-edge against an adjoining surface
  • Down Spouts: The virtical "tubes" that drain water from Gutters down to the ground
  • Duster: A tool used for dusting surfaces, usually an old paint brush
  • Dry Roller: A paint roller that has been loaded with Paint, and rolled out until it seems ready to re-load with more Paint, but can be used first to roll surfaces to tighten-up the stipple, before re-loading it with more Paint
  • Egg Shell: Virtually the same as Satin, a type of Paint finish
  • Enamel: Any kind of Paint that is formulated to give an extra hard finish
  • Epoxy: A special Paint that is made from chemicals that when combined together or when exposed to air, will form a highly tight internal bond and be able to resist standing water or extreme surface abuse
  • Extension Sticks: Wood (or other material) pieces that come in various lengths or are adjustable, and can be used to attach to Paint Roller Handles (or to Brushes) to enable reaching greater distances
  • Faux: The technique of applying Paint to change the appearance of a surface from what it was to a different surface
  • Flat: The most common of Paint finishes... it has the least light reflection and appears most pleasing to the eye
  • brushesFlat Edge Brushes: Brushes that have no taper on the bristle edge (as opposed to Angle Edge Brushes which are tapered from one face edge to the other) In the picture, the Flat Edge Brush is on the RIGHT
  • Glazing Compound: Used for Puttying Windows, it differs from Putty by retaining it's plasticity longer
  • Gold Leaf: Paint made from hammered out thin leaves of Gold, used for Gilding and is very expensive
  • Gloss: A type of Paint finish which has a high Sheen and is highly light reflective
  • Heel: The bottom of a Brush's bristles where they enter the handle
  • Idiot Stick: An old term for Extension Sticks
  • Jam: The narrow piece of molding that stops a Door from swinging thru a Door casing
  • Joint Compound: A synthetic compound that is used for repairing walls, usually over larger areas
  • Lacquer Thinner: A solvent for thinning Lacquer Paint but can be used for removing Grease
  • Latex: A synthetic water based Paint
  • Linseed Oil: A natural drying oil made from the Flax Plant, used in Oil Based Paint and in other Painting materials
  • Long Handle Brush: Brushes with longer handles than regular Brushes, usually available at most Paint Stores
  • Loover: Thin strips of material, usually wood, that are stacked either vertically or horizontally with spacing between them to allow air to pass thru
  • Mineral Spirits: Petroleum solvent used for thinning or cleaning up Oil Based Paint
  • Nap: The length of fibers on a Roller Cover
  • Nylon: A type of material used for brush bristles, but is usually not as good as Polyester or Nylon-Polyester combinations
  • Paint and Varnish Remover: A material used to remove Paint or Varnish, and is usually a thick film material, and requires several minutes to work on the surface, then it must be scraped off, a somewhat "messy" job
  • Paint Thinner: A solvent used for thinning or cleaning-up Oil Base Paint
  • Panel Door: A hollow Door with minimal wood around the edges and within the center inside, usually with a flat surface on the complete outside
  • Patching: Using Spackle or other compounds to repair holes, cracks or other defects on a surface
  • Plaster of Paris: A compound which when mixed with water will make Plaster for quick repairs
  • Polyester: A synthetic material used for brush bristles, roller covers or other tools
  • Pop Corn Ceilings: Ceiling Paint that contains various chunks of filler or flocking material to give a textured finish, usually applyed with a Flocking Spray Gun
  • Pot Hooks: Metal hooks configured to easily hang Paint cans to Ladder Rungs, used for high work
  • Priming: Applying a preliminary coat of material to a surface, before the finish coat, to insure a good bond
  • Pure Bristle: Sometimes called "China Bristle" ...it is real animal hair used in Paint Brush Bristle, used primarily for Varnishing or sensitive refinishing with Oil Based Paint
  • Putty: A compound used for filling Holes or sometimes small openings, but more commonly used for glazing window panes to hold the glass intact
  • Riser: The piece of wood (or other material) that rises up from the toe end of a stairway step to connect it to the next higher-up step
  • Roller Cover: The tubular shaped cover, usually made from a Polyester material, that slips onto a Roller Handle, and which holds the Paint and applys the Paint to a surface when Rolling
  • Roller Handle: A metal frame tool that holds the Roller Cover on one end and has a handle on the other end, and is used to Roll surfaces and apply Paint to them, the handle usually has a threaded opening to allow Extension Sticks to be attached
  • Runners: Long narrow Drop Cloths usually 4 feet wide and of various lengths, used to cover hallways, stairways etc.
  • Sash: The framework, usually wood, that directly holds a window pane (glass)
  • Satin: A type of Sheen Paint finish that reflects light slightly, but not as much as Semi Gloss or Gloss
  • Scraper: A tool used to remove Paint from surfaces
  • Sealers: Material used to provide a water (and sometimes ultra violet light) barrier to a surface
  • Semi Gloss: A type of Sheen Paint finish that is commonly used on surfaces that require frequent washing, or cleaning, it reflects light more than a Satin finish
  • Sheen: A light reflective property of a Painted surface
  • Shellac: A material made from Bees (the Lac Bug) used to Seal surfaces from moisture, mildew, etc but primarily used for Interior surfaces
  • Shoe Molding: A narrow piece of molding that is attached (sometimes) to the very bottom of a Baseboard, used to protect the Baseboard from scuffing from appliances like Vacuum Cleaners
  • Silicon: A material that is added most often to Caulking to aid in durability
  • Sill: The horizontal trim frame piece at the bottom of a window casing, exterior door openings also have sills, but they are called Thresh Holds
  • Single Stage Step Ladder: A step ladder that can be opened fully into position in one move, the framing opens both the steps and paint tray platform in one motion... See Pictures
  • Skin: A Roller Cover
  • Slab Door: A solid Door, very heavy, usually used for weather proof or security openings
  • Soffit: The underside flat horizontal surface that extends away from adjoining surfaces and can be lower than the adjoining surface, as in the underside of an exterior overhang trim section, eaves
  • Spackling Compound: A compound which when mixed with water will make Spackle (which can be bought ready mixed), and is used for small surface repairs
  • Spar Varnish: A synthetic Varnish that is used to protect from water and weather conditions
  • Spinner: A tool used for spinning out Roller Covers and Brushes to remove water or solvent after cleaning them
  • Spot Priming: Using a Primer or Primer-Sealer locally for a small local area
  • Square Up: Finish up temporarily by cleaning up and organizing your shop area
  • Stain: A material (either water or oil based) used to color surfaces, it is absorbed into the surface material unlike Paint which is applyed as a top film to the surface material
  • Stain Sealer: A material used to seal surfaces, can be oil-based, water-based or shellac-based (recommended)
  • Stipple: The Paint finish produced by a Roller Cover, it can be a coarse or preferrably a fine Stipple
  • Stringer: The long piece of wood (or other material) that connects all the steps on either side of a stairway, (right and left Stringers)
  • Stripper: Same as Paint and Varnish Remover
  • Stucco: A surface finish that is produced by swirling or moving the applicator when applying the surface material, usually Plaster
  • Styling: The framework onto which the Doors hang on Kitchen, or other Cabinets
  • Switch Plate: Metal or plastic cover plates that protect Light Switches or Plug openings
  • Texture Paint: Paint that contains thicking material and requires special Roller Covers for application, to produce a textured surface finish
  • Thresh Hold: The Sill for an entrance-way Door
  • Tung Oil: A drying oil sometimes used for finishing fine wood surfaces
  • Turpentine: An oil-base Paint Thinner, usually more expensive than plain Paint Thinner and recommended for use with Varnish
  • Urethane: A synthetic polymer resin that can be added to certain materials, such as Varnish to make them more durable
  • Varnish: A natural or synthetic material used for protecting wood surfaces, usually after they have been Stained

F. A. Q.---Paint Quiz

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tip Learn how to use Pigmented Shellac Stain Sealer-Primer... it kills stains better, undercoats wood surfaces better, and drys much faster for quick second coating! [read all the tips]

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