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Glossary beginning with A

Select the first letter of the term you're looking for from above to begin.
Abatement search for term

The removal of a painted surface, replacing it with an impermeable surface; covering a surface with a heavy-duty coating.

Abbozzo search for term

The initial sketching done on a canvas; the first underpainting. Italian for "sketch."

Abrasion search for term

The process of being worn away by rubbing or friction.

Abrasion Resistance search for term

Resistance to being worn away by rubbing or friction.

Abrasive search for term

Capable of wearing down a surface by rubbing against it.

Abrasives search for term

Substances capable of wearing down surfaces by rubbing against them.

Absorbent Ground search for term

A prepared surface or substance that absorbs the liquid from paint.

Abstract search for term

Imagery which departs from representational accuracy.

Abuse-Resistant Drywall search for term

A type of drywall with heavier paper and a reinforced core.

Accelerator search for term

A substance added to oil paints to help speed drying time.

Accent search for term

A distinctive feature or quality that emphasizes or complements a primary component.

Accent Light search for term

A source of illumination that highlights an area to emphasize an aspect of a room's character.

Acetate search for term

transparency made of cellulose acetate film.

Acetone search for term

A volatile solvent commonly used with lacquers in paint-removers.

Achromatic search for term

Color having no chroma.

Acid search for term

A substance capable of dissolving certain metals and reacting with bases or alkalis to form salts.

ACMI search for term

The Art and Creative Materials Institute; an industry trade group created to certify art and creative materials as non-toxic.

Acrylic search for term

A range of lightweight, rigid plastics used as binding agents for paint. Acrylics are notable for their permanence, ease of use, and relatively low price point. An ideal medium for beginners.

Acrylic Emulsion search for term

A dispersion of polymers or copolymers of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, or acrylonitrile used for heat sealability and resistance to light discoloration.

Acrylic Pen search for term

A range of markers that contain acrylic paint. Not recommended for mixing with artists' acrylic paint.

Acrylic Solution search for term

A solution of acrylic resin and solvent used to mimic the consistency of oil paint in acrylic paint.

Activator search for term

A substance which provokes a chemical reaction in other materials without changing itself.

Additive search for term

Any substance added, in small quantities, to another substance. Typically refers to different substances intended to modify various qualities of paint, such as extenders, retarders, and driers.

Additive Color search for term

Color created by mixing two or more different colors together, as opposed to color created by taking one or more different colors away.

Adhesion search for term

The action or process of chemically adhering to a surface or object.

Adhesion Promoter search for term

Material used over the original material or cured insoluble finish to increase the adhesion of the topcoat.

Adhesive search for term

Any substance applied to a surface that binds it to another surface and resists separatation.

Adhesive Sheet search for term

A thin support material, such as paper, that hosts an adhesive.

Adjacent Colors search for term

Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

Adsorption search for term

The adhesion in an extremely thin layer of molecules (as of gases, solutes, or liquids) to the surfaces of solid bodies or liquids with which they are in contact.

Adulteration search for term

The partial substitution of one substance for another of lesser quality or value.

Adze search for term

An axe-like tool with a curved, chiseled-like steel head mounted at a right angle to the handle.

Aerosol search for term

A product that uses compressed gas to spray the coating from its container.

After-Tack search for term

A film defect in which a coated surface redevelops a sticky condition after having already dried.

Agglutinate search for term

To cause adhesion or join together into a group or mass, as with glue.

Aggregate search for term

Inert granular material such as sand which is mixed with cement to make concrete or mortar, or with a binder to make a solid compound. For instance, to make plaster easier to carve, one can add an aggregate of vermiculite or perlite.

Aggregate Stability search for term

The ability of an aggregate to resist various changes without flocculation or coagulation. Can be improved with emulsifiers or dispersing agents.

Aging search for term

The changing of a material with time that leads to the improvement or deterioration of its properties.

AIM Compliant search for term

Architectural and Industrial Maintenance. Generally refers to a paint or coating which contains a low number of volatile organic compounds and is designed for high-traffic exterior use.

Air Cap search for term

Perforated housing for directing the atomizing air at the head of a spray gun.

Air Cure search for term

A method in which liquid coatings cure to a dry film by sitting in open air.

Air Entrapment search for term

A paint defect that occurs due to the incorporation of air bubbles into the coating during the application process.

Airbrush search for term

A precision spraygun attached by hose to an electric air compressor or another means of air pressure. Also a term for the usage of such a device to apply paints, dyes, or inks.

Airless Spray search for term

A spray that increases the fluid pressure of paint by means of a pump that causes atomization with air, resulting in higher film build and little or no over-spray.

Alcohol Ink search for term

An ink that adheres easily to a variety of materials and is designed to create interesting patterns and effects when diluted with a blending solution. Dries by absorption instead of evaporation. 

Alkaline search for term

Any substance with a pH over 7.0. Alkaline substances are sometimes added to other materials to neutralize acids or form a buffer for the purpose of counteracting acids that might form in the future.

Alkyd search for term

Any member of a group of synthetic polyester resins derived from various alcohols and acids. Used in varnishes, paints, and adhesives.

Alla Prima search for term

A painting technique in which the final surface of the painting is completed in one sitting without any underpainting. Italian for "at the first."

Alligatoring search for term

A condition of paint film where the surface crackles and develops an appearance similar to alligator skin.

Allowance search for term

The extra material around the edges of a textile or support that is intended for trimming or cropping.

Alox search for term

A white or nearly colorless crystalline substance that is used as a starting material for advanced ceramic products, as an active chemical agent, or as an abrasive for sanding.

Alternate Color search for term

A color matched to a verifiable original manufacturer color shift.

Aluminum Oxide search for term

A white or nearly colorless crystalline substance that is used as a starting material for advanced ceramic products or as an active chemical agent, or as an abrasive for sanding.

Ambient Lighting search for term

General illumination that surrounds a room with no visible source of light.

American Clay search for term

A natural clay plaster that is sustainable, environmental, mold-resistant, dust-repellant, and produces negative ions.

American Single Roll search for term

A unit of wallpaper that contains between 34 to 36 square feet and varies from about 20 inches to 36 inches in width and from 4 to 7 yards in length.

Amide search for term

A functional group which acts as an epoxy resin curing agent.

Anaerobic search for term

An absence of unreacted or free oxygen.

Analogous Colors search for term

Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

Anchoring search for term

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

Anchoring Gaze search for term

The primary direction of gaze, or line of sight, of people who are in conversation.

Angle search for term

A figure formed by two lines or edges meeting at a common point known as the vertex.

Anhydrous search for term

Without water.

Animation search for term

The technique of photographing successive drawings or positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the movie is shown as a sequence; the manipulation of electronic images by means of a computer in order to create moving images.

Anime search for term

A style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark, colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots.

Anti-Corrosive Paint search for term

A metal paint applied directly to the metal that is designed to inhibit corrosion.

Anti-Foaming Agent search for term

An additive used to minimize the formation of foam during processing, which is a problem most often found in the manufacture of water-based coating systems.

Anti-Fouling Paint search for term

Paints formulated especially for boats, docks, and other below-water surfaces and structures to prevent the growth of barnacles and other aquatic life.

Antique Finish search for term

A finish usually applied to furniture or woodwork in order to give the appearance of aging.

Antiquing search for term

Any technique designed to make a painted surface look old. Usually refers to a thin glaze that is applied to a surface that allows the undercoat to show through.

AP search for term

The Approved Products Seal. Products bearing this seal are certified by the ACMI to contain no materials in quantities that are toxic to humans or that cause chronic or acute health problems.

Appliance Finish search for term

The coatings for appliances that are characterized by their hardness, mar resistance, and chemical resistance.

Appliqué search for term

A design made by stitching different pieces of colored fabric onto a larger piece of fabric. Used for wall hangings and decorations on clothing and bedding.

Apron search for term

A protective garment that covers the front of the body and may be worn for hygienic and protective reasons.

Aquamedia search for term

Water-based mediums such as casein, gouache, and acrylic paint.

Aquarelle search for term

A painting technique in which a drawing or painting is created with transparent watercolor. French for "watercolor."

Aquarelle Brush search for term

A style of watercolor brush used for flat, large areas and light washes.

Aqueous search for term

Watery; often used to designate media in which water is an ingredient in the vehicle, such as gouache, tempera, and watercolors.

Architectural Coating search for term

Coating used in applications for interior or exterior surfaces of buildings which receive high traffic.

Archival search for term

A type of material that meets specific criteria for permananent storage.

Arcing search for term

In spray-painting, refers to the action of turning at the wrist or elbow with each pass.

Art Board search for term

A thick, paper-based cardboard used for illustration and painting.

Artist's Bridge search for term

A tool used to support the hand to keep it stable and clear of a working surface.

ASTM search for term

The American Society for Testing and Materials; an independent standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.

Asymmetry search for term

A composition with one side that does not reflect the other.

Atomize search for term

The breaking-up of paint into fine particles or droplets by a paint gun.

Autographic Ink search for term

A kind of greasy ink used for drawing in silkscreen or lithography, or as a transfer ink.

Auxiliaries search for term

Something which provides additional help or support.

Awl search for term

A long, pointed spike used for making holes in wood, marking wood, or for piercing holes in leather.

Axis search for term

An imaginary straight line which indicates movement and the direction of movement.

Axis Line search for term

An imaginary straight line which indicates movement and the direction of movement.