Build In Common

Jargon busting: Paint Terminology


When it comes to different paint types, be aware of the differences as the type of paint will affect the finish:

ACRYLIC PAINT is water based, synthetic and tends to dry quickly. It is also much easier to clean out of brushes and rollers. Other benefits are the low odour and the fact they are less prone to cracking.

ENAMEL PAINT used to be predominantly oil based, but nowadays you can also buy them as water-based products, which will enable a faster drying time.

OIL BASED PAINT is as the name suggests oil based, has a stronger odour, glossier finish and creates a smoother finish.

BLOCK SANDING is when you wrap a piece of sand paper around a small block (usually wood or plastic) to sand a surface.

CEILING WHITE OR CEILING FLATS are designed specifically for ceilings. These tend to have no sheen and are extra splatter resistant to make painting less messy.

CURING refers to the time it takes for a paint to fully bond internally and dry completely.

CUTTING IN means to apply paint to a surface using a brush that are too tight for paint rollers eg along the ceiling line, corners or the skirting boards, to produce a true finished line edge against an adjoining surface.

MINERAL TURPENTINE is used to clean brushes and acts as paint thinner for thinning oil based paints.

PAINT SHEEN will determine how shiny you want the paint to be. There are basically four different levels to choose from:

FLAT will provide you with the lowest amount of sheen, leaving a smooth matte finish. This tends to be ideal to hide minor imperfections and has the least light reflection.

SATIN brings more warmth and depth into a space and works for most rooms. It is very practical to allow for an easy clean, without too much shine.

SEMI-GLOSS finish adds a noticeable shine to your walls, so beware as it tends to show up imperfections. They tend to be one of the most durable choices for high traffic areas.

GLOSS is reflective and tough, allowing for a lot of wear and tear, but is also used to highlight details. Be prepared to spend time on quality preparation of surfaces when using gloss paints.

PRIMER is used on new surfaces to protect the material underneath. It helps even out the colour and create a sense of smoothness to the surface. Primers can be oil based or water based.

TURPENTINE is an oil-based paint thinner.

VARNISH is a natural or synthetic material used for protecting wood surfaces.

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