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  • Acrylic : A term describing water based decorating materials.
  • Acrylic Filler: A water based gap and surface fillers that remain highly flexible when cured to allow movement. Particularly useful for ceiling cracks and junctions between plaster and wood.
  • Alkyd: An oil based paint made from synthetic resin instead of natural oils.
  • Anaglypta: Originally a trade name but now used generically to describe wallpaper with an embossed surface pattern
  • Bleed through: A painting fault resulting from a wood knot, solvent or other contaminate under paint showing stains in the paint.
  • Brushing out : Spreading paint or other liquid finishes to give even coverage
  • Colour washing: A traditional paint technique where paint is diluted and used to create a semitransparent rather than an opaque finish.
  • Combing: A paint effect using a decorators comb is dragged across a glaze to produce a series of lines.
  • Cut in: To paint the edges of a wall or ceiling to complete the coverage of the surface. Especially applies where a paint roller or pad is used which cannot reach into the corners.
  • Distemper: A traditional unstable wall 'paint' comprising water, pigment and glue. Now largely replaced by emulsion paints, old distemper normally needs to be removed or sealed before redecoration.
  • Dulux Weathershield : These are a range of products specifically formulated to provide a high resistance to all types of extreme weather conditions. The range comprises of masonry and woodcare products, with each product offering a varying amount of yearly guarantees.
  • Easy Fill: A fine wall filler for minor holes and cracks
  • Eggshell: An oil or water based paint with a semi-gloss finish.
  • Emulsion : A water based paint normally used to paint large areas such as walls and ceilings.
  • Fire proofing paint: Designed to expand and create a fire protective barrier, insulating the surface from heat and oxygen. Also known as an intumescent paint
  • Flexible filler: A filler that is able to accommodate minor movements in wood or plaster surfaces without cracking and is suitable for repairs which will be covered by paint.
  • Frieze: A narrow band of decoration along a wall. Frieze papers are available or it can be stencilled etc.
  • Gloss paint : A hardwearing, high sheen paint, mainly used as a top coat on woodwork.
  • Graining : A paint effect giving a realistic hardwood appearance to softwood.
  • Grinning : A painting fault where paint has been applied too thinly over darker surfaces, the surface below may show or grin through.
  • Grout : A paste filler used to fill the gaps between tiles and mosaics. Can be waterproof.
  • Knotting: A shellac based solution used to seal knots in wood before priming
  • Laying off : The final, light brush strokes, normally all in the same direction, in painting to produce a smooth surface.
  • Liming : A technique for staining softwood a whitish colour using a liming wax.
  • Lining Paper: A wallpaper used to cover poor surfaces prior to applying paint or wallpaper - when being covered with wallpaper, the lining paper is normally put on at right angles to the final paper.
  • Linseed Putty: A wood sash oil based putty that is excellent for glazing wooden windows and doors or bedding glass beads
  • Low tac: A term used to describe types of masking tape that have a low level of adhesion so that they can be removed without damaging the surface.
  • Make good : To prepare a surface for decorating by filling in holes, smoothing etc. It is often said "90% of the time to make good, 10% for the actual decorating
  • Marbling : A paint effect used to create the impression of a marble surface.
  • Muraspec: A leading designer and supplier of commercial wallpapers in narrow, medium and wide widths.
  • Non drip paint: A oil based paint which has gel like consistency and so tends not to run or drip.
  • Oil based paint : Paint based on an oil solvent, The final surface is hard wearing but the paint gives off strong fumes and brushes etc can only be cleaned using white spirit.
  • Paint stripper : A solution liquid or paste used to chemically remove old layers of paint from a surface
  • Primary colour: One of three 'pure' colours - red, blue, and yellow - all other colours are just a mixture of these three
  • Primer Paint: A paint used to seal and stabilize a surface before further coats are applied - often with very little colour content to hide the underlying surface. Different types are necessary for different surfaces (I.e. wood, steel, non-ferrous metals etc) to provide good adhesion. Combined 'Primer and Undercoat' for wood is available.
  • PVA: Polyvinyl acetate - the basis of various types of adhesives, paints etc. Often used diluted as a stabilising solution on powdery surfaces
  • Rag rolling: A paint effect that is similar to ragging except that the rag is made into a sausage-like shape and then rolled down a glaze or emulsion to produce a directional pattern.
  • Ragging : A paint effect achieved with a crumpled rag that is used to create a pattern on emulsion or a glaze - alternatively, the rag may be dipped in the paint and then applied to a surface.
  • Size: Thinned adhesive applied to walls to seal the surface before hanging wallpaper.
  • Soaking time: The time which wallpaper is left after pasting before hanging, this allows the paste to soak in and prevent the formation of bubbles - it varies between papers and is normally specified on the label
  • Solvent: A chemical used as the base of certain decorating materials. The solvent evaporates (releasing fumes) for the material to 'go off' - good ventilation is normally required.
  • Sponging: A paint effect achieved by using a natural sponge to produce an impression in a glaze or emulsion - alternatively, the sponge may be dipped in the paint and then applied to the surface
  • Stabilizer : A liquid which is applied to flaking or dusty surfaces to bind the surface in preparation for subsequent decoration.
  • Stencilling : A decorative effect achieved by applying paint on to the cut-out areas of a paper, cardboard or acetate template to produce the design on a surface.
  • Stippling : Applying paint or other finishes by using just the extreme tips of bristles of a brush.
  • Top Coat: The final coat of paint which is laid off, or subjected to a paint effect technique, to give the final finish
  • Undercoat: The paint applied after the primer to mask the underlying material and to provide a key for the top coat - often now replaced by a combined 'Primer and Undercoat' for wooden surfaces.
  • Varnish : A resinous or water-based solution that seals and protects surfaces.
  • Vinyl Paint: An emulsion paint with good wearing and cleaning properties - available in a number of finishes such as Silk (semi-gloss) and Matt.
  • Vinyl Wallpaper: A wallpaper with a front surface of vinyl - usually water resistant.
  • Wallpaper Stripper : A piece of equipment which produces steam through a flat plate held against the wallpaper thus releasing the adhesive so that the wallpaper can be easily scrapped off.
  • Wet and dry paper: A waterproof abrasive paper made with silicon-carbide particles glued to backing, used wet to give a very smooth finish.
  • Woodstain : A wood finish which is absorbed into the outer surface to provide colour and protection.
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