A - Z list of keywords and terms from the coatings industry.



The decorative paint market in the UK buys more than 300 million litres of paint each year, valued at over £500 million. European users consumer almost 2.5 billion litres per year. Products are designed for either interior or exterior use. Products specifically for interior use include emulsion paints for walls and ceilings and a variety of special paints for specific applications such as in kitchens or bathrooms. Products for exterior use include gloss and masonry paint, and a wide range of varnishes and stains for wood care. The market is made up of DIY and Trade users. Legislation in the form of 2004/42 CE governs product VOC limits in this area.


Removal of oil, grease and other contaminants from a surface prior to painting, normally by solvent wipe or chemical solution.


Separation of different layers.


Removal of small particles by abrading with a fine grade abrasive (paper or Scotch-Brite)


Mass relating to volume


A liquid part of wet paint which does not contribute as a True solvent to dissolving the resin, but nevertheless reduces the viscosity of the paint to help with application. Normally the resin will only tolerate limited amounts of the diluent. Normally used as a blend with True / Latent solvents to reduce the cost


To make something less strong, thick or concentrated.


A method of coating in which the article is immersed in the coating and withdrawn at a steady rate, drawing with it a uniform coating of film.


The process of separating pigment agglomerations into smaller particles and mixing them into the resin.


A process for separating a mixture of liquids, during which the liquid mixture is boiled, and the vapour escaping is condensed and collected. The early material collected will be the lowest boiling point component of the original mixture, whilst later materials will be of a higher boiling point.

Distinctness of Image (DOI)

Distinctness of Image measures the sharpness of a reflected image in a coating surface. Similar coatings may have identical gloss values but visually the quality may be very different. A visually poor coating may have a highly textured dimpled appearance known as "orange peel". When a reflected object is viewed in such a coating the image becomes fuzzy and distorted.


The DIY market is made up of users who apply paint to their homes themselves. They are supplied through retail outlets such as multiple retailers, DIY specialist chains, supermarkets, department stores, retail cash and carries and independent retailers. Communication with users is centred on strong brand identities. Brands may be owned and promoted by the manufacturer (such as Dulux, Crown or Homecharm) or owned by the multiple chain which sells it (called an own brand). Paints are generally applied by brush or roller.


Substance that promotes the oxidation of drying oils used in coatings.

Dry Dock

A dock with closing doors into which large ships can sail and from which the water can be pumped or drained out. Essential for substantial engineering works below the water line, in particular for painting with anti-fouling paint.

Dry Film Thickness

Thickness of coating when dried.

Dry Spray

Coating Film that is bitty and rough to the touch. Can be caused by insufficient pressure to fully atomise the coating, a coating with too high a viscosity or a solvent combination that is too fast.

Drying Oil

Oils which form a thin, hard film when exposed to air and allowed to oxidise. Examples are linseed, tung & soya.

Drying Time

The time elapsed between the application of the coating and final cure.

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