Consumer Information: Glossary of terms

  • Alligatoring - lots of wide patterned cracks in the paint film, resemblig alligator scales. Usually caused by: multiple coats of oil based paints that have become brittle with age; topcoat not bonding to a glossy undercoat; insufficient drying time between coats; or a hard coating over a soft primer.


  • Blistering - paint bubbles indicating loss of adhesion. Usually caused by: trapped moisture; painting during high temperatures; using oil paints on damp surfaces; high humidity during drying time; painting warm surface in direct sunlight; or painting over heavy chalk.


  • Blocking - two painted surfaces sticking together when pressed together, such as doors and windows. Usually caused by pressing newly painted surfaces together before completely dry; excesssive paint; or recoat before the first coat is dry.


  • Burnishing - spots of increased sheen where paint is rubbed. Usually caused by using flat finish in areas subject to heavy wear and soiling; repeated spot washings using abrasive cleansers; or objects rubbing against painted surface.


  • Caulking Failure - loss of protective seal due to loss of initial adhesion and flexibility. Usually caused by filling roo large an opening; wrong type of caulk; aged non-acrylic caulks; or prolonged contact with water.


  • Chalking - excessive, heavy powdering. Usually due to natural weathering; interior paints being used in exterior applications; over-thinning; wrong product selection.


  • Checking/Flaking - aging dried paint getting hairline cracks that eventually crack to the surface. Usually caused by: poor surface preparation; old oil-based paint that becomes brittle; applying paint too thin; delamination of unprotected wood; or substrate cracking underneath.


  • Coalescence Void - paint not forming a continuous film when surface temperature is too cold. Usually caused by: painting when the air or surface temperature is below 50°F.


  • Dirt Staining - excessive collection of dirt and other debris. Usually caused by: air pollution and flying dust


  • Efflorescence - crusty, white salt deposits leached from masonry or mortar as moisture passes through. Usually caused by: excessive moisture; inadequant venting of interior moisture laden areas; pH level too high; or excessive lime in concrete mix.


  • Fading - early loss of colour usually from direct sun exposure. Usually caused by: paint colour that isn't light fast; overtinting; using interior grade paint outdoors; or tinting white paint not intended for tinting.


  • Flashing - uneven gloss with shiny or dull spots on painted surfaces. Usually caused by: improper or lack of priming of porous surfaces; poor painting techniques; painting over fresh paint or primer before it's dry; uneven film thickness; drying during excessive high/low temperatures.


  • Flow/Leveling Failure - excessive brush or roller marks causing non-uniform surface. Usually caused by: using wrong type of roller or brush; poor painting techniques; repainting partially dried areas; or painting non-primed surfaces.


  • Foaming/Cratering - excessive bubbling that leaves craters or depressions in the paint film. Usually caused by using wrong roller; rolling paint too fast; using old paint; painting over unprimed porous surfaces; or painting when the temperature is over 90°F.


  • Frosting - salty looking discoloration. Usually caused by: protected areas not receiving cleansing rains; dark colours over paint or primer using excessive extender pigments.


  • Galvanized Metal Peeling - an adhesion loss of the paint due to inadequate surface preparation. Usually caused by no or improper priming; improper surface preparation; improper choice of paint; not removing rust, oil, etc.; or painting too soon after cleaning metal surface.


  • Gloss Loss - accelerated deterioration of the top coat causing rapid luster loss, usually in reds, oranges and yellow paints. Usually caused by: use of gloss alkyd or oil based paint exposed directly to sun; or thin paint film.


  • Lapping - wet and dry layers overlap during painting. Usually caused by: inadequate stirring and improper thinning; too much heat or wind during application; extremely porous surface; or painting too large an area at one time.


  • Leaching - blotchy glossy water soluble spots on latex paints. Usually caused by: painting in coll humid conditions. If moisture collects on fresh paint before it has thoroughly dried, leaching may appear.


  • Mildew - areas of black, gray, brown spots, particularly in camp, shady areas. Usually caused by: warm, humid conditions; poor air circulation and little sunlight; shrubbery planted too close to building; painting over mildew without removal treatment; poor surface preparation; or hidden moisture sources.


  • Mud Cracking - deep irregular cracks in dry paint film. Usually caused by: applying paint too thick; or allowing paint to build up in areas such as corners.


  • Paint Incompatability - adhesion loss from top coat of latex over many layers of old alkyd or oil based paint. Usually caused by: painting over 3 or more layers of alkyd or oil based paint with a latex top coat; inadequate surface preparation; or not using a recommended top coat.


  • Picture Framing - darker colour where ceilings, windows, doors and corner areas were cut-in with a brush. Usually caused by: improper cutting-in technique using too much paint; not maintaining a wet edge;or poor roller technique.


  • Poor Hiding - failure of finish coat to cover previous coat. Usually caused by: not enough paint; making severe colour change; wrong brush or roller; improper or no priming; or overthinning the paint.


  • Print Resistance Failure - marking of paint from weight of object. Usually caused by: not allowing enough time for proper curing and drying of paint; applying finish coat before primer has dried; or premature placement of weighty objects on painted surface.


  • Roller Marks - stipple texture pattern from roller. Usually caused by: incorrect rolling technique; excessive nap length on roller cover; overloading roller with paint; or painting over slick surface without proper priming.


  • Sagging - paint running down immediately after application. Usually caused by: inadequate surface preparation; overthinned paint; applying paint too thickly; spraying with gun too close to surface; painting when too cold or humidity is too high.


  • Scrubbing Failure - excessive wearing away of paint film from repeated scrubbings. Usually caused by: abrasive cleanser; using flat sheen paint in gloss sheen area; scrubbing before paint has properly cured.


  • Spattering (Roller) - a spray of paint droplets from roller cover a paint is being applied. Usually caused by: economy roller covers; overloading paint on roller cover; overspreading the paint; or wrong nap length of roller cover.


  • Tannin Wood Staining


  • Touch-up Failure - difference in colour and appearance between original and touch-up paint. Usually caused by: poor technique; touching up with different batch number and applicator; touching up at different temperatures; failure to reduce touchup paint by up to 25%.


  • Wax Bleeding - migration of waxy additives used in reconstituted wood products to the surface causing discoloration. Usually caused by: exposing hardboard to weather too long before painting; not priming; using wrong primer; orinadequate paint film thickness.


  • Wrinkling - rough, crinkled surface caused by drying interference and forming a wrinkled skin. Usually caused by: applying paint too thickly; painting over insufficiently cured primer; or painting during extreme hot or cool/damp conditions.


  • Yellowing - gradual formation of yellow cast in aging oil based paints. Usually caused by using alkyd or oil based paints in white or light colours; heat effect from stoves or heating ducts; limited light exposure; or oxidation of oil based paints/varnishes.