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Glossary of Building and Construction Materials:
Surfaces and Finishing Materials



acrylic paint: pigments in solution of acrylic resin, quick-drying and brilliant

alabaster: translucent whitish, line grained gypsum

blacking: black polish or stain

bleaching: chemical substance used to remove color

bluing: blue liquid or powder that prevents yellowing of white fabrics brecciation: process of giving surface the appearance of sharp rock fragments cemented together

carnauba wax: hard brittle wax obtained from palm leaves, used in polishes

cladding: process of covering one material, especially metal, with another by bonding

clinquant: imitation gold leaf

cottage cheese: lumping plaster, used especially for finishing ceilings

damascene: wavy patterns like watered silk on metal; inlays of precious metals on iron or steel

deck paint: strong, dense, hard-wearing exterior paint

dye: natural or synthetic substance, especially in solution, used to produce color

enamel: opaque, usually glossy, vitreous coating for metal, glass, and earthenware; paint drying to such a glossy finish

faux bois: artificial wood grain finish made by swirling paint or stain; graining

finish: manner in which surface is painted, varnished, coated, smoothed, or polished; material applied to complete or perfect surface

gild: overlay with very thin layer of gold

gold leaf: very thin layer of gold overlaid on surface

grain: pattern of fibers in wood

graining: faux bois

high-gloss: designating very bright, lustrous surface finish, especially of enamel paint

lacquer: durable, non-oily varnish, especially of sumac, applied in layers to wood and polished to mirror-like finish; comparable synthetic organic solution

lamina: thin flake or scale of metal or animal tissue

latex: water-base paint made by suspending particles of synthetic rubber or plastic in water; milky, resinous liquid present in rubber trees

leaf: very thin sheet of metal; lamina

marbling: painting technique that gives veined, mottled, marble-like appearance to objects

matte flat finish without shine or luster, especially in paints

moue: watery, wavy design, as on silk

oil: any of various greasy substances obtained from animal, vegetable, or mineral sources, used to treat absorbent surfaces

oil-base paint: paint made by grinding pigment in drying oil, especially linseed oil, not soluble in water

paint: mixture of pigment with water, oil, or latex in liquid or paste form, applied to surfaces for protection and coloring

parging: application of mortar to masonry surface to smooth and waterproof it

patina surface coating due to aging, especially green coloration on copper

pewter alloy of tin with antimony, copper, or m-t

planish toughen, smooth, or polish metal by hammering or rolling

plaster pasty mixture, made from lime or gypsum, sand, and water, that hardens on drying, used to coat walls and ceilings

plate: thin, overlaid coating of metal, especially gold, silver, or tin

polish: wax, oil, or liquid plastic rubbed onto surface to provide bright, glossy finish

primer: paint or sizing applied to raw surface prior to finishing coat

rag-rolling: wiping wet painted surface with rag to create patterns in paint

roughcast: coarse stucco used on exterior walls

rubber cement: quick-evaporating, un-vulcanized rubber in solvent, used to bind light materials

semi-gloss: designating paint that dries to a finish more lustrous than matte and less lustrous than high-gloss

shellac: thin, clear solution of refined lac resin in alcohol, used as wood filler and finish

stain: liquid coating to darken or color wood and bring out grain

stencil: design cut out of waxed paper or acetate and reproduced on surface below paper with paint or ink

swirling: allowing undercoat of paint to show through top coat

thinner: turpentine or other substance added to dilute paint or varnish

tortoise shell: synthetic imitation of the hard, mottled, yellow-and-brown shell of certain turtles

turpentine: colorless, volatile hydrocarbon used in paint and varnish

Varathane Trademark. oily wood varnish that dries to hard, clear, water-resistant surface

varnish: resin dissolved in oil or thinner that dries to hard, lustrous, usually transparent finish on wood

veneer: thin overlay of finishing material, especially wood, on base of another material

verdigris: greenish-blue coating that forms naturally on brass, bronze, or copper

water-based paint: pigment mixed with water or latex, soluble in water

wax: soft, resinous, water-resistant substance rubbed on surfaces, especially wood and leather, to protect and shine

whiting: powdered chalk used in paints and dyes; bleaching agent


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Last modified: Thursday, 2007-06-14 22:51 PST