Furniture finishing Wood Finishing Terms
Glossary of WOOD FINISHING Terms
Adhesion: - The property causing one material to stick to another.
Barrier Coat: - A coat applied which separates the substrate from contact with
Bleeding: - When a dye or color absorbs through to the top layer.
This is due to a common solvency of the topcoat and the dye.
Bloom: - A bluish haze of a film usually caused by insufficient drying time of the
oil stain before topcoating.
Blushing: - A white, milky cast in a film which is caused by trapping moisture
into the film.
Blushing can be prevented and eliminated by slowing down the drying of the
coating by adding a blush retarder.
Blush Retarder: - A reducer with slower drying properties.
Body: - The thickness of viscosity of the coating while in liquid form.
Bond: - The adhesion of or ability of two items to stick to one another.
Bridge: - When a finish forms a layer over a crack or void.
Burn-in: - Method of filling a defect in wood using a hot knife and a Burn -In Stick
of resin or shellac.
Coat: - The act of applying a coating to a surface.
Coating: - Any material applied to a surface leaving a protective layer on that
surface. e.g. lacquer, polyurethane,
vinyl, acrylic, butyrate, Danish or drying oils, and shellac are all types of coatings.
Cold Checking: - the cracking of a finish due to exposure to cold temperatures.
Crawling: - When a coating applied tends to flow away from areas leaving them
This is usually caused by grease or oil contamination of the surface to be coated.
De laminate: - The separation of layers due to lack of intercoat or substrate
Distressing: - Fly speck spotting (and/or other age marks) in the finished surface
or on the substrate.
Dye: - A coloring material that dissolves completely in a system very transparent.
Dry Hard: - The elapsed time at which a coating has reached its optimum
Fading: - The loss of color due to exposure to sunlight.
Fast to Light: - A color which is not significantly affected by exposure to sunlight.
Fish Eye: - Pock marks or craters that show up on finished surface when silicone
Flash or Flash-Off: - The point at which a sprayed coating stops flowing or
leveling, premature flash causes
orange-peel when the atomized droplets do not flow into a completely flat and
Flash-Off Control Solvent: An addative that extends the wet time or "flash" of a
sprayed or brushed coating.
Flash Point (Flamability): - The temperature at which a material will ignite when
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Furniture finishing Wood Finishing Terms
exposed to a source of ignition.
Flood: - The act of very heavily applying a coating to the substrate.
Flow: - The fluid sheeting and leveling of a coating.
French Polish: - A shellac base coating which is applied by manually "padding"
it onto the surface.
Glaze: - An oil based pigmented treatment which is applied between lacquer
coats to accent or give a grained effect.
Gloss or Sheen: - The shininess or reflectability of a surface.
Holiday: - An uncoated area of a coated surface usually missed unintentionally.
Incompatible: - Used in reference to coatings and/or stains which are not
capable of being mixed with one another.
Leveling: - The act of applying a coat which will smooth out a previously rough
(orange peeled) coat.
Lifting: - The softening and repenetration of a previous coat resulting in anything
from an "orange peel"
to a "stripping" effect. This is usually caused by applying strong solvented coating
over a curing type coating
(curing type coating would be catalytic lacquer, urethane lacquer, polyurethane
Non-Volatile: - The solid material which is left after total solvent evaporation.
Nitrocellulose: - The primary resin material used in making lacquer.
Opaque / Opacity: - The degree of hiding of a pigmented coating. The opposite
Orange Peel: - A rough surface of a film similar in appearance to the skin of an
This is usually caused by spraying in high heat, draft or a material that is too thick
or heavy in viscosity.
Pigment: - A finely ground, insoluble powder which contributes color to a coating
- usually very color fast.
Pinholeing: - The appearance of numerous small holes in a film, usually caused
due to high heat drying of the coating.
Primer: - A coating which is first applied to a bare surface.
Reducer / Thinner: - To add solvent in order to thin a material to a workable
Sanding Sealer: - A lacquer or other coating formulated to give better filling and
sandability than the topcoat products.
Substrate: - The surface or material to be coated.
Transparent: - Clear enough to see through.
Translucent: - Allows light to pass through but not clear enough to see through.
Viscosity: - The thickness of a coating material in its liquid form.
Volatile: - The solvent portion of a coating.
Washcoat: - Very thin coat of shellac or sanding sealer or coating.
Water White: - A term used to describe the color of a coating in its liquid form.
(Water white -- meaning as clear and colorless as drinking water.)
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