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Archive for Sunday, May 19, 2002

Don’t see red the next time you need to paint

May 19, 2002

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When it comes to paint, a little knowledge can keep you from seeing red.

Whether it's interior or exterior painting, knowing the right terms can help you be a better do-it-yourselfer or deal better with professional painters. While there are many painting terms, here are a few of the more useful or misunderstood , according to the folks at Behr.

In case you never looked closely at a can of Behr paint or stain, the company is headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif.

Founded in 1947, the company bills itself as the largest provider of premium paints and stains to the nation's do-it-yourself home-improvement market.

Acrylic. A synthetic polymer used in high-performance latex or water-based paints. As the paint's binder, acrylic resins enable the coating to last longer and retain its color.

Alkyds. Resins used mostly in trim paints, inside and out, although some medium-duty equipment and marine enamels employ these resins as binders. Alkyds cure to a relatively durable film but tend to yellow and become brittle with age. They're also highly prone to failure as an exterior paint on surfaces containing even a modest level of moisture.

Binder. It helps the paint adhere to the surface.

Efflorescence. An encrustation of soluble salts, commonly white, deposited on the surface of coatings, stone, brick, mortar or plaster. It's usually caused by salts or free alkalies leached from mortar or adjacent concrete as moisture moves through it.

Enamel. In most uses, it refers to a topcoat, which is characterized by its ability to form a smooth surface. Originally it meant mostly a high gloss.

l Holidays. I'll bet you don't know this one. Mostly professionals use this term. It refers to an area the paint has missed. A spot where there's supposed to be paint but someone skipped it. Other similar terms include misses, skips, discontinues and vacations.

Latex paint. Water-thinned paint made with synthetic binders. In contrast to oil-based paint, latex paint dries fast, flows smoothly and cleans easily with water.

Mildewcide. A chemical agent in quality paints that retards mildew, a common problem in humid climates.

Pigment. Finely ground, natural or inorganic particles or powder, which provide many of a paint's essentials: hardness, durability and corrosion resistance.

Polymer. A binder made from petrochemical stock.

Resin. Any polymer that is basic material for coatings and plastics.

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