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Ambient: Ambient light, also known as "general light", is an overall level of lighting in your room. Ambient light should provide a comfortable amount of light to suit how the room is used.

Base: The decorative body of the lamp, a base can be constructed from an array of materials: metal, brass, porcelain, crystal, hydrocal, or wood to name a few. Bases should be solidly constructed to resist tipping during normal use.

Color Rendering Index: Light bulbs offer a varying range of attributes that can produce different light outputs and qualities. The color rendering index (CRI) provides a base of mesaurability to render color accurately and consistently.

Color Temperature: Color characteristics of light (temperatures) measure the appearance of the light from warm (yellows/red) to cool (white). Color temperature is rated in degrees of Kelvin and do not reflect the physical temperature (or heat) of a lamp. Light sources such as incandescent bulbs (2700 degrees Kelvin) and halogen lamps (3000 degrees Kelvin)are at each end of the color spectrum.

Dimmer Switch: Gradually increases/decreases light intensity. Most torchieres are equipped with dimmers or high/low switches.

Downlight: A light fixture that concentrates light in a downward direction. Most often this refers to recessed lighting, though many ceiling fixtures now have more concentrated beams of light.

  • Non-uniform Downlighting: Non-uniform downlighting uses less light sources and delivers a more "individualized" beam spread of light. This lighting technique creates a more interesting visual effect in a space as the beams do not overlap as in general uniform downlighting.
  • Uniform Downlighting: Unifrorm illumination bathes horizontal surfaces in light. Typically a general lighting technique, uniform illumination adds little dramatic impact to a space.

Downrods: An accessory for pendants and chandeliers to add length

General Lighting: General Lighting provides an area with overall illumination. General lighting is basically the lighting that replaces sunlight and is fundamental to a lighting plan.

Lumens: The amount of light a bulb produces.

Swag: Decorative motif, image of a garland of fruit and flowers or of a length of cloth, tied with ribbons and attached to a background. If tied at both ends and suspended from them in a loop, a swag is generally called a festoon.

Task Lighting: Task lighting is for those areas where tasks or activities such as reading, paying bills, etc. take place. Task lighting should work with a room's general lighting and enhances the use of a room. Task lighting can be provided by adding portable lamps, undercabinet lighting as well as the addition of recessed lights at specific areas.

UL and CUL: Underwriters Laboratory, Inc., like Electrical Testing Laboratory (ETL), is an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization.

Uplighting: Uplighting visually expands a room by providing ambient light. Use them as a complement to recessed down lighting, and place them where they appear aesthetically balanced in the room.

Wattage: The amount of electricity consumed by a bulb.

Wall Lighting: The illumination of vertical surfaces can impact that perception of a space more than any other type of lighting. Light reflecting off walls creates a bright, spacious feel and adds visual interest. Dramatic effects can be achieved with light to illuminate vertical surfaces and highlight objects. Through proper lighting selection and placement a room can appear more spacious and interesting.

  • Grazing: For dramatic effect on textured surfaces such as stucco, stone or brick, place fixtures 6-12 inches away from the wall. Grazing is not recommended on smooth surfaces as surface imperfections will be exaggerated.
  • Light Scallops: Light scallop is an effect created when the fixture is placed closer to the wall resulting in a more concentrated and tighter scallop. Scallop light effects are often a part of the lighting plan for added drama, however they can be inadvertently created is fixture placement is not properly calculated.
  • Wall Washing: For a gentle and even illumination of a vertical space, place fixtures the same distance apart as they are from the wall. Wall washing is best suited for smooth surfaces.


Antique: Whether you wish to bring back the days of the Pilgrims or desire the styles from “Gone with the Wind”, the antique fixture sends you back to days of yore. These fixtures will bring a warming touch to your home. Usually characterized by burnished or brushed metal, this style is often reflected in traditional fixtures as well.

Arts and Crafts: Created in the early 20th century, to revolt against the industrial revolution, the American Arts and Crafts Movement drew inspiration from the materials, choosing to highlight the grain of the wood or form of the metal. Furniture and architectural details were designed to take advantage of machines allowing the individual craftsmen to assemble the furniture and finish the wood. This style is now known to incorporate rich wood and earth tones with strong metal finishes.

Art Deco: The period termed "art deco" manifested itself roughly between the two world wars, or 1920 to 1939. As with many other art movements, even work of today is still being influenced by the past. This period of design and style did not just affect architecture, but all of the fine and applied arts as well. Art Deco was a "modernization" of many artistic styles and themes from the past. You can easily detect in many examples of Art Deco the influence of Far and Middle Eastern design, Greek and Roman themes, and even Egyptian and Mayan influence. Art Deco style is characterized by geometric and angular shapes, chrome, glass, shiny fabrics, mirrors and mirror tiles and theatrical contrasts such as highly polished wood and glossy black lacquer mixed with satin and furs.

Casual: These furnishings are comfortable, warm, inviting, and homey. Simple details, textured elements, and restful horizontal lines characterize this style. Rectangular and softly curved elements contribute to a casual feel. The furniture is large in scale and selected for comfort and utility with less emphasis on design or design elements.

Contemporary/Modern: Contemporary and modern pieces feature neutral elements and bold color. Clean lines, sculptural furnishings, art, industrial elements and bold color characterize these furnishings. This style is known for its underlying simplicity of line, shape, form, and attention to practical functions as compared to the dramatic and lavish appearances of traditional furniture styles. Contemporary fixtures often incorporate classic and traditional features in subtle, understated ways. Its simplicity and clean lines combine with strong geometric shapes and symmetry, incorporating classic and traditional features in sleek and understated ways. The inspiration for these fixtures is drawn from manufacturing/architecture and organic forms.

Country: This furniture is casual and unpretentious. Almost exclusively light and warm colored woods and metals, this can be thought of having a certain “rustic class”. Often containing a period flavor, this style is both rustic and romantic with graceful curves and comfortable style.

Mission: An early 20th century American offshoot of the Arts and Crafts Movement, mission can be identified by its clean straight lines, evoking the same organic beauty as Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural designs. Its style is simple, utilitarian and uniquely American. Mission style fixtures are the distinctive product of the simple woodworking and exposed joinery used by Spanish missionaries in Southwestern North America. Fumed oak is the material most characteristic of this style, and accents of warm colored fabrics and leathers complete the look.

Nautical: Based on life by the sea, nautical styles range from a lighthouse lamp to an end table bound in natural fiber rope. Nautical décor reflects the seaside beauty by using clean, simple lines that are inspired by the designs of New England beaches and Caribbean architecture. Most often used for cottages by the sea or to decorate outdoor settings, nautical styled furnishings bring the relaxed spirit of the water to your home.

Novelty: When looking for a piece to dress up an otherwise ordinary setting, a novelty style fixture will meet your needs. Traditionally finished in bright colors and characterized by a monkey swinging off of a lamp post or a pine tree stenciled into a wall sconce, these fixtures are sure to be a conversation piece or add pizzazz to an otherwise mild decor.

Oriental: Influenced by the people and culture of the East/Orient, oriental fixtures will add a look of romance and intrigue to your home. Oriental furnishings are most often characterized by porcelain lamp bases, paper lanterns, shoji screens, sleek lines, ornate details of flowers or animals and metallic finishes. Often finished in the browns and gold’s’ that are influenced by historic empires this style can blend with either traditional or modern décor.

Rustic: The rustic style is cozy and welcoming. Rustic fixtures offer the charming comforts of an alpine cabin. They inspire the intimate coziness of a ski lodge in Aspen or a log cabin in the woods of Maine. Characterized by natural finishes with emphasis on grains, these fixtures invite hibernation – minus the bears. The Rustic look is often exemplified by antler chandeliers or ceiling fan light kits. If you are looking for a rustic lamp, we carry a variety of table lamps accented by deer, moose and antler.

Southwestern: There are distinct characteristics in the southwestern style that can easily be explained by imagining a desert scene. Picture all colors of the desert, the green of cactus, the red mountains of the Grand Canyon, and the Native American heritage that comes from the Arizona, New Mexico regions of the United States. The all natural organic version of southwestern is over scaled furniture made from log pole, and the use of rugged materials such as iron, stones and wood. The city version of southwestern uses plastic cactus decorations and wall hangings, coyote figurines and the use of peach and teal coloring. General Colors and Characteristics are Native American Indian accents, organic materials such as iron, adobe, wood and smooth rocks, brightly-colored patterned fabrics inter mixed with natural colors, oversized furniture and colors that are seen in the desert sunset, hills and prairies.

Tiffany: This style loosely refers to glass-shaded lamps, windows and other decor made from a mosaic of opalescent colored glass panels. Invented by Louis Comfort Tiffany, this look applies the Art Nouveau stylized designs from the early 20th century. Tiffany presents a cornucopia of themes... Stained glass Art Deco lighting and retro lamps are popular today. Mission and Prairie styled lamps, Bungalow chandeliers and Arts & Crafts lanterns come alive in vibrant colors and styles.

Traditional: Based on historic design models, this style is characteristically ornate, orderly, and bold. Straight lines are often contrasted with curved details, and brass, iron, and hand-painted wood often appears. More grand than casual, these furnishings have ornate or showy details and have often old world flair. The classic details of traditional furniture are reflections of the periods and influences of years gone by. The classic details of traditional fixtures are reflections of the periods and influences of years gone by; Colonial, French Country and Neo-Classical design ideals are blended in this style. You will recognize it when you see it – the traditional furniture style has been the popular choice for home furnishings for over a century.

Transitional: Transitional bridges the gap between too ornate and too sleek. While the materials used are more similar to traditional furniture (lots of metals and heavy woods), the lines are more open and clean without being too sleek and sterile. Transitional fixtures are versatile, blending seamlessly into almost any setting. Transitional fixtures combine both contemporary and traditional styles by joining austere lines with fancy curves with sleek, brushed metals. It easily adapts and blends in with a wide range of styles. The versatility of transitional fixtures make it a good choice if you’re not sure which of the less flexible styles suits your taste or your home – transitional fixtures work in pretty much any setting.

Tropical: Tropically styled furnishings capture the essence of island living. Usually characterized by rattan and grass weaves, deep-stained woods and warm bamboo, tropical fixtures bring back the memories from your Caribbean vacation.

Whimsical: Looking to add a touch of intricacy and luxury to your home? The whimsical style is the perfect way to bring extra special pieces into your décor without going over the top. Each whimsical piece is beautifully scrolled, craved, or painted with complex and dazzling craftsmanship. This style is similar to the traditional style because of its attention to detail, which makes the two a perfect pair. Try incorporating a few extraordinary whimsical pieces into your traditional or contemporary décor, and see how your home instantly sparkles!


Address Light: This light fixture is usually composed of a backlight that illuminates street numbers. Affixed to the front of a house, or at the end of the driveway, and Address Light lets visitors find a house even in the dark.

Bathroom Ceiling Fan: Bathroom ceiling fans are used to clear out the hot and humid air that occurs when the shower is running.

Bathroom Vanity Light: Bath or vanity lighting refers to fixtures used to light the mirror in a bathroom. A bath strip is a long fixture that mounts along the top or sides of the mirror.

Ceiling Cloud: Ceiling clouds are indiscrete overhead lights that blend into their surroundings. They get their name from their white color and conventionally curved shape.

Chandelier: A branched, decorative lighting fixture that holds a number of bulbs or candles and is suspended from a ceiling. These fixtures come in a variety of finishes and are most often traditional or contemporary styles. This fixture if often used to elevate the decor of a room. Some manufacturers are no carrying select styles of outdoor chandeliers to illuminate your covered patio or gazebo. Additionally, many manufacturers have now begun to carry mini-chandeliers. Mini-chandeliers are best for hallways and smaller rooms.

Convertible Pendant: A convertible pendant is a dual function light fixture. It can be used as a hanging pendant with a chain or rod, and can also be mounted as a semi flush mount to the ceiling surface.

Deck Light: These light fixtures are mounted on deck surfaces and are used to illuminate hand rails, steps, as well as to create an overall ambience in your exterior living space.

Desk Lamp: This fixture is used on desks for work or study. These can be very utilitarian styles or a more decorative style such as a banker or pharmacy lamp. The light source should be sit about 15" above work area.

Directional Light: A fixture commonly used for mood lighting. They can provide a decorative accent that draws attention to a particular area. Directional lights are also known as exhibit, display or spot lights.

Display Light: Display lights have a focused direction that is used to highlight or accent a specific element of the room. A wall mounted display light, for example, might be positioned over a painting to emphasize its impact in the décor.

Floodlighting: An indiscriminate way of lighting an area that is usually associated with outdoor security or utility functions. The light is projected in a broad beam. These lights often blend into the landscape of a home.

Floor Lamp: A standing lamp sometimes referred to as "stick”, which is used for general lighting. This fixture can have both decorative and utilitarian functions in any space.

Flush Mount: A fixture that is close to the ceiling or wall and does not have rods or arms leading to the sockets. This non-invasive style works well on low ceilings and narrow hallways.

Hanging Lantern: This fixture consists of a ceiling mounted bracket that maintains a chain or wire from which a lantern hangs. Used mostly in an exterior lighting setting, these fixtures are conventionally used to illuminate the area above a front door on a porch.

Heating Ceiling Fan: Ceiling fans are not solely intended for cooling a room. Heat rises naturally, and with the use of a heating ceiling fan, warm air that collects by the ceiling gets forced down towards the floor. During the chilly winter months, you will find that heating ceiling fans are a great way to save money and energy.

Industrial Ceiling Fan: Made for large spaces, industrial ceiling fans are used for garages, warehouses, auditoriums, gymnasiums, and more. Remember that industrial ceiling fans usually require a high ceiling clearance because of their scale and power.

Kitchen Island Pendant: This style is usually a multi lamp, horizontally hung fixture that is best suited for a kitchen island or poor table. These fixtures often add an element of style to a room.

Landscape Lighting: Landscape lighting is like accent lighting for the outside of your home. It provides illumination that highlights features of gardens, terrain and the exterior of a home or business.

Lighted Pot Rack: This fixture incorporates a traditional, ceiling mounted, hanging pot rack and lighting elements. The combination allows additional accent lighting in a kitchen space highlights your pots and pans for display and can often illuminate a counter surface below the pot rack.

Mini-Pendant: Typically, a fixture consisting of a single pole or chain extending from the ceiling canopy. Most often these fixtures have one light. Mini-pendants in groups of two's or three's create a dramatic look for a breakfast bar or kitchen island.

Mirror Lighting: A type of accent light that is typically a single strip with multiple lamps. This fixture is often used to add illumination for make-up application or to reflect light throughout a room.

Outdoor Ceiling Fan: Listed for damp or wet locations, an outdoor ceiling fan has the ability to be mounted on porches and decks while withstanding the elements. Outdoor ceiling fans are a wonderful way to create artificial breezes and cool down your exterior living spaces.

Paddle Ceiling Fan: Comprised of the same traditional motor structure of other ceiling fans, these differ in their blade selection. The wide paddle style of the blades is both useful for decorative aesthetic and increased surface area for superior air flow.

Path Lighting: A form of exterior lighting, path lights are used to line walkways, stairs, and driveways. Path lights illuminate areas of foot traffic for safety precautions and to add aesthetic lighting to the outside of a home or building.

Pendant: Pendants can provide both task and general lighting. They use shades or globes to avoid glare and are suspended from the ceiling. They are perfect for intimate areas such as breakfast bars, kitchens, desks and breakfast nooks. When used over end tables or night tables, they free up the space occupied by table lamps. In general, pendants should be hung about 30 inches above the tabletop and be about 12 inches narrower than the table on all sides.

Pool Table Lighting: Pool Table Lights are specifically designed to be suspended from the ceiling above a pool table, illuminating the playing surface.

Portable Fan: Portable fans are free-standing and provide multi-faceted uses with the ability to be moved from location to location.

Post Lantern: An outdoor light fixture, post lanterns are comprised of a lantern fixture and a support post that is usually driven into the ground.

Semi-Flush: A fixture that allows the option of suspended light when you do not have enough space for a chandelier or wall mounted fixture. These lights can also be used to add a stylistic element to any room.

Spot Light: A spot light focuses an exceedingly directional beam of light to highlight a specific surface. Spot lights can be found in a range of sizes and types, and can be used in exterior or interior lighting, depending on their design.

Strip Light: Sometimes referred to as a vanity strip, a strip light is most often used mounted in bathrooms above mirrors. Offering functional lighting, they are comprised of a series of globe-style bulbs that align in a row on a strip base.

Swing Arm Lamp: A functional floor or wall lamp with a horizontal double-arm. The light source can be moved from side to side for reading or project lighting. These lamps are an excellent choice for bedside lighting.

Task Lamp: A fixture most often used to illuminate an area where a visual activity like reading, sewing or food preparation occurs.

Torchiere: A standing floor lamp that diffuses or directs light upward. Depending on the setting, they can emit ambient (general) lighting or accent lighting. These lamps are often an ornamental piece.

Undercabinet Lighting: When it comes to task and mood lighting, nothing has the hard-working appeal of undercabinet fixtures as they cast indirect light that’s dramatic, yet inviting. They provide ample light in hard to fit spaces throughout your home. Quartz halogen, low voltage disc-lights provide high intensity white light to provide supplemental room lighting. For undercabinet areas where demanding tasks are performed or where it is difficult to place a larger fixture.

Wall Sconce: In general terms, this includes any wall fixture - although the purist definition would define only a candle-style wall bracket. It is recommended to mount a wall sconce 66" from center of sconce to the floor. Some manufacturers are now carrying Corner Wall Sconces to illuminate those once hard to reach areas.

Wallchiere: A wall mounted light fixture that diffuse or directs light upwards. Derived from the term torchiere, the wallchiere can have a shape that resembles a torch shape. These lamps can be both functional and ornamental, and are often used to flank beds, paintings, mirrors, and more.

Wall Lantern: Often used to light the exterior of a home or business, wall lanterns hold a traditional lantern shape and are mounted, usually with a bracket plate, to a wall surface.

Home Decor Glossary

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.

Acrylic Latex Paint: Water-thinned paint which employs acrylic resin as the majority of the binder. Other binders which may be added to reduce cost or add specific properties includestyrene, epoxy, and poly-vinyl acetate.

100% Acrylic Latex Paint: Water-thinned paint in which only acrylic resin is used as the binder medium. Typically the highest quality latex paints used for a wide variety of architectural coatings, 100% Acrylic Latexes have superior adhesion, long-term flexibility, breathability, alkali resistance, toughness, and color and sheen retention.

Acrylic Resin: Resins which have established a pre-eminent position among coating formulators, having shown superiority in such respects as color and gloss retention, alkali and oxidation (chalk) resistance, hardness, adhesive and cohesive strength, and overall film durability. Generically, resins resulting from the polymerization of derivatives of acrylicacids, including esters of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, acrylonitrile, and their copolymers. Also known as acrylate resins.

Adhesion: The ability of dry paint to remain on the surface without blistering, flaking or cracking. Adhesion is probably the single most important property of paint. Wet adhesion, the ability of dry paint to adhere to the surface in spite of wet conditions, is particularly important for exterior house paints.

Airless Spraying: Process of atomization of paint by forcing it through an orifice at high pressure. The effect is often aided by the vaporization of the solvents, especially if the paint has been previously heated.

Alkyds: Resins used mostly in trim paints, inside and out, although some medium duty equipment and marine enamels employ these resins as binders. Most often alkyd resins are found in vehicles employing aliphatic hydrocarbons (mineral spirits or other refined petroleum distillate) as thinner. Alkyds offer good leveling properties and cure to a relatively durable film, but tend to yellow interior and embrittle with age. Color and gloss exterior is only fair, and alkyds are highly prone to failure exterior on surfaces containing even moderate levels of moisture. Chemically, alkyds are synthetic resins formed by the condensation of polyhydric alcohols with polybasic acids. They may be regarded as complex esters. The most common polyhydric alcohol used is glycerol, and the most common polybasic acid is phthalic anhydride. Modified alkyds are those in which the polybasic acid is substituted in part by a monobasic acid, of which the vegetable oil fatty acids are typical.

Binder: The binder cements the pigment particles into a uniform paint film and also makes the paint adhere to the surface. The nature and amount of binder determine most of the paint's performance properties -- washability, toughness, adhesion, and color retention. Acrylic polymers are the binder of choice in producing quality high-performance latex paints.

Bituminous Paint: (1) Originally, the class of paints consisting essentially of natural bitumens dissolved in organic solvents. They may or may not contain softening agents, pigments, and inorganic fillers. They are usually black or dark in color. Within recent years, the term "bituminous" has, by common usage, come to include bitumen-like products such as petroleum asphalt. (2) A low cost paint containing asphalt or coal tar, a thinner, and drying oils; used to waterproof concrete and to protect piping where bleeding of the asphalt is not a problem.

Bleaching: Loss of color, usually caused by exposure to sunlight.

Blistering: The formulation of dome-shaped, hollow projections on paint, often caused by heat or moisture. Can also be caused by solvent entrapment in a paint film which has surface dried before the solvent has completely escaped.

Calcimine: Also spelled "kalsomine." Essentially, chalk and glue ready to mix with water. Used as a decoration for interior surfaces. It will not withstand washing. In Britain, it is referred to as powdered distemper.

Catalyst: Substance whose presence increases the rate of a chemical reaction. In some cases, the catalyst functions by not being consumed and regenerated; in other cases the catalyst seems to not enter the reaction and functions by the virtue of surface characteristics of some kind. A negative catalyst (inhibitor, retarder) slows down a chemical reaction. Chalking: Formation of a friable powder on the surface of a paint film caused by the disintegration of the binding medium due to disruptive factors during weathering. The chalking of a paint film can be considerably affected by the choice and concentration of the pigment. It can also be affected by the choice of the binding medium.

Coal Tar: A dark brown to black cementitious material produced by the destructive distillation of bituminous coal.

Color Retention: The ability of paint to keep its original color and resist fading.

Consistency: The resistance of a paint to flow. A paint with high consistency flows slowly; a paint with low consistency flows readily.

Cracking: Breaks or splits in the paint's surface.

Durability: The degree to which paint withstands the destructive effects of the environment to which it is exposed, especially harsh weather conditions. Durability has two aspects. Its protective properties safeguard the substrate from degradation. Its decorative properties allow the paint to retain its attractive appearance.

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

Elasticity: The ability of paint to expand and contract with the substrate without suffering damage or changes in its appearance. Expansion and contraction are usually caused by temperature fluctuations. Some substrates such as yellow pine expand at different rates depending on the type of their grain. Elasticity is a key to durability. Acrylic binders are noted for their elasticity.

Enamel: (1) Topcoat which is characterized by its ability to form a smooth surface; originally associated with a high gloss, but may also include lower degrees of gloss, i.e., flat enamels. (2) A class of substance having similar composition to glass with the addition of stannic oxide, SnO2, or other infusible substances to render the enamel opaque.

Extender: A less-expensive ingredient than titanium dioxide that fills out and extends the pigment's capabilities. Extender cannot be used without pigment. Some common extenders are clays, calcium carbonate, and silica.

Fading: Lightening of the paint's color, usually caused by exposure to light or heat.

Film Formation: The paint's ability to form a continuous dry film. This process is the result of the water or solvents evaporating and the coming together of the binder particles. A continuous dry film repels water.

Flaking: The detachment of pieces of paint from the substrate, caused by a loss of adhesion and elasticity. Also known as scaling. Glycol: A co-solvent, combined with water in aqueous (latex) systems to form the total thinner. Various glycols perform various functions, however, they are generally valuable as brushing agents and for temperature stability (ethylene glycol is the chief ingredient in anti-freeze). Generically, CH2OHCH2OH. General term for dihydric alcohols; ethylene glycol is the most simple of the glycols.

Hiding Power: The ability of paint to hide or obscure a surface, color or stain over which it has been uniformly applied. Hiding power is provided by the paint's pigment.

Holidays: Application defect whereby small areas are left uncoated. Syn: Misses, Skips, Voids, Discontinuities, Vacations.

Intumescent Coatings: Fire retardant coating which, when heated becomes plastic and produces nonflammable gasses, such as carbon dioxide and ammonia. The gasses are trapped by the film, converting it to a foam about fifty times as thick as the original paint film. At this stage, the film solidifies, resulting in a thick, highly insulating layer of carbon, which effectively protects the substrate from fire.

Latex: (1) Stable dispersion of a polymeric substance in an essentially aqueous medium. (2) Fine dispersion of rubber or resin, natural or synthetic, in water; the synthetic is made by emulsion polymerization. (Strictly speaking, after polymerization a latex is a solid dispersed in water, and therefore is not an emulsion. Latex and emulsion are often used synonymously in the paint industry.)

Latex Paint: Water-thinned paint made with synthetic binders such as polyvinyl acetate or acrylic resins. In contrast to oil-based paint, latex paint dries fast, flows smoothly, and cleans up easily with water. High-performance latex paints contain 100% acrylic resins.

Leveling: The ability of a coating to form a smooth film without brush marks appearing. Higher quality latex paint has superior leveling ability.

Metamerism: A phenomenon exhibited by a pair of colors which match under one or more sets of conditions, be they real or calculated. Metamerism should not be confused with "flair" or color constancy, terms which apply to the apparent color change exhibited by a single color when the spectral distribution of the light source is changed or when the angle of illumination or viewing is changed.

Mildewcide: Chemical agent in quality paint that retards mildew, a common problem in humid climates.

Peeling: The detachment of paint from the surface in ribbons or sheets. Like flaking, the result of loss of adhesion. Pigment: Finely ground, natural or synthetic, inorganic or organic, insoluble dispersed particles (powder) which, when dispersed in a liquid vehicle to make paint, may provide, in addition to color, many of the essential properties of the paint: opacity, hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance. The term is used to include extenders, as well as white or color pigments. The distinction between powders which are pigments and those which are dyes is generally considered to be on the basis of solubility. Pigments being insoluble and dispersed in the material, dyes being soluble or in solution when used.

Polymer: This binder is produced from petrochemical feedstocks. The binder's polymer particles are small in size and carried in water. The binder polymers and water mix is known as emulsion.

PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate): A colorless, thermoplastic, water soluble, resinous high polymer derived from the polymerization of vinyl acetate with a catalyst; used as a latex binder in certain, generally lower quality water-base coatings.

PVC (Pigment Volume Concentration): The ratio of the volume of pigment to the volume of total nonvolatile material (i.e., pigment and binder) present in a coating. The figure is usually expressed as a percentage.

Resin: (1) General term applied to a wide variety of more or less transparent and fusible products, which may be natural or synthetic. They may vary widely in color. Higher molecular weight synthetic resins are generally referred to as polymers. (2) A solid, semi-solid, or pseudo-solid organic material that has an indefinite and often high molecular weight, exhibits a tendency to flow when subjected to stress, usually has a softening or melting range, and usually fractures conchoidally. (3) In a broader sense, the term is used to designate any polymer that is a basic material for coatings and plastics.

Silicate: Any one of a large family of substances chiefly used with titanium dioxide, the primary pigment, as an extender pigment. When used in moderation, these silicates (magnesium silicate, aluminum silicate, etc.) are valuable in helping control gloss, aid brushability, and increase hold-out properties and overall exterior durability. Spattering: Droplets of paint that spin or mist off the roller as paint is being applied.

Surfactants: Contracted from surface-active agents, these are additives which reduce surface tension and thereby improve wetting (wetting agents), help disperse pigments, inhibit foam, or emulsify. Conventionally, they are classified as to their charge: anionic (negative); cationic (positive); nonionic (no charge); or amphoteric (both positive and negative).

Thinner: The thinner and binder together form the paint's vehicle. Water, the thinner used in latex paints, evaporates as the paint dries, allowing a smooth paint application. Turpentine or spirits are the thinners in oil-based paints.

Thixotropic: Adjective which describes full-bodied material which undergoes a reduction in viscosity when shaken, stirred, or otherwise mechanically disturbed and which readily recovers the full-bodied condition on standing.

Titanium Dioxide, Anatase (TiO2): A high opacity, bright white pigment of the chalking type, used as a prime pigment in paints, rubber, plastics. Prepared from the mineral ilmenite, or rutile ore.

Titanium Dioxide, Rutile (TiO2): A high opacity, bright white pigment of the non-chalking type, used as a prime pigment in paints, rubber, plastics. Prepared from the mineral ilmenite, or rutile ore.

Vehicle: The liquid portion of the paint, in which the pigment is dispersed; it is composed of a binder and a thinner.

Vinyl: (1) The unsaturated, univalent radical CH2: CH -- derived from ethylene. (2) Any of the various compounds containing this group, typically highly reactive, easily polymerized and used as a basic material for coatings and plastics. (3) Any of the various plastics, typically tough and flexible.

VOC (Volatile Organic Content): Any carbon compound that evaporates under standard test conditions. Essentially, all paint solvents except water are VOCs. Federal and state governments are beginning to limit the amount of volatile organics found in paint because of concerns about possible environmental and health effects.

Volume Solids: The volume of pigment plus binder divided by the total volume, expressed as a percent. High volume solids mean a thicker dry film, improved hiding, and high durability.

Washability: Ease with which washing will remove dirt from the paint's surface without causing damage.

Wet Edge: Edge of a wet painted area which remains workable. When painting large surfaces, it is generally necessary to join up to the edge of a paint film which has been left for an appreciable time; when this can be done by blending this edge with free working paint without any lap showing, the film is said to present a wet edge.

Zinc Chromate: Bright yellow pigment which chemically is substantially zinc chromate, although its precise composition is rather complex. Its chief use is in anti-corrosive paints and primers for steel.

Zinc Oxide: A fine particle, white pigment used in rubber, paint, and plastic industries for mildew resistance and film reinforcing properties.

Zinc Rich Primer: Anti-corrosive primer for iron and steel incorporating zinc dust in a concentration sufficient to give electrical conductivity in the dried film, thus enabling the zinc metal to corrode preferentially to the substrate, i.e., to give cathodic protection.

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