Paint And Body Terms And Definitions
There are numerous terms associated with auto refinishing that the average enthusiast seldom has to use in conversation until the subject turns to painting your Vette. The terminology here is just about as important as the process, especially when getting hands-on in a paint project, or even discussing the job with whomever is doing the work. Listed here are the definitions needed to speak the language of a professional automotive painter.
Accelerator ::: A chemical that can be added to some paint products or resins that speed the curing time.
Acetone ::: A powerful and fast drying solvent that is useful in clean-up equipment. It is the base ingredient in many VOC compliant products for paint reduction.
Acrylic Enamel ::: Chemically enhanced enamel formulas, which were the mainstay of the refinish industry. Acrylic enamels use a catalyst to create chemical reactions that produce a paint film with excellent durability, chemical resistance, and gloss. Acrylic enamels are still very popular products, though these paints are being phased out in some areas due to emissions regulations. A characteristic of acrylic enamels is the paint can be polished like a lacquer to a mirror finish.
Blocking ::: Sanding primer or topcoats by hand with a flat sanding block. Block sanding the primer is a key technique in getting a wave-free, show-quality result in the final finish.
Bonding Adhesive ::: Product used to bond body panels into the body structure. Corvettes are built and repaired by bonding the major body panels.
Catalyst ::: Sometimes referred to as activators, catalysts contain chemicals that interact with the resins of the base paint, allowing it to cure.
Enamel ::: A term covering a wide range of paint formulations based on enamel resins. These paint products range from spray-can to bulk paints for industrial or automotive refinish applications, and are normally air-dried, with no catalyst added. Cheap refinish enamel is notable for slow-drying, poor surface quality, and marginal durability. Although some low-line enamel products can be enhanced with available catalysts, these products are the realm of bottom-barrel cheap paint work.
Epoxy ::: A catalyzed paint or primer product notable for good durability, stability, corrosion resistance, and adhesions.
Etching Primer ::: A primer with chemicals that etches into the bare metal for better adhesion. It is sometimes referred to as self-etching primer.
Fiberglass Cloth ::: Fiberglass material used with polyester resin in repairing fiberglass bodywork. Although a strong form of fiberglass reinforcement, the weave of fiberglass cloth will often show through a finished repair, making cloth more suitable for backing-up a repair area of a panel.
Fiberglass Matt ::: Basic fiberglass reinforcement material used with polyester resin to create or repair fiberglass body panels.
Fiberglass Reinforced Filler ::: Body filler (generally polyester) with strands of fiberglass material in the mix. Good for smaller, lower-stressed repairs and some bonding applications.
Filler ::: Any material designed to fill surface flaws. Generally a term for polyester body fillers, but also sometimes used generically to cover spot putty, glaze, and even primer surfacer.
Fisheye ::: Surface defects exhibiting small circular depression devoid of paint, usually caused by surface contamination with oils or silicones. If fisheye becomes apparent when spraying, a fisheye eliminator additive can be added to the paint.
Flash ::: The time required for the majority of quick-evaporating solvents in the material being sprayed to evaporate or "flash" from the surface.
Flowout ::: The desirable characteristic of droplets of sprayed material to meld together and level on the surface once the product is applied. Air pressure, gun atomization, the amount of material being applied, and the "speed" and/or quantity of the solvents all affect the flowout.