Like most professionals, painting contractors have a specific set of terms and phrases they use when they discuss a job, and if you’re unfamiliar with them, it can feel like they’re speaking a different language. While most painting contractors are happy to explain what they mean or are careful to use general language in their conversations with clients, having a working understanding of industry terminology is helpful if you’re planning on having painting done at your home or business.
Below, you’ll find a quick guide to some of the more common terms you might hear painting contractors use when discussing their work.
- Primer – This is a preparatory coating that is designed to help improve adhesion, seal porous areas, and create a uniform surface for the paint. Many brands offer paint and primer in one, which eliminates the need for multiple coats.
- Sheen – Paint comes in levels of glossiness or shininess, which is called sheen. The most common sheens are flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.
- Cutting In – This is the careful process of painting along the edge of a surface with a brush before using a roller to apply the main coat. The outer edges of walls and ceiling typically require cutting in, as do areas like the trim.
- Drop Cloth – Even the most experienced painting contractors occasionally experience drips, so drop cloths are placed over any surface not being painted to protect it from drips and spatter.
- Bleeding – Painting contractors commonly use painter’s tape to help create a clean line between surfaces, and occasionally color will seep through the tape, resulting in uneven lines. High-quality painter’s tape and proper application techniques can help prevent this.
- Drip Line -This is an undesirable effect of excess paint, which drips and pools as gravity pulls it downward from vertical surfaces.
Understanding the language painting contractors use can help ensure you have successful services, so never be afraid to ask questions or get clarification. Most painting contractors are happy to share their knowledge with you, and clear communication can help ensure everyone is on the same page for a project.