What is "shellac" anyway?

See this glossary of painting terms so you'll know how to talk the talk when you call a painting contractor.
See this glossary of painting terms so you'll know how to talk the talk when you call a painting contractor.

Alkyd Paint
Oil-based paint that produces a high gloss finish. Durable and resistant to humidity and moisture, alkyd paints are a good choice for high traffic areas such as kitchen and bath walls as well as cabinets and furniture. Used for both interior and exterior painting.

Material used to repair cracks, gaps, and breaks in most types of materials. There are many types of caulk available, designed to be used for specific factors such as material, location, and climate.

Cutting In
Painting technique referring to painting a surface adjacent to another surface not to be painted, such as where the wall meets the roof or trim.

Eggshell Paint
Paint that has a low sheen, satin-like appearance. Its gloss level is between flat and semi-gloss.

Enamel Paint
Technically, an enamel is a colored varnish, or high-gloss paint. Generally, the term is used for high quality, dirt-resistant paints (generally for interior use) that may have a sheen level from satin to glossy.

Flat Paint
Paint with little to no shine. Also referred to as matte paint, commonly used on ceilings or rooms with low traffic.

Describes the shininess or sheen of the paint, ranging from flat paints that have little to no shine to hi-gloss, which is very shiny.

Hi-Gloss Paint
At the top of the gloss spectrum, hi-gloss paint is a good choice for high traffic areas because it is durable and washes well. Also works well in kitchens and baths because it is more moisture-resistant than other finishes.

Latex Paint
Water-based paint. The most popular type of paint for home interiors. Dries quickly, easy to apply.

Painters Tape
A type of masking tape used to keep paint away from ceilings, windows, doors and trim. The most common color is blue, but it can be found in other colors and adhesion levels as well.

Using a filler such a Spackle® to repair holes and cracks.

Applied before paint, a primer provides a base for paint to adhere to, or bond. Using a primer will provide a smoother paint finish and increase durability.

Satin Paint
Often described as having a smooth, velvety appearance, satin paint falls between semi-gloss paint and eggshell paint in the shine department. Not a good choice for high traffic areas, as it scratches easily and will deteriorate with frequent washing.

Liquid coating that seals wood and plaster so that it wonÂ’t absorb paint or varnish. Sealers can also be used as a primer.

Semi -Gloss Paint
Just below hi-gloss paint on the shiny scale. Good for bathrooms and kitchens due to its ability to repel moisture. Hides imperfections better than hi-gloss paint.

Resin that is used to make wood finish. Shellac varnish is made by dissolving shellac in a solvent such as ethanol. Used as a primer, sanding sealant, and stain.

Commonly used to describe a product designed to fill holes and cracks in wall, Spackle® is actually a brand name that has been generically applied to all such products.

Remove paint or varnish from a surface such as a wall or furniture by sanding or using a solvent.

Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
Cleaning agent used to remove tough stains and grease before painting.

Made from the resin of pine trees, Turpentine is used as a cleaner, solvent and paint thinner.

VOCs -Volatile Organic Compounds
Compounds evaporate as paint dries and release gases and fumes into the air. Environmentally friendly paint products have a low VOC score.

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