Collision Repair Paint Terms
Basecoat - The basecoat is the first layer of paint, and is usually highly pigmented, or strongly colored. A basecoat/clear is a type of paint system in which the basecoat offers the color, and gloss and durability are provided by an additional coat.
Clear Coat - The clear coat is the top layer of paint which usually has no pigment, or no color. Its durability and gloss are to protect the pigmented layer it covers.
Chip Guard - Usually added to panels that are lower on the body, the chip guard exists to protect these parts of the vehicle from sharp stones.
Coat - A coat is a layer of paint.
Direct Gloss - This is a kind of paint that contains pigment, but requires no top or clear coat. It contains pigment, gloss, and it’s durable on its own.
Enamel - This topcoat is a layer of paint that forms a film during the drying process.
Gloss - Gloss describes how well a painted surface reflects light, like a mirror. The level of gloss can vary depending on the paint.
Masking - Masking is a temporary process where the areas that aren’t being painted are covered to protect them from excess paint.
Pigment - Pigment is what gives paint color. When mixed in, pigment can be mixed to create new colors of paint, but it is always separate from the paint - pigment is insoluble.
Primer - A primer is the first layer in a painting system, and it can be applied to an unpainted surface. Its job is to protect the unpainted surface, called a substrate, and prepare it for the application of paint.
Primer-Sealer - A primer sealer is a combination of a primer and a sealer. It does the job of both: it seals the surface below, usually one that has previously been painted and then sanded off, and it preps the surface for the application of new paint.
Sealer - A sealer is like a primer for previously painted surfaces. It helps to seal in old sanded down paint, and provide a surface adequate for new paint.
Substrate - This is a name for an unpainted surface.
Tint and Blend - This process involves mixing color and paint in attempt to recreate an existing color, and then adding the paint to the surface and blending it to match.
Tinter - Tinter is a colored pigment or paint used to adjust the color of paint so that it matches the goal color.