ABS: Anti-lock brake system.

ACCELERATOR: Additive to paint to speed the cure of a coating.

ACRYLIC: A plastic like material used in the manufacturing of paint to increase gloss and durability.

ADDITIVE: Chemicals added to a paint to improve or create certain specific characteristics.

ADHESION PROMOTER: Material used over an O.E.M. or cured insoluble finish to increase the adhesion of the topcoat.

AFTERMARKET: Parts made by someone other than the original manufacturer.

AIR BAG: An inflatable pillow that deploys upon a sudden deceleration in speed. IT CAN NOT BE RE-PACKED AND MUST BE REPLACED.

AIR DRY: The drying or solvent evaporation of a topcoat at room temperature.

ALIGN (SHEETMETAL): The process of putting into place sheet metal parts so the gaps are corrected mechanical devices work properly.

ALIGN (WHEELS): The process of setting the castor, camber, toe, and thrust angle (if adjustable) for correct handling and tire ware.

ALTERNATE COLOR:A color matched to a verifiable O.E.M. color shift.

ALUMINUM PIGMENT: Small aluminum particles used in paint to reflect light. These flakes vary in size and polish to give a look of glamour and luster.

“A” PILLER: Cowl and windshield post.

ARCING (the gun): The action of turning the wrist or elbow at the end of each pass of paint while doing blends or panel repair. This causes a lighter application of paint at each end of the pattern.

ASSIGNMENT: An electrically transmitted message from the paying insurance company directing us that it is OK to repair your vehicle, and bill them direct except for your deductible (if any) or any applicable charges.

ATOMIZE: The breaking-up of paint into fine particles or droplets by a paint gun.


BACK ORDER: A part that is not be available for approximately 3 to 7 working days. (also see National Back Order).

BAKING: The process of applying heat to a finish to speed the cure or dry time of the finish.

BARE SUBSTRATE: Any material (steel, aluminum, plastic, etc.) which does not have a coating of paint or primer.

BASECOAT: A highly pigmented color, which requires a coating of clear for protection, durability and gloss.

BASECOAT/CLEARCOAT SYSTEM: A two-stage finish consisting of a color coat and a clear coat.

BEND: A bow in a frame or structure rail leading up to a buckle.

BETTERMENT: A policy and percentage set by insurance companies for items of ware, such as tires and batteries etc. Every insurance company handles this different.

BLEEDING: Soluble dyes or pigments in old finishes dissolved by solvents in new color and bleed through to the new finish color.

BLENDING: The tapering of finishes or colors so slight differences cannot be distinguished. Merging one color into another. This is achieved by allowing some of the old finish to show through the new color.

BLISTERING: Effect of pressure from either solvent or moisture under a coating causing a swelling or blister in the finish; i.e. water blister.

BLUSHING:A milky appearance of a topcoat caused by high humidity where water condenses on or in the wet coating. This can be eliminated by use of heat or a slower solvent or retarder.

BODY FILLER: An activated polyester type material used on bare substrate to fill dents in damaged auto body parts.

“B” PILLER: The post between the front and rear door on a four door. The post at the front edge of the rear quarter panel on a two door.

BRIDGING: Occurrence where a primer or surfacer does not totally fill a sand scratch or imperfection. Not usually apparent in undercoat, however, does show up in topcoat.

BRITTLE: A paint coating lacking flexibility.

BUBBLES: Air or solvent trapped in a paint film caused by poor atomization during spraying. Air trapped in body filler caused by excessive agitation.

BUCKLE: The visible distortion seen in a frame or structure rail as it protrudes inward or outward. Not to be confused with a KINK.

BUFFING/COMPOUNDING: Using a mild abrasive to bring out gloss and/or remove texture in a topcoat. This can be done by hand or machine.

BUMPER ABSORBER: A energy absorbing cushion just behind the bumpers

BURN/BURN THROUGH: Polishing or buffing of a color or clear too hard or long causing the underlying coat(s) to be revealed.


CAMBER: The inward or outward tilt of the wheels .Camber can affect tire ware as well as handling.

CAST: A variation of a color; example, a red shade blue.

CASTOR: The forward or rearward tilt of the front wheels. Castor effects handling not tire ware.

CATALYST: Additive for paint to speed the cure, give better recoatability, better durability to weather and provides gloss.

CELLULOSE: Natural polymer or resin from cottonseed oil to make paint coatings.

CHALKING: The result of weathering of a paint film resulting in a white powdery appearance.

CHECKING/CROWFOOT: Tiny cracks or splitting in the surface of a paint film usually seen in a lacquer. Caused by improper film formation or excessive film build.

CHEMICAL STAIN/SPOTTING: Circular, oblong or irregular spots or discoloration on areas of finish caused by reactive chemicals coming into contact with air pollution (coal and high sulfur emissions), acid rain and snow.

CHIPPING: Removal of finish usually due to the impact of rocks and stones.

CLEARCOAT: The last coating of paint applied to enhance gloss, color retention, and protect the finish from ultra violet rays.

COAT/SINGLE: Applying of undercoat or topcoat over the surface using a 50% overlap of spray.

COAT/DOUBLE: Two single coats with longer flash time.

COLORANT: Made with ground pigments, solvent and resin. Used in the intermix system to produce colors.

COLOR BLIND: A handicap in a person has color vision; incapable of distinguishing or perceiving certain colors or any color.

COLOR COAT: The application of color to a prepared finish.

COLOR DEFICIENCY: A handicap in color vision, incapable of distinguishing or perceiving some colors or levels of any color.

COLOR MATCH: Two colors exhibiting no perceptible difference when viewed under the same conditions.

COLOR RETENTION: The ability of a color to retain its true shade over an extended period of time. A color that is color fast.

COLOR SAND & BUFF: The process of completely scuff sanding an entire painted panel and buffing and polishing it to obtain proper texture and gloss.

COLOR STANDARD:A small sprayed-out sample of OEM color. This is the established requirement for a given color code. This is the color the car is supposed to be from the factory.

COLOR VERSION: A color matched in a different quality finish, to match the same OEM standard; i.e., a color matched to an acrylic enamel in lacquer.

COMPLEMENTARY COLORS: Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel.

COLLISION RAP: A product used to keep the outside elements from getting into your car while waiting for parts or repairs.

CONCENTRATION: The ratio of pigment in paint to resins in paint.

CORROSION PROTECTION: A acid etch or epoxy coating applied to the inside and / or outside of the Repaired panels after repairs are completed and before priming, rust proofing, or undercoating.

COVERAGE: The ability of a pigmented color to conceal or cover a surface.

“C” PILLER: The post at the front edge of the rear quarter panel on a four door.

CRATERING: The forming of holes in a film due to contamination.

CRAZING: Fine line cracks in the surface of the paint finish.

CROSSCOAT :Applying paint in a crisscross pattern. Single coat applied in one direction with a second single coat applied at 90° to the first.

CROWSFOOT: Tiny cracks in the surface of a paint film usually seen in a lacquer.

CURE: The chemical reaction of a coating during the drying process, leaving it insoluble.

CURDLING: The gelling or partial cure of paint due to incompatible materials.

CURTAINS: Large sagging or runs of paint due to improper application.

“CUT-IN”: Painting of the edges of parts before installation.

CV JOINT: Constant Velocity Joint (U-Joint) at each end of the drive axles on a front wheel drive vehicle. They can also be on the rear axle as well as four wheel drive trucks.


DEDUCTIBLE: The part of repairs you owe because of the contract you made with your insurance company. WANT TO SAVE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE? Click here.

DEFINED ORIENTATION: The dispersion of metallic or mica flake with a definite pattern.

DELAMINATION: The peeling of a finish having improper adhesion.

DEPTH: Lighter or darker in comparing two colors. The first adjustment in color matching.

DETAIL: Professionally cleaning vehicle. Washing, polishing, waxing, cleaning the interior, luggage compartment, windows, underneath hood and fenders, dressing the tires. Click here for detail charges.

DIAMOND: The frame condition where one entire rail is back further than the other.

DIE-BACK: The gradual loss of gloss due to continued evaporation of solvent after polishing.

DIRECT (FACE): The color viewed from head-on (90°).

DISPERSION LACQUER: Particles of lacquer paint suspended or dispersed in a solvent which is not strong enough for total solution.

D.O.I. (DISTINCTNESS OF IMAGE): How clear a finish reflects an image.

DOG TRACKING: The rear wheels running to one side of the front wheels causing the vehicle to travel on an angle. Can be a cause for poor handling.

DOUBLE COAT: One single coat of paint followed immediately by another.

“D” PILLER: The post at the very rear of a four door vehicle.

DRIER: A material used in a paint, which enables it to cure.

DRY: The evaporation of solvent from a paint film.

DRY FILM THICKNESS (D.F.T.): The thickness of a paint after it has dried and/or cured. Measured in mils.

DRY SPRAY: The process of applying paint in a lighter or not as wet application.

DURABILITY: How well a film weathers and lasts.


ELECTROSTATIC PAINT APPLICATION: Process of applying paint by having the surface electrically charged positive or negative and the application equipment on opposite electric charge.

ETCH: The process of chemically treating a material for corrosion resistance and adhesion of a primer, or to remove rust.

ETCHING PRIMER: A primer which contains an acid which etches the substrate as well as applying a primer. To protect against corrosion.


FACTORY PACKAGE COLOR (F.P.C.): Car colors that are matched, produced and packaged by paint companies for specific car color codes for use at the refinish level.

FADING: A gradual change of color or gloss in a finish.

FEATHEREDGE: A sanding process of tapering a broken paint edge to a smooth finish.

FEATHERING: Slang term for blending or slowly moving the edge of one color into a second color.

FENDER: The bolted on panel, which covers the tire. Generally it is on the front of the vehicle.

FILLER: A sight shield between two parts and / or a plastic used to smooth out small imperfections during sheet metal repairs.

FILM BUILD: The wet or dry thickness of applied coating measured in mils; also see DRY FILM THICKNESS.

FISHEYE: Round ring-like craters caused by contamination.

FLAKE-OFF: Large pieces of paint or undercoat falling off of substrate; also called delamination.

FLASH/TIME: The time needed to allow solvents to evaporate from a freshly painted surface before applying another coat or heat.

FLATTING AGENT: Material used in paint to dull or eliminate gloss.

FLEX AGENT: Material added to paint for additional flexibility, usually used for rubber or plastic flexible parts.

FLOATING: Characteristics or some pigments to separate from solution and migrate to the surface of paint film while still wet.

FLOP (SIDE TONE): The color of a finish when viewed from a side angle, other than direct.

FLOW: The leveling properties of a wet paint film.

FLUORESCENT LIGHT: Light emitted from a standard fluorescent fixture.

FOGCOAT: A final atomized coat of paint, usually applied at higher air pressure and at greater distance than normal.

FORCE DRY: Speed of dry due to application of heat and air flow.


GLAZE: A very fine polishing material used to gain gloss and shine.

GLOSS: Reflectance of light from a painted surface. Measured at different degrees by instruments known as gloss meters.

GRAYNESS: The amount of black or white in a specific color.

GRINDING: Using a coarse abrasive, usually a spinning disc to remove paint, undercoat, rust, etc. before applying body filler.

GROUND COAT: Highly pigmented coat of paint applied before a transparent color to speed hiding.

GUIDE COAT: A mist coat of a different color, usually primer, to aid in getting a panel sanded straight. A dry contrasting color applied to prime prior to sanding. This coat remains in the low areas and imperfections during the sanding process. When removed, imperfections are eliminated.


HANDSLICK: The time it takes for a wet paint film to become ready for another coat of paint.

HARDENER: Material used to speed cure of an enamel. HARDNESS: Resistance of a paint film to surface damage measured as in pencil hardness.

HIGH BAKE: The baking of a paint above 180° F.

HIGH SOLID: Paints and undercoats which have more pigment and resin (film formers) than their regular equivalent.

HIGH STRENGTH/HIGH CONCENTRATED: The amount of pigment in the volume solid portion is in a higher amount, more pigment vs. resin.

HIGH VOLUME LOW PRESSURE (HVLP): Spray equipment which delivers material at a low pressure of no more than 10 PSI (at the air cap), however, with greater volume of air.

HIT: Small increment. A gradual increase in quantity. Term used in color adjustment.

HOLD-OUT (COLOR): The ability of an under-coat to stop or greatly reduce the topcoat from soaking into it.

HUMIDITY: The amount or degree of water vapor in the air measured in percent.


INCANDESCENT LIGHT: Light emitted from a burning filament in a glass bulb.

INCREMENT:A gradual increase in quantity.

INFRA-RED LIGHT: Portion of electromagnetic spectrum just below the visible light range. Can be used to cure paint due to heat being produced.

INNERCOAT ADHESION: The ability of one coat of paint to stick to another coat.

INTERIOR PROTECTION: Protecting the interior of your vehicle from damage during repairs.

INTERMIX: The mixing of specific colors by adding different components or colorants to produce a usable mixture at the paint store or shop level.

ISOCYANTE/POLYISOCYANATE: Material containing a functional group of nitrogen, carbon and oxygen, used in urethane catalyst and hardener to cross link material into a solid urethane film.


JELLED: Thickening of paint to an unusable form due to drying or curing, before being used.


KINK: The bending of a frame or structure rail into the radius of a paper clip end.


LACQUER: A paint which dries by solvent evaporation which can be re-dissolved in its own solvent.

LET DOWN: The process of reducing the intensity of a colorant or mass tone through the addition of white or silver, allowing you to see cast and strength.

LIFTING: The soaking of a solvent into a soluble undercoat causing swelling, then causing the topcoat to wrinkle from underneath.

LKQ: Like kind and quality. In simpler terms used parts the same as what was on your car before the accident, including similar mileage and the same or newer model year.

LOW-BAKE: Baking of a paint film up to 180° F.

LOW PRESSURE COAT: The process of applying the final coat of paint at a lower air pressure. Used to uniform a finish or blending.


MASH: The resulting condition of a frame being pushed straight back.

MASKING: Process of applying pressure, sensitive tape and paper to a vehicle to prevent paint from being applied where it is not wanted.

MASSTONE: The color of an undiluted colorant.

M.E.K. (METHYL ETHYL KETONE):Solvent used in many paint reducers and thinners.

METALLIC COLOR: Colors containing various sizes of aluminum flakes. These flakes have reflective properties and when used in combinations and/or amounts, modify the optical characteristics of the color.

METAMERISM: A phenomenon exhibited by two colors that match under one or more light sources, but do not match under all light sources or viewing conditions.

MICA COLOR: Colors containing various sizes and/or colors of mica. Mica flakes have several optical characteristics allowing light to reflect, pass through and absorb. When added to color alone or with metallic flake, cause the color to look different depending on the angle of view.

MIG WELD: A form of electrical welding using special steel wire and some form of non-combustible gas.

MIL: A measure of paint film thickness equal to one/one-thousandth of an inch.

“MINI BELL”: Equipment used to apply paint electrostatically consisting of a spinning disk to which paint is applied. The spinning disc is charged electrically and paint is atomized through centrifugal force.

MIST COAT: A thin sprayed coat to uniform metallic finishes. Also used to blend colors. Sometimes used with light amounts of solvents to uniform finish and/or increase gloss.

MOTTLING: Blotches of metallic or mica particles in a paint film.

M.S.D.S. (MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS): Used in locating information on all paint materials.


NATIONAL BACK ORDER: A part that is not available at any warehouse or dealership in the country. It is also likely that the manufacturer of the part is currently out of stock too.

Nib & polish: The process of scuff sanding a few specs of foreign material in a newly refinished panel and polishing them to a shine.

NON-O.E.: A part made by someone other than the original manufacturer.


O.E.M.: Original equipment manufacturer. Factory parts.

OVERHAUL (OV): The complete disassemble and reassemble of a unit of parts


PACKAGE SHELF: The area directly between the rear seat and the back glass on a two or four door car.

PAINT CODE: The number or letter assigned to the color of your car by the manufacturer.

PEELING: The condition where the paint is flaking off. Not to be confused with chipping.

PDR (PAINTLESS DENT REPAIR): The process of straightening small dings with out having to go through the refinish stage.

PRELIMINARY PULLS: Pulls made to either sheet metal or the structure of a vehicle to determine if it can be straightened, or too return the structure of the vehicle back to square before removing and replacing structure pieces.

PREVIOUS DAMAGE: Damage on the vehicle that was there before the accident.


QUARTER PANEL: The welded on panel, which covers the rear tire or the welded panel that the fender bolts on to. This panel is a structural part on a uni-body vehicle.


RACK & PINION: This is the steering gear on a uni-body vehicle.R&I: Removing a part and re-installing it.

R&R: Remove the old damaged part and replace it with another part.

REAR BODY PANEL: The panel directly below the rear edge of the trunk lid and just in front of the rear bumper.

RECONDITIONED: Any part that has been made into a suitable replacement part.

REMANUFACTURED: A factory part that has been reconditioned to bring it back into like new condition.

RE-SET COMPUTER: Hook up a diagnostic computer to your vehicle, obtain fault code(s), and re-set so warning lights on instrument panel function normal.

RESISTANCE SPOT WELD: A process of welding 2 or more pieces of metal together by squeezing it with a pair of high pressure electrical tongs.

RE-TAPE: Replace the adhesive tape on moldings and trim.

REVEAL MOLDING: Trim around windshield or other fixed glass

ROUGH OUT: The process of getting the metal roughly into the correct shape before the actual straightening process begins.

RUST PROOFING: A wax based material used inside panels and / or underneath the vehicle.



AG: The up or down position of a frame and /or structure rail. Or the accumulation of too much paint in one spot.

SEALER: Material applied before topcoat to increase color holdout and uniformity of color and adhesion.

SECONDARY COLORS: Mixture of two primary colors to produce a second color. Example: red and yellow make orange.

SEEDY: Rough or gritty appearance of paint due to very small insoluble particles.

SET BACK: One of the front wheels is further back than the one on the other side.

SHADE: A variation of color. Example 1: a green shade blue. Example 2: light blue versus dark blue.

SHIM: A spacer made of metal, fiber, or plastic used in an alignment process.

SHIPPING DAMAGE: Damage caused during the transportation of the repair parts.

SHRINKAGE: Tightening or shrinking of paint film as solvent evaporates.

SIDE MEMBER: What can be considered a frame rail on a uni-body vehicle.

SIDE SWAY: The condition of a vehicles frame or structure sideways from center.

SIDETONE “FLOP”: The color of a finish when viewed from a side angle.

SINGLE STAGE: A one-step paint procedure of applying color, protection and durability in one application. No clear is used.

SIPHON FEED GUN: Any paint gun which uses air flowing over an opening to create a vacuum to draw paint up a tube to be atomized.

SOLIDS: The part of the paint, pigments and resin which do not evaporate.

SOLID COLOR: Colors that contain no metallic flakes in the pigment portion of paint. These colors have opaque pigmentation or properties in the paint film.

SOLUTION: A homogeneous mixture of two or more dissimilar substances.

SOLVENT CLEANER: Solvent-based cleaning material used to remove contamination from surfaces prior to refinishing.

SOLVENT POP: Blisters in the surface of a film caused by entrapment of solvent.

SPLITTING: The breaking open of an undercoat or topcoat into long cracks resembling the look of a “dry river bottom”.

SPOT REPAIR: The process of repairing only a portion of a panel or vehicle.

SPRAY PATTERN: Spray from the paint gun adjusted from a very small, almost round pattern to a wide, flat, somewhat oval shape.

STABILIZER: Special resin-containing solvent used in basecoat color to lower viscosity helping in metallic control and recoat times.

STORAGE: A charge all vehicles receive from the day they are dropped off on our lot. Those vehicles that are Repaird receive no storage charges from our lot.

STRENGTH OF COLOR: The hiding ability of a pigmented toner or colorant.

STRUT: Serves two purposes. It acts as a shock absorber and also helps support the wheel. Some are adjustable.

SUB FRAME: What supports the engine and suspension a uni-body vehicle.

SUBLET: Work completed by someone other than us.


TACK COAT: Usually the first light coat of paint is allowed to set and become sticky before additional coats are applied.

TACK FREE: Time in the drying of a paint film where it is not sticky but not completely cured.

TACK RAGS: A sticky cheese cloth used to remove dust before painting.

TEAR DOWN: Disassembling damaged area for the purpose of locating hidden damage. The very start of the repair process.

TEXTURE: The amount of orange peel or roughness in a dried paint film.

THERMOSPLASTIC PAINT: Material which with the addition of heat becomes soft and pliable, returning to solid when cooled, i.e., lacquer.

THERMOSETTING PAINT: Type of paint that becomes hard when heated and thereafter is cured, i.e., enamels, urethanes.

THINNER: Solvent material used to reduce the viscosity of lacquers.

THREE-STAGE SYSTEM: A three-step paint procedure. First a highly pigmented color coat is applied to achieve hiding, referred to as the ground coat. The ground coat, is followed by, the intermediate coat. The intermediate coat is applied using a transparent mica in a number of single coats until the desired effect is obtained. This finish requires a clear coat for gloss protection and durability, which is applied last.

THRUST ANGLE: The angle the rear wheels have in relationship to the body of the vehicle. A major cause of dog tracking.

TINT: A pure toner used for the changing of another color.

TINTING: The act of changing one color by adding another.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE: A commonly used white pigment with high hiding power.

TOE: The inward or outward angle of the wheels. This can greatly affect tire ware and could affect handling.TONERS: Made with ground pigments, solvent and resin. Used in the intermix system to produce colors.

TOPCOAT: The pigmented color portion of the painting process.

TOUCH UP: The process of painting chips (touching up) with a small detail paintbrush. If your color contains metallic you can expect a slight color difference.

TOUGHNESS: The ability of a finish to withstand abrasion, scratches, etc.

TRANSFER-EFFICIENCY: The ratio in a percentage of the amount of paint actually applied to a surface compared to the amount of material used.

TWO-COMPONENT: A paint material that must have a catalyst or hardener to react.


ULTRA VIOLET LIGHT: A part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which can cause fading of paint. Located just beyond the visible part of spectrum.

UNDERCOAT: The coatings below the top color coat that help in adhesion and corrosion resistance.

UNDERCOATING: A black petroleum based (tarry looking) product used underneath the vehicle for sound deadening. Not rustproofing.

UPPER SIDE RAIL: A structural part extending from the cowl (windshield) area forward to the radiator support. It sets just under the fender.

USED: A part taken from another vehicle either exactly like or somewhat like yours.


VISCOSITY: Determined by allowing a measured amount to flow through an orifice and measuring the time it takes for this amount to flow.

V.O.C. (VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUND): Any organic compound that evaporates and subsequently participates in atmospheric photo-chemical reaction; that is, any organic compound other than those that the administrator designates as having negligible photochemical activity.


WASH/VACUUM: Wash the exterior of vehicle and vacuum the interior prior to delivery.(see DETAIL)

WATERBORNE COATING: A coating containing more than five percent water in its volatile fraction.

WELD-THRU PRIMER: A sprayed on product used between panel joints being welded together.

WHEEL HOUSE: A welded panel between the outer quarter panel and the interior structure of a vehicle.