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What a painted surface should look like:

A uniform paint coating is nice!
A uniform paint coating is nice!

A properly painted surface is one uniform in appearance, color and sheen. In addition, it is free of foreign material, lumps, skins, runs, sags, holidays, misses, strikethroughs or insufficient coverage. The surface has no drips, spatters, spills or overspray that was caused by the GP&D workforce. Compliance to meet these criteria is viewed without magnification at a distance of five feet or more under normal lighting conditions and from a normal viewing position.

This definition of a properly painted surface is formerly adopted by the Painting & Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) into their standard P1

Term Definitions:

  • Color: an aspect of appearance based on visual response to light and consisting of the three dimensions of hue, saturation and light. 
  • Sheen: the degree of luster of the dried, fully cured paint film: a desired gloss 
  • Foreign material: any material that is foreign to the manufacturers coating (paint) 
  • Lumps: chunk of foreign material or dried paint 
  • Skins: dried film coating of paint 
  • Runs: paint that flowed downward while drying on a vertical surface because an excessive amount of paint was applied that leaves the appearance of a flow: Narrow downward movement of a paint film resulting is an irregular surface 
  • Sag: an excessive amount of paint that dries on a vertical surface that leaves a band: similar to runs but often broader in scope 
  • Holidays: a small area that is left uncoated; thin or skipped 
  • Misses: a spot or area that got overlooked when painting 
  • Strike-through: also known as a cut-through. A line leaving the previous surface showing; similar to a knife cut through the finish 
  • Insufficient coverage: a paint film that is applied less than the manufacturer’s standard; thinly applied or diluted paint 
  • Drips: paint spots on horizontal surfaces 
  • Spatters: little specks of paint caused by an excessive amount of paint which leaves the brush or roller and do no end up on the painted surface; end up elsewhere 
  • Spills: uncontrolled paint liquid (usually out of a bucket) which ends up on the horizontal surface; larger than a drip 
  • Overspray: uncontrolled paint liquid (usually sprayed) which ends up on surfaces not meant to be painted; a hazed look 
  • Compliance: Standard by which a rule is followed; Inspection criteria 
  • Magnification: The act of magnifying; enlargement; exaggeration 
  • Normal: without extra provisions or effort 
  • Standards: A specification practice or method which has been formally adopted 
  • Note: a pinhole is a small pore-like hole in the paint film, caused by solvent or moisture being released or a very small coating hole in a porous substrate; neither is not a holiday
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