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Painting Conservation & Restoration Glossary

Abrasion - paint loss caused by excess friction during improper removal of varnish, over cleaning or by other types of friction.
Acrylic - a type of paint based on a family of synthetic resins made by polymerizing esters ofacrylic acids.
Ageing cracks - age cracks caused by environment and mechanical and other stresses that appear in all older paintings and can run through all the layers of a painting.
Alkyd - a synthetic resin which is a condensation product of a polybasic acid such as phthalmic, a plolyhydric alcohol such as glycerin and an oil fatty acid.
Alla prima - an Italian phrase referring to oil painting, meaning painted wet in wet, usually in a single sitting.
Binder - the film forming ingredient that binds the pigment together(linseed oil in oil painting gum arabic in watercolor paint, etc.).
Blending - blending is most commonly used with reference to academic painting to mean the blending together of separate touches of color for half tones until the gradation of tones and brush marks are imperceptible.
Blistering - separation due to heat (burn blister).
Blocking-in - referring to the broad application of masses of light, shade and color in the early stages of painting.
Bloom - a florescent bluish area that forms on the surface of varnishes, mainly caused by too much moisture in the air while the varnish is drying.
Body - the common term for the viscosity of a paint or varnish giving a quantitative description Of the consistency.
Buffer solution - a solution of a week acid (acidic acid) and a neutral salt of the same acid (sodium aceate) that way if an alkali or acid is added, the pH value does not change appreciably.