Absorbency refers to the degree to which a surface or marital takes in liquids.

Materials with high Absorbency such as matte painted walls, plaster and untreated wood (especially softwoods) take in liquids easily. As a result, this can make them prone to staining, mould and frost damage. Materials that aren’t absorbent like plastics, treated wood, glossy paint and tiles do not take in liquids easily, if at all. This makes them more resistant to staining, mould and frost damage.

Materials such as: sealant, paints, grout and cement/concrete transition from high Absorbency to low Absorbency when they have dried or cured.

So when using these materials it’s important to be conscious of what moisture or liquids get absorbed as this can affect the drying/ curing time and its finish. Along with the same principle, surfaces can be treated to change their Absorbency. Primer is used on a surface to provide a non Absorbent layer before painting and wood Varnish creates a non Absorbent shell protecting the wood.

Other terms

  • Hiding power

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    Hiding power is a term that is used to describe paints ability to hide or cover a surface. When used in reference to paint it describes how well it can obscure the surfaces original colour. Hiding power can also be referred to as Opacity or simply abbreviated into HP. The level of hiding power paint […]

  • Satin


    Satin is a term that describes a paint that is not as glossy (reflective of light) as semi-gloss, but more so than matte paints. Satin paint reflects about 26% to 40% of light. Satin paint is a great choice for rooms that have suffered a little wear and tear. Its less reflective quality means that […]

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