METALLIC CAR PAINT COLORS
Metallic car paint colors vary widely in color, and sparkle effect, offering a broad range of colors to suit most car paint enthusiasts. If you’ve been looking for high-quality, custom metallic auto paint, then we most likely have a color you’ll like. In fact, we’ve listed our most popular colors below for you to view. If you like one of them, click on the image and it will take you to a more detailed page about that specific paint color.
Understanding Metallic Car Paint Colors
How is metallic paint made?
Metallic paint is made when finely ground aluminum is added to pigmented and un-pigmented paints. The aluminum particles provide a sparkle that ranges in size, brightness, and sometimes color depending on the manner in which the aluminum is ground, refined, and modified. Combining this with a wide range of semi-transparent and transparent pigments can produce countless color combinations.
Different types of metallic pigments?
Metallic pigments, which are finely ground aluminum particles, commonly range in particle size from 5-50 micrometers. Generally the larger the particle the more sparkle or “coarse” the sparkle becomes while smaller particles tend to be described as “finer”. The manner in which the aluminum is ground and refined plays a big role in how it appears in paint applications. Conventional metallic production techniques that prevailed for 50+ years yielded a flake that when viewed under a microscope was seen to look like a “corn flake” with jagged edges and rough surfaces. Today more modern production techniques yield particles that are generally more polished and smooth and are said to be “silver dollar” like in appearance. The more modern silver dollar metallic flakes result in brighter and higher chroma colors that has lead to a resurgence in metallic color in the automotive market place. Silver colors have especially benefited from advancements in metallic flake chemistry and have become a dominant global color group in automotive colors stylings. Unique metallic pigment effects have also been created by using finely ground aluminum and then coating the aluminum particles with inorganic coatings that give the metallic particle a colored sparkle rather the standard silver sparkle. These colored sparkles combined with transparent and semi transparent pigments create unique metallic colors that are said to have more color depth than using typical metallic pigments.
What is metal flake and how is it different than metallic pigments?
Metal flake is often confused with metallic pigments and metallic paints but they are a very different technology altogether. As we mentioned earlier, metallic pigments are created by controlled grinding of aluminum whereas metal flake is actually a multistep process that begins with a thin plastic film (usually polyethylene terephthalate aka PET). The process generally begins by “metallizing” large sheets of polymer with aluminum to produce an ultra fine layer of aluminum on the sheet. In some cases this “metallized” sheet is then chopped up into a specified shape and size and sold as uncoated silver metal flake. However, for more durable applications the metallized sheet is coated with a protective coating to reduce oxidation of the aluminum before being chopped up and sold as coated silver metal flake.
How does metallic paint differ from Pearl Paint?
As we talked about previously, the sparkle in metallic paint is based on controlled grinding of aluminum. Pearl paints on the other hand as based on mica, aluminum oxide or glass substrates that are colored using very specific metal oxide layers and tightly controlled layer thickness. What this means is that pearl paints return a colored sparkle whereas metallic paints return a silver sparkle unless interfered with by pigment or dye that has coated over the aluminum. It’s not to say that one is better than the other only different appearances. One notable difference other than color is opacity or “hide”. Metallic based paints typically cover better than the pearl equivalents in the same shade range. In many cases the coverage is very similar but in some colors, usually, lighter ones, the difference is more prominent. In practice, factory paints are often a blend of pearl and metallic in order to achieve a nice balance of depth, chroma, and opacity.