Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pearl Paint

 When asked for advise about pearl paint the first thing I have to do is narrow down what kind of pearl we are talking about. There are three kinds of pearl paint jobs. Pearl is an ingredient used in automotive paint. Pearls are used to add a sparkle to paint much like metallic. There are dozens of colors available dark and light blues, greens, golds, and reds but also slivers and bronze and copper.
 Automotive manufactures will use just a pinch or 3 or more different pearls to add life to the paint. With modern base coat systems pearl coat will lay down as nice as solid colors. One note of caution the more coats of pearl you put on the darker the color gets. So when doing a repair leave a panel open so you don't put more coats on than necessary to achieve the color you are after. 
The second use of pearl is on thi stage paint jobs like the Cadillac or Lexis white pearls. These involve a white ground coat then a pearl mid coat then a clear coat. Once again it's critical that you have the same number of coats on the whole project.
 The third kind of pearl is used in custom painting to give a color shift for instance a white car with blue pearl mixed into the second coat of clear. I don't mix it into the first coat because I want the pearl to be suspended above the base. I fog on this coat then clean my gun and mix up some more clear to give it a couple more coats. SEM makes eight nice liquid pearls and Old School Flake makes about 20 powder pearls. How much to use? Well that's an artistic decision, I shoot a lot of test panels and take the panels out into the sun before I decide how much to use on the car or bike I'm painting.
 
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

10 comments:

Arden said...

I love Pearls and Flip Flops. When I repaint my Trans AM I want to do it in white pearl.

Anonymous said...

do u sell the paint because i would like to get like a half of gallon of bronze pearl if thats not hard

jim lyons said...

I do sell paint in Denver Colorado and if your in the area come on down to Allen Paint on South Broadway. If you live somewhere else please find a paint store locally they will be able to help you better
Jim

Alfisto Steve said...

Is 2000 Dodge truck PRV paint code Dark Garnet Red, Pearl Coat a tri stage paint or two stage base and clear?

jim lyons said...

I looked up the Dodge Truck color PRV in Sherwin Williams Ultra 7000 and it is a two stage base coat / clear coat paint.

Gorilla@nastyboysracing said...

Can pearl powder be applied in the clear coat and if so, what amount per spray gun mixture ??

gorilla @ Nasty Boys Racing

jim lyons said...

Dear Gorilla
That's not something I ever thought I would write. The best way to apply the clear is in the second or third coat of clear after you finish with the color. Then apply two coats of clear over the pearl layer. As far as how much to use there is no easy answer to that it depends on the color of the base the color of the pearl and the effect you wish to achieve. I shoot lots of test panels.

HirshR said...

If I were to shoot a gunmetal metallic, then use a blue pearl powder, how much powder (by gram) should I start with to achieve a blue steel effect? This is my first time messing with pearl powder so please correct me if I am mistaken... in order

Prime
Basecoat
Clearcoat
Pearl coat (mixed with preferred clearcoat)
Clear coat

jim lyons said...

I can't give you any rules here. The best way to apply the clear is in the second or third coat of clear after you finish with the color. Then apply two coats of clear over the pearl layer. As far as how much to use there is no easy answer to that it depends on the color of the base the color of the pearl and the effect you wish to achieve. I shoot lots of test panels.and then I look at the test panels in the sunlight to get the true look. It has been my experience it goes: not enough, not enough, not enough Oh my God too much. so measure accurately and take notes.
As far as the order goes

Prime
Sand
Seal coat
Basecoat
Clearcoat
Pearl coat
Clearcoat

Jim

Elizabeth Hensley said...

Im re-building a 78 sporty and i have her down to the frame im gunna paint the whole think light silver with a babypink pearl clear coat. What pink pearl clear coat paint would you recommended and how would you apply it?