How to Make Metallic Paint: Easy DIY Methods

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More.

Metallic paint adds a touch of glamour and sophistication to any surface, making it a popular choice for home decor, furniture, and craft projects. However, purchasing metallic paint can be expensive and limiting in terms of color choices. The good news is that making your own metallic paint is easy and cost-effective. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of creativity, you can create a variety of stunning metallic shades that are customized to your liking.

how to make metallic paint
Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

But how to make metallic paint?

Using metallic powder like mica powder is an easy way to start. Add the metallic powder to clear medium. Then adjust them one by one and check when the mixture achieve the exact metallic shade.

In this article, we will explore some easy DIY methods for making metallic paint. Whether you want to add some sparkle to your walls, revamp an old piece of furniture, or create unique art pieces, these methods will help you achieve the perfect metallic finish.

What Color Shade Is Metallic?

Metallic colors are shades that have the appearance of polished metal, typically with a reflective or glossy finish. These colors are often used in automotive paints, fashion, and design to add a sleek and modern feel to the product.

The most common metallic colors include silver, gold, bronze, copper, and steel, but there are also many variations of these colors. For instance, metallic blue or green may have a bluish or greenish tint to them, while metallic red or orange may have a reddish or orangey undertone.

Metallic colors are achieved by adding metallic particles to the paint or ink, which reflect light and create a shimmering effect. The size and shape of these particles can influence the final color and finish, with smaller particles typically producing a more subtle shimmer and larger particles creating a more dramatic effect.

How Is Metallic Paint Made?

Metallic paint is made by adding small metallic particles to the paint or ink base. These particles can be made of a variety of materials, including aluminum, copper, bronze, or zinc. The size and shape of the particles can affect the final appearance of the paint, with larger particles typically creating a more pronounced metallic effect.

The metallic particles are suspended in a solvent or resin base, along with binders and other additives to help the paint adhere to surfaces and provide the desired texture and finish. The paint is mixed thoroughly to ensure that the particles are evenly distributed throughout the base.

Once the paint is applied to a surface, the metallic particles reflect light, creating a shiny and reflective finish. The angle of the light source and the surface texture can also affect the appearance of the metallic paint, with different angles creating different shades of color and levels of reflectivity.

Metallic paint provides a unique and eye-catching look to a variety of surfaces and is often used in automotive finishes, industrial coatings, and interior and exterior design applications.

How Do Manufacturers Make Metallic Paint in Factories?

Metallic paint is a popular choice for automotive and industrial applications due to its shiny appearance and durability. Manufacturers make metallic paint in factories through a process called “flaking”.

The first step in making metallic paint is to create a base coat using pigments and binders. The base coat is usually a solid color that provides the background for the metallic flakes. Once the base coat is applied, metallic flakes are added to the paint.

The flakes are typically made of aluminum or copper and come in various sizes and shapes. The manufacturer mixes the flakes into the paint using a mixer or shaker to ensure even distribution. The size and shape of the flakes determine the appearance of the finished product. Larger flakes produce a more prominent metallic effect, while smaller flakes create a subtler shine.

Once the flakes are mixed in, the metallic paint is ready to be applied to the desired surface. The manufacturer can adjust the concentration of the flakes to create different effects, such as a pearlescent finish or a sparkling appearance. The paint is then sprayed onto the surface using specialized equipment.

So, manufacturers make metallic paint in factories by adding metallic flakes to a base coat and mixing them thoroughly. The result is a durable and visually appealing finish that is ideal for automotive and industrial applications.

How to Make Metallic Paint Step by Step

There are several ways to make metallic paint, depending on the type of metallic finish you want to achieve. Here are four different methods you can use to make metallic paint at home:

Method 1: Using Metallic Powder

This method involves mixing the metallic powder with a clear medium to create a metallic paint. Here’s how to do it.


  • Metallic powder (copper, bronze, aluminum, etc.)
  • Clear resin or epoxy
  • Mixing cups
  • Stirring sticks
  • Paintbrush or foam brush
  • Sandpaper or polishing cloth
  • Protective gloves and goggles
  • Respirator mask (optional)

Step 1: Choose your metallic powder

Select the metallic powder that you want to use for your project. There are several options available, such as copper, bronze, aluminum, and more. Consider the finish and color you want to achieve before selecting your powder.

Step 2: Prepare your workspace

Before you begin mixing your metallic powder, ensure that your workspace is clean and clear of any debris. Place a protective covering over your workspace to avoid any spills or messes. Wear gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask if necessary.

Step 3: Mix the metallic powder with the clear medium

In a mixing cup, combine the metallic powder and clear resin or epoxy in the desired ratio. Stir the mixture until it is thoroughly combined. The ratio of metallic powder to resin/epoxy will vary depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, but it is generally around 10-20% powder to 80-90% resin/epoxy.

Step 4: Apply the mixture to your surface

Using a paintbrush or foam brush, apply the metallic powder and resin/epoxy mixture to your object or surface. Be sure to apply the mixture evenly to avoid any clumps or uneven spots. Depending on the size and shape of your object or surface, you may need to apply multiple coats.

Step 5: Let it dry

Allow your metallic mixture to dry completely before handling or sanding. The drying time will vary depending on the type of resin or epoxy used, but it is generally between 12 and 24 hours.

Step 6: Sand and polish

If desired, sand the surface of your metallic object or surface to smooth out any rough spots or edges. You can use sandpaper or a polishing cloth to achieve a smooth finish. Be careful not to sand too hard, as this can remove the metallic powder mixture.

Method 2: Using Metallic Paint Pigment

Metallic paint is a popular choice for interior and exterior decoration, as it adds a vibrant shine to any surface it’s applied to. Here, we’ll go through the steps of making metallic paint using metallic paint pigment.

Step 1: Gather your materials

To make metallic paint, you will need the following materials.

  • Metallic paint pigment
  • Acrylic or latex paint in a base color of your choice
  • Mixing cups or containers
  • Stirring sticks or mixing utensils
  • Measuring spoons or a scale

Step 2: Choose your metallic paint pigment

Metallic paint pigment is the key ingredient in making metallic paint. You can find it in most craft stores or online. There are various types of metallic paint pigment available, each with a different level of shine and intensity. Choose the pigment that suits your project and the desired level of shimmer.

Step 3: Mix the pigment with the base paint

Once you have your metallic paint pigment and base paint, it’s time to mix them. Start by pouring a small amount of base paint into a mixing cup. Then, add the metallic pigment to the base paint, using a measuring spoon or a scale to measure the amount. The ratio of pigment to paint will depend on the level of shimmer you want to achieve. As a general rule, use 1 part metallic pigment to 10 parts paint.

Step 4: Stir thoroughly

After adding the pigment to the base paint, it’s important to stir the mixture thoroughly. Use a stirring stick or a mixing utensil to combine the two components. Make sure to stir until the metallic pigment is evenly distributed throughout the paint.

Step 5: Test the paint

Before applying the metallic paint to your project, it’s a good idea to test it on a small area first. This will help you ensure that the paint has the desired level of shine and that the color is accurate.

Step 6: Apply the paint

Use a brush, roller, or spray gun to apply the metallic paint to the surface you want to decorate. Allow it to dry completely before adding any additional coats or finishing touches.

Method 3: Using Aluminum Foil

Creating metallic paint using aluminum foil is an affordable way to achieve a unique, shiny look. Here’s how you can make metallic paint using aluminum foil.

Materials you will need:

  • Acrylic paint in your desired color
  • Aluminum foil
  • A blender or food processor
  • A mixing bowl
  • A paintbrush
  • Water

Step 1: Prepare the aluminum foil

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil and crumple it up into a ball. Flatten the ball out and tear it into small pieces. The pieces should be about the size of a quarter or smaller.

Step 2: Blend the aluminum foil

Put the aluminum foil pieces into a blender or food processor and blend until the foil is shredded into very small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the finer the metallic effect will be in your paint.

Step 3: Mix the aluminum foil into the paint

In a mixing bowl, add your desired amount of acrylic paint in the color you want. Add the shredded aluminum foil to the bowl and mix thoroughly. You may need to add water to achieve the desired consistency.

Step 4: Apply the paint

Using a paintbrush, apply the metallic paint to your project. Apply it in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. You can add more aluminum foil to the mixture if you want a more metallic effect.

How to Increase the Shine of Metallic Paint?

To increase the shine of metallic paint, you can follow these steps:

  • Prepare the surface: Ensure that the surface to be painted is clean, dry and smooth. Any debris or unevenness will affect the final result.
  • Apply a base coat: Apply a base coat of high-quality primer that is formulated for use with metallic paint. This will help to ensure that the metallic paint adheres evenly and provides a smooth, uniform finish.
  • Apply metallic paint: Apply the metallic paint in thin, even coats, using a high-quality paintbrush or spray gun. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
  • Apply a clear coat: Once the metallic paint is dry, apply a clear coat of high-quality varnish or lacquer to protect the finish and increase its shine. The clear coat should be applied in thin, even coats, using a clean brush or spray gun.
  • Buff the surface: After the clear coat has dried, use a soft, clean cloth to buff the surface to a high shine. This will help to remove any imperfections and bring out the metallic shine of the paint.

How Do You Make Silver Metallic Paint?

To make silver metallic paint, you will need:

  • Silver metallic powder
  • Clear acrylic medium or varnish
  • Stirring utensil
  • Mixing container

Here are the steps to make silver metallic paint:

  • Begin by pouring the clear acrylic medium or varnish into the mixing container. The amount you use will depend on how much paint you want to make, but a good starting point is equal parts medium and metallic powder.
  • Slowly add the silver metallic powder to the medium while stirring continuously. It’s essential to add the powder gradually to prevent clumping and ensure the color is consistent.
  • Keep stirring the mixture until the metallic powder is fully incorporated into the medium. You should have a smooth, even consistency.
  • Once you’ve achieved the desired consistency, your silver metallic paint is ready to use. You can apply it to your desired surface using a brush, roller, or spray gun.

Note that the ratio of medium to metallic powder can be adjusted depending on the intensity of the silver color you want. You can also experiment with different clear mediums or varnishes to achieve different finishes and effects.

How to Make Metallic Red Paint?

To make metallic red paint, you will need a few basic materials, including a red base paint, metallic pigment powder, and a mixing tool.

Here are the steps to make metallic red paint:

  • Choose a red base paint: Select a high-quality red paint that is suitable for your project. Acrylic or oil-based paint is a good option.
  • Add metallic pigment powder: Purchase metallic pigment powder in a red shade to match your base paint. The amount of pigment powder you add will depend on the intensity of the metallic effect you want to achieve. A good starting point is 1-2 tablespoons of pigment powder per cup of paint.
  • Mix well: Use a mixing tool to blend the pigment powder into the red base paint. Mix thoroughly until the pigment powder is evenly distributed throughout the paint. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the container to ensure the paint is well-mixed.
  • Test the color: Apply a small amount of paint to a test surface to check the color and metallic effect. If the color is not intense enough, add more pigment powder and mix again.
  • Apply the paint: Once you are satisfied with the color, apply the metallic red paint to your project. Use a paintbrush, roller, or spray gun depending on the surface and desired finish.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when working with paint and wear proper protective gear.

Tips for Making the Metallic Paint

Making metallic paint is a great way to add a touch of glamour to your art and craft projects. Here are a few tips to help you achieve the perfect metallic paint:

  1. There are different types of metallic pigments available in the market such as aluminum, bronze, copper, gold, and silver. Choose the pigment that suits your project and the look you want to achieve.
  2. Metallic pigments tend to settle down quickly. So, make sure you mix the pigment well before adding it to the paint. Use a palette knife or stirrer to mix the pigment thoroughly.
  3. The binder is an important component of metallic paint. It helps to hold the pigment together and ensures that it sticks to the surface. Choose a good quality binder that is compatible with the pigment you are using.
  4. Add the metallic pigment slowly to the paint, mixing well after each addition. This will help you to control the intensity of the metallic effect and achieve the desired look.
  5. Always test the metallic paint on a small area before using it on your project. This will help you to determine if the paint is the right shade and consistency.

By following these tips, you can make beautiful metallic paint that will add a touch of elegance to your art and craft projects.

Final Words

Making metallic paint can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. Whether you use metallic powder, metallic paint pigment, aluminum foil, or metallic spray paint, you can create a variety of metallic finishes to suit your needs.

Experiment with different ratios of materials to achieve the desired effect, and be sure to test your metallic paint on a small surface before applying it to your final project.

2 thoughts on “How to Make Metallic Paint: Easy DIY Methods”

Leave a Comment