Metallic Paint Finish


New Member
I'm looking to achieve a metallic paint job like on most cars but at home. Not a chrome or mirror polished look, just something that looks like the finish of an automobile. I've heard that you can get automotive paints from automotive stores, but am uncertain as how well the paint job would be. Does anyone know how to produce the desired effect? Please provide examples of work if possible.

Thank you.

Here is an example of what I mean:

alot of folk use normal car parts store rattle cans , just need to be carefull as some melt the plastic

idealy you want acrylic based paint not laquer/cellulose , and use a plastic primer first on plastic models

when you get really picky some of the flake can look too large for a model

if you need more "how to" info just ask , i paint cars for my job
In my part time guise as a custom painter, I use Createx Auto Air paints. For a pearlescent finish like you want, you'll need a black basecoat, pearlescent colour and then a good lacquer over the top. Auto Air have a number of quite fine grained pearl colours as they are designed to be used with an airbrush.
Thank you very much.

I would like a "how to" please.

Do I prime first, then add a black basecoat or can I use a black primer?

What kind of airbrush is it; can I use it home?

How many coats of each should I apply?

By the way, I plan to coat plastic or resin.
id would do

wash in dish soap and warm water , smooth off any blemishes with 1000 wet

2-3 light coats of plastic primer , ( try somewhere hidden first incase it melts)

sand with 1500 wet

get some metalic colour that you like in acrylic , use light coats until its all covered , dont lash it on heavily as its just for colour

3-4 coats of acrylic clear

let sit for a week ,then 2000 or above (micro mesh) any orange peel then polish
Last edited:
I recently had a project that involved painting an airsoft tactical mask in automotive paint to get a metallic finish to some parts of it. I went to a local auto paint shop, browsed their swatches, picked the color I needed (metallic grey, metalic black, and flat white) and they filled aerosol cans in the requested color for me in a couple days. The paints run between $30-40 depending on the color. However since the paint goes on very evenly and only a few coats are needed you have surplus left over for other projects.

To get the best effect, you've got to work it like you would a car that's being painted, that means priming, sanding, the whole nine yards. The real trick to getting an automotive finish though is to use automotive clear coat. Thing is it's expensive to purchase, and I wouldn't recommend trying to do it yourself, unless of course you do that kind of work anyway. I talked with the owner of a local auto body repair shop, and he was willing to clear coat the mask for a very reasonable price, and his turn around was only a few days. The customer was very satisfied with the end result.

As for fusion and acrylic paint, fusion's designed to bond to the surface of plastic, and kind of eliminate the need for primer (tho its still a good idea to use it). If you're putting acrylic over top of the fusion you wont have any problems, nor will you likely have problems putting fusion over acrylic.

My $0.02

the finished mask
This thread is more than 13 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. This thread hasn't been active in some time. A new post in this thread might not contribute constructively to this discussion after so long.
If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.