How To Spray Pearl Automotive Paint?

Pearl (pearlescent) automotive spray is very similar to a regular metallic automotive spray, the only difference is that in the latter, the metallic powder is used to manufacture the spray while ceramic particles are used instead in a pearl spray. Using pearl automotive paint gives your car the ability to reflect and refract light, this means that your car will shine with varying colors. Pearl paint makes your car look awesome and cool, it is also able to disguise specks and keep it unnoticed, but most of all, it makes your vehicle look more valuable compared to similar cars. 

But all of these luxuries come with a price, if there is an apparent blemish on your car, or can be very difficult to repaint and refurbish the look. Finding pearl paint can be exhausting, and even if you do find it, it will be difficult to find another with an identical or similar shade.

If you want a more fancy and colorful finish on your car then you should know how to spray pearl automotive paint. In this article, we have provided a detailed guide on how to achieve this task and opt for a pearlescent spray. But after purchasing the paint, you keep wondering.

How to spray pearlescent paint

There are various ways to apply pearlescent paint to a car, the method you choose to use depends greatly on your work experience and preference, you can also choose to mix the pearl paint in a clear coat or inter-coat. But mixing with inter-coat is best for beginners as it allows room for some errors without serious damage being done. Then after using the inter oat, you can just run your basecoat before spraying your pearlescent paint.

Using inter-coat along with basecoat is to give your vehicle enough coverage, while when using clear coat you are only after the glow it gives you, when trying to achieve that ‘glow’ it is important to not lay on too much coat as it may eventually sag. Before you start this process, you must ensure that you have a little experience in spraying or you can do less sloppy work even with the gun flow and the distance, inability to handle this task can lead to you ruining the work.

The first step will be to cover clean the car and sand it for a nice beginning finish. After sanding, you should wash or clean the car to remove dirt and other debris. Mask off other areas of the car you do not want to paint using masking tape and paper sheets. These areas include your windshield, car windows, the wheel area, headlights and taillights, rear windshield, and side mirrors.


The next step is to spray the base coat and you want to start by getting up your spray gun at the right psi, use your spray at an accurate distance from your car for the right consistency, clean your spray gun to remove any blockage that will prevent you from having the right consistency. Spray the base coat all around your car and allow it to dry, then proceed to spray the pearl coat. When spraying the pearl coat, you are required to mix your pearlescent (powder or liquid) to the clear coat, and because there is no standard measurement of pearl to be added to the clear coat, you will have to mix the paint based on your preference.

After spraying the pearl coat, the final stage will be to spray the clear coat, spraying the clear coat should be done the same way as spraying the base and pearl coat.

Color variation

There are several available colors of these paint. For the base coat, you can get a transparent clear base coat instead of a colored one. Some combinations can be made on a vehicle to improve its good looks. 

Dry powdered pearl or liquid pearl

There are two types of pearl, the powder pearl, and the liquid pearl. The only downside to using liquid pearl is that It can be difficult to get the lid open because the pearlescent liquid is getting between the life and the cap, but with a dry powdered Pearl, this problem is not present.

However, when using dry powders pearl you will notice that it doesn’t have all the colors available in a liquid pearl. This means that when using liquid pearl, you get a wide variety of choices when it comes to colors.

Micro metal flake vs standard and large metal flake

Metal flake is also known as metallic paint used for automobiles. A micro flake is a flake that is finely cut at a size that ranges between .004 - .008 and has a hexagonal shape. This flake can be used with various spray guns like an airbrush with a 0.35mm nozzle, a high volume low pressure (HVLP) spray gun, and a conventional spray gun with a 1.3 nozzle.

Micro flake is easy to spray because of their small size and fine texture. It can be added to solvents, clear base coat, varnish, and resins.

If you get a standard-sized metallic flake it should have a size that ranges between .012 - .015. As for large metal flakes, it measures from .025 higher. Just like the micro flakes, it can be used with an (HVLP) spray gun and a conventional spray gun with a nozzle of 2.2 or higher.


It can be mixed with solvent and a clear base coat, and some large metal flakes won’t fade under the sunlight because of a special ultraviolet coating. Using large metal flakes with just a single layer of coating can give you a rough finish, so for best results, it is advised that you use three layers of coating burying the large flakes in between two coating layers.

Both sizes of metallic flake can be used with both clear coat and inter-coat, so the choice is yours. But for newbies, we highly recommend that we use inter-coat.


Pearl paint contains shiny ceramic particles also called mica that give your vehicle a nice glow and sheen. We have gone through the process of how to spray pearl automotive paint, and we have seen that you need to start by cleaning your car, sanding it, then covering up the areas that will not be painted. After this, you can apply the first layer of coating which is the base coat, followed by your pearl paint which is a mixture of clear coat and pearl powder or liquid, and then finally you apply just the clear coat.

We have also looked at the color variation when using pearl paint and how you can combine the right colors to give your car a great look. Pearl paint can be gotten in powdered and liquid form, but the liquid form has more variation in colors than the powdered pearl. 

There are also different types of metallic flakes but the basic ones are the micro flakes and the large flakes. Using the micro metal flake is easy and gives your car a smooth texture while using a large metal flake gives your car a rough texture, but this problem can be fixed by burning the large metal flakes between two layers of coating. We hope this article has been of help to you. Thank you for reading.

About The Author

Jhony Thomas

Jhony Thomas is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in technology reporting and reviewing. He works out of the suburban New York City area. He has drivers Education and safe driving enthusiast. In the sense of car knowledge, he has the most powerful knowledge about car accessories, engine, information, news, tools and technologies. He can appreciate people to know about the car knowledge.