Color Shift Pearl Question

I want to start experimenting with Color Shift Pearls with the intent of eventually painting my V8 S10 project in a color shift pearl. I have never used pearls and I just want to be sure I am going about this in a logical way.

My thought is to weigh the color shift pearl and mix up about 10ml of clear. I will spray one test panel with 2 coats. I will mix up another 10ml of clear and add more pearl and again spay 2 coats on the next test panel and so on until I have several test panels covered.

When I find the mix I like, I can use math to determine how much pearl to add to a large batch of clear. For example if I mix up 100ml, I will add 10 times the pearl to get the same effect.

The photo is the effect I am going for.


Am I setting myself up for failure this way, or is this the correct way to go about deciding how much pearl to add to my intercoat?

@S10Guy, In my opinion, I think you would be just fine doing it that way. It is a simple ration and proportion formula. However it would really depend on how accurate and how finite your scale can measure. I use tablespoon / teaspoon method in the same method you are asking about with weight and it works just fine for me… Most times :thinking:

I’m curious to hear other peoples perspective on this subject. @HankScott would probably have some good ideas about this.

Kent aka “Genesis”

I have a jewelry scale that will measure in grams. I don’t know how heavy the pearl is, but as long as I need more than 0.1g my scale will measure it.

Thanks for tagging me. Mixing pearl powder by weight is a good way to go. I have mixed mine by weight before and that’s an accurate way to do it. The pearl in its dry form tends to have static in it so it sticks to my measuring spoon, the plastic mixing cup, etc. So doing it by weight works better than saying 1 tablespoon. There may be a recommended mix ratio from the vendor it you look at their literature, or maybe not and guessing is fine. I’ve mixed color shift pearl (it was from Paint With Pearl) at a ratio of 1.5 grams to 2 oz. of intercoat clear. I’ve used intercoat clears before from All Kandy and from House of Kolor (SG-100 for this) and from Tamco (895).

My problem is that my scale only measures 1 gram min. so for small quantities it is hard to measure, so I need to do 3 grams per 4 oz. But since your scale measures down to 1/10 gram that should work great! The mixture I’ve used in the past normally takes about 3 coats to get the right color, and that goes over a black base. I tested spraying it over silver once and it looked like pukie pink… yuk! But over black it has a nice purple to green shift.

You may want to shoot a coat of clear over it for your tests, so you will really see what the final outcome will look like because the clear should bring it out nicely.

Also I would recommend that you mix the pearl into an Intercoat clear rather than a normal clear. Intercoat clear is more like basecoat and is less likely to run. If you get runs in your pearl you will have to sand them out and respray the base and pearl again to get the right look. So using an intercoat clear will reduce the chance of runs.

Just like spraying candy, you should walk the full distance of whatever you are spraying with pearl. Don’t shoot the door and then shoot the fender and then the next part because it will be darker or more intense where the pearl overlaps each panel. Its fine to have overlap where sections meet at angles like the curve between the hood and the fender, but you want to avoid overlaps on straight sections because they will be obvious. So start at the front (or back) and walk the whole distance for each pass. If you haven’t shot this before, check out this video from about the 16:00 mark - 19 min. for what I’m talking about:

With pearl (and candy) use a 75% overlap versus normal 50% that you might use for basecoat. Use full fan, but you might turn down the volume just a bit to reduce the risk of runs with a 75% overlap. Its not rocket science but just a few things to get right and you will have fun with it!

You always want to finish the project with clear because pearls won’t hold up in the sun without a clear over them with UV protection. If you are not shooting the pearl and the clear on the same day, then after you are done with the pearl, finish with one coat of plain intercoat so that on a future day you can come back and wet sand it to prep for clear (or other graphics, etc.) Otherwise you will miss your recoat window and then will be in trouble because you can’t sand the pearl without affecting its color. So the plain intercoat over the pearl gives you a way to sand and prep for the clear after the recoat window has passed. Just in case, like my projects, yours is taking a long time! But no problem to shoot the pearl and then go right ahead and shoot the clear once the pearl has flashed. Just check the TDS on your Intercoat clear for the right times between coats and know the max recoat window (often 24 hours, but it can vary.)

Hope this info helps, and good luck!


@HankScott Thank you for that awesome response! I watched the video all the way through and I will save the link for future reference! I wondered if I should use the paint in the video or stick with my first idea of using the pearl. After seeing the price of $1,600 for a gallon of Kameleon paint, I think I will stick with the pearl…

Thank you for telling me about NOT sanding the pearl without a layer to protect it… I normally set aside time for the full project when I paint, but it is good information just in case…

I never thought I would like doing body work because I am a bit impatient and tend to rush when I near the end of the project. Doing body work has taught me to take my time, be patient, and strive for perfection! This is therapeutic and boy do I love the end result!

When I repaired my wife’s bumper, I found myself fixing “imperfections” that I could see or feel that I knew no one else would ever notice on the finished product. Knowing it was not perfect bothered me and I had to take care of it.


Hey Tom,
Just use the pearl that you were going to use. House of Kolor is good stuff, but way too expensive for my budget! And the paints I’ve been using are fine, even though they are not super expensive. You certainly can buy cheap crap out there, but there are also fairly inexpensive paints that are also good quality.

I like to finish with a good quality clear, and almost all of them have good UV protection which is important to keep your colors from fading over time. When you mix your powder pearl into intercoat clear it comes out just like what Tom Kosmoski was spraying, which looked like it was a pre-mixed pearl paint, not powder mixed into a clear. But no difference, just make sure you mix it up well and that pearl is so fine that it will go right through your paint filter with no problem - not like flake which can plug up if the larger sizes are used. Its sort of like metallic paint, but the pearl particles change color depending on the angle you look at them.

Best wishes on your project - I look forward to seeing some pics once you get to that point!