• Metallic Auto Paint vs. Pearl Car Paint

    Learn about the subtle differences between metallic auto paint and pearl car paint and see what paint type is suitable for you and for your car.

    Style trends in cars evolve just like the ever changing fashion trends for people. Most of the time new design concepts are being introduced as new cars are manufactured by different automobile companies. There are a lot of aspects that you should consider when you want to spice up your car’s appeal and choosing the right paint type for the car’s exterior is one of them.

    There are numerous car paint styles available on the market. Often, the differences in these paint type are subtle, and even inconspicuous in some cases. Yet, people tend to go along with the trend of upgrading their car’s paint job. Check the main difference between the two of the most common and often misunderstood paint types out there: metallic and pearlescent.


    • Metallic: Usually uses very small flakes of aluminum to give the car an obvious sparkle. These aluminum flakes are relatively uniform in size and are evenly mixed with the paint itself.
    • Pearl: This paint type uses small flakes of mica, a synthetic material that resembles the sheen of a natural pearl. The mica particles are also the same in size and mixed with the base paint.

    Perspective-Specific Appeal

    • Metallic: Gives the car a shine that does not change color when looked at from a different angle. The hue of the paint stays the same no matter how you look at it.
    • Pearl: The shade of the color of the car will appear to change when you look at it from different perspectives. This gives an illusion of shaded and illuminated areas depending on the amount of light it gets.

    Usual Applications

    • Metallic: Most of the cars with metallic auto paint are of sports-inspired designs with a generally edgy or race car look.
    • Pearl: Luxury family cars and sedans that are marketed in a corporate setting often use pearlescent car paint.

    Light Reception

    • Metallic: Since cars with metallic paint get their shine from aluminum flakes, light is reflected. These metal flakes act like tiny dots of mirrors spread evenly on the car. This mechanism makes the car shiny in a glitter-like way.
    • Pearl: The mica particles found in pearl car paints do not reflect light. Instead, the mica flakes let light pass through them and then they are refracted evenly throughout the car’s surface. Unlike the metallic flakes, these mica specks act like very small prisms that refract white light into different shades.

    Final Finish

    • Metallic: The aluminum flakes in metallic paint give a car a very apparent shine which gives it a loud effect.
    • Pearl: The mica particles in pearlescent paint give cars more of a glow than a shine. It makes cars look crisp, yet soft at the same time.

    The cost of metallic and pearlescent paint is almost the same. Go to a local car design shop and ask for samples of each to help you decide the style that will make your car look better and whether you prefer metallic auto paint over the pearlescent one. Either will surely make your vehicles have a stylish edge over those that are solid colored.