Difference between "metallic" and "mother of pearl".

Modern cars are often painted in colors such as metallic and mother-of-pearl. What is the specificity of the appearance of cars in such colors?

What is the specificity of the metallic color?

This color is characterized, which is understandable from its name, "metallic" effect: the top layer of the car paint shines and becomes similar to the surface of pure iron or, for example, aluminum (depending on the specific modification of the coloring matter).

Metallic paint comes in a wide variety of colors. A silvery shade can be considered a classic; green, blue metallic colors are popular. It is common to obtain the desired color of the paint in question by mixing different shades.

"Metallic" is usually obtained by adding to the dye the actual metal particles - from zinc, copper, aluminum, brass, and bronze. Thanks to these additives, a space is formed in the structure of the top layer of paint, in which light is reflected from the corresponding particles, as a result, a "metallic" effect arises.

The gloss intensity of a metallic vehicle surface depends on the amount of pigment particles in the paint, their shape, and their distance from each other. The angle of placement of the reflective surfaces of the corresponding elements plays a role.

Metallic paint is usually 1, 2 or 3 coats. Its classic format is two-layer. If the paint contains 3 layers, then it acquires an effect that brings it closer in properties to the color "mother of pearl". Let's consider its features.

What is the specificity of the “mother of pearl” color?

This color, in turn, is characterized by a "pearlescent" effect: the surface layer of paint on the machine becomes similar to the inner layer of pearlescent shells of molluscs. Depending on the structure of the coloring matter, "mother of pearl" can acquire different shades and pattern structure. The peculiarity of the car paint in question is the ability to shimmer in several shades.

The "pearlescent" effect on the surface of the machine can be achieved, in principle, by adding the same metal particles to the dye, but present in a significantly larger amount than in the paint "Metallic", and usually arranged in several layers. But in practice, the main component of "pearlescent" paint is most often mica particles, which are covered with a layer of aluminum oxide. They are usually flat and vary in size - the reflection of light from their surfaces creates a shimmering effect, making the paint “pearlescent”.

Another important component of the "mother-of-pearl" paint is a special varnish - largely due to its presence on the surface of the car, a characteristic effect is formed.

As with metallic, mother-of-pearl can be represented in a wide variety of shades. They can, subject to the observance of a certain technology, be mixed with each other in various combinations.


The main difference between "metallic" and "mother of pearl" is in their appearance: the first type of paint forms the surface of the car, similar to pure metal (steel, aluminum), the second - to the inner layer mother-of-pearl shell. The dyes under consideration also differ in manufacturing technology. In "metallic" there are particles, respectively, of metal - zinc, copper, brass, bronze, aluminum. In "mother of pearl", as a rule, mica particles are added, which are covered with a layer of aluminum oxide.

It can be noted that the three-layer "metallic" is quite similar to the "mother of pearl".

Having determined what is the difference between "metallic" and "mother of pearl", we will reflect the conclusions in the table.


" Metallic"" Mother of pearl"
What do they have in common?
Three-layer "metallic" is similar to "mother of pearl"
What is the difference between them?
Forms a "metallic" effect on the surface of the car (it becomes similar to the surface of pure steel, aluminum)Forms the surface of the car, similar to the inner layer of pearlescent shells of shellfish
Metallic paint includes metal particlesMother of pearl paint includes mica particles that are coated with a layer of aluminum oxide