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topic 7352

Seeking Sprayable Iridescent Paint

A discussion started in 2001 but continuing through 2019


Q. To whom it may Concern,

I am looking for an iridescent paint to paint on metal. I am not faring too well with a spot to start. I have contacted some of the powder paint suppliers and they don't have what I want. I need to be able to spray this on with an air gun.

Please respond back to me as I would love to try some of this out or find a supplier that would carry this paint.

Thank you

Mert W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Praire du Chien Wisconsin


A. Dear Mert,

One good way to achieve an iridescent look would be to topcoat with a clear lacquer and put lots of thinner in the mix. This will cause the rainbow effect you are looking. If you are looking for a metallic coating to achieve this effect, you can take a look at our website, then contact us via email or call us. Hope this helps,


Jake Koch
G. J. Nikolas & Co., Inc.
supporting advertiser
Bellwood, Illinois
nikolas banner ad


A. There is a type of paint called Chroma-lusion (Dupont), Kameleon [linked by editor to product info on Amazon] and others (PPG, Sherwin Williams). It changes through five different colors and they have about 60 different combinations. cost is about $40/2 oz. Any automotive paint supplier should carry it. Has to be seen in person to get the full effect.

One manufacture supplies the plates to all the paint makers.

David D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Rochester New York USA

House of Kolor Kandy Red


A. Try House of Kolor =>

I'm not sure what you mean by iridescent but these people will have it. Good Luck, --Tony

tony thomas
- Spring Green, Wisconsin USA

April 5, 2008

A. There is a company which specializes in very colorful car paint. It has a line of sprays in all sorts of dichroic colors. A sample kit is around $100. Their name is Alsa Corp.

Anne Y [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Bellows Falls, Vermont


Q. I'm working on a project for my chemistry I, and The title for it is "How Does Iridescent Paint Work?" I've looked up on many different websites and was hoping that you would be able to help me out! Thank you so much!

C-C L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
student - Madison, Wisconsin, Dane County

Carnival Glass: The Best of the Best
from Abe Books



A. I can't speak for a given manufacturer about how their paint works, C-C, but Jake has told you how it is generally achieved (very thin layer of clear coat lacquer), and I can point you to info about the general principle of iridescence -- which applies to oil sheen on water, the rainbow colors reflected off a CD or DVD, the funny pink-green-purple colors you see in some new automotive headlights, and the many other cases where you see rainbow like reflections.

Iridescence is also seen in carnival glass. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

July 8, 2008

Iridescent Effects

A. They add pearl dust to paint to get the effect.

Ryan Turcot
- Ashcroft, BC, Canada

December 4, 2015

A. Another manufacturer for special effect paints, especially dichroic effect is Stardust Colors SAS, St. Laurent, France,
They propose a few dichroic effects:
- prismatic (create a rainbow reflection), available in particles size from 200µ to 12µm (that is the size of a blood cell)
- chameleon paints (creating color changing effects - from 2 to 5 colors) depending on the angle of view


January 4, 2019

Q. Hi,

I know this thread is very old, but I'm desperately searching for a truly clear iridescent coating to restore glass antiques. I'm not looking for the color-changing metallic look like on auto paint that most people today consider iridescent.

Your comment about thinning lacquer caught my attention as most likely to be what I'm after. But could you be so kind as to be more specific? Such as, is it nitrocellulose lacquer? Or acrylic / water based? Some other type?

And is it actually lacquer thinner I should use, or some other solvent like acetone? And what target ratio of lacquer to thinner are we aiming for? 1:3 or 1:5 or 1:10 or what?

Your kind advice will be very much appreciated, thanks!

Jerry McDonald
Brazos Valley Antiques - Waco, Texas USA

November 11, 2019

Q. I know many people have been asking questions to learn process, techniques and find coatings for creating iridescence on this forum.
I have also seen some experts have suggested lacquer with a lot of thinner creates iridescent coating... I would like put forward results of my experiments.
Lacquer: Lacquer thinner
1:1 does not cause iridescence
1:2 does not cause iridescence
1:3 does not cause iridescence
1:4 does not cause iridescence
1:6 does not cause iridescence
1:6 does not cause iridescence
Lacquer: Paint Thinner
1:1 causes lacquer to lump up, and is not even soluble...
If anyone has any better suggestions please post them here.

I have pictures of my experiments that I would like to post but don't know how.

Harry Udhwani
- St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Ed. note: Email photos to for posting here.

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adv.    xometry-05

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