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Working with water-based metallic (mica)Paint

A lot of you remember the only metallic paints we had in the 1970's-80's were the nasty, zylene-solvent metallics that took two years off your life every time you used them. Then in the 1990's, Ralph Lauren came out with their Duchess Satin line which had beautiful colors, but was as transparent as skim milk. Now we have Modern Masters Metallics. A proper paint that comes in 60 colors and three opacities. These are colored with mica pigments, not real metal so they will never oxidise.

The MM metallic paint collection comes in over 70 colors and three strengths:

Opaque - Two coats over a colored base or primer

Semi-opaque - Three coats over a colored base or primer.

Sheer - Not made to be a paint, only as a veil over another color.

Make sure you pay attention as to which metallic paint you pick because it can save you time and money. Now one of the problems with metallic paint is that it dries too fast. MM has an Extender that is made just for this paint line. It has just the right clarity so that the metallic effect is not reduced and the sheen is not affected. Add a 1/8th quantity to the paint for more working time. This will let you do an 8 foot high wall. Ceilings and taller walls....add more Extender...

16 oz Extender to a gallon of paint

4 oz (1/2 cup) Extender to a quart of paint.

They also have a special roller for the metallic paint line that does not leave as many bubbles as a regular roller. If you look at it closely, the nap is made from individual strands instead of loops and the length of the nap lets you backroll off the excess paint.

You can also use the Whizz premium 7" or 9" roller cover with a 1/2" nap.

For best results, cut in the ceiling and base as you go along and use a 4" roller with a 1/2"" nap to lay off the brush marks. Or you can do the whole room first before you roll if you are by yourself.

Apply the paint with the roller until you come out about 3 feet, then go back and "backroll" the paint in ONE direction. That is, start at the ceiling and gently roll down to the base. This will lay off the mica platelets in one direction for a more uniform surface. Continue to do this for each 3 foot section as you go along and do not stop untill you reach the other wall.


Good Luck and please write with any questions/comments.

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— Dean Sickler

Pingo Ergo Sum