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  1. #1
    rockford33's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    Question Difference between pearl and candy paint job?

    Alright, so my son has outgrown his tricycle that I custom painted for him, so this Christmas he is getting a custom painted bike with training wheels. Looking at the piant colors from Auto Air Colors (same paints I used last time), they have pearl, metallic, and candy.

    Since he loves the Cars movie, I was going to go with a Lighting McQueen color scheme most likely. They have pearlized red, pearlized black, candy apple red, and candy black. My question is: what is the difference between a pearl and candy paint job? If I recall, a pearl paint job changes color slightly depending on the angle of view. So what is a candy paint job? I have heard of them, but don`t recall actually ever seeing one.

    Unfortunately, they don`t have metallic black, otherwise I would be doing a metallic black and metallic red paint scheme. I like these paints because they are water based (low fumes, etc.), come in small amounts (4 oz), and fairly easy to work with.

    Any insight/photos appreciated of pearl and/or candy paint jobs.


  2. #2
    Beercan31's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Re: Difference between pearl and candy paint job?

    its been a gazillion years since I messed with paint, But if I remember correctly a Metallic paint has small evenly-sized flakes of aluminum and Perl has flakes of mica. Aluminum gives the paint its shiny appearance and mica produces a sheen-like finish. Kandy I believe is an additive that is added to the metallic or perl color or clear coat.

  3. #3
    Poorboys Rules! YNOT's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    St. Louis, MO
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    Re: Difference between pearl and candy paint job?

    Let me offer up a bit of help. I`m not an "expert" but I`ve done some painting and have a bit of experience in this stuff.

    Pearls and candys are transparent colors (pearl is a slight bit opaque) that work best when shot `over` another color.

    My brothers VW was hot pink with a blue pearl. So while the vehicle appeared to be pink, the blue pearl gave it a `cast` of blue that could really only be seen in the sunlight at the right angle. You can add as many coats as desired to achieve the right effect. The more coats, the more pronounced it is...the only downside is that many times, pearls give the paint a sort of milky look in certain light if there are too many coats. Many manufacturers nowadays use pearls to give the paint a bit more `pop`. These can be tricky to repair, trying to match the same intensity/hue.

    Candys are best sprayed over another color to give them an intense, deep look. Many people use like a silver or gold underneath a red color and the base color will affect the final hue. Silver tends to make the red brighter while a gold color would make it appear darker. Also...spraying a candy is very difficult to keep the color from tiger striping, although if you`re painting a tricycle, it`d likely not be too bad. Candy paints are pretty costly to have done and it takes someone pretty skilled to lay it down just right. I`ve seen a number of candy paint jobs on show cars that look pretty bad.

    Metallics actually have very fine bits of metal flake in them which provide a shimmer when the light hits them and metallic paints for the most part are not transparent like pearls and candys. Metallics are also somewhat difficult to spray. if you aren`t careful, you can get tiger striping.

    As I said, I`m not an expert, but this is what I`ve learned about them. I took a 14 week paint class before painting my prior car. Since then I`ve painted a few friends`s a lot of fun, just very time consuming. Hope it helps.



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