Top 5 Questions About Mica Powder Pearls vs Liquid Pearls

mica powder pearls and liquid pearls on a spoon

Some of the most common questions when it comes to mica powder pearls or liquid pearls are:

  • What are the different pearls and why are some more expensive?
  • What is the difference between mica powder pearls and liquid pearls?
  • Why are powder pearls less expensive?
  • How long will the color last?
  • Can they be intermixed?

We’re here to explain & answer any questions you may have. So we’ll begin with the makeup of pearls then go into the differences between the liquid pearls from a paint mixing system (ie Cromabase, PPG, BASF, etc) and our mica powdered pearls. HINT: There technically is no difference.

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Most pearls are mica based, our Unicorn pearls are borosilicate and our Sir Alec pearls are aluminum oxide. All of these base materials are then coated in titanium dioxide to achieve the desired color(s) outcome. Since mica is a natural mineral that can be mined from the ground, they are the least expensive. Aluminum oxide pearls are a bit more expensive and the borosilicates are the most expensive.

Technically there is no difference. All liquid pearls start with the raw powder form. They are intermixed with various hazardous materials such as methyl acetate, naptha and xylene combined with non-hazardous acrylic resin and ester resin. Anyone who tells you that because their pearls are liquid that they are superior, is lying. In fact many companies (including PPG & BASF) still produce powdered pearl products for their budget lines because it’s less expensive.

This is because it’s the pearl in it’s rawest form. You’re getting the pearls prior to all the chemicals needed to make it a liquid. Therefore there is less money invested to produce the product.

This all depends on the pigment you are using. If you’re using a neon, they aren’t going to last long due to the way neon (aka fluorescent) colors work. They require absorption of UV light in order to give off such a bright, vibrant color. This same UV light is also what causes colors to fade. If you’re using any other pearl, they’re good for well over 5 years provided you take care of the topcoat clear properly.

Yes & no. Yes they can be intermixed, but you aren’t going to mix a red and a blue to get a red to blue color shift. It doesn’t work that way. Any time you’re intermixing pearls, you’re going to want to use a small amount to test the mix and then spray it out to see how it lays down.