Powder Pearls vs Liquid Pearls

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

  • What are the different pearls and why are some more expensive?
  • What is the difference between 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 powdered pearls. HINT: There technically is no difference.

Chemical makeup of pearls:

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.

Differences between powder & liquids:

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.

Why are powdered pearls 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.

How long will the color last?

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.

Can pearls be intermixed?

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.

Powder Coat

“Can your products be used in powder coat?” YES! You don’t have to be the world’s best powder coater to understand how to effectively use our products

You can effectively use our products in powder coat clears, because they are effect pigment powders and are best when used in a base coat-clear coat scenario. The mixture of our pearls in colored powders is not recommended, since pearls may be drowned by the colors, but HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY sprayed with favorable results.

Since pearls are so versatile, you can achieve rich to subtle accents by adjusting the amount in your mixture. We recommend using 1 Nick (25g jar) of our pearl in 1 to 5 lbs. of clear powder. You will have a very strong effect when using in 1 lb. of powder, but a very faint pearl effect in a 5 lb. mixture.

When it comes to our metal flakes, we recommend our .004″ flakes because they are the smallest & thinnest available. While you’ll need to sand & re-clear, this will minimize the orange peel effect if you have one of those customers who needs something rushed. Since most of our flake is safe up to 375°F using a low temp cure clear is best.


Give us a try and you won’t go back…