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Metallic paint can add a touch of vitality and glamour to just about any object! Metallic paint has long since been a popular option for objects like lamps, picture frames, and furniture, but you may have noticed the rise of metallic interior paints such as gold wall paint or metallic grey paint being applied to create an accent wall. Some of what you have seen is not painted but a high-end wallpaper which can be quite pricey. Metallic wall paint can be a more affordable option and it can look just as impressive! Let us help you find the best metallic paint for walls!
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Choosing the Best Metallic Paint for Walls
Sometimes referred to as polychromatic or metal flake paint, metallic paint is a popular automotive paint for its ability to mimic steel as well as its ability to highlight contours in bodywork that regular paint can not. Besides its popularity in the automotive sector different metallic paint colors are being used in homes across the world! But there are some things you may need to consider before rushing out and grabbing any old shiny goop and slapping it on your walls. Let us take a look!
Exteriors and Interiors
While there are many metallic paints available out there they are not all created equal. Some are ideal as metallic interior paints but they may not fair too well outdoors. This is why it is always best to do a bit of homework by referring to the manufacturer’s instructions before you purchase that fancy-looking silver wall paint.
Later on in this article, we will take a look at some of the best metallic paints for walls be it for interiors or exteriors.
Shine and Shimmer
The whole reason for choosing metallic paint is for that extra shine and shimmer that even the most glossy of latex paint simply does not possess. The metallic shine or shimmer is due to the microbeads or metal flakes that are inherent in metallic paints. Some paints may not contain these features but will dry to a hammered finish or will simply be shiny grey or yellow that is meant to mimic silver and gold. It is best to compare the different metallic paints to make sure that they contain metal flakes, glass flakes, or microbeads that will guarantee the desired shine!
Choosing the correct color is important especially if you are aiming to complement other walls or interior decor. Choosing metallic paint for an interior is a bold statement so some thought and consideration should go into the color picking process. For instance, light blue, light purple, and light pink work well with silver wall paint, and gold paint for walls work well with grey and white as well as green or just plain old black.
It is best to get some swatches of metallic paint colors. This can help you to decide on the best metallic paint for walls.
Ease of Use
Metallic paints can be much heavier than regular wall paint because of the metal flakes or microbeads that they contain. As a result of this, they can also be thick and tricky to work with. You can always thin the paint down but this is not ideal. Instead, look for metallic paint for walls that is easy to work with. These paints will usually mention the ease of use on the packaging, otherwise, a quick look at the consistency will give you a fair idea of how workable it is.
You can also consider adding a slow dry medium to your metallic paint. These types of additives can increase the drying time which will prevent the paint from drying halfway through the painting process which can cause a mess!
Prep and Prime
Wall preparation is as important when working with metallic interior paint as it is with exterior metallic paint. Metallic paint can highlight imperfections in the wall such as holes, cracks, and divots. It is best to fill these imperfections before painting walls with metallic paint colors which may very well make them more visible.
Applying an undercoat is advised. Some manufacturers will sell an undercoat that is formulated for use with their specific metallic wall paint.
As a guideline, you should consider using a pale yellow undercoat under gold wall paint and a light grey as an undercoat for silver wall paint. Do not be scared off by this as later on in this article we will cover the process of applying metallic paint to walls.
The Best Metallic Paints for Walls
In the previous section, we covered a few things to look out for when choosing the best metallic paint for walls. However, you may still be feeling a bit swamped with all the options available. It is no surprise. There are a ton of products out there. To help you decide on which metallic paint to choose, we have collected three of the most popular and highly-rated options. This should save you the time and energy that you would spend hunting and researching so you can get well on your way to painting that wall!
Best Interior Metallic Paint for Walls: MODERN MASTERS Metallic Paint Collection
Modern Masters are known for their premium paint products. Their range of water-based decorative metallic paints contains real metal particles which create a simply beautiful shine. This one-gallon container can cover over 350 sq. ft. which is ideal for those larger projects. Modern Masters Metallic Paint formulation is water-based which makes cleaning simple with just water. No solvents are necessary. You will have plenty of options as this product has 42 colors to choose from. This paint is ideal for interiors.
- The world leaders in water-based metallic paints
- Includes real metal particles, pearlescent, and color pigments
- Can be applied outside without tarnishing
Best Exterior Metallic Paint for Walls: RUST-OLEUM Painter’s Touch Satin Metallic Paint
RUST-OLEUM is a trusted brand and when it comes to their Ultra Cover Premium Metallic Paint you can not go wrong. This is a great choice for both exteriors and exteriors. It is an extremely versatile formula that works well on a variety of surfaces including masonry. The water-based formulation is low odor, low in VOC, and is very durable once cured as it resists chipping and is easy to clean. Rust-Oleum goes on smoothly and offers good coverage. This paint is ideal for creating an accent wall that looks good and lasts!
Best Chalk-Based Metallic Paint for Walls: SHABBY CHIC Chalk-Based Metallic Paint
Shabby Chic is known for its chalk-based paints that allow you to create antique-like finishes on furniture but their metallic paint range goes beyond charm and offers glamour in its place. While this paint is formulated for furniture it works well on masonry too. This paint is ultra-low in VOC which makes it a perfect choice for the eco-conscious individual. Shabby Chic Metallic Paint provides a durable quality coating as well as a beautiful and superior finish. This is an ideal non-toxic paint for interiors and exteriors alike.
Metallic Paint vs. Metallic Wallpaper
When it comes to metallic finishes on walls there are two options. Wallpaper or metallic paint. While they both have a similar appearance they require completely different methods of application. Wallpaper usually comes on rolls about 18 to 24 inches wide. Sometimes these come as wall coverings that are made from plastic but they are applied in the same way. The nice thing about metallic wall coverings like wallpaper is that the results are instant. There is no need to have to allow it to dry before you can assess the result.
Painting a wall is far easier than applying wallpaper especially if you have no experience with either method. Painting is accessible and is more user-friendly. If you have no experience with installing wallpaper and are adamant that wallpaper is what you want then it may be an idea to hire a professional to install it for you. This may be costly but it will save you time and money, money, and the stress of having to install it yourself.
If you are painting a wall for the first time make sure to refer to the tutorial in this article for some helpful guidance.
Paint can chip quite easily whereas wallpaper resists chipping far better. However, wallpaper is not ideal for rooms where the humidity is high such as bathrooms and kitchens. Paint will need to be reapplied after a few years and modern wallpapers are very durable and easy to clean and have a fairly good lifespan. Wallpaper also over very smooth covering as opposed to paint as paint will form to the texture of the wall.
Generally speaking, metallic paint is more affordable than metallic wallpaper. But if you are trying to save a buck and opt for cheap metallic paint you may have to apply multiple coats to achieve proper coverage. The same goes for wallpaper. Cheaper wallpaper will not be as durable as the more expensive wallpaper. It is said that you get what you pay for however, this is no reason to just go for the most expensive option. Middle-of-the-road metallic interior paints or wallpaper offer pretty decent quality.
Choosing between metallic interior paint or metallic wallpaper depends largely on your budget. Metallic paints are more affordable and far easier to apply than wallpaper. Wallpaper may be a more premium option but with the wide variety of metallic paint colors out there you will be able to find a color with the shine and shimmer that you are after.
How to Apply Metallic Paint to Walls
Now that you have selected the best metallic paint for your interior or exterior it is time to get painting. Going into a painting project inexperienced can be daunting. Let us face it. You do not want to mess this up! What follows is an overview of the process of painting your walls with metallic paint which will provide some useful information that will help you to prevent unwanted spills and mishaps as well as help you successfully paint metallic paint on your walls. Continue reading to find out more helpful tips and tricks!
- Dropcloth or plastic sheeting
- Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
- Crack filler
- ⅛ inch nap roller
- Faux finish roller
- Painter’s tape
- Metallic wall paint
First and foremost, clear the area you wish to work in and lay down a drop cloth to protect your floors. This can save you from having to try to remove any accidental paint spills. If you do not have a drop cloth or tarp you can use plastic sheeting or old newspaper. Make sure to use painter’s tape to fix the newspaper in place to stop it from shifting.
If you are working indoors it is best to open a few windows and doors to allow airflow as inhaling paint fumes can be bad for your health.
To increase the bond of the paint to your wall it is advised that you wash your walls with TSP. This will remove any of the grease, dirt, or grime that may impair the paint’s bond. Mix about a quarter of a cup of TSP into a gallon of warm water and use a scrubbing brush to scrub the surface. Rinse the walls and let them dry for a few hours.
If your walls have any cracks or divots you will need to fill these in with crack filler and allow some time for it to dry. Use masking tape to cover anything you do not want to paint such as trim or where the ceiling meets the wall. This can save you a lot of stress especially if you do not have the steady hands of a surgeon.
A ⅜-inch nap roller is ideal for painting metallic paint on walls but first, you will have to cut in the edges of the surface. Do this with a paintbrush. Begin with your primer. An interior primer will work best for interior walls. Apply an even coat with your roller in a “W” or “V” pattern while spreading the paint around. This will help you to paint evenly and to avoid lap marks.
The primer will not only encourage better adhesion of the paint but will also help the paint achieve better overall coverage. Try matching the color of your primer as close to the color on your metallic paint. If this is proving to be difficult a simple white undercoat will work just fine. If you plan on painting over paint that is oil-based you will need to apply an oil-based primer.
Applying Metallic Paint
Once the primer has dried it is time to apply the metallic paint to your wall. Adding a slow dry medium to your metallic paint can extend the time it takes for your paint to dry. This can make it easier for you to apply the paint as the paint will not start drying while you are painting. This is rather useful when working in hot dry climates in which paints tend to dry a lot quicker.
As you did with the primer, cut in the edges with a sponge. If you are concerned about the brush leaving brush strokes you can use a sponge.
Next, begin painting your wall with the metallic paint using your 3/8 inch nap roller in a “W” or “V” shape. Allow the first coat to dry before applying a second coat with a faux finish sponge roller. Drying times will vary between products and manufacturers. It is best to refer to the instructions for the exact dry time but 24 hours should be enough time for the paint to fully cure. However, bear in mind that temperature and humidity will affect these times to a certain degree.
When the paint has dried you can remove the painter’s tape and the drop cloth. Cleaning up is simple when working with water-based latex paint. Simply dump your brushes and rollers into a bucket of warm water and you are just about done. It is now time to bask in the glow of your hard work as well as the shine and the shimmer of your metallic wall.
Our Top Tips and Tricks
- Preparation is important when painting with metallic interior paint as it is a messy job. It is, for this reason, you will want to use plastic sheeting, drop cloths, or old newspapers to protect your floors and furniture.
- Always mix your paint thoroughly before painting. A small container will just need a good shake but if you are working with larger quantities it will need to be stirred. Paint mixing attachments are available for hand drills which can make this process less tiring.
- Consider using a slow dry medium or additive to retard the drying of the paint. This can help reduce the chances of lap marks and well as avoid premature drying which can create quite a mess. Remember hot and dry climates can make the paint dry faster.
- Avoid lap marks by keeping a wet edge when painting with a roller and then overlap with the next stroke. Painting in “V” or “W” patterns can help you to avoid lap marks. Generally speaking, lap marks can be caused by premature drying of the paint.
- Old painter’s tape can sometimes be difficult to peel as the adhesive can dry making the tape break easily. Instead of buying more, microwave the roll of tape for 10 seconds. This should soften it up making it easier to use.
- If you are unsure what time of paint you are painting over, dap the surface with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. If paint shows up on the cotton ball you are dealing with latex and if it does not it is oil-based in which case you will need to use a primer that is oil-based.
- When painting walls it is wise to start from the top down. Do this you will paint over mistakes like drips and splatters which gravity will force downward onto your walls. This tip can make a noticeable difference in the result.
Not only will metallic paint bring a touch of glamour to a room it can also make it seem a lot lighter. There are many metallic paint colors available but the most popular are silver wall paints, metallic grey paint, and gold paint for walls. The best metallic paint for walls is one that best suits your needs and tastes. Take into consideration the decor of the room as well as the color pallet and use paint switches to help you to decide. Choose a good quality paint that contains microbeads or metal flakes that will guarantee a beautiful, shimmer and shine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Apply Metallic Paint to Walls?
A Lot of the metallic finishes we see on walls today are wall coverings like wallpaper. However, a more affordable way to achieve the same look is to apply metallic paint to your wall. Make sure to select a metallic paint that is suitable for brick or masonry.
Why Opt for Metallic Paint for Walls?
Metallic paint will add a touch of glam to your interior as well as reflect light which will add to the airy feeling of the room. Using metallic paint sparingly by choosing one wall in the room to become the accent wall. This becomes the central feature of the room and can add contrast between the walls
How to Cover up Metallic Wall Paint?
If for whatever reason you want to paint over an existing coat of metallic wall paint you will need to use a primer that is oil-based. You may need to apply multiple coats to prevent the highlights from the metallic paint from showing through.
Is Metallic Paint Toxic?
The metallic flakes and microbeads are not toxic and will not make you sick like the lead-based paints of old. In the worst-case scenario, metallic paint could cause skin irritation. As a rule of thumb, you should also paint in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling paint fumes.
What is the Best Way to Apply Metallic Paint?
The best way to apply metallic paint to walls is to cut in the edges with a small sponge and then apply the first coat with a ⅛ inch nap roller. Once the initial coat is dry, you can apply the next coat using a faux finish roller.
Do I Need to Prep My Walls Before Painting?
Preparing walls for painting can increase the adhesion of the new paint and result in a better finish. Fill any divots or cracks on the wall as the paint will not cover these well. Wash the walls with TSP before applying a primer. Once the primer is dry you are all set to paint.
Will Metallic Paint Brighten the Room?
While metallic paint can brighten the appearance of a room, it all depends on how much light is in the room to begin. This is because metallic paint will simply reflect the existing light. Avoid painting walls with dark metallic colors if you are concerned about the room being too dark.