Metallic vs. Pearlescent Car Paint – What’s Better?

Difference between Metallic and Pearlescent Car Paint

Looking for information regarding the type of paint color for your car?

Stuck finding the best one that suits your pocket as well as their after maintenance? 

Confused between metallic, non-metallic, pearlescent, matte?

Then don’t worry, just keep reading this article as we’re going to walk you through every aspect of these paints so that you chose the best one for you and your car.

After reading this guide you’ll finally be able to decide which type of paint to go for.

Metallic vs Pearlescent

Metallic PaintPearlescent Paint
Material used:Small flakes of aluminum Small flakes of mica that resembles the sheen of natural pearls
Applications:Usually sports-inspired carsUsually luxury family cars and sedans
Light Reception:Light is reflected which gives a metallic finishLight passes through and is refracted evenly to give different shades
Average Cost:Between $250 and $500Usually, 30% to 50% more and can go as high as $3500 to $5000 depending on the car

Metallic Auto Paint

These are paints that have been blended with metallic particles. 

The kind, number, size, and color of the particles can vary to generate various glitter and sparkle effects, but overall, all metallic paints will provide a shinier finish.

The more arduous and time-consuming procedure requires in creating and applying this paint to an automobile, the more it’s going to cost.

The Pros

1- Metallic vehicle paint reflects more light than a typical glossy auto finish and provides a touch of glitter and color depth that is unattainable with a basic finish.

As a result, it helps to disguise minor car imperfections and dents better.

2- Metallic automobile paint lasts longer than normal paint.

It is more resistant to bleaching and fading and retains a great sheen for a longer period than a conventional finish.

3- A car with metallic paint has a better resale value than one with a conventional finish.

This is because metallic vehicle paint is seen as a high-end finish choice.

The Cons

1- Larger dents and scrapes are more difficult to restore. While metallic vehicle paint is effective at concealing minor defects, it might be more difficult to touch up since the hues are more difficult to match perfectly.

Because not all manufacturers produce metallic paint, it might be difficult to locate more of the same color.

2- While not prohibitively costly, metallic automobile paint is somewhat more expensive than normal paint finishes, making it an unsuitable paint option for those on a budget.

3- These paints have a much narrower color spectrum than regular paints, so if you wanted to get a fantastic distinctive tone with a metallic finish, it might not be achievable.

Pearlescent Car Paint

Pearlescent paints, sometimes known as ‘Mica’ or ‘Pearl’ by some automobile manufacturers are much like metallic paints but the particles are ceramic.

Pearl paints generate some extremely intriguing and attractive effect that reflects and refract light differently than metallic paints and frequently provide a subtle yet more colorful appearing finish than the corresponding metal paint.

They are more costly than metallic paint, but the finish speaks for itself.

Look for both pearlescent as well as metallic painted finish the next time you’re at a vehicle dealership, you’ll notice a distinct difference and will almost certainly favor the classier appearing pearlescent paint.

The Pros

1- The major advantage of pearlescent auto paint is that it makes your car seem stylish.

The mica that refracts particles gives pzazz and rich color variation to what would otherwise be a normal monotone surface.

2- This paint covers tiny defects better than normal finishes just like a metallic finish does. If your car has small dents, you probably won’t even notice.

3- A car with pearlescent paint is likely to be seen as more valuable compared to a metallic finish vehicle by prospects.

The Cons

1- While pearlescent paint is effective at disguising tiny scratches and dents just like metallic paints, they may be difficult to re-touch or repaint since they are pricey and may be difficult to match.

2- Pearlescent automotive paints are not cheap.

This paint costs more than metallic paint, which makes it difficult to obtain such a gorgeous finish on a budget while painting your automobile.

3- You might face a hard time finding the exact match for the repair of your pearlescent finish.

Even approved auto paint centers may not maintain the same colors in stock constantly.

metallic vs non metallic car paint

What About Matte Auto Paint?

These are uncommon since they don’t have many color options and they are quite expensive too.

A matte surface can be achieved with a high epoxy primer, a high PVC content, or a leveling agent in the paint.

Whatever method is employed, it absorbs most of the light resulting in a dull sheen with a pleasing texture to the hue.

Matte coatings require a lot of upkeep, they must be cleaned regularly with specific cleaners and polish.

Feces of birds must be cleaned up as soon as possible since they contain acids that swiftly eat through the finish. 

Matte finishes, predictably, are extremely difficult and expensive to restore effectively.

You either adore matte finishes or you despise them. If you do, you may decide that the extra cost and inconvenience are worthwhile. 

However, don’t be shocked if your vehicle gets tough to sell.

Are Non-Metallic Car Paint Colors Good?

These are the most common choice for automobile paint as they’re sold everywhere in the world and they are wildly popular as well.

Also known as solid or standard, there is a broad range of color options in this paint finish.

Its shiny, uniform look is produced by applying two layers of paint followed by a glossy coat, that protects it from weather and cracks or dents.

This paint finish is the ideal choice for both home auto painting jobs and brand new autos. It looks beautiful and lasts a long time too.

This auto paint is also extremely simple to touch up or restore as little imperfections and chips can be removed with a same-color pen, making small house repairs inexpensive and simple.

Even if you brought your vehicle to a body shop for serious body damage, having it refinished in the matching hue won’t break your bank either.


What color of car paint lasts the longest?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, such as the quality of the paint, the type of car, and how often it is driven and exposed to the elements.

However, some colors of car paint are more durable than others and tend to last longer before fading or chipping.

These include solid car paint in darker colors like black, blue, and green, as well as metallic shades like red, purple, etc.

There are also some modern metallics such as Dragon Orange Metallic, light-blue Jetstream II Metallic paint, sparkling and glittering grays, etc that are getting much more popular and are worth looking at.

What are the different paint finishes for cars?

There are several different types of paint finishes for cars, including glossy, matte, metallic, and pearlescent.

Each type of finish has its own unique properties that can give a car’s paint job a specific look and feel.

Glossy finishes are typically the most common type of finish used on cars, as they provide a high level of shine and protection.

Matte finishes are growing in popularity as they give a car’s paint job a more unique, muted look.

What’s the difference between pearlescent and iridescent paint?

The difference between pearlescent and iridescent paint is that pearlescent paint has a pearly luster, while iridescent paint has a shimmery, rainbow-like appearance.

Pearlescent paint is usually made with mica or fish scales, while iridescent paint contains pigments that reflect light in different colors.


The type of car paint you select will be determined by what you’re searching for, what you require, and your budget. 

If money is no problem and you want a one-of-a-kind and magnificent appearance, pearlescent or metallic are extremely amazing and can transform any car from drab to fantastic with just a paint finish.

Matte car paint isn’t best for home mechanics, at least for those whose cars are used for work purposes.

And lastly, when it comes to the cost of the paint job, repairability and weather protection, non-metallic, standard, or solid car paints are the best bet to go for.

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