How to Add Metallic Flake to Car Paint

Updated April 17, 2017

Adding metallic flake to car paint really makes the car's paint job sparkle. Metallic flakes are available in different sizes and can be added to just about any paint job for more shine. You can add them after your car has already been painted or during a new custom paint job. Using a few materials from an automotive paint store, you can mix and spray your own custom metallic flake paint job.

Sand the car to prepare it for the metallic flake paint. Use 800-grit sandpaper to sand the top coat of the car until it is dull. Make sure to keep the sandpaper flat against the car so it doesn't burn through to the colour coat of paint and make marks. Rinse the car and allow it to dry completely.

Place masking tape and paper on all areas that won't be painted. Cover the window glass, door handles, key holes, lights, trim and mirrors. Wipe the car down with wax and grease remover to remove any fingerprints or wax particles from old cleaners.

Pour clear coat paint into a mixing cup, then add the metallic flake powder to the clear coat paint. Add as much as you want to get the desired effect on the car's paint job. Stir the flake powder with a stirring stick so that it is evenly blended into the clear coat paint. Pour the mixture into the cup of the spray gun and tighten the lid.

Spray the metallic flake and clear coat paint onto the car, holding the sprayer 6 to 8 inches from the surface and using left to right strokes. Use as many coats as necessary to get the metallic look you want. Apply thin coats because thick coats can cause the paint to run. Let the paint dry for 1 full day before handling it.


Don't spray paint inside an enclosed building without proper ventilation.

Things You'll Need

  • 800-grit sandpaper
  • Water
  • Masking tape and paper
  • Metallic flakes
  • Clear coat paint
  • Mixing cups
  • Mixing stick
  • Spray gun
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About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including,, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.