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Colors to Mix to Make Pewter Gloss Paint

Updated February 21, 2017

Pewter gloss paint is an attempt to reproduce the colour of pewter. Pewter is a metal alloy containing a high content of tin and smaller amounts of lead and copper. Although often noted historically as having a blue-grey colour, modern trends have interpreted pewter as having a green tint, a brownish tint or sometimes as a light, gunmetal grey colour.

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Choose the Color

Locate a sample of the colour of pewter being created. This can come from a paint chip, a swatch of fabric, a paper sample or even a magazine photo. Pewter is a variation of grey which means its base is black and white. Black can have a base of red, green, blue and even yellow. Examine the colour in different types of light to decide what colours are in the mix. Ivory black is close to a carbon black and is a good place to begin mixing a grey colour. Use titanium white for a pure, not yellowish, white.

Choose A Brand

If looking for consistency in colour and shine, start by using one brand of paint and only use glossy colours when mixing a pewter gloss paint. Gloss is created by a ratio of pigment to binder called the PVC or pigment volume concentration. Glossy paints have a lower ratio of around 15 per cent. Flat paints are pigment rich with around 40 per cent PVC. Gloss paint has more binder and adheres to a paint surface better than a flat paint. Gloss in one brand may have a different percentage of pigment than the next, so mixing different brands may change the expected colour.

Record The Recipe

Recording the approximate mixture will save time in assembling and mixing the pewter gloss paint in the future. It's not necessary to actually measure the amounts of paint but to make a record the painter understands---hand mixing paint colours is not an exact science. Work in small batches---squirts and dabs. Using a base of ivory black and titanium white (white goes a long way; add less first), mix a grey that is close in tone to the pewter colour sample. Experiment with adding small amounts of thalo blue or ultramarine for a blue pewter, an olive green for a green-grey pewter and a touch of burnt umber for a brown pewter. In a sketchbook, dab a bit of each mixed colour and make note of what combination was used, what paint brand was used and include a piece of the paint sample being re-created.

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About the Author

Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.

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