Silver is an easily recognizable color, but it is also one that is not often used for home paints. And yet it can be quite attractive when used for interiors, especially for certain room decors inside the home, office, or facility.
However, purchasing silver paint may not be the best option depending on the exact hue and brightness you want from the product. If you are simply touching up some paint that was chipped or worn away, then you may be better off making your own silver paint rather than making a purchase.
But how can you make silver paint? Well, the answer is not that difficult if you have the right base colors.
You will need to understand basic color theory when it comes to mixing colors together. But overall, it is not that difficult to create the exact hue of silver you want for your project.
The Color Theory
Before you get started in mixing basic colors together, you will need to re-learn a little color theory, so you are not wasting time and effort in creating silver paint.
The basics start with the understanding of the three types of colors, primary, secondary, and tertiary.
- The primary colors are blue, yellow, and red. You cannot create these by mixing other colors together, but you can create the hues of other colors by mixing the primary ones.
- Secondary colors include orange, green, and purple, which are created by mixing two of the primary colors together.
- Tertiary colors are created by mixing primary and secondary colors together.
What Colors Makeup Silver?
It won’t take long to figure out that silver is not a primary, secondary, or even tertiary color. To create this metallic paint color, you will need to employ one of two mixing methods.
- Mix all three primary colors with white or black to get the right intensity.
- Make silver from just two colors – black and white.
It’s no wonder that mixing black and white creates the color gray, which is very close to the color silver. But it lacks the shine which is the basic property of silver.
Well, to make that unique metallic appearance that is also glossy, you will need to use a warmer shade of gray. And also depending on your shade preference, either increase the inclusion of black or white in the mix.
How to Create Silver Color Paint?
Now to start with making a silver hue for your project you must gather the proper paints with primary colors along with black and white. You will also need a stir stick, some disposable bowls, and a sample of the silver color that you want to match.
Once you have all this ready, follow the process here…
Step 1 – Adding the paints
The first step is to mix the paint into a disposable bowl so you can get the right color without having to waste a lot of paint.
You will start with one part blue, one part black, and one-part white paint mixed into the same bowl.
Step 2 – Mixing the paints
Use the stir stick to mix the equal parts of blue, black, and white paints until the color comes out even. A circular motion will ensure that you do not get any streaks.
Once the equal parts of the above shades have been mixed, you should get a cool gray hue that is close to silver.
Step 3 – Adding warmth to gray
To add warmth to the cool gray shade, add a brown hue to the mixture of paint.
To create the brown hue, mix blue and yellow to create the green in a separate bowl. Once you are happy with the green shade, add a little red to the mixture and stir it until you see a fine brown hue.
When you are happy with the prepared brown hue, mix it into the gray that you have already made.
Be sure that you keep track of the amounts so that everything is roughly the same. This is important because it will guide you in creating the silver paint for real when mixing larger amounts.
Step 4 – Adjusting the strength and darkness
Once you have prepared the silver paint from the above steps and are unhappy with the brightness, you may need to adjust its strength a bit.
Like, if you want the mixture to be darker, add some black. Or to make it lighter, add in some white.
Again, keep the amounts measurable. For example, you should add the black or white in amounts that are one-third or one-fourth, or even one-tenth. That way, when you are ready to mix your paints together in larger parts, you will know the basic parts needed.
Step 5 – Adding some shadows or highlighting the paint
Again, adding black can provide a darker or shadowing effect to the grayish-silvery paint you have created. Whereas adding white paint (like Pure Titanium White) will offer some highlights and make the mixture brighter.
How Can You Add A Metallic Tint to the Silver?
The metallic tint is an additive that creates shiny paint, which reflects in roughly the same manner as a mirror. In other words, it’s a metallic powder that contains small silver particles.
And by adding a metallic tint to grayish silver (you created above), you will be turning the overall color to glossy metal like silver paint.
However, remember that if the paint is oil-based, first mix the metallic powder with walnut oil. And if the paint is acrylic, mix the metallic powder first with an acrylic gel medium. This will allow the powder to mix properly with the silvery-gray paint you have created.
Tips and Warnings
When working with small amounts to get the right mixture, add a little metallic tint and judge the results. If it is what you want, you can later mix larger amounts in the same relative portions to recreate the results.
For this, you will need a larger paint bucket or container, which you can pour in the paint and add the metallic powder once you have achieved the same result.
One issue with the metallic powder is that without protection, you may breathe some of it into your lungs, which may cause some health issues. So, always wear a dust mask when working with metallic powder, and do so in a well-ventilated room or outside. That way, you can minimize the danger that the powder presents.
The Bottom Line
Silver is a great paint for many projects, especially for decorative walls, household decor objects, and smaller craft works. It can also be used to replace scratched or worn-out silver paint on your vehicle or imitation jewelry.
And that’s where creating the silver color paint gives you considerably more control compared to purchasing the one from the store. It’s much easier to mix and find the right hue when you need to match a specific shade or strength of silver paint.
However, sometimes you will need to learn from your mistakes and try again using small amounts of paint until you find the right mixture that gives you the results that you want.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.