How to Make Silver Paint at Home (Step by Step)

few steps for making silver paint color

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 rooms 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? 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. 

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 colors 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.

Now that you understand the basics, it’s time to discover what colors makeup silver. 

How to Create Silver? 

It won’t take long to figure out that silver is not a primary, secondary, or even tertiary color.

Instead, to create silver, you will need to employ one of two mixing methods. 

Silver does consist of all three primary colors, but you will need to mix them with white or black to get the right intensity. 

You can also make silver color from two colors – black and white. Now, while you may know that mixing black and white creates the color gray, gray is very close to the color silver.

 If you want to make that unique metallic appearance that is also glossy, you will need to either increase the inclusion of black or white in the mix. 

Now you must gather the proper paints. You can have the primary colors along with black and white, but you will also need a stir stick, some disposable bowls, and a sample of the silver color that you want to match. 

What follows is the process needed to properly mix the colors to create that perfect hue of silver for your project. 


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 1 Mix: Use the stir stick to mix the paints until the color comes out even. A circular motion will ensure that you do not get any streaks. 

Once the equal parts of blue, black, and white have been mixed, you should get a gray hue that is rather cool.  

Step 2 Warm: To add warmth to the gray, you will need to add a brown hue. To create the brown hue, you will need to do the following. 

1- In a separate bowl, mix blue and yellow to create green 

2- Once you are happy with the hue of the green, add a little red to the mixture and stir it until you see a fine brown hue. 

When you are happy with the brown hue, you can then mix it into the gray that you have already made to create a warmer hue. 

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 3 Adjust: If you want the mixture to be darker, add in some black. If you want the mixture to be 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 house paints together, you will know the basic parts needed. 

Step 4 Shadows and Highlights: Again, adding black can provide a darker or shadow effect to the gray paint that you have created. 

Adding white will offer some highlights and make the mixture brighter. Titanium white is a good paint to add if you are looking to promote highlights. 

At this point, you may be wondering about creating gray paint when the goal is to create silver paint.

As close as gray is to silver, it is clearly not the same. 

The answer is that the gray will be the basis for the silver paint once a metallic tint is added. To do that, you will need to do the following. 

What is a Metallic Tint?

This is an additive that creates shiny paint, which reflects like in roughly the same manner as a mirror.

By adding a metallic tint to gray, you will be turning the overall color to silver. 

A silver metallic powder does contain small silver particles. To turn the paint from gray to silver, you will need to mix the powder with the gray paint that you have created. 

If the paint is oil-based, then you will need to first mix the metallic powder with walnut oil.

That will allow the powder to mix properly with the gray paint you have created. 

If the paint is acrylic, then you should mix the metallic powder first with an acrylic gel medium. This will ensure a proper mixture of the gray paint. 

There is 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. 

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. 

Mix and Apply

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 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. 

Silver is a great paint for many projects, especially for interior walls and smaller jobs such as replacing scratched or worn silver paint on walls or even your vehicle. 

Creating the silver paint gives you considerably more control compared to purchasing the paint from the store.

It is easier to mix and find the right hue when you need to match the paint. 

It will take a little work, and your first results may not be what is desired.

However, you should 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. 

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