A common question asked to us by the design community and end clients alike is what is the difference between liquid metal finishes and metallic paints? Well, I would say, it’s as different as a Nano and a Mercedes. Both liquid metal and metallic paints serve the same end purpose, that is to create textured metallic walls for interiors and exteriors. But the make and look achieved from both the variants are very distinctive.
The Composition Of Its Ingredients:
Liquid metal finishes are manufactured using real metal in either a solvent-based or water base. We at Evolve India, use a water-based technology, making our liquid metal finishes, environment friendly and highly sustainable. With this water-based technology, our sprayable finishes have zero volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). VOCs are carbon-containing compounds that are reactive. They are the cause of life-threatening diseases like asthma and cancer and also combine with certain compounds of air, to form toxic products. With no VOCs, our finishes release no gasses or odour and therefore are not only consumer-friendly but also easily shippable. The absence of VOCs makes our finishes more suitable for LEED-certified projects.
Most metallic paints contain VOC. It is best to avoid the presence of carcinogens together even when we have an allowance to a certain level. These paints are manufactured using metallic pigments as opposed to liquid metal finishes, that are manufactured using real metal. This makes the difference very obvious in the final aesthetics when the texture is applied to a base substrate.
The Process Of Application:
Liquid metal coatings are sprayable and need to be mixed and applied instantly. They need to be textured and sealed with an appropriate topcoat to prevent the metals from ageing. On the other hand, paint is a ready-to-apply product that is usually applied in a one-step process. With liquid metal, you need to polish it post the spray process. One can also vary the gloss levels to create different tones which is not possible in metallic paints.
Metallic paints come in a standard packaging of tinned cans and are available off-the-shelf. One cannot customize the finish to their needs using metallic paints, however, with liquid metal, the world is your oyster. Since we manufacture these finishes on a just in time basis, one can play around with the mix and create liquid metal finishes that are custom to their project.
The formulation of metallic paints gives you a shiny, metal-like look on application. But liquid metal finishes are essentially a thin 2mm layer of metal on your base substrate. They won’t just give you a metal-like look, but will actually be the real deal. They will not only look but also behave like metal. Liquid metal finishes will naturally oxidise on exposure to the sun (don’t worry there are ways around it). They will still retain their natural reflectivity. One can create many textured looks using liquid metal, which are difficult to create in metallic paints, owing to their runny consistency.
So what should you choose? Well, that entirely depends on the look you are going for and the budget you have. When compared, liquid metal finishes are more expensive than metallic paints but definitely cheaper than textured metal sheets. So if you love metal, and like organic, sustainable materials, liquid metal finishes are for you. But if you don’t care about the natural real feel of metal, and are only looking for a metallic-looking finish, then metallic paints will work for you.
If you are looking to explore liquid metal finishes for your next project or would like to know how to use them, fill out the form below and we will send you our e-catalogue. We supply our liquid metal finishes in the form of ready to install panels, door skins and take on custom artwork projects.