Krylon X metals and Duplicolor Metalcast

Anodizing Paint for Workshop or Art Studio

this lens' photo

This article will discuss the Krylon X- metals and Duplicolor spray anodizing paints and how they compare with each other. These special purpose finishes are used to mimic colored anodized finishes on metallic surfaces. They are effectively a dyed lacquer that allows the surface underneath to show so long as they are not applied too thickly. They come in common colors and they are fast drying and reasonably durable.

How they are applied

As mentioned in the intro, both Krylon X-Metals and Duplicolor Metalcast are essentially dyed translucent lacquers. To create the anodized effect they need to be applied over a shiny metal surface or a metallic paint finish.

Both companies make a silver basecoat for thier anodize paints. It is basically a refelctive silver paint that shows through. For some inexplicable reason, the basecoat for the Krylon X-metals is nearly impossible to be found in stores.I attribute that to poor market planning on thier part.

Both Metalcast and X-metals can be applied directly over clean shiny metal without the basecoat. If over mild steel, it should be kept from moisture as the steel could rust under the finish without primer.

Alternative basecoats

Not being able to get the basecoat for the anodize paints can be frustrating but there are alternatives. One alternative is to use water based acrylic silver paints which are becoming more widely available. With a decent airbrush, a professional finish can be had. Contrary to what many believe, acrylic paints are somewhat solvent tolerant as long as the spray is not applied to heavily in one shot. The water born finishes are less likely to craze that the solvent based and oil base paints and they are not subject to repaint time windows.

Multilayered effect for coatings

Abstract Dimensional Memphis sculpture
Being that the X Metal and Metalcast paints are both transparent, there are numerous possibilites to create depth and layered affects in surface finishes.
A perfect example is the finish on this Abstract Dimensional Mephis Wall Sculpture. The X-metals over the pearl and metallic paints creates a finish that really pops.

A comparison

Now to compare the two product lines. As far as the raw materials are concerned the Metal Cast paints and the X-Metals are virtually identical. If any difference is observed, it is in how they are delivered. The spray nozzle on the Duplicolor cans is of superior quality and sprays an even, fine mist that is easy to control. On the other hand, the Krylon spray nozzle skimps a little on quality. Although it is reasonably reliable most of the time, it is more suseptible to spritzing and leaving blobs of paint. This can be alieviated somewhat by inverting the spray can and depressing nozzle until only propellent comes out or periodically wiping the nozzle with a rag soaked in lacquer thinner. This is more work than many wish to do for a quick spray finish.

As mentioned above, the Duplicolor Metalcast and X-Metal paints are virtually identical. In fact, if you want to mix and blend your own colors, you can decant these paints and mix to the shade desired and airbrush them or run them through a Preval Paint Sprayer.

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5 thoughts on “Krylon X metals and Duplicolor Metalcast

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