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Interference Pigments As A Design Tool. Play Of Colors

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Interference Pigments As A Design Tool. Play Of Colors
Interference Pigments As A Design Tool. Play Of Colors

Video: Interference Pigments As A Design Tool. Play Of Colors

Video: Interference Pigments As A Design Tool. Play Of Colors
Video: Web I: Material Design - how to use the color tool 2023, December

Metallic, glitter and shine - these effects are currently the determining element in creative techniques. A shimmering effect pigment completes the glamor family: starting from green to silver to orange-red or from blue to turquoise to green, it opens up completely new dimensions for the design of glaze surfaces. Depending on the viewing angle and the incidence of light, there is a lively play of colors thanks to the interence pigments.

Author: Susanne Sachsenmaier-Wahl | Photos: Caparol

The effect is actually not new: so-called “flip-flop paintwork” has been causing a sensation in the automotive industry - especially in the tuning scene - for several years. In flip-flop painting, special metallic effect or interference pigments are used in the paint. Depending on the point of view, the paint changes color - for example from blue to green. Special pigments ensure this “flip-flop effect”. In addition to the base color, platelet-shaped interference pigments made of aluminum or metal oxide are added to the paint, which align in parallel in the paint. This means that a large proportion of the light is reflected on them, so that the brightness in the glancing angle is very high. Accordingly, this portion of the light is missing in a flatter viewing angle, so that the brightness is low. Interference pigments produce their color tone by amplifying and canceling out individual wavelengths (interference). Which wavelengths are amplified and which are extinguished depends on the viewing angle. This creates a color change.

Flip flop for the wall

In a design era in which glamor and glamor dominate interiors, the time had finally come to transfer this effect to the wall design. Multi-colored shimmering pearlescent pigments are said to enhance wall glazes and bring extravagance to your home. The pigments captivate with their special interplay of colors, which up to now could only be used for high-quality car paints. Starting from green to turquoise to blue or from green to silver to orange-red, it opens up completely new dimensions for the design of glaze surfaces. Depending on the viewing angle and the incidence of light, the wall surface appears in its own individual play of colors.

Preparation of the surface

In order for the effect to come into its own, it is advisable to paint the surface in an intense or dark color. The color change pigment, which changes from green to silver to red-orange, looks particularly good on a base coat in a shade of gray that has a penchant for khaki. For the green-turquoise-blue variant, however, a black dispersion paint is recommended.

The smoother, the more intense

The substrate itself should at least meet the requirements for gypsum substrates according to quality level Q 4. Those who work particularly carefully when producing a smooth surface will be rewarded later. Because the rougher the surface, the less the effect is visible - the smoother it is, the more intense the effect appears. It is only through the very smoothly filled and intensely colored surface coating that this technique achieves its full depth and expressiveness.

Before the actual coating work begins, it is necessary to soak the effect pigment that is stirred into the glaze in water. The amount of water must not exceed 3 times the amount of the effect pigment (e.g. 50 grams of pigment are made into a maximum of 150 milliliters of clean water).


In the first step, the prepared substrate is covered with a high-quality interior dispersion in the selected color. In order to increase the surface smoothness, the dispersion coating is processed after rolling up with a Venetian trowel or a special plastic trowel. This process may have to be carried out twice in order to achieve the required evenly covering and smooth surface. The surface smoothness is extremely important with this technology. Therefore, a previous primer should be smoothed with a trowel if this is necessary due to the background conditions.

Now the lump-free effect pigment is stirred into a glossy dispersion glaze. A matt glaze is not recommended because, similar to a rough surface, the effect of the pigment is lost in it. The proportion of the pasted effect pigment in the amount of glaze should be about two to four percent by volume. The glaze can be both transparent and slightly colored. The more transparent the glaze remains (i.e. the less tinting paste is added), the better the actual effect of the color change pigments is retained. The glaze is applied to the prepared surface with a short-pile roller and smoothed as possible with the special trowel in the cloister. This process can be repeated if necessary. The effect is enhanced and the pigments develop their full effect.

Verdigris patina

With the help of the color change pigments, an interesting copper or verdigris effect can also be achieved. This artificially aged surface is achieved by superimposing two polarizing color change pigments. The basic color of this technique is a rich shade of gray. This is followed by a coating of glossy glaze, to which three volume percent of the green-turquoise-blue pigment have been added. After drying, the surface is glazed a second time - now with a glaze to which a volume percent of the green-silver-red-orange pigment has been added.

Move into the right light

The glazes are also rolled up using the verdigris technique and then leveled in the cloister. Depending on the viewing angle and the incidence of light, there is the impression of perceiving copper or verdigris colors.

As with all coatings with glittering or shimmering effects, the color change pigments also thrive on the right staging combined with light. Grazing light that emanates from a large window area, floodlights or spots that are aimed at the area make the technology what it is: an eye-catcher that gives a room liveliness and extravagance.

A processing

video of verdigris technology is available at:

The color-change pigment, which has been soaked in water, is added to the glaze and stirred in thoroughly.

Photo; Caparol

The base coat is applied to the wall with the short-pile paint roller.

Photo: Caparol

Immediately after application, the emulsion paint is smoothed with the plastic trowel.

Photo: Caparol

The dispersion glaze mixed with the pigment is rolled up with the short-pile roller.

Photo: Caparol

Finally, the fresh glaze is smoothed back and forth with the plastic trowel.

Photo: Caparol


Just change the color

The described color change pigments are offered by Caparol. The following products are available:

  • Capadecor Switch Tropical (Green / Silver / Red-Orange)
  • Capadecor Switch Lagoon Water (Green / Turquoise / Blue)

For the verdigris patina, Switch Tropical is placed over Switch Lagoon Water. The pasted pigments are stirred in glossy DecoLasur.