Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Old pearl paint

3 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May 2019
Old pearl paint
Posted by plydude55 on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 12:17 PM

Does anybody happen to know what the late 50s or early 60s pearl custom paints were? I remember seeing paint jobs that looked like the inside of an abalone shell, and really want to know how it was done.


  • Member since
    January 2017
Posted by 195X on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 12:48 PM

Originally, pearl was created by crushing fish scales to a fine powder and adding them to the paint. All sorts of scales and eventually shells like abalone were used. Pretty sure today it's all synthetic.

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

  • Member since
    May 2019
Posted by plydude55 on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 3:45 PM

Thanks for the info. I guess I'll have to go back to Cali and go abalone hunting, should have kept the shells that got back in the 70s :)

  • Member since
    October 2015
Posted by Tim Boyd on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 7:44 PM

For a brief period in the early 1960's, Pactra offered a series of spray paints called "Pearlustre".  Colors included natural pearl, gold, pink, green, turquoise, and an orchid color IIRC.  They dried to a matte finish and so required a clearcoat to get full gloss. 

Back then, spray paint cans lasted for decades if properly stored; here's a car I painted with Pactra Pink Pearluster around 1977, or 15 years after the paint made....


Later on, in the mid 1970's, Metalflake brand paints package in pints for use by motorcycle custom painters became popular in the MPC Contest Series.  These paints had to be airbrushed.  They were expensive but of super-high quality. 

Could one of these be what you were thinking of?    TIM 


Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.


By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our privacy policy