What Is Mica Automotive Paint?

by Sandra Rousseau
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classic car image by Mariusz Blach from Fotolia.com

Mica automotive paint is a pearlized paint that creates a multicolored effect on vehicles. It is made with mica, a crystalline mineral.


Mica is the general name given to a group of 37 crystalline silicate minerals. Mica can be ground into small flakes and added to paints to make them shiny and iridescent. According to the Mineral Information Institute, the word "mica" is related to the Latin word "micare," which means "to shine."


Mica flakes act like tiny prisms, refracting white light into different colors. With mica automotive paint, the vehicle takes on different shades from different angles. Metallic automotive paint, on the other hand, uses small flakes of aluminum to reflect light. This gives the finish shine and sparkle, but the color looks the same from all angles.


Metallic and mica automotive paints cost about the same for consumers. Both types of paint tend to disguise scratches and dings better than regular gloss paints. Because of its luxurious look, mica paint may bring a higher price when you sell your car.

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