Metallics for Painting and Other Applications

I've been seeing a lot of very shiny metallic painting lately. I particularly love the golds and silvers I'm seeing, but everything I've used doesn't give me that shine. I've seen metallics for both painting and airbrushing. I would love to hear what others are using and see the results they are getting. 

Bitsized Beginner - Kimberlie

Original Post

BTW, sorry no one else has answered this. I use different things for different purposes - AmeriColor or Chefmaster airbrush colors for airbrushing/stenciling parts of cookies (turns out extended powders like Crystal Colors, which is also food-grade) works well in the gun too; PME luster spray for getting quick/broad/thick coverage very fast and evenly over entire cookies (it can't be beat for this purpose, though it is very expensive); and usually an extended luster or highlighter dust (like Rolkem, though there are other highlighter brands) for sponging and painting accents. While Rolkem and other highlighter dusts offer great/thick coverage and are VERY shiny, the downside is they are not approved for food-use in the USA. All highlighters (that I've seen anyway) are labelled "nontoxic" or "for decorative use only". But some metallic luster dusts are food-grade and cover pretty well. I also sponge and paint with PME luster spray (sprayed into a container and then applied with a paint brush), as it goes down super smoothly with no clumping. But it evaporates really fast too, which can be a plus and a minus.

Sorry, I didn't have a more direct answer - but I do use different forms depending on the application and effect I want.

@Kimberlie, I appreciate you for asking this question, and thanks @Julia M. Usher for a thorough answer.  There are so many mettalics on the market that I've shied away from using them.  The cost of experimentation is too high.   You've both saved me a lot of trouble and expense.   An additional question for you Julia, would you please explain what an extended powder is?      Thanks

@Julia M. Usher, thank you very much.  That was alot of info.  I too was hoping someone would answer along with some examples of their work, like PIP I agree it can get very expensive testing things when you are just doing this as a hobby rather than a business.  Your answer will help greatly as you let me know what you were using for what applications.  My airbrush was bought as a gift a few years back by my husband after he nosed around and figured out how to ask you online, so I love it and don't want to mess it up. I am thinking that after reading your reply that I am seeing metallic food colors that are not sold here in the US. I also am guessing that extended would mean they have a longer shelf life?  As always you have given me the resources I needed. Again, thank you.

pip posted:

@Kimberlie, I appreciate you for asking this question, and thanks @Julia M. Usher for a thorough answer.  There are so many mettalics on the market that I've shied away from using them.  The cost of experimentation is too high.   You've both saved me a lot of trouble and expense.   An additional question for you Julia, would you please explain what an extended powder is?      Thanks

By "extended powder", I mean a luster or petal dust mixed with alcohol (I usually use  flavored alcohol-based extract) to turn it into a paint.

Kimberlie posted:

@Julia M. Usher, thank you very much.  Thank was alot of info.  I too was hoping someone would answer along with some examples of their work, like PIP I agree it can get very expensive testing things when you are just doing this as a hobby rather than a business.  Your answer will help greatly as you let me know what you were using for what applications.  My airbrush was bought as a gift a few years back by my husband after he nosed around and figured out how to ask you online, so I love it and don't want to mess it up. I am thinking that after reading your reply that I am seeing metallic food colors that are not sold here in the US. I also am guessing that extended would mean they have a longer shelf life?  As always you have given me the resources I needed. Again, thank you.

All of the brands I mentioned are available here in the US. Some are manufactured elsewhere (PME is a UK product, for instance), but all can be found via US-based online suppliers (and even in on-the-ground US shops). See my comment above for what I meant by "extended". Not what you thought. 

I'll also add my vast experience *lol*

Here in Germany there isn't much choice when it comes to metallic colors for food.

1. Rainbow Dust pre-mixed metallics - they come in a vast range of colors, little bottles with 25ml, very expensive, to be applied with a brush. The results are so-so. They tend to get streaky (is there a word like that?), as they dry very quick and especially if you cover vast areas they dry faster than you can paint. I hardly ever use them because they are hard to control. Here is an example of what they look like (though the picture doesn't show the blotches, they were horrible in reality!), used on caps of mason jars and bottom of cake stands: Rainbow dust metallic paint

2. PME sprays - awesome results (sorry, I have no example...), but horrible price. I have never bought one myself because it is soooo expensive, only used it in classes I took. And it is hardly any use if you want to have small accents, e.g. gold beads, gold peaks for birds. It is meant for larger areas.

3. Rainbow dust powder metallics - you can either dust them on, which gives a nice and very even sheen (like this: Rainbow dust powder brushed on), but no real metallic effect, or mix them with vodka/clear extract and paint them on. If mixed to a paste consistency, they cover pretty good, but get blotchy, especially for larger areas (see here: Rainbow dust extended powders large area). If they are thinned down more, they are perfect for accents though, don't have streaks or blotches, and I use them quite frequently (e.g. here Rainbow dust extended powders thin consistency gold and here Rainbow dust extended powders thin consistency silver. But in thin consistency they are no good for covering large areas.

Generally, I find the results turn out a lot better if I use an icing in the same color I want to apply metallic colors later on, e.g. grey for silver, brown for gold. The coverage gets a lot better, forgotten spots don't show that much, and I need a lot less of the paint.

Julia M. Usher posted:
Kimberlie posted:

@Julia M. Usher, thank you very much.  Thank was alot of info.  I too was hoping someone would answer along with some examples of their work, like PIP I agree it can get very expensive testing things when you are just doing this as a hobby rather than a business.  Your answer will help greatly as you let me know what you were using for what applications.  My airbrush was bought as a gift a few years back by my husband after he nosed around and figured out how to ask you online, so I love it and don't want to mess it up. I am thinking that after reading your reply that I am seeing metallic food colors that are not sold here in the US. I also am guessing that extended would mean they have a longer shelf life?  As always you have given me the resources I needed. Again, thank you.

All of the brands I mentioned are available here in the US. Some are manufactured elsewhere (PME is a UK product, for instance), but all can be found via US-based online suppliers (and even in on-the-ground US shops). See my comment above for what I meant by "extended". Not what you thought. 

As always you have been so helpful. Without this page I would have never learned all the things I have, as there are no classes, stores, etc in my area. I don't even know anyone in this area personally that makes cookies. So each of you have become virtual cookie friends as most around me tire or don't understand what I am talking about. So, thank you so much! 

IDSC05961

DSC05957I've tried a lot of different ways to get metallic sheen, gold & silver airbrush from Amerimist.  Works pretty well & you can try small bottles for a little money.  

Recently, I bought the metallic sample pack of powders from TMP & it's awesome for painting when solubilzed with Everclear.  3 colors, gold silver & rose gold for about $10. I ended up buying a large pot of the gold because it is so amazing.

i also have metallic paints from Raibow dust that I picked up in the U.K.  It's a little streaky, in my opinion & only good for small accents.

I've attached a pic of the TMP gold that I painted - it was so smooth & has amazing coverage.  Agate design by Blyss cookies, cutter from TMP & agate stencil from ADC

Hope this helps,

Cathy

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