Palettes & Paints: Modern Masters Metallic Wall Paint by

Issue 9 · The Velvet Underground · March 6, 2014

Palettes & Paints: Modern Masters Metallic Wall Paint

Issue 9 · The Velvet Underground · March 6, 2014

Wanting to experiment with metallic paints, we asked members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory for their recommendations. They pointed us to Modern Masters, a widely available, latex-based line that comes in a huge range of shades. 

Since most metallic paints contain real metal, they can be pricey. Modern Masters is no different—its prices are comparable with other metallic paint lines. But Modern Masters is the only brand we came across that offers affordable testers: its six-ounce sample pots are $10 each. Before blinging out your walls, we recommending doing some testing.

Not ready to go fully metallic? Here's a tip we plan to try: architect Jonathan Teng of Heliotrope Architects in Seattle mixes Modern Masters metallics with regular latex paints to add just a little glow to walls. And when using metallics, several painters told us to stretch our dollars by first priming with a comparably colored latex paint and then adding the metallic on top.

We tried Modern Masters in six colors and varying degrees of opacity; here are our results: 

Photography by Meredith Swinehart

Swatches of Modern Masters Metallic Paints, Remodelista

Above: Top row, left to right: Modern Masters Warm Silver; English Brown; and Ivy. Bottom row: Silver; Black Pearl; and Flash Copper

Modern Masters Metallic Paint Sample Jars, Remodelista

Above: Modern Masters sells six-ounce Sample Pots for about $16 each on their website. (We bought ours for about $10 each at local paint stores.)

Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in Warm Silver, Remodelista

Above: Though the name is a bit misleading, we think opaque Warm Silver is the perfect gold. It's not too bright or too yellow, and has a subdued shiny hue. 

Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in English Brown, Remodelista

Above: English Brown is an opaque, grown-up color that would make a nice addition to another dark latex paint.

Above: Semi-opaque Ivy is my personal favorite. It's too green to replicate any natural metallic color, so it looks like a very intentional pick. 

Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in Silver, Remodelista

Above: Silver is an opaque, metallic silver that would work just as well on architectural details (or objects, such as terra-cotta pots) as on a whole wall. 

Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in Black Pearl, Remodelista

Above: Semi-opaque Black Pearl means business. This was the only shade that had so much metal it looked sparkly, so I'd recommend mixing iy with another latex paint if you don't want a glittery look.

Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in Flash Copper, Remodelista

Above: Sheer Flash Copper, one of several colors in Modern Masters sheer line, is meant to be applied over a wall of regular latex paint or over another metallic hue. It adds just a touch of pearlescence to a wall finish. Viewed at an angle, all of the shades except Flash Copper were very obviously metallic. 

Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in English Brown, Remodelista

Above: Another view of English Brown.

Terra Cotta Pot Painted in Farrow & Ball Mole's Breath and Modern Masters Metallic Paint in Ivy, Remodelista

Above: I painted a single swipe of Ivy on a garden pot I'd previously painted in Farrow & Ball's Mole's Breath. I love the subtle two-tone effect.

Find the perfect color to mix with metallics in our Palette & Paints series, which includes expert advice on Pink, Jade Green, Copenhagen Blue, Moody Hues, and Happiness-Inducing Colors. And on Gardenista, have a look at Architects' White Exterior Paint Picks.

Have an opinion? Care to comment? We'd love to hear what you have to say.