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Daniel Smith Metallic Watercolors

A Brief Summary of the Properties and Uses for Daniel Smith Metallic Watercolors

Metallic Art


Daniel Smith Metallic Watercolors are made from genuine metal powders - microscopically flaked particles of brass, copper, aluminum - specially coated to delay the tarnishing effects of air and moisture. These powders are mixed with a neutral pH binder that becomes activated when moistened with water. Other additives in the pigment/binder system aid paint flow when mixed and insure a long shelf life when stored in a dry place.

The metallic pigments used are absolutely lightfast. Because they are made from real metal, however, they will gain a slight patina over time and will darken from exposure to moisture in the air when used with water or rewettable paints. If tarnishing is a concern, we suggest finishing your painting with a permanent spray fixative or varnish.

Instructions for Use

1. Pour a small amount of the powdered paints onto a palette. Add about 50% water. With a brush, mix the paint into the consistency of cream. The mount of water added can be adjusted to suit your needs.

2. For very small amounts or detail work, simply dip a wet brush into the jar of powdered paint. This activates the amount your brush tip will hold.

To prevent tarnishing, we suggest mixing only what you need for a single painting session, whether the paints are mixed with water or with acrylic medium. Depending on the temperature and humidity of your studio, these paints can dry in less than half and hour.

Brush Cleaning

We recommend designating one of more brushes to painting exclusively with metallics and refrain from using the brush(es) for other media. This is because powdered metallic paints are difficult to remove from a brush.

To clean, wipe all excess metallic paint from the brush with a rag or onto paper scraps. Immerse the brush in a large jar of cool water and swish it around. Change the water and repeat the swishing until the jar water is relatively clean. Then, holding the brush under the cold water tap, gently massage the hairs from the ferrule to the tip. This loosens the persistent remnants of metallic paint which take refuge in the hairs near the ferrule. Gentle massaging in conjunction with a mild soap will eventually render the brush clean.



  • Pelikan Waterproof Drawing Ink
  • Shiva Water-Based Printing Ink

A Note on Oils and Alkyds

We recommend that you do not mix Daniel Smith Metallic Watercolors with oils or alkyds. The binding system used in our metallic paints is not intended to be combined with these mediums. To achieve metallic effects with oils and alkyds, it is best to mix in small amounts of Daniel Smith Metallic Pigments.