Skip to Content

What is the mix ratio for candy paint?

What is the mix ratio for candy paint?

Candy paint refers to a type of automotive paint that has a glossy, translucent, candy-like finish. It is created by layering translucent paint colors over a reflective base coat to produce a deep, vibrant effect.

The Base Coat

The base coat for candy paint is extremely important as it provides the foundation on which the translucent layers are built. Typically a silver or chrome base is used to maximize reflectivity and brightness. The base coat should be applied smoothly and evenly to ensure full coverage.

Some common options for candy paint base coats include:

  • Silver base coat
  • Chrome base coat
  • Mirrored silver base coat
  • Aluminum base coat

A silver base coat is the most popular choice for candy paint jobs as it provides a bright reflective surface. Chrome and mirrored silver bases offer an extremely reflective shine. Aluminum can be used but may produce a slightly more muted effect.

The base coat should be applied in multiple thin layers to build up full coverage. It must cure fully before applying the translucent candy colors on top.

Candy Color Coats

The candy coats provide the transparent, translucent color that gives candy paint its distinctive appearance. These candy colors come in many bright, vibrant shades.

Some common candy color choices include:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Gold
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Pink

The translucent candy coats allow some of the reflective base color to show through, creating depth and a glowing, hypnotic effect. You can use a single candy color for a simple look, or layer multiple colors for a more complex, custom finish.

Candy paints require specialized products that create transparent, translucent pigments. Standard opaque automotive paints will not work for the candy color coats.

Mixing the Candy Colors

Candy coat paints have a higher viscosity than normal automotive paints. This helps the candy colors remain transparent and appear evenly over the base coat.

The mix ratio specifies the correct portions of paint and catalyst needed to activate the paint properly. It is crucial to mix candy coats at the precise ratio recommended.

Typical mix ratios are around:

  • 4 parts candy color paint
  • 1 part catalyst

So for every 4 ounces of candy color, add 1 ounce of catalyst. The specific mix ratio can vary between brands, so always follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions.

Getting the mix ratio right ensures the candy coat cures correctly and provides maximum transparency and brightness.

Spraying Candy Paint

Candy coats are applied with a spray gun to ensure they lay down smoothly and evenly over the base coat. Using a paint brush tends to make the finish look streaky and opaque.

HVLP spray guns are ideal for applying candy paint as they allow fine control over the spray pattern and flow. The paint should be sprayed on in multiple thin, wet coats, allowing each coat to flash off briefly between applications.

Tips for spraying candy coats:

  • Keep the distance from the surface uniform as you spray.
  • Overlap each pass slightly to ensure even coverage.
  • Spray the edges and hard to reach areas first when finishing a section.
  • Apply 3-5 medium wet coats for best results.
  • Allow the paint to flash 5-10 minutes between coats.

Take care spraying candy coats. Too thick of a coat can cause the paint to run and opaque up. Too thin and you may get incomplete coverage and irregular transparency.

Applying Multiple Candy Layers

For extra depth and customization, you can layer multiple candy colors over the base coat. Here are some tips:

  • Start by applying the lightest candy color first.
  • Then layer progressively darker candy colors on top.
  • Allow sufficient flash time between colors for proper adhesion.
  • You can spray different colors strategically to create fades or color shifts.
  • Use masking tape and painter’s plastic to divide sections for a multi-color look.

Layering multiple candy coats takes planning but can produce stunning results. Always finish with a clear coat to protect the finish.

Candy Paint Mix Ratio Examples

Here are some examples of actual candy paint products and their mix ratios:

Brand Paint Mix Ratio
House of Kolor Kandy Apple Red 4:1
Dupli-Color Candy Purple 4:1
DNA Custom Mix Candy Paint 4:1 to 5:1

As you can see, most candy concentrates follow a 4:1 ratio. Always check the instructions for the specific product you are using.

Achieving the Perfect Candy Finish

Getting that flawless, show-stopping candy paint job requires care and patience. Here are some key tips to success:

  • Start with a perfectly prepped and cleaned surface.
  • Apply base coats gradually for complete smooth coverage.
  • Mix candy concentrates precisely at the recommended ratio.
  • Spray multiple medium wet coats of candy color.
  • Allow proper flash times between coats.
  • Consider layering multiple colors for extra depth.
  • Finish with a clear coat for protection.
  • Take time with prep, paint and clean up.

Nailing the right mix ratio is crucial, but it takes the combination of all these steps to create a flawless candy painted masterpiece.


The mix ratio is a critical factor in candy paint jobs. Most candy concentrate paints require a ratio of around 4 parts paint to 1 part catalyst. This activates the transparent pigments and allows the paint to flow properly through the spray gun. Mixing at the right ratio helps create optimal transparency and glossiness. When layered over a bright silver base at the correct proportions, candy paint achieves its characteristic glowing luster. With care and patience, the spectacular visual effect of candy paint can be achieved by any auto paint enthusiast.