Effects Leather and Reptile Skin Effects

Create amazing leather effects with our mica powders and pigments.

Hi Matt,

I’ve been using micas and pigments from a few sources for several years for crafting. Mostly for exotic leathers and finding ways to do enhance the textures, patterns and colors. 

My mother taught me a valuable lesson learned in Chicago during the Depression. If you think you have a good deal on something you want, keep looking as a better deal is almost always around. The net makes this much easier for those not too lazy to do a web search. So I found your site a year or so ago. I also had found some cosmetic mica vendors such as TKB. As a few grams go a long way for my needs, sometimes I’ve bought theirs. 

BUT, I was surprised to find that your satin Illusion Pearls and the cold blue steel kandy,  appear to have a finer micron size and better overall effects than the finer grades of cosmetic mica. I don’t know if this is more that kustomers want more glitter or if restrictions for cosmetic use require a larger size particle. 

I use these a few different ways. Sometimes mixing into Angelus leather paint clear acrylic base, sometimes applying with a fingertip, brush, cotton swab directly to the leather and burnishing in, I do wear a dust mask, and it can help if the leather is a tad damp or has a bit of oil for the pigments to stick to. Also can mix into a paste with rubbing alcohol, paint on and seal when dry. 

2 new effects I’m playing with that are similar. One is to apply to the leather and then drop or spray alcohol on it. creates swirling patterns as the particles lift, the drying pulls them around, they settle into cracks and crevices, seal when dry. Mixing into alcohol to make a spray, or drop with a dropper bottle, dip pen also give similar effects. The rheoscopic fluid effect of swirling is pretty cool but as the alcohol evaporates, flattens out even with a gloss sealer over it.

One of the attached pix shows Pebeo Prisme paints and their honeycomb or pebble effect. A solvent based paint, similar product with a hammered effect is the moon series. And they have a transparent glass paint line called Vitrail which has a non pigmented lightener. And sell a glitter product to add in. I was surprised that no other company has a knock off yet. Did some checking on how to get a hammered effect or this pebble effect without a rattle can or powder coating as leather doesn’t like the heat. A bit of silicone appears to work for the hammered effect from what I’ve read, haven’t tried for it yet. Nothing on how to DIY the other. 

A close look today at the moon and prisme plus a quick whiff of both versions, the lightener and glass paint and I guessed from the odor that the lightener is the base medium, some kandy type pigments are the glass paint colorants, and the 2 special fx paints are micas added into the medium. The moon ‘hammered’ version appears to have an overall larger particle size and not too much difference from largest to smallest but there is some difference, more apparent with magnification. The prisme definitely has some finer particles as well as coarse. Both before mixing and the pigments settled out show about half mica on the bottom to liquid medium above. 

So I gathered several micas, blue satin pearl, cold blue steel, sky blue pearl ex, a charcoal gray cosmetic mica plus pearl ex macro pearl for a large flake. Poured in the lightener, stirred and it looks like a pretty fair DIY prisme paint. 

I dropped some on several surfaces, scrap leather, left a bit in the stir spoon and the mix cup after pouring most of the extra into a dropper bottle for later use. The remnants in the cup were losing much of the pebble effect, not enough solvent? one type of mica too much or too little? will keep testing. 

I’ll post on some crafting forums about this DIY prisme and how to order your pigments. 

The leather pieces are a gator barrette with stone insert for the eye but suspect I can DIY those myself with the prisme knockoff. will be lighter also. Off white leather, a drop of white Neon Glow fabric additive-the whiter than white stuff, hand rubbed pigment blue 15 into the skin, then applied a white titanium dioxide mica powder to the nooks and crannies with alcohol. when dry I rubbed a bit of dorland’s wax medium–can be used for faux finish and more, while still a bit tacky applied blue satin Illusion Pearls from you. Later another top coat of Dorland’s and buffed it this morning. The other piece is boa snake leather, dyed and testing both gold and green interference mica, the green from you, the gold is pearl ex. 

I’ve posted before on some of the leather forums about using these and surprised that so few people have been willing to try themselves. Instead sticking with the Tandy or Angelus etc. acrylics for leather. This video shows a woman using micas more as I do than I’ve found before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqGQy1ikzBU

She uses pearl ex micas but I did send her an email on more affordable versions with your website. That market with model painting might be an area to worth promoting. 

If you think any of these samples might warrant better quality pix for the gallery let me know. The pearls do what I want at a far better price than name brands. I’m planning on experimenting with some thermographic paints–sorry bought from another place before I realized you have them. Hoping that layering over skins and micas to produce a reptile skin that does truly change color at times. Will be having fun.

I appreciate a company that offers people a way to cut their costs rather than always trying to squeeze every bit of profit from kustomers. Good karma!



Thanks, Julie! Your use of our pearls in Theatrical costume and monster skin make you look like a real professional designer. These reptile skin effects are incredible, and would be great in theatrical monster paint and even in aquatic creature paint. Some of our pearls are used in aquatic taxidermy.

We at Paint With Pearl appreciate all of our kustomers who take the time to send us pictures and feedback on all of our products. Our Kolor Pearls, Metal Flakes, True Chameleon pigments, Thermochromics, Glow In The Darks and all other paint pigments are truly kustom paints and can be used in almost any application. There are so many options with our products! Photos, Videos and testimonials are a great way to show off the capabilities of our additives. If you find the opportunity, send us some great pics and a small testimonial about what you did with our products and we will send you a gift card for the website. We love to show off the work that our wonderful kustomers are doing. Contact us and send us your work!

All of our products can be used in vehicle dip, we were the first company to supply the dip community with pigments.  If you have any reservations about whether our products work in vehicle dip, you should know that we were the pioneers who introduced Plasti Dip Pearls to the world.

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Posted on

June 11, 2015