Recently updated

Articles

Tuning

Styling

Brake Fade

What is brake fade and what causes brake fade?
Read more...

Car Lightening

Weight reduction and lightening a car to increase performance.
Read more...

Gullwing Doors

Gullwing Doors & gull wing door conversion kits
Read more...

Plastic Painting

Plastic painting tips for car interior and exterior.
Read more...

Ians Evo 6

Ian’s EVO 6 Tommi Makinen tuning
Read more...

Passion Autos

Passion Autos
Read more...

Your Cars Thoughts

Does your car like you
Read more...



Member Benefits

Join our forum today and benefit from over 270,000 posts on tuning styling and friendly car banter.

You will also have full access to the modifed car gallery, project car updates and exclusive member only areas.

(All car owners of all ages and from all countries are welcome).
Sign up now!!!



Forum Hot topics



 

 

Flip Paint

"Flipping great paint effect"

MX5 flip paint

First off we need to dispel a commonly held rumour. Flip paint is not actually 2 layers of different colour paint but a single colour which is refracted at certain angles.

It is a very special paint finish which is actually a complex and fully patented process. There are a few ways to achieve it but it certainly is not a finish you can get on a DIY basis.

Colour is actually a frequency of light (to oversimplify matters somewhat). High frequencies and low frequencies produce colours from Infra Red to Ultraviolet.

When you use a polarising filter you will actually filter out light coming from a certain angle. To illustrate this you may be photographing a car and the reflections on the paint are too strong. Adding a polarizer will stop the reflected light effectively giving you a sharper image.

In flip paint a polarising effect is seen which actually changes the frequency of the reflected light depending upon the angle it is view from.

This will restrict the colour flip effect to those of similar frequencies. This is technically known as an interference phenomenon where the reflected wavelengths are restricted to those resulting from the liquid crystal.

Flip paint looks best on cars with curvaceous surfaces. It is far from a DIY job though.

So how is this polarisation achieved? The answer lies in liquid crystal. These are used in LCD displays from digital watches to computer screens. The beauty of liquid crystal is that a chain of liquid crystal polymers will line up in certain conditions. In the screens and displays a current is used.

The LCD crystal polymers are blended with the carrier. This carrier which we will simply refer to as a paint blend, also contains an additive to slow the drying time and allow the crystal polymers to re-orient themselves. 

In the case of applying paint to a curved vehicle surface you have to apply the paint in a set of predetermined layers. The base coat sets the range of colour with darker colours producing a stronger flip effect. After the base coat the liquid crystal blended paint is applied very very carefully at a specific spray rate and angle. The paint droplets each need to be an optimum size and density.

Flip paint effect

Application of heat will allow the crystals to line themselves up but if the paint dries too quickly it will become set in a chaos pattern and become more like a candy coat. The heat is very carefully controlled and balanced. Some applications require a number of heat and cooling phases with varying paint thicknesses.

A clear coat is applied over the top to protect the paint and assist with that illusive showroom shine.

Other methods involve applying a charge to the vehicle which aligns the paint as it hit the metal surface. There are as you can see a few methods around for achieving a flip paint effect and all are very jealously guarded.

As with any paint job on a car you should ask to see samples and get testimonials of previous work.

MX5 flip paint

Can you buy special flip paint? Is this a DIY Job.

Well as this is a fully patented process there are only certain outlets authorised to use this method.

Join us in our forum to get recommendations on flip paint suppliers in your area and chat about all the latest styling trends and developments.

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Guide to induction kitsWhat is your car thinkingImprove your MPGCleaning alloy wheels

Feedback

Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

You must be logged in to post a comment.