Adding White Colorant to Clear Base

It's hard to get good hiding and coverage with white coatings that you mix yourself from colorants and clear bases. September 10, 2007

I have a brand new can of white Charisma colorant. I would like to use it in my Target USL. Does anyone know for sure if it is compatible? I tried some test pieces, and it seems to be okay. My only problem is even at 10% volume, it still has very little coverage.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor G:
Is Charisma colorant an additive used in candle making? Is it opalescent? Can you light it with a match?

From the original questioner:
No, it is pigment from Miller paint.

From contributor J:
I don't know if it is compatible, although it sounds like you've discovered that it is in fact. The problem with poor hiding is also a fact of life. You cannot make a white pigmented coating in a clear base with aftermarket colorant that is equal in hiding to a factory-made white coating. Black can be made to work like that, but not white. If you exceed the 10% or so, you may add some opacity, but then you have changed the chemistry of the coating into something unpredictable. Why not just buy the factory-made white coating?

From the original questioner:
I bought clear in a 5 gallon so I could have more options, like clear or other colors. What would anyone suggest as primer or other coat before clear that could give me the coverage I am looking for in white or other colors? For instance, let's say someone wants a color from Lowe's or Home Depot, but wants to spray lacquer, not latex.

From contributor G:
Unless you have a tinter carousel or a very accurate scale, making your own colors can be a hit 'n miss affair. As pointed out, adding white tinter to clear will not give you the same hide as white tint base where the white has been ground into the carrier. I'd be very surprised to find your Target distributor can't mix up matches to most Lowe's or HD color fans from their files.