Metamerism: Challenges & Solutions for a Coatings Formulator

Metamerism is often called a paint formulator’s nightmare. However with the help of spectrophotometric measurements of the standard & the match, and knowledge of limitations of pigments and resin system, it can be understood and resolved to arrive at a suitable formulation. Otherwise, many trials and money is wasted without a successful conclusion.

Color standard, resin system, optimum pigments and application procedure are key to a viable color match. Each component in this puzzle must be defined and understood to arrive at a non-metameric match. Even then, there are instances that metamerism cannot be avoided. An understanding of the limitations of overall system, and proper communication between supplier and user are the main parameters to resolve this problem.

In this presentation, establishing the proper standard and selection of optimum pigments to match it will be discussed. Use of spectrophotometric data to detect metamerism between standard and match will also be elaborated.


Romesh Kumar is Sr. Tehcnical Sales Manager for North America, with Clariant Plastics & Coatings USA, Inc. His expertise include colorants for coatings, color measurement and other related applications.

Schooled at Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario), and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), he has made several presentations about pigment applications, and color measurement at both national and international events during his more than 36 years in the industry.

He teaches “Pigments for Coatings” to business professionals in educational programs at University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg), North Dakota State University (Fargo), and Southern Society of Coatings Technology.

He is a member of the Inter Society Color Council, and the American Coatings Association. His hobbies include biking and hiking with his young grandsons in Massachusetts.