This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.
From: Orville ????
The Krylon silver paint looks very much like real silver, that's
because it's made of a clear coat plus real metal flakes.
The only problem is when you touch it the finish becomes dull.
The solution to this problem is:
Finish your surface as usually.
Spray a final coat of Krylon on and let dry 2 days, but don't
even think about touching it. After 2 days spray Krylon clear coat
over the silver with very light coats ,letting each coat dry 5 minutes
between sprayings. This will give you a very nice finish.
From: Peter "wondered if they had silver spray paint for the Tin Woodman's
axe in the Wizard of Oz" Alway (email@example.com)
I'm starting to get serious about silver paints, now that I am working
on 1930's rockets. I think it's worth getting a sense of several
metallic colors, all for different purposes. As near as I can tell,
most are either simply glossy (Testors Chrome, Dutch Boy silver) or
matte (Testors silver, and apparently Krylon.
As an experiment, I tried buffing some Testors siver on a nose cone
(it was still chucked up on the drill press where I turned it) last
weekend. I found I needed to use some #600 sandpaper to get a truly
smooth surface, then I just buffed it with ordinary paper. The result
was pretty convincing, but a darker shade than the original
paint. (unfortunately, on Goddard's rockets, the nose was usually
a lighter shade of Aluminum) I was impressed that the result looked
like real metal to me.
Testors has some buffable paints in their Metalizer line. I tried their
"Titanium" on a Glencoe 3-stage rocket ship (a von Braun design), but
when polished, I thought it looked more like hematite than actual
metal. I'm starting to believe that with silver paint, it's more
important that you represent the differences between silver shades
than get the siver just right. So for instance, on a Goddard
rocket, I would use the glossy Dutch Boy silver for the nose cone,
buffed silver paint for the nickel-steel propellant tanks, and
Testors silver for the duralumin body. This should at least
suggest the differences between the materials that you can see
in the photos.
From: Bob Craddock (firstname.lastname@example.org)
After building and re-building about a half-dozen Saturn V's, I have a
couple of recommendations to make:
For the Service Module color, I suggest getting a bottle of Micro Metal
Foil Adhesive and some Reynold's Wrap. Spread the adhesive on the
**shiny** side of the foil. The silver on the SM was somewhat dull, and
just about ANY silver paint sucks badly! The foil will give you the look
you need, and the adhesive is extremely easy to work with. The white
raditor details can be added by using shroud line or Evergreen styrene
strips. White glue works well with the shroud line, but I would recommend
fast epoxy for the strips. Mask off the radiator areas so you can paint
them white when you paint the entire rocket.