BEST Epoxy Resin COLORANTS for 2024!
Here is an idea list of the best colorants you can use with epoxy resin to add to your resin supplies.
Today we're going to chat about the quality colorants for resin and what you can add into epoxy resin to get different color effects.
You can alter how your finished, colored epoxy resin will look depending on the colorant base you use. For example, your resin finish can look:
- Transparent with glitter
- Opaque with glitter
- and there are more finishes to explore
Whether you're a resin artist who makes epoxy tumblers, creates geode resin art, epoxy tables, resin rings and making resin jewelry or epoxy coasters, you may discover some excellent mediums to color epoxy resin with in this guide.
You may also be looking for a good colorant to help prevent your resin from turning yellow over the years if it is exposed to UV light.
There are many reasons to add color to resin, and here are the best coloring mediums to achieve beautiful results in your epoxy projects.
What Can You Use To Add Color To Epoxy Resin?
You can use a number of mediums color transparent epoxy resin with. Epoxy will pretty much color with any powder form or liquid colorant like a resin dye, an acrylic paint or mica resin tints that are specifically made for resin.
Stay to the 10% rule when coloring epoxy resin. No more than 10% color to your resin.
This 10% rule is extremely important to follow for any clear epoxy resin, and it doesn't matter if you are coloring a casting resin, uv resin, epoxy resin or polyester resin. Epoxy resin color pigments, no matter which you use, can dramatically alter the chemical composition in resin which could result in sticky or soft cures or cures spots.
Continue reading below to understand the pros and cons of every epoxy resin colorant and what will achieve your best resin colors.
BEST COLORANTS FOR RESIN
1. Liquid Resin Tints
Tints or res dye that is made specifically for epoxy resin are highly pigmented so a little goes a long way.
Resin tints usually come in sets so there is a good variety to work with. You can also mix and match to make your own custom colors.
If you are using ArtResin for your work (which is an excellent, high quality resin we use often for anything that is not a deep pour) we love to color it with the epoxy resin coloring dyes that have been formulated for this specific brand of resin.
(Just be sure to get the proper ResinTints and not the knockoff that are floating around out there).
ResinTints were made for ArtResin and come in a variety of colors and color packs. You can get the originals, metallics or neons.
And purchasing ArtResin is great as it comes in so many different sizes.
2. Acrylic Paints
Acrylic paints work beautifully in resin as long as you don't add too much. Start with just a few drops and then work it in. Mixing in too much acrylic paint can cause your epoxy resin to seize up so do be careful when adding it to the resin.
If you want to try out acrylic paints in resin then do purchase a high grade acrylic paint that is properly formulated with enough pigment to show up without adding too much liquid into the epoxy resin.
Golden fluid acrylic paints are best to use for resin. They are highly saturated and a little goes a long way.
3. Alcohol Inks
Alcohol inks are extremely popular to color resin with because they are extremely saturated with color. The best alcohol inks will blend in with the resin easily with just a couple of drops.
The most trusted brand of alcohol inks for epoxy resin is Tim Holtz Ranger brand of alcohol inks, which you can get some of the most beautiful colors we have seen.
We have worked with these alcohol inks and can vouch for their beautiful colors and how they work in epoxy resin. You can get different shades of a color with these inks and they can create beautiful depth and dimension.
We have also tried the T-Rex alcohol inks in resin and they have colored beautifully if you are just looking for those basic colors.
There has been talk in the epoxy community over certain exciter packs that don't blend very well in resin, but we haven't tried any other brands and can't confirm if that is rumor or truth.
4. Powdered Pigments & Mica Powder Colorants For Resin
Powdered pigments work really well in resin, especially mica powder colors. You can mix and match colors and even play with different patterns by not completely mixing the powders into the resin completely.
What Is Mica Powder?
Mica's are powdered colorants that are actually derived from rock. According to Wikipedia, mica powders are " group of silicate minerals whose outstanding physical characteristic is that individual mica crystals can easily be split into extremely thin elastic plates.
This characteristic is described as perfect basal cleavage. Mica is common in igneous and metamorphic rock and is occasionally found as small flakes in sedimentary rock".
you can get a variety of colors from powdered pigments and micas such as color shifting hues.
You can also find glow in the dark pigment powder
Color shifting pigments are extraordinarily cool due to the fact they essentially alternate color depending on the light. When those colorants are mixed with resin and hardener, the resin color will shift.
5. Watercolor Paints To Color Resin
Watercolor paints can be used for epoxy resin but the liquid colors work best. Just like the acrylic paints, If you want to try out watercolors in resin then do purchase a high grade watercolor paint that is properly formulated with enough pigment to show up without adding too much liquid into the resin.
This colorant be a bit more difficult to gauge just how much colorant you are adding to the resin and hardener, so this will take a bit of patience.
6. Glitter For Resin
Of course glitter is one of the staples when it comes to epoxy resin coloring. You can use all kinds of glitter too. Glitter is a must-tryin resin due to the lovely effect and depth that it gives resin pieces. Of course, you may blend your glitter and use chunky glitter and fine glitter too.
Be sure to use a bit of glitter at a time to achieve that glitter effect in your epoxy resin, and do not use more than 10% glitter to resin ratio, otherwise (and this is the rule for most colorants in resin) it could alter the consistency of your resin. A bit goes a long way you will find.
In our experience using holographic glitter to color resin with always adds a unique depth in a piece as you often can't see the edges of the glitter flakes, but it catches the light in a really beautiful way. Coloring resin is a form of art itself!
There is also glitter powder you can use, and you can even try dry, pressed makeup such as blush or eyeshadow. These glitter powders tend to have a very fine sparkle in them that you can crush and add in to your clear resin for a subtle look and are made with mica powders.
7. Gold Powder For Epoxy Resin
Adding metallics in epoxy resin is fun to do and adds a really beautiful touch. Especially if those metallics have a reflective quality in the powder to make them a true metallic so they appear gold in the resin, as opposed to a yellow.
This gold is specifically made to be a colorant for resin:
Here it is used in a colorful resin cutting board. Beautiful isn't it? This company also has a black, a rose gold and a sparkly silver for resin which you can see here.
We hope you found this epoxy resin color list helpful and that you find a perfect medium for your colored epoxy resins.
It is a lot of fun to play with your transparent resin and watch as you add liquid resin dye, alcohol ink, metallic pigments or other epoxy dye and watch your piece transform into your creative vision.
Just remember to stay to your mixing ratio of no more than 10% colorant to resin (whether you are using resin alcohol ink, epoxy dye, mica powder pigments, liquid epoxy paint, glitter powders or any other colorant).
It is always best to add a bit at a time before adding more to achieve the look you are going for.
What Is Not Recommended As A Resin Colorant?
When it comes to coloring your resin, there are some colorants that we would recommend not using due to their chemical composition and the reaction you may get in your epoxy.
Here are the colorant mediums we do not recommend:
- nail polish (although you can brush nail polished on cured epoxy resin)
- oil paint
- car paint
- food coloring (debatable, but we are not a huge fan of the results)
- latex paint
- printer ink
- food paint
- color pastes
- any color additives or weakly pigmented colorants
There are so many amazing choices out there for high quality pigments that have a rich saturation and transparent colors.
So take what you can from our list and go ahead and experiment. As long as you are using the correct ratio of colorant to resin as well as wearing a protective layer of clothing, the proper nitrile gloves and breathing mask, you can find the best colors for your resin project.
Frequently Asked Questions about colorants for resin
1. What types of colorants are suitable for tinting epoxy resin?
Try to go for epoxy-specific pigments or liquid dyes, as they are formulated to work seamlessly with resin without affecting its curing properties. Powdered pigments and alcohol inks are also popular choices for achieving vibrant tints (and these are some of our own personal favorites!)
2. How much colorant should be added to achieve the desired tint in epoxy resin?
Start with a small amount of colorant and gradually increase until you achieve the desired tint. It's easier to add more than to correct an overly pigmented mixture.
Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the specific colorant you're using.
3. Can different colorants be mixed to create custom shades in epoxy resin?
Yes, experimenting with mixing colors is encouraged. However, be mindful of the colorant's compatibility and the resin's working time. Test small batches first to ensure the desired outcome and prevent unexpected reactions.
4. How does one avoid uneven color distribution in resin projects?
To ensure even color distribution, mix the colorant thoroughly and slowly into the resin. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing container to incorporate all the pigment.
5. Are there techniques to create gradients or special effects with tinted epoxy resin?
Absolutely! To create gradients, pour different tinted layers, allowing each to partially cure before adding the next.
For special effects, experiment with techniques like swirls, marbling, or layering to achieve unique and visually appealing results.
Practice on a small scale before applying these techniques to larger projects.
Here are some more resin resources you may be interested in:
Resin How To's
Resin Supplies & Purchasing Advice
Best Resin For Your Project
USE RESIN SAFELY
No matter what type of resin you decide to use, always use personal protective equipment (PPE). Take time to carefully go over safety data sheets before making anything with resin, and make sure you have the proper gloves on (not latex) and the right respirator for resin protection.
And please remember, even if your epoxy resin of choice is "VOC-free, odor free" and/or "non toxic", please always wear the proper respirator for epoxy resin.
Here is the BEST respirator mask for epoxy resin: this Full Face Organic Vapor Respirator checks off all of the boxes for resin safety, and comes with
- free 30 day returns
- a 1 year factory warranty
- free US shipping and free shipping on international orders
Here it is:
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