There’s a good chance that when you first got interested in resin pouring and casting, you were drawn in by some of the beautiful colors of some of the projects you saw. Have you tried coloring resin yet? Do you have a favorite way to dye resin?
I’m Stephanie from Crafting in the Rain, and I tried six different ways to color resin and I’m excited to show you my results! I’m hoping that you’ll learn something new, and be inspired by one of these ways of how to color resin.
Using resin in its clear and colorless form has some fabulous uses. You can use it to embed shells, flowers, beads, gems, candy and more in things like pendants and coasters. But a lot of times you’ll want to add color to your resin. Colored resin works great for jewelry, game pieces, charms, and drawer knobs, to name a few.
You Might Also Like
What Can You Use for Coloring Epoxy Resin?
As we mentioned previously, epoxy resin typically cures completely clear which means you have to add a colorant yourself, preferably when you are mixing the epoxy and hardener together, but what substances can be used to color to resin? Well, you could use alcohol ink, mic powder, food coloring, acrylic paint, resin dye, and even eyeshadow to add some color to your epoxy resin. Below is a more in-depth look at each of these coloring agents and how they work to bring some color to your epoxy resin.
If you would like to start with resin art, we recommend the eBook “Epoxy Resin Arts and Crafts for Beginners” from the resin artists at acrylgiessen.com.
Epoxy Resin Arts and Crafts for Beginners
Your Go-To Guide for start working with Epoxy Resin. Learn creating fascinating Resin Arts and Crafts within minutes. All the tips and tricks that nobody tells you when you start. Including several detailed tutorials for your first projects.
Resin dye or epoxy dye as it is commonly known is technically the correct way of adding some color to your resin castings. It can be found in most craft stores or online if your local store doesn’t stock it, and although they can be a bit pricey it is a quick and effective way to add some color to your resin crafting without much effort at all.
The overall color effect of resin dye is an opaque color aesthetic that still very much allows some light to pass through liquid resin and cured castings. The epoxy dye makes resin castings look like stained glass, without the drawbacks of things like glare or magnification. This being said, if you’re looking for a not-quite-solid color, resin dye might be right up your alley.
Another dying agent which is believed by beginner and professional resin artists to be the right way of adding color to resin is mica powder. Mica powder is made of stone flakes that have been ground down into fine powder. The stones these powders are made from are often pigmented and shiny, which means the powder itself takes on these characteristics. You can think of mica powder as a type of glitter without the reflective properties, and like glitter, it spreads its color well when it comes into contact with epoxy resin.
The finish provided by mica powder is pretty solid and will not allow light to pass through it at all. This is great if you’re looking to create solid resin shapes or letters with a high-quality color finish. The best thing about Mica powder is the sheer variety of colors you get if you choose to use it, and the best part is Mica powder tends to be really cheap too, this means that can stock up on a wide range of colors in case you find yourself needing to dye some epoxy resin the wide range of other substances and surfaces mica powder is capable of dying.
Resin is a relatively easy substance to dye especially when compared to other plastic composite materials. It’s so easy in fact that you could use some left-over eye shadow to add a bit of color to your resin. Surprised? We don’t blame you, it’s actually a trick that experienced resin artists know quite well because of how close the color tone resembles adding mica powder to resin.
This is a useful workaround to know in a pinch, plus it’s a good excuse to buy some really good eyeshadow colors and keep them around. Although the effect won’t be as potent as it would if you used some mica powder, they definitely get the job done and can even be used in combination with other dye agents should the need arise.
Although alcohol-based ink is very effective in adding some color to resin, it’s not always suitable for beginners due to the potency of these inks. Alcohol-based inks are highly pigmented and really do provide a lot of “bang for your buck” compared to other dye agents. They can be tricky to work with if it’s your first time though, as they cannot simply be added to the resin and hardener while they’re being mixed.
Preferably, alcohol ink should be added to the resin while it is curing so it does not affect the initial chemical reaction between the resin and hardener. The ideal time to add your alcohol ink is once your resin has been added to your mold or tabletop, this will allow it to dye your resin without affecting the curing time and/or bonding process. There are other dyes that can be used to color resin, but alcohol-based ink is by far one of the most effective means of doing so, providing quite an intense color pallet with very little being needed to achieve this.
Loads of artists are trying out resin for the first time, and if you’re one of them, you might have some acrylic paint laying around. This is good news; acrylic paint is one of the few paint types that is graded for use with resin because the base substances are compatible. We should mention that if you are looking to make your resin “pop” with color, you might be disappointed with the intensity of the color that acrylic paint provides.
Although this does depend on the quality of acrylic paint you find yourself working with, high-quality paints tend to provide a more vibrant color compared to those you might pay less for. The cool part about using acrylic paint to color your resin castings is that there is a wide range of colors and brands to choose from, ensuring that you have a color and finish to suit every occasion.
Glitter can be used for much more than the odd birthday card or party decoration, in fact, you could use it to dye your resin castings if the mood took you. Although glitter doesn’t add color in the conventional sense, using enough of it can add some color to your resin workpieces, and for half the price of most of the coloring methods, we have mentioned so far. The kind of glitter you choose to use is extremely important, as heavier flakes will sink to the bottom of your container. Finer glitter dust will stay suspended within the resin, which means you can mix it into the resin for equal distribution for your color.
The advantage you have with using glitter is being able to squeeze more than one color out of one workpiece, simply mix different colors of glitter dust together and add it to your resin before or during the casting process to achieve what will undoubtedly be an incredible aesthetic. Adding color to epoxy this way can create less of a mess while letting you use some glitter that might otherwise spend the rest of its years stuck in your supply drawer.
|Substance||Can It Be Used to Color Resin?|
|Oil Paint||✘ (must be mixed extremely thoroughly)|
What Is the Difference Between Pigment Powder and Liquid Resin Dye?
Liquid resin dye and pigment powder (similar to mica powder) are two of the easiest ways to go about adding color to epoxy. They are pretty distinct in the ways that they add color to resin though, pigment powder is a combination of hundreds of thousands of fine particles that color resin by simply being present in the casting.
They are suspended evenly across the interior volume of the casting, which makes the resin appear to be the color of the powder. Liquid resin dye and alcohol-based inks work differently, they are liquid dye agents and function by diluting themselves into the resin to create a solution, which then takes on the color of the dye.
Dyes are great, but unlike pigment powder that tends to lose their color when exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time, which is a real shame considering how pretty castings treated with liquid resin dye look in the sunlight.
Pigment powders experience significantly less decomposition in comparison to resin dyes, this is due to them being less vulnerable to UV degradation, which is what you want if you’re going to be making things like baby mobiles or windchimes from epoxy resin. This being said, the question you might find yourself asking the most is not how to color resin, but what to color resin with.
How do you add color to resin with acrylic paint?