Adding color to your epoxy resin is a splendid way to imbue your work with personality. Though there are a number of ways to do this, some tend to be more reliable than others, especially when creating art using resin molds. Becauase resin art is most commonly made using resin molds, it helps to understand the best ways to use colorants with that in mind.
Resin molds are nearly always made from silicone, an ultra-smooth polymer that doesn't permit most other materials to bond to it. When you pour a mixed batch of epoxy into a silicone resin mold, it conforms to the shape of the mold, then cures (hardens) into a hardened substance which can be easily released from the mold thanks to smooth silicone properties.
In some cases, a user may choose to also apply a release agent to the mold to separate their cured resin piece even more easily.
For the focus of this article, we'll explain several options for adding color to your resin molds, so that you can express your creativity in different ways.
How Do You Add Color to Resin Molds?
Adding color to your resin molds or epoxy resin is fairly simple. You have several common options to choose from, each with distinct features, as well as their own pros and cons.
Here's a list of which ones' we'll be highlighting:
- Mica Powder Pigments - A dry powder pigment.
- Liquid Resin Dyes - A concentrated liquid colorant.
- Alcohol Inks - Another liquid colorant.
- Glitters - Batches of tiny, colorful particles.
Let's take a look at each of these, one by one.
#1: Mica Powder Pigments
The first colorant we'll consider is mica powder. This is a mineral-based pigment made from mica, which is a group of 37 silicate minerals.
Mica is best known for its reflective sheen and perfect mineral cleavage, allowing it to be cut consistently and easily cleaned during mining and production. It also exhibits a variety of different colors and is considered a natural (non-synthetic) material.
You can see our premium collection of Mica Powders by Pigmently in our store.
Mica powder is arguably the most common choice of colorant for epoxy resin. Most mica powders are vivid and exhibit a mild shimmering effect, making them sparkle elegantly in the light when used in epoxy resin. Some mica powders are intentionally a little more dull to provide a softer tone similar to pastels.
The typical method for applying mica powder is to add it into your resin batch during mixing. However, with resin molds, mica powder can also be applied in advance to the mold itself, a technique called "dusting". This allows you to ensure that the surface of your resin piece showcases the mica powder, giving it a lighter, more exposed sparkle.
Does Mica Powder Dissolve in Resin?
No. Mica is insoluble, and so are powders made from it. This allows it to retain its form and reflective surface.
Mica is also colorfast, meaning it won't lose its color or fade over time like many other types of colorants. These 2 reason are why mica powder pigments are so stunning in person, even years later.
#2: Liquid Resin Dyes
Our second colorant option is liquid resin dye. This type of colorant comes in liquid form, a potent watery blend of various substances—generally synthetic. These are great for providing your resin work with a translucent color that spreads uniformly throughout the epoxy batch you've mixed it in.
You can find a beautiful selection of liquid resin dyes in our Pigmently store.
Compared to mica powder, a liquid resin dye will lack the sparkle and opacity, and be more consistent in tone. They're also easier to work with, so they can be a great starting option if you're new to this and not sure what you want to try first.
#3: Alcohol Inks
Alcohol inks are another liquid option for coloring resin, but they're different in that they don't tint the epoxy the way a more suitable liquid resin dye will. Instead, alcohol ink is typically added after pouring the resin into the mold, either all of it or only part of it.
Once most or all of the resin is in the mold, many users will add drops of alcohol ink to the resin piece. They can be spread out or concentrated. The alcohol inks, after being added, can be manipulated with a small stir stick or something similar to create delicate patterns. These patterns will expand as the epoxy cures, gradually transitioning to a sort of "3D" effect inside your art.
We don't offer alcohol inks in our Pigmently store, but we do carry a high-quality art and craft epoxy, and there are many general hobby stores you can acquire alcohol inks from.
The most basic option available might be just plain glitter application.
Glitter is made from polymer sheeting, typically overlaid with a metallic film, though there are many other varieties as well. Glitter sheeting is manufactured, then cut up into numerous tiny particles and packaged based on color or specific visual elements.
Unlike mica powder, glitter is always synthetic, and the particles tend to be significantly larger by comparison. It can also be used in combination with other mediums, such as liquid resin dye.
In our Pigmently store, we don't offer traditional glitter. Instead, we have our Glitter Series of mica powder pigments, which feature larger particle sizes and have a greater sparkle.
If you do decide to use glitter, you can easily find this type of product in most supermarkets, hobby stores, as well as arts-and-crafts stores.
Pigmently: Your Trusted Source for Premium Mica Powder for Epoxy
At Pigmently, we're committed to providing premium colorants for DIY creators of any skill level. All of our mica powder pigments are produced to a carefully refined formula.
By using only high-grade ingredients to ensure clean and potent results, we're able to maintain our high standards for quality assurance. This allows us to offer our users a selection of exceptional pigments that blend incredibly well with epoxy resin.
In our store, you'll find a wide array of premium mica powders to use in your creations. You can also view our premium liquid dyes collection, which are also suited for epoxy resin projects. Finally, we also carry the excellent Primaloc Art and Craft Epoxy.
If you find yourself interested in multiple shades, consider our curated Colorant Value Bundles, which are cost-effective ways to obtain a variety of colorful mica powder pigments.Bring your creations to life with premium Mica Powder Pigments by Pigmently!