Epoxy resin on its own tends to end up with a slightly yellow colour that leaves much to be desired. Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve the colour of your choice when creating your own epoxy projects, from professional dyes and pigments to homemade colourants there’s a colour out there to suit your project needs.
DIY’ers and home crafters have used colour sources found around the home to tint epoxy for a variety of uses over the years. Common items such as acrylic paint, eye shadow power, coloured chalk, printer toner and even herbs and spices have been integrated into uncured resin to create the desired colour. Keep in mind, however, that the two-part epoxy resin curing process relies upon strict mixture ratios; mixing another element into the resin may cause unwanted or dire results – so test your mixture on a small scale before actual application if you are choosing the homemade route.
Personally, I usually go to a trusted epoxy dye when pouring just one uniform colour, because they are designed specifically to colour epoxy resin. Below I have listed some general do’s and dont’s when starting out.
What does and doesn’t work to colour resin?
❌ Water and oil-based paints: Epoxy and Water/Oil Do NOT Mix! Using water-based or oil-based paints can cause a reaction with the epoxy which could ruin your project
❌ Nail polish: It can turn your resin a completely different colour to what you mix in.
❌ Too much colour added: Be careful not to add too much colour. This rule applies no matter which type of colouring you use, as adding too much, will change the mixing ratio. The general rule is a maximum of 6%
✅ Liquid epoxy Dyes: These are my first choice when doing a river table because it’s easy to mix them in evenly. You can get great results from these and you’ll get nice, even colouring.
✅ Pigment powders: pigments are a great and safe way to colour your epoxy. If you use good quality pigments, you only need a very small amount. Because it is a powder it does not dissolve completely, resulting in exciting, deep colours with slightly granular effects.
✅ Mica Pigment Powders: With these, you get all the advantages of a pigment powder- deep colours and nice variations- along with a great metallic finish that really makes the epoxy shine and stand out.
✅ Glow in the dark pigments: These are mixed into your epoxy in much the same way as normal colour pigments are, however, when it gets dark they glow. This can create a unique look and really make your piece stand out.
✅ There are countless other household items that you may wish to experiment with, but remember, If in doubt, test with a small amount of resin to see if both the colour and the reaction of the Epoxy work together. This way you aren’t throwing away large amounts of money on a ruined project. It is best to start with a very small amount of colouring, mix well, and then add more colour until you reach the right intensity.