How to Color Epoxy Resin
Chances are, while scrolling through the internet in search of a new project, you’ve come across stunning waterfall tables, glow-in-the-dark bar tops, and table tops that look identical to galaxies. Many of these products can be sold for upwards of $12,000 yet what looks like a complex process is actually a common DIY method using colored epoxy resin.
WATCH: Our Epoxy Coloring Tutorial
Epoxy Used In The Video Above
Things to Consider
Any brand of epoxy will do when considering using colors. The brands that advertise their epoxy as drying clear are the best candidates for the job, as the resin tint will be more true to color.
Epoxy tends to leave a yellowish tint when set, so it is important to note that the colors may shift in shade after being mixed in. It would be wise to first start adding color to epoxy in a small container (e.g. a one ounce mixing container, a small disposable travel container, etc.). This is to ensure that you’re happy with the color produced and that there are no surprises when mixing in a larger scale batch. In these small containers, a small amount of your color should suffice for most pigments.
Applying Colored Epoxy
As with the process of curing regular epoxy, the process of coloring two-part epoxy is virtually the same. The epoxy and the hardener should still be mixed with a 1:1 by volume ratio, or as the directions instruct on the package. Be sure you have enough epoxy on hand prior to starting your project. You can use our calculator to estimate how much epoxy will be necessary. Once the two main ingredients are mixed, it is time to add the pigment. When adding the pigment to the mixture, it should comprise about 2-6% of the mixture by weight (generally speaking--there are always some exceptions). Depending on how translucent or opaque you want it, keep adjusting the amount of color added into the mixture until you achieve your desired result.
Top Rated Pigment Powder
Powdered pigments tend to leave little specks in the finished resin. If you’re going for that look then chalk, watercolor paint, eyeshadow, or any other loose, powdered pigment should be the go-to choice. However, if you want more of a consistent finish (sans particles), then liquid pigments are your best bet. Alcohol ink is an inexpensive liquid pigment that is a popular choice among epoxy resin dyes due to its opacity while still retaining the ability to be transparent when placed in front of light. Many creators use this as the pigment of choice when creating table top masterpieces, and for good reason. Transparent dye yields similar results to alcohol ink, but it is a tad more on the pricier side.
However, if you’re still stuck on which pigment to use, stores often sell resin pigment colors. These are created to be mixed specifically with epoxy, thus making them ideal candidates for your next project. Some even go as far as to sell phosphorescent pigment that glows in the dark. Glow-in-the-dark pigments are pricier than regular pigments, but they truly bring your project to the next level.
Many individuals associate waterfall tables with a new type of project but the reality is, using pigmented epoxy to fill in cracks and dents in a table yields an equally stunning result. Epoxy resin is a widely used substance that serves as an inlay for woodworks of all kinds. It’s truly as simple as mixing the pigment with epoxy resin and pouring it into the dents or the mold you desire.
Even though there is moisture present in the wood, the epoxy resin does not have a negative reaction with it. It’s an ideal choice for a wood inlay due to its durability and high-gloss finish. For colored-epoxy woodworking, the best method is to overfill the grooves then (once dried), sand down the top of the wood until all the bubbles that rose to the surface are gone. Eighty grit sandpaper is recommended to start with, as epoxy is not that strong of a substance. Finishing a wood project with some sort of wax or topcoat, seals in the epoxy and gives a glossy finish to the work.
Overall, adding pigment to epoxy resin is as fitting for master woodcrafters as it is for avid-art-makers at home. While many of these projects look intricate, the actual process of coloring epoxy is quite simple.