Colored Epoxy Resin Pigment
Epoxy resin can be colored with a variety of materials and virtually any color scheme. However, anything water based cannot be used as epoxy and water do not mix. Most common color pigments are alcohol dyes and mica pigment powder. Mica pigment powder tends to come in a larger variety of colors when compared to alcohol dyes.
Mica Pigment Powders Vs Liquid Tint
Mica pigment powders, as the name implies, is a powder substance which can be mixed into epoxy resin. Mica powder comes in a huge variety of colors, glitters and even metallics. The advantage of mica pigment powder is that it works with most epoxy brands. However, some epoxies require alcohol or other liquid dyes. Many resin artist will utilize liquid dyes whereas river table and countertop crafters often use mica powder.
Mica powders give a more three dimensional look to epoxy finishes, especially those poured thicker. Additionally, mica powder is available in glitter, glow in the dark, and most popular, metallic choices.
How Much Color Do I Need For My Epoxy?
There is no magic formula for calculating the amount of mica powder or liquid dye to use. This is a case where the answer lies in the hand of the artist. It's best to start with a small amount of pigment and gradually increase until the desired color is achieved. Be sure to consider not only the color, but also the opacity of the finished project. If the epoxy is flowing over the sides/edges of a project, the color tends to become less intense as pigment flows over the sides as well.
Amount of colored epoxy pigment needed also depends on the color of the substrate which the epoxy will be poured over. For example, more white pigment would be needed in order to adequately cover a darker colored surface. Conversely, when pouring a darker color over a lightly colored surface, more pigment/dye would be needed. To be safe, it is always a good idea to test on a scrap piece of material prior to pouring a large project.
The uses and projects utilizing colored epoxy are endless. Artist and wood workers continue to discover new ways to incorporate colored resin into their projects. However, some projects are more common than others. River tables, art resin/canvas and tumblers are among the more popular uses.
Blue River Table Epoxy
One of the most popular uses for epoxy is building a river table. For those that haven't already seen these flooded across social media, a river table is a table with a colored "river" flowing through it. Often a river table is constructed with two live edge slabs which are then fused together using epoxy. It just so happens that blue is one of the most common color choices for a river table, but they can be built using any color.
Resin art takes on many shapes and forms, literally. Artist will commonly use a variety of materials to pour their art onto or into. Resin can be applied to flat horizontal surfaces. Commonly, these include a myriad of colors mixed together creating a one of a kind art piece. These are then used to hang on the wall as would any other type of painting or drawing. Alternatively, resin can be poured into molds to make figurines, castings or jewelry.
Glitter Tumbler Art
Tumbler customization is becoming extremely popular. Epoxy tumblers can be customized to any color, glitter level, or merely a clear coat over an existing base. The advantage to using resin to customize tumblers is the smooth, high gloss finish that epoxy leaves once cured. However, food safe epoxy must be used as tumblers are meant to come in contact with humans/food.
Another challenge when working with epoxied tumblers is the fact that epoxy self levels. Self leveling epoxy flows into crevasses, dips and voids leaving a smooth surface. However, it is also susceptible to the properties of gravity... the epoxy will want to flow down vertical surfaces. Tumbler artist will use cuptisseries to continually rotate the cup while the epoxy cures. This will leave an even coverage across the entire tumbler.
Where To Buy Colored Epoxy Pigment
Dyes are commonly sold in arts and crafts stores, but these will need to be individually assessed as to the compatibility with epoxy. Mica pigment powder and epoxy specific dyes are readily available online. One of the most popular pigment powder brands is by Black Diamond Pigments. See a variety of their color choices here: