“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” – Claude Monet
There are a myriad of uses for epoxy resin, but for some, its natural color leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve the desired color(s) for projects with epoxy – from homemade colorants – to professional dyes and tints – there’s a color out there to suit your needs.
Do-it-yourselfers and home crafters have successfully used color sources found around the home to tint epoxy for a variety of uses including home repair and art projects. Common items such as eye shadow power, ground colored chalk, kids watercolor paint, printer toner powder and even herbs and spices have been integrated into uncured resin to create desired pigment. Keep in mind however, that the two-part epoxy resin curing process relies upon strict mixture ratios; integrating another element into the mix may cause unwanted results – so test your mixture before actual application.
Tim Inman of The Woodworker’s Journal, a site dedicated to helping home carpenters with their DIY projects has this to say about tinting epoxy, “You can tint epoxy with dry rare-earth powdered colors. Do NOT tint with anything like oil paint pigments or acrylics. Do NOT use stains or solvents either. Do NOT add aniline dyes! They will turn the epoxy into rubber sometimes. Epoxy mixtures are critical. Do it right and you get what you want: a strong bond and an excellent hardness. If you mix solvents or other oily, gooey things into the epoxy, you might very well get something you do not want.
Personally, I usually default to a little very fine sanding dust from the wood I’m using as my source of color. It doesn’t take much to do the trick.”
For those seeking professional products, there are a number of epoxy colorants available on the market today. From epoxy pigment paste for industrial uses like boatbuilding and construction, to liquid tints and dyes for commercial and residential; these colorants may be added to epoxy castings prior to the setting process to add desired pigment. A small amount goes a long way, and will integrate color through the epoxy resin. And when used in woodworking for instance, the epoxy & wood may be sanded or cut – without affecting the epoxy tinting.
ProMarine Supplies recommends epoxy tint, or possibly trying powders or water-based paints to color epoxy resin. But notes, “Always be sure that anything you use does not have an oil base as that can negatively affect the curing of the epoxy. You can find many reasonably priced epoxy tints on Amazon or eBay.”