Mediums That Mix Well with Resin
One of the things I love best about painting with resin is being able to incorporate a wide range of mediums into my resin paintings in addition to some of the traditional resin colorants. I am going to share some of my favorite resin painting additives that I mix into resin when I paint.
Acrylic paints are a great way to achieve awesome colors when painting with resin. I use small bottles of liquid acrylics. They come in a huge array of colors including metallic, neon, glow in the dark and glitter.
Liquid acrylic paints are usually inexpensive. When you use liquid acrylics, be sure to follow the 1 to 10 ratio rule; mix 1 part acrylic paint to 10 parts resin. If you use too much paint, your resin could become clumpy and it won’t pour well. Be sure to stir the resin and paint together well with a plastic spoon or popsicle stick for consistent color.
A bit more pricey than liquid acrylics, fluid acrylics are one of my favorite mediums to use. Fluid acrylics have a much thinner viscosity than regular liquid acrylics. Thinner viscosity isn’t super important, but it does make it easier to mix with resin. I like it for that reason and I use it in my non-resin art a lot as well.
This type of medium is much more concentrated in color, so a little goes a long way when adding it into the resin. Fluid acrylics come in 1-ounce bottles that are more expensive than liquid acrylics, depending on the brand you purchase, but still affordable. Golden has a large number of color options available.
If you find that you really like using fluid acrylics, they are available in larger sizes. They can also be found at your local craft stores. As with liquid acrylics, you should follow the one to ten ratio rule. However, because the pigments in fluid acrylics are much more concentrated, you may be able to use less.
I like using airbrush paints because they come in a wide range of colors, including cool metallic color options beyond the standard gold, silver and copper. Like the fluid acrylics, airbrush paints have a very thin viscosity. Be sure to shake them well before using them. They offer a wonderfully vivid color when mixed with resin. Airbrush paints are relatively inexpensive. I also follow the 1 to 10 ratio rule when mixing with resin.
I love alcohol inks! There are two brands on the market that I like to use: Ranger Inks by Tim Holtz and Jacquard’s Piñata Inks. Let’s start with the Ranger brand first. Tim Holtz offers a huge line of colors ranging from pale yellow to black. If you purchase them at your local craft store, you can only buy them as a set. For the most part, they come in sets of three colors from the manufacturer. They call their metallic colors “Metallic Mixatives” and they come in two color sets. The Metallic Mixatives are available in Gold, Silver, Copper and Pearl. With the exception of the metallic colors, black and white inks tend to stay translucent for the most part when mixing with resin.
Jacquard’s Piñata Inks offer a smaller line of colors than Ranger Inks. Piñata Inks, however, have a different viscosity than the Ranger Inks. Where the Ranger Inks tend to be thinner, the Piñata Inks are a bit heavier and the colors bolder. Piñata Inks also offers just two metallic options, Rich Gold and Silver. These inks tend to be less translucent when mixed with resin. When using alcohol inks in resin painting, you will only need a few drops. A little goes a very long way!
The ICE resin tints are also alcohol-based and give great transparent color to resin. They come in ten different colors.
Pigments are a lot of fun to work with in resin painting. There are a ton of pigments available! I have used Jacquard’s Pearl EX Powder Pigments. Pearl Ex is a very fine pigment that creates a metallic look without actually being metal. They come in many colors and mix very easily into resin. The pigments are comprised of flat particles that are round and oblong in shape. The particles have two surfaces and lay down like a thin coating of metal. Since the particles are not uniform in size, they create a range of looks from a fine, smooth pearly luster to a highly metallic sheen.
There are a couple of ways that I incorporate powdered pigments into my resin paintings. Sometimes, I will mix the powdered pigment into a small cup of resin which I then pour over a layer of resin that has already cured to add a metallic finish to the painting. I also will mix the powdered pigments into resin that’s already been mixed with non-metallic ink, fluid acrylics or acrylic paint to achieve a metallic effect.
Pearl Ex powdered pigments are concentrated color, so a little will go a long way. I usually start with about 1/8 of a teaspoon of powder and depending upon what effect I want to achieve, will add more as I mix them together. Be sure to mix the pigment thoroughly with your resin to avoid clumps of pigment.
Jacquard’s Pearl EX Powder Pigments can be found on resinobsession. I am still working my way through the first pack I bought six months ago, so it should last you a long time.
I have experimented with adding oil paints to resin with good results. I have used the tubes of oil paint and found that you need to mix it more than the other options I mentioned earlier. Its thicker consistency makes it a little harder to mix. Once it’s thoroughly mixed though, the color is beautiful. Since it requires more mixing time, I recommend already having the oil paint in your mixing cup before you mix up your resin. It seems like a small step, but time can be critical when working with resin. The more preparation you do before your resin has been mixed, the more working time you will have when you are ready to paint. Like the other options I’ve mentioned, follow the 1 to 10 ratio rule.
This is another wonderful option for adding color to your resin. There are a multitude of colors available these days. Once you have mixed your resin and poured some into a small cup, you can add your spray paint. This requires a bit of planning since you need to go outside to add the spray paint. Take your cup of resin outside and depending on the amount of resin in the cup, spray 2-3 short blasts of spray paint directly into the cup. Make sure you have the nozzle pointing into the cup before you press down so that it all goes in the cup instead of on you or whatever is around you. Stir the paint into the resin immediately as spray paint tends to dry quickly.
Avoid High Water Content Products
Water and resin do NOT play well together at all. Avoid using any additives that have a high water ratio in the actual product. I once made the mistake of adding Pouring Medium, which is often used by artists who paint with acrylics to change the viscosity of their paint, to my resin and ended up with a stringy, almost silly putty consistency. The resin took triple the time to cure. Anything that has a high water content like additives made for acrylic paints or liquid water colors should be avoided when painting with resin.
Experimenting with inks, paints and pigments is a lot of fun and can get expensive if you aren’t careful. 🙂 I keep a journal documenting which product or medium I am using, the amount used, color combinations, etc. This is quite helpful when I want to recreate a certain color, effect or look. Plus, it helps reduce the waste of my art supplies. Journaling also helps me to see how far I have come as an artist.
If you need other ideas on how to color resin, Resin Obsession has a large selection of resin painting additives that are specifically designed for resin.
What other resin painting additives do you like to use?
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