Resin Painting Additives – color resin for painting

Colors that mix well with resinMediums That Mix Well with Resin

by Becky Wanamaker

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 paintLiquid Acrylics

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.

fluid acrylic

Fluid Acrylics

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.

airbrush paint

Airbrush Paints

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.

alcohol inks

Alcohol Inks

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.

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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.


Jacquard pearl ex powder

Powdered Pigments

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.


Oil Paints

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.

Spray Paint

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.

Final Thoughts

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?

Want to get started with resin painting but confused about where to begin?  Get your copy of the instantly downloadable book Resin Fundamentals.  It has a clear path to get you to resin success, even if you have never worked with resin before!

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC

106 thoughts on “Resin Painting Additives – color resin for painting

    1. I have not tried these with polyester resin. On a side note, polyester resin does not work for resin painting. It is not self-leveling and cures tacky on the surface exposed to air.

  1. If you use oil paints, can you add the paint to the resin part to get it mixed well and then add the hardener?

  2. Do you guys have videos or articles like this that show different additives and their effects on resin i.e. dropping isopropyl alcohol on top of resin? Or how to use resin in just one spot of a painting at a time. There are so many things I’ve seen people do, but not everyone shares their techniques. Thanks a bunch!

  3. Hi!
    Iv’e done two resin paintings which both ended up with complications. For the first one, I mixed in a teaspon of acrylic and a shot or a little more of resin in a cup, and it pours very thick! So the second time I used a teaspon of floetrol. Once again, it was super thick. I don’t know what I am doing wrong and I’m trying to find resin recipes online but I just can’t find any. Whats a resin recipe with resin, acrylic, floetrol, and silicone. I want to get the lacing affect and have nice flowing paint. Please help me, thank you so so much.

    1. I like to mix no more than 1 part colorant (in this case acrylic paint) to 10 parts mixed resin. Based upon your description, I’m guessing you mixed more paint in your resin than that. I have not used floetrol with resin and cannot make a recommendation on a mixing ratio. A drop or two of silicone should be all you need to create cells.

    2. Diana I don’t believe these products go together with resin…Floetrol and silicone are for acrylic pouring. I’m sure Resin Obsession can go deeper into this but I believe lacing is achieved with resin by using certain products, the heat you use, tilting. For example spray paint and pastes mixed in resin give me the best lacing.

  4. Hello Dear Resin Obsession, Love to read the advices here, just noticed there’s a forum about resin 🙂 I have a question about using gold leafs in resin, such as I have painting where I put the goldleaf with with acrylics then sealed it with gold leaf sealer, can I resin on top of it without worrying about tarnishing it? If I want to put gold leaf in a layered resin look, do I need to seal it with something before pouring the resin? Those are gold leafs bought from hobby lobby not the real kind. Thanks so much, would really appreciate your advice on this 🙂

  5. Hi there I am curious why people add resin to their acrylic paint to fluid pours when they could just use acrylic and then coat with resin afterwards. What’s the difference? Thank you!

    1. For me, the difference is eliminating a step. You can create your art with the resin and acrylic and ‘be done’ or create the art with the acrylic, then wait for it to dry. Then coat with a layer of resin. By using the acrylic and resin at once, you can get the glossy finish and have art all in one pour.

      1. Thanks! Yeah that makes sense. So overall there is no difference in appearance between the two finished products? Also, when using paint like the golden high flow with dirty pouring technique, do you only need a few drops of paint with a pouring medium and or resin or do you need the same amount as a normal acrylic paint? Is there an email I could email you at if I have further questions? I’m still eagerly learning 😀

        1. I would not expect a major difference in the appearance between the two paintings. The resin clear coat would add some extra depth. Yes, you might notice if the two pieces were next to each other, but I wouldn’t expect the average person to notice it, especially if you didn’t have the other to compare to. I haven’t used golden high flow, so I don’t have a good answer for you. At least with resin, no more than 1 part paint to 10 parts mixed resin should color the resin well and not affect curing. If you have additional questions, I would encourage you to leave them in our forum. Gives others a chance to learn as well. 😉

    2. I add resin to acrylic pours when I want that glassy look and want to bring out the colors and make them pop. I add acrylic paint to resin and create resin paintings because it is totally different. The effect are softer and blend in a different way. I love what I can achieve with a resin painting. It reminds me of the difference between creating a portrait with acrylic vs. oil. Both are beautiful but oil is softer and blends better, same with resin paintings.

  6. Hi, I did a pour with craft paint ( some metallic) , flotral , and hair oil which turned out lovely but then poured resin over. ( first time). The resin did not stay on some parts of the painting so now have holes in resin. What caused this? Thanks

    1. This is likely from oily residue from the hair oil. Once everything has cured, wipe your piece clean with a baby wipe, allow to dry, then recoat with another layer of resin.

  7. Hi Katherine,

    Have you ever had an acrylic paint lose its colour shortly after pouring, the reason I ask is because I just used a blue & yellow acrylic paint & the blue has faded & has become clear resin coat in places.

    Kind regards


  8. Micey again, how long must a pouring dry before coating with resin? Think I didn’t let last painting dry long enough and that’s why resin didn’t stick. Second pouring after I wiped it still didn’ stick in some places. Also are you saying that flotral shouldn’t be added to a resin pour?

  9. Hi,

    Would it be terribly cheeky to ask for a copy of your journal containing the measurements, or for you to publish it on here, please? You seem to have experimented a lot and like you said, it can be expensive. It would also save me time going through YouTube and Google looking for similar answers.

    Kind regards,


    1. I’m afraid I don’t have a journal of measurements. What were you specifically wanting to know?

      1. I have no idea where I read it but I thought it was on here that you mentioned that while experimenting you kept a journal of measurements. Silly me! I have just started experimenting with resin and my budget is fairly limited at the minute. Looks like it’s going to be small experimental pieces for me.

        1. Thanks for clarifying. Yes, I do keep a journal of what I do, but it’s afraid for my use only. I doubt it would make much sense to anyone else!

  10. I have used acrylic paints mixed with flotrol, silicone a little water. They are place mats, I am new to this method, am wondering why I have to coat them and canvas with resin, can I use a product (spray) called Crystal Kote Gloss, does that doe the same job

    1. I haven’t used Crystal Kote gloss, so I can’t comment as to whether or not that would work for you. Based upon my experience with gloss sprays however, I would expect resin to give a thicker, shinier coat to your placemats.

  11. I’v been playing around with resin lately and am trying to get a mushrooming effect (the underside where it looks like very think sheets). I’m also trying to consistently get a great blooming effect. I’ve tried everything….alcohol inks, hi-flow, craft paint, pigments, GAC800 w/acrylic paint, fabric paint, fluid ink, etc. Any suggestions as to what would give me the effect I’m going for?

    1. I haven’t done this myself, but I think others are using oil with the pigments to create these effects.

  12. Thrilled to have found this place!! Couple of questions…
    1. Which resin seems to be the least toxic..especially related to breathing and the harsh smell I’ve heard about? Live in Western Washington and due to 9 months of annual cold rainy season, I need to be able to paint in the house.
    2. When doing a resin acrylic flow painting, can you add other paint not mixed with resin, or does everything added need to be mixed before.

    1. Hi Tina,

      I appreciate your concern for resin safety. I too, want to make sure you can work with it a long time! The best place to learn about about the safety precautions, including ventilation requirements, is in the product’s SDS. In my opinion, I don’t know that any one resin is ‘less toxic’ than another since they all have safety requirements and best working practices. At a minimum, it sounds like you need to work with one that does not require a respirator for use. Also look to be sure that the resin has the ASTM D-4236 designation as this means the resin has been reviewed by a toxicologist and been deemed safe for art purposes. We have several safety articles on our blog that may be helpful to you as well:

      For a flow painting with acrylic, mixing the paint in will give the best results. Paint added to your painting without a resin base may not cure.

    2. I don’t know about least toxic. I can tell you any spray paint added to the resin will be intensely toxic. The spray paints I have used contain Acetone, Xylene, n-Butyl Acetate, and other petroleum distillates.

      Better to spray the paint into one part of the two part resin, mix it thoroughly, let the volatile organic compounds evaporate in a well ventilated area before mixing the resin parts together. This will change the artistic outcome and final product resilience but it allows you to use spray paint pigment less dangerously.

  13. I got started with resin when we redid our countertops with resin. I learned all kind of techniques from the countertop website and videos. I have just started with the resin art. I love all of your suggestions and am eager to apply some of them. Another way to add the metallic powders is to mix them in 91% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle. Be sure and shake it up good and either spray or stream it where ever you want. The alcohol dries and the metallic stays!

  14. I wonder if you ever try the brusho paints in resin…? I am very new at resin but I think it could be very nice effect.

    1. I’m not familiar with them. In general, the less moisture content they have, the more likely they are to work in resin.

  15. Hi! I want to start painting with resin and I have some question. I have two resin pigments which I’m going to use, but also I have an white acrylic paint that I want to use as well. Do I have to mix it with resin like other pigments will it ‘melt into’ the rest of resin?

  16. Hi there. Thanks for the great work on your site! I was wondering what your suggestion would be for this. I would to get an effect of paint color in resin, but where the paint color does NOT mix (blend) into the resin. So it would resemble oil and water, a distinct separation. So i could pour multiple layers with cells that are transparent, and cell walls of color. Any idea? I hope that made sense. Ultimately would like something that looks like layers of honeycomb structure where the cells are transparent. Thanks so much!

  17. About how long does it take for an acrylic with resin painting to dry? Is it a good idea, to add a medium to your acrylic paint, when mixing it with the resin?

    1. Cure times depend on the resin you are using. That information should be included with your resin kit. Do not mix any medium to your resin as it may cause it from curing. Resin hates moisture!

  18. Thank you so much for your generous sharing! I’m a studio artist working as a scenic. I was recently introduced to pour painting and, like yourself, have become obsessed! And, have found a (close) second, an obsession with resin. even the other questions on here are great! Keep ‘me coming, and thanks so much!

  19. Hello, I would really like to mix up my own pigment pastes that I can store… any advice on products I can use for the paste base? I would really appreciate any tips you can give me. I’m fairly new to resin art and I have quite a stock of pigment powders, dyes, glitters, paints… I would really love to experiment and make my own mixes. Thank you, everyone!

  20. What is the difference with using just resin and paint to using floetrol and paint. Or can they all be used together.

    1. Yes, all resins yellow over time. How long that takes varies from resin to resin. It’s hard to predict.

  21. Thanks for all the great info. I’m new to this art form and will be starting tomorrow when my resin arrives. I so excited! My question is with a 10:1 ratio of resin vs. acrylic paint in a tube (Liquitex Basics) am I better off weighting it on a scale or just measuring in cup. Since the latter seems hard to be precise. And does one weigh more?You already answered my flotrol question many times above, which was why I seeked out this site. Thanks in advance.

  22. Hi I have been painting for quite a while now but just recently started covering my acrylic paintings with resin because I love the glass look and no other spray paste etc. Will give the glass look like resin does. But I have been having trouble and it’s not my mixing are anything cause it cures perfectly over canvas but I have tons of different sizes of pine wood that I been painting on but it never fails after it is cured it leaves pits and alot of them to do you have any idea what is causing this only on my wood and how can I fix the ones that are full of them now and what can I do to prevent it from happening again and it’s any resin I have tried famowood, Amazing clear cast , and envirotex Lite and as I stated my canvases are beautiful it’s only the wood that it happens to I greatly appreciate you making this forum and taking your precious time to try and help anyone you can so very kind of you .

  23. Possibly an I did 2 today on canvas I tinted them with mica powders and I followed directions to the T and they are both ruined canvases got hard before I could move the resin around and I worked super fast because I didn’t want that to happen so now I’m out of 2 new canvases I so need your help I’m wasting resin and canvases

  24. Hi Katherine.
    I’ve been trying to work with these colors and resins; but what i’ve encountered is after the application of colored resin layer; after when i have given it 10-12 hours to cure, it bleeds. like when i tried to wipe the layer to clear any dust particles, it leaves scratches; and the cloth also becomes a little shady with the color used. How can I avoid the scratches and the bleeding problem?

    many thanks.

    1. It sounds like your resin hasn’t completely cured when you go to work with it again. What is the cure time of your resin?

      1. Usually I give it 20-24 hours. Is it okay? And that’s too at room temperature. Even after 24 hours, if i try to just remove any possible dust particle, even with a tissue paper, it gives swirls and scratches.

        1. I don’t know if that’s okay or not. It depends on the cure time of your resin. The manufacturer should be able to give you that information.

  25. Hi All,

    I am mixing acrylic paint directly into the epoxy resin and It seems that it is giving a textured effect. Can anyone help me how to mix it or is their any other way I can mix to avoid textured effect.


    1. It sounds like the acrylic paint is making your resin cure too soon. Have you tried colorants specifically designed for resin?

  26. Hi, I really liked your article, it was a lot of new things to learn! I jusr have a question, what do you think, will the pigment inside of the resin fade, lets say, in a year or two?
    Thank you in advance!

  27. I have not experimented with Resi-Blast as yet, but was wondering if you know of any additives/compounds suitable for resin that create 3D looking bubbles?

  28. My goodness‼️ I have just discovered this site and I am elated with the wealth of information and techniques I find reading through these Q&As. I have been playing with acrylic pouring and felt that I would be ‘graduating’ to a higher level starting with resin. Actually, having worked with and studied the acrylics, that has given me a baseline of experience for expanding into resin art. Terminology, techniques, and troubleshooting are so similar; rather than two art processes, I can incorporate them so my skill level is greatly expanded.

    So, this site, with Resin Obsession with their many links, will become my ‘Go To’ reference library.

    Thanks to all..👏❗️

  29. I noticed in this article it said that you can use pre-mixed fluid acrylics to pigment epoxy resin. However, you made it clear that you are not able to add floetrol or acrylic pouring medium to resin because it won’t cure. I have normal acrylic paint that I’d like to make more “liquidy” so it mixes better with the resin. Would it make a difference if I mix floetrol with acrylic paint first and then mix with resin, or would it still not cure? Thanks

  30. Can calligraphy inks be used to color resin?
    I think India inks and acrylic inks can be used. Just not sure if calligraphy inks are different.

  31. I tried mixing alcohol inks with resin and loved the effect. But someone told me they will fade over time and recommended resin dyes instead. What is your experience with colorfastness of the alcohol inks?

  32. I have seen Bruce Riley amazing work with resin. He is called Resin Painter. What puzzles me is how does he make his resin paint so flowing, very very thin. it seems so splashing and dripping. I note on his website he has bottles of paints. it looks like Golden High Flow.. would that make it very running?

  33. Hi there,

    I’ve heard from different sources that acrylic doesn’t work well with resin, mainly because it’s water based, but it can also cause a chemical reaction. Is that why you recommend the 1:10 ratio? Have you ever had reactions with these mixtures?

    Thank you!

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