Experimenting with resin colors

Coloring epoxy resin

coloring epoxy resin

 

I hate wasting resin.  I realize a little bit leftover isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of what I have to get done everyday, but I hate it nonetheless.  There’s just something about throwing away resin that I worked so hard to measure, mix and get bubble free that seems so … well …  wrong.  I always have a list of experiments and ideas of things to do the next time this happens, so when I had 20 cc of leftover Castin’ Craft Easy Cast epoxy resin this week, I thought it would be fun to show you what happens in the (resin) mad scientist lab.

 

adding colors to epoxy resin

I divided the resin into 4 separate 1 ounce mixing cups.  I scoured my house and studio to see what I had handy to mix in the leftover resin.  I found:

  • red kids’ paint (the label didn’t specify exactly what it was, but I’m surmising it was a water based paint)
  • blue sidewalk chalk
  • paprika (yes — that one — from the spice cabinet)
  • kids’ watercolor paints

The picture here gives you an idea of how much I added to each small cup of resin.

 

color in resin

Here’s what the resin samples looked like after I stirred each for about a minute.

 

 

 

 

 

resin curing in a silicone mold

I had an imperfect silicone mold to cast my resin into and decided to pour some into each of the 1 inch squares.

Important note here:  When doing these experiments, you never know how your resin is going to turn out.  Sometimes inclusions and colorants can keep the resin from curing.  When deciding whether or not to pour your experiments into a mold, use one that you can afford to lose if your resin turns out to be a goopy mess.  If you don’t have a ‘throwaway’ mold to use, then let your resin cure in the 1 ounce plastic mixing cups.

 

how to color resin

Here are how the finished samples turned out.  The red paint colored as I expected it would.  I was also surprised that the extra moisture from the paint didn’t affect the curing.  The chalk and paprika colored the resin more effectively than I thought they would as well.  In fact, I wasn’t expecting the pastel chalk to color so dark.  The watercolor paint shavings managed to tint the resin some, but wasn’t able to dissolve in the resin.

 

 

 

color samples resin

The effects are more pronounced when you hold them up to the light.  In all the ones where I used powder pigments, you can see particles.

So what do you think?  What other colorants have you experimented with?

Like this post? You may be interested in  Resin casting with backless bezels

19 Comments

Millie Sullivan

I think I’ll give that a try. Any helpful tips or tricks I need to know before I try it?

Reply
Sandy

Kathrine,

Thanks for the experiments. I often wonder what will and will not mix with resin and your “Mad Scientist” postings are a great help! Keep ’em coming!

Reply
Rhonda

These look pretty good to me. The one with paint shavings looks almost like amber! Think I’ll try this.

Reply
Esmeralda

So far I’ve tried: eyeshadow, loose pigment, acrylic paints of several varieties and brands, and india ink – but I would still love to try: charcoal, oil paint (who knows?), turmeric (used to dye mustard yellow so it might work!),food dye, nail polish, and anything else I can think of. I love resin experiments- great post!

Reply
siobhan

I use oil paint which works nicely, but i have to say eyeshadow has worked beautifully. I mix in some white oild paint first to give it an opaque look.

Reply
Tony

This is fabulous! It opens up the door to Creative Resin
Jewelry making and more.

Reply
Katherine

@Diane, do you have pictures of what you’re trying to make? You can post them in our forum.

Reply
Diane

I am having trouble making the cameo cabachond to turn out. To use 2colors it is very hard to get the resin in the little spots without overflowing into the rest of the mold.

Reply
Michelle

I tried gel food coloring and normal food coloring…gel left flecks…food coloring faded in the sun

Reply
Larry

I noticed today that your transparent colors contain epoxy resin. Can I mix them with Polyester resin?

Reply
Katherine Swift

I have not tried that, however, our chief chemist expects that they will work to color polyester resin.

Reply
Yvonne

I’m experimenting with resin and colours and I’m new to this. I’m trying to make small flowers. I bought some moulds but to be honest they are rubbish so I’m going to try some amazing putty and try to make my own. I want to achieve a solid colour but beautiful pastel shades. I’ve tried acrylic paints but I just can’t seem to achieve the colours I need. Can anyone help please.

Reply
Yvonne

Thank you, yes I have but I’m reluctant to experiment with them. I hoped someone would know for sure how I could achieve the opaque pastel colours.

Reply
O'D

Try going to your favorite paint store and get some paint pigment. It won’t contain stuff you don’t want in your resin, and it is more concentrated, and will color more solidly. You could also try powdered pigments, metalflake, pearl powder, etc from your automotive paint store.

Reply

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