There’s a good chance that when you first got interested in resin pouring and casting, you were drawn in by some of the beautiful colors of some of the projects you saw. Have you tried coloring resin yet? Do you have a favorite way to dye resin?
I’m Stephanie from Crafting in the Rain, and I tried six different ways to color resin and I’m excited to show you my results! I’m hoping that you’ll learn something new, and be inspired by one of these ways of how to color resin.
Reasons to color resin
Using resin in its clear and colorless form has some fabulous uses. You can use it to embed shells, flowers, beads, gems, candy and more in things like pendants and coasters. But a lot of times you’ll want to add color to your resin. Colored resin works great for jewelry, game pieces, charms, and drawer knobs, to name a few.
Things that can be used to color resin
There are many options when it comes to dying resin. I have chosen a few pretty common ones, and some you may already have in your craft supplies.
An opaque pigment will color the resin and little to no light will pass through the resin. You can experiment with mixing custom colors.
Mica resin powder has a beautiful, subtle shimmer. It comes in small plastic pouches and is available in many colors.
Update: ETI just launched PolyColor Resin Powders… look at this beautiful rainbow of colors!
The powder mixes into the resin very thoroughly to give consistent color. You can see how there is a bit of shimmer even when the resin has cured. After pouring the resin, I gave it a swirl with a toothpick, and it remained as it cured to be visible in the final result.
As you might expect, eye shadow will be very similar to mica powders. I scraped a bit of eye shadow into a powder and added it to the resin.
However, I found that it didn’t mix in completely. Some of the color stayed clumped together, and the flecks are noticeable in the end. Not my favorite result.
Alcohol inks are highly pigmented, alcohol-based inks that are waterproof and will stick to most hard surfaces. As long as they are used sparingly, they don’t compromise the curing of the resin, so they can be mixed in completely or dropped on the surface.
Ink drops can also be added as a top layer, after a resin piece has cured.
In these two examples, I added alcohol ink drops to the resin right after it was poured into the mold. This is what you see looking through the top of the pieces now that they’re out of the mold.
Acrylic paint can also be used to dye resin. Usually, a higher quality paint will produce better results. The casting on the left is colored with a shimmer “color shift” paint and the one on the right is regular.
They both take the color well, and the shimmer finish on the left is quite pretty.
Glitter doesn’t technically change the color of the resin. But it can definitely change the look.
These glitter flakes mostly sink, (so end up on the top as you pop a shape out of a mold) but they still create a lot of reflection in the finished piece.
Update: ETI just launched PolyColor Resin Glitters and they are amazing!
Resin dye results / conclusion
Aren’t those all pretty? Which one is your favorite? We’d love to hear what you want to try next!
There are a couple of things to remember.
- Always try to start out with the least amount of colorant as you can. (The exception: Fine glitter! Add a good amount of it!)
One sprinkle. One drop. Add more as needed, but this way you will increase the chances of not disrupting the curing process. A good rule of thumb is don’t ever exceed 10% of your total project’s volume with additives.
- Any dye that doesn’t match the brand of resin you are using may produce unexpected results. Curing can be affected, or it may turn a different color.
If you’re going to be working on a piece that you really don’t want to mess up, it’s always a good idea to run a small test pour first to see if you get the results you’re hoping for.