I want to play around with making some coasters with resin inlays. I was just curious what you guys use to colour your resin/epoxy?
Chris - I’ve had good results using products like these, but make sure you mix them in very well with the epoxy:
I outlined my process for making some coasters here:
Mica powder for a nice “sheen” (mad mica or black Diamond are good ones I’ve used)
Alcohol inks can be used sparingly, look up “petri resin” for some inspiration.
Resin dyes are the best for keeping transparency and holding colors that tend to burn or fade. (Purple tends to turn brown and black tends to turn green)
Experiment and have fun but most importantly, keep good notes and measurements…2 drops is very different than 4
I generally use black and I use Transtint liquid. You can get it online and at places like Woodcraft and/or Rockler retail stores.
When you use powders be sure you mix it well. You dont want to find the powder on the surface of an epoxy pour.
When you use epoxy there are a lot of types. 5 minute setup, slow drying, clear, deep pour, table top and so on and on. So do your research on what you are going to be doing. If you use table top on a deep pour it can be a disaster. The epoxy for table top poured deeper than recommended can over heat and cause distortion. The deep pour epoxy has to be set on a level surface because it will be pliable for a long time and will seek level. Another issue is deep pour needs to be sealed up because once epoxy starts to leak it is very hard to stop. So it is important to keep a leak from happening. An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure when epoxy is leaking all over your shop.
Depending on size of the project do you need a vacuum/pressure pot to remove air bubbles. Do you need a heat gun or a torch to remove air bubbles.
You can see there are a lot of questions to be answered before you start adding color.
Do your research and watch videos on how to mix, color, and pour epoxy.
Fantastic info, many thanks!
If any resin colorant company came up with an RGB color calculator for their mixing ratios, I would be a customer.
Do a test piece and watch for leaching into the grain- especially with dyes. Some wood wont have a problem and others will drink it up. You might have to seal the wood first with some thinned epoxy/ shellac to stop this from happening. Time your pour to the viscosity/ set time of the epoxy to limit the leaching. Suspended particle coloring like the mica will settle during curing so you have to plan for stirring it back up to the maintain the swirl/ iridescent/ mix look. Use a little more than what you think you need. It shrinks when set.
I did one turquoise colored pour in acacia using 5 hour epoxy (it’s what I had) and mica. For the test, I poured it in right after mixing and it leached enough to drain 1/4 the pour before it set. For the actual piece, I let it sit in the mixing cup and stirring ~30 minutes until it was the consistency of cold pudding. Did the pour, mixed/ peaked it 4 times (until the peaks made with a toothpick look like the wont self-level) and only had a little leaching, but was able to scrape/sand it out.
Check out BlackTail Studio’s youtube for epoxy tips. He does big pours, but the tips he provides can be used on a smaller scale.
Mixol,alumilite,eyecandy,blackdiamond pigments are all reputable companies when it comes to coloring epoxy stay away from acrylic paint it works sometimes but it has water in it and if to much is added it will affect the epoxy and cause it to not dry correctly
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