coloring epoxy resin

How to Color Epoxy Resin: A Beginners Guide to Coloring Resin

Epoxy resin is naturally transparent. So, this is suitable for many DIYs like tables, countertops, floors, jewelry, etc. But, when it comes to arts & crafts, you will want to add a bit of color to spice up your art! 

Coloring resin is very simple and easy. There are many ways to color resin; it depends on what you are trying to get your product to look like. 

Some people say you can add anything to resin, and while this is true, it may not turn out the way you expect. For example, the consistency and form of the pigment color may create spots, streaks, or blotchy areas in your cured product. This is not what you want! (or maybe it is?). 

This article will guide you on what coloring pigments to use and how to use them correctly.

9 Ways to Color Epoxy Resin

different tyles of resin color

Below are nine ways to color epoxy resin.

To make choosing more straightforward for you, we’ll first discuss our most recommended ways of coloring resin.

Keep reading for our nine most highly recommended ways of coloring epoxy resin:

1. Coloring Powders 

Mica Powder 


Mica powders give a shimmering, shiny, and beautiful finish. The powders are a natural colorant used to make makeup, nail polish, bath products, and crafts. 

Mica powder can be created in two ways- naturally or synthetically.

Natural mica powder comes from natural minerals. The most common form is muscovite, which is mined into sheets or flakes. This is further grounded into a powder form. In their natural state, they are whitish with different tones of brown. The powder is then oxidized, producing the desired color with a glittering effect.

Mica powder can also be made synthetically in labs with synthetic Fluorphlogopite. This is a shimmering powder that has the same effect as natural Mica powder. However, it produces brighter and more vivid colors when compared to natural Mica. 

If you had to choose between the two? We suggest using synthetic Mica powder. It is bolder and brighter, producing better-colored products. 

Additionally, human rights issues are associated with mining natural Mica, specifically child labor. So, let’s just stick with synthetic Mica. 

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Color Pigment Powder 

mica powder

Pigment powder isn’t the same as Mica powder. However, they are also excellent colorants in products like makeup, soaps, clay, and resin. 

The powder is synthetic with a bold matte finish. This is different from the shiny look that Mica powder gives us. In addition, the pigmented powder comes in all sorts of colors with various shades. This adds to why many artists love to use them and why you will too! 

Pure artists’ pigmented colors can be quite expensive. There are cheaper powders available, but they are usually mixed with chalk for their color to go further. 

Mica powder and pigmented powder can BOTH be used and mixed to color resin products. Each gives off a different type of color, producing beautiful creations. It depends on the outcome you want. Play around to see what you prefer!

Both powders can be classified as high lightfastness. Lightfastness describes how resin products retain their color over time, especially after exposure to the sun.

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2. Alcohol Ink 

alcohol ink

Another great way to color your resin is by using alcohol ink. It’s essential to use alcohol-based ink rather than water-based ink. This is because alcohol-based inks don’t disrupt the resin curing process, whereas water-based inks will. 

You can use alcohol ink in three different ways:

Option #1

ink dye in resin art

Only a few drops of alcohol ink are required and mixed with the resin. The color is not bold as a pigmented powder or shimmery like Mica powder. Alcohol ink creates a very transparent color once mixed with resin. The color is evenly spread around the product. 

Option #2

resin art colored with ink

Alcohol ink stays on the surface and spreads rather than sinking to the bottom of the resin. We use this to create beautiful splotchy looks! You can start with clear resin. Then you can add a drop of alcohol ink to the resin. Do not mix it in the resin. Leave it as is, and the droplets should spread. You can do this with multiple colors to get a beautiful design. 

Option #3

resin and ink dye

Way three gives a petri dish look. This is honestly one of our favorite looks! It is created the same way as the way #2, except this time you add white ink first. It creates a cell-like look, and the color alcohol ink is spread throughout the product. 

Alcohol ink has an increased lightfast. However, it is important not to leave the products in direct sunlight as this could reduce their color drastically over time. 

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3. Resin Dye

Resin Dye

Resin dye is available in a liquid or paste form. It can be the most effective way to add color to your resin. However, it can also be a bit pricey. Resin dye (Paid Link) is suitable for resin products only. In contrast, most of the mentioned colors can be used in different arts & crafts projects. 

Resin products colored with resin dye can result in an opaque effect. The color is generally very solid but still allows some light to pass through it. You can compare it to a stained glass look. 

mixing resin dye

Using resin dye can create a look that is not as transparent as alcohol ink. It is also not as shimmery or matte as the powders. So we can say that it falls in between alcohol ink and powder. It all depends on the result you are trying to create. 

The lightfastness of resin dye is usually fair to good. However, to be safe, avoid prolonged exposure to light to prevent the coloring from fading. 

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4. Glitter 


You know you are going to have a great time using glitter! It is fun and creates a sparkling effect on your resin product. Glitter can be found at almost any arts & crafts shop. So you won’t have a hard time trying to find it. 

It is also one of the less expensive colorants. However, depending on the look you want to create, you may mix in more when compared to the other colorants. Thus, it may not last as long. 

There are no rules when it comes to glitter. It does not fully color the resin but rather adds to it. The resin will remain transparent, but you can see the glitter in between as speckles. 

You need to add quite a bit of glitter if you want a dense look. If you want a soft, scattered glitter look, add a little, then keep adding more until you get the look you want. 

coarse and fine glitter
Coarse vs fine Glitter

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5. Glow in the Dark Color Powder

Glow in the dark pigments

Another great option is coloring your resin with a glow-in-the-dark pigment (Paid Link). This creates a funky and stunning effect of glow-in-the-dark resin. 

One cool product you can create is glow-in-the-dark dominos, great for Saturday night games night with your friends or family 😉

The powder we recommend is non-toxic and composed of natural elements. It is safe for both you and the environment. 

The glow-in-the-dark powder will need to be charged. One option is placing the powder under sunlight to absorb the sunlight. Another option is to place the powder under a UV light.  

The Ratio of Glow Powder to Resin

The ratio is 1:4 (one part glow-in-the-dark pigment to four parts resin) by weight. This is usually the best ratio, but it shouldn’t affect the end product if you go under or over a bit.

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6. Food Coloring 

Food Coloring

A common question: Can you use food coloring in resin

The answer is yes, but there is more to it!

Food coloring is excellent to use when you are on a budget or have just started working with resin. You can find leftover food coloring in your home and start experimenting with colors. 

It is not an ideal coloring agent and should not be considered a primary coloring agent for resin products. This is because the coloring quality is poor and less intense compared to other coloring agents. 

Another reason is that food coloring is not lightfast. Therefore the color will fade quickly in direct sunlight. A solution is to keep the resin product indoors to prevent this from happening. You don’t want to gift or sell a product to someone, and the color quality reduces over time. 

If you use food coloring, the next question could be: What type of food coloring can you use

The best type is oil-based food coloring. This is better suited when compared to water-based. Oil-based food coloring won’t affect the curing process. Water-based could affect the base materials and cause streaks in your finished resin product. 

Not all food coloring types are suitable with resin (remember, it also depends on the type of reason you use). 

7. Acrylic paint 

Acrylic Paint

Can you use acrylic paint to color resin? Most definitely! Similar to food coloring, you can but there are some things you need to be aware of. 

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint. It is a plastic polymer made up of different pigments. It is usually one of the least toxic mediums. The paint is water-soluble and water-resistant when dry. 

Here are three downsides of using acrylic paint as coloring for resin

  1. It can be expensive, especially when you need to work with large products. You also need to choose an acrylic paint with a higher pigment load. This is so your end product is not dull looking. 
  1. There is the risk of the color paint not spreading enough causing uneven areas of color on your finished product. However, acrylic paint will give your resin product a solid, matte look. 
  1. Adding too much acrylic paint can cause the resin not to cure.

When mixing, the most important rule is to stick to the 1:10 (one part acrylic paint to 10 parts resin) ratio.

Acrylic paint has so many different colors. If you have acrylic paint lying around the house, try it as a colorant to resin. However, it would not be our go-to colorant as there are better options that can take you further. 

8. Eyeshadow/Makeup


Eye shadow can also be a cheap way to play with color and resin if you are a beginner. We can guess there will be at least one palette of eye show or makeup in your house somewhere! 

The biggest problem with eye shadow is that the powder does not mix enough in the resin. This causes specks throughout the resin rather than a smooth, evenly spread look. 

It is made from binders, slips, preservatives, and base fillers. These ingredients bind the powder together, making it difficult to dissolve fully. There is mica powder found in eye shadow. However, we recommend using pure Mica powder to get a better result. 

9. Nail Polish 


Can I mix nail polish with resin? Yes, you can pretty much use anything to color resin. But we do not recommend this. Nail polish is not an effective way to color resin

Using nail polish will result in poor coloring. It tends to result in a speckled effect as there are areas where the color clumps together. It is not evenly spread and mixed into the resin. The color in resin also fades over time, resulting in a dull resin product. 

Adding too much nail polish would also disrupt the curing process of the resin. 

Please keep in mind that nail polish is flammable. This is because it contains acetone and can be easily ignited.

There are better colorants available to use and experiment with.

This is the option we recommend the least.

What is the Ratio of Color to Resin? 

My project 2

You can add 2%-6% of color to the resin mixture. 

We recommend adding a small amount of color at first and then adding more if you would like a stronger color.

Do not exceed 10% of color to resin. Adding too much color pigment could disrupt the curing process.

When Do I Add Color?

Resin and hardener first need to be mixed using the correct ratio. Next, it should be clear and transparent. Look out for any streaks or lines in the mixture. This is a sign that it hasn’t been mixed enough. Once it has been mixed enough, it is time to add those gorgeous colors! 

How Do I Add Color to Clear Resin?

color epoxy resin

You can choose to separate a small amount of resin from the original mix. First, test the color with a small amount of resin before adding it to the entire mix. This way, you can see the color clearly and decide whether to add more color or leave it as is. 

Take a look at this video on how to properly mix in powder pigments 

Wrapping Up

Keep in mind the time factor. You should have approximately a 30-minute window period to mix your colors before the resin starts to cure. So be prepared with your colors in advance. 

Pro Tip: Test the type of color with a small amount of resin first. This is to prevent resin waste.

Measure the resin and hardener correctly. Ensure that it is adequately mixed. This is to prevent your resin from being sticky and not curing. Don’t add too much colorant. This can disrupt the process. Read this article on Why Is My Resin Still Sticky?: Tips for the Perfect Resin Mixture.

Remember to wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when working with resin. PPE should be worn from the start of measuring and mixing your resin. It should remain worn the entire time, even while mixing colors. 

What other colorants can you add to the list that we may not have mentioned? Please feel free to pop us a message or let us know in the comment section below.

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