Why are Pigment Paste used for Resin Colouring?
Pigment pastes used in epoxy resin have a relatively thicker consistency that blends well with the mixture. A little goes a long way for this paste colouring agent to build your resin colour strength. These coloured, dry, and pure pigments can also be blended with other colours so you can produce new ones. Pigment pastes for resin colouring are non-solvent and free-flowing.
Dispersed pigments in epoxy resin blends react into the system, so there are no changes to its properties when cured. These colours can be translucent or opaque. It all depends on the pigment used, how much you add, the thickness of the film, and substrate colour. You can blend paste colours up to 10% of the total epoxy resin mixture, given their intense concentration.
Pigment pastes might have many good characteristics that’s why you should also know why epoxy pastes are better for resin. This article will also teach you how to use pigment pastes in resin and why not to use acrylic paints to colour resin.
Liquid, Powdered, or Paste Pigments: Which is the Best?
You can use liquid, powdered, or paste pigment for your resin art, but the three types have differences.
Liquid pigments can come in liquid resin colourant or alcohol inks. As the name suggests, this resin pigment colourant is in liquid form. It can be mixed and matched to create various colours and shades. Resin artists use them for colour tinting.
On the other hand, powdered colourants can be mica powder or pigment powder. Mica powder blends with varnish that can produce a sparkly effect. Also, powdered pigments usually produce a matte finish and have a bit of sparkle effect.
The third type is paste pigment, a unique texture in a paste consistency. There's a reason why epoxy pastes are better for resin. Pigment pastes are ideal for high colour saturation projects with rich concentration and solid colour effects.
Advantages of Pigment Paste & Why Epoxy Pastes are Better for Resin
Epoxy pastes are better for resin for the following reasons:
● Environmentally friendly because they are solvent-free and have very low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
● Easy to use by simply stirring to the resin
● Have high chroma and brightness
● Produce a glossy finish
● Have broad compatibility
● Have fine dispersion
How to Use Pigment Paste to Colour Resin
Now that you're acquainted with the many wonders of epoxy pastes and why they are better for resin, it's time to learn how you can use them in your next DIY project.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use pigment paste in resin:
1. Prepare all the necessary materials beforehand.
Resin can cure very quickly when applied, making time a crucial factor when working with epoxy. Make sure your environment is ready before you dive into your project.
2. Create an anti-splash workspace.
You can protect your work from any potential contaminants by covering the area with plastic sheeting.
3. Wear your protective gear.
Your health and safety are still the highest priority in the room. So, make sure to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
4. Mix the resin and hardener.
Carefully blend the ingredients compliant to the recommended mixing ratio.
5. Add the pigment paste.
After mixing the epoxy and hardener together, you can now add the pigment paste to the mixture. Apply paste depending on your desired level of concentration, then mix well. The more you add, the deeper its pigmentation becomes. You can repeat this process until you're able to bring out your desired shade.
6. Maintain the proportion of your paste below 10%.
Otherwise, you might affect the mixing ratio in a way that impairs the hardening process.
Pigment Paste Uses: Tips and Tricks
Different colour medium changes the mixing ratio between resin and hardener. When unaddressed, it can lead to sudden issues. You can avoid this dilemma by considering these tips and tricks for using pigment pastes.
● To maintain the minimal change to the mixing ratio, choose highly concentrated or highly pigmented colours.
● To test the colour against its reaction with the resin, mix a small amount of the two components first to observe the result.
● To efficiently estimate the reaction between the uncoloured resin and the coloured resin, try to get a feel of the properties of pure epoxy first. Gaining this knowledge will help in future measurements.
● To avoid unfortunate effects on the resin-hardener mixing ratio, try not to use paints that contain high amounts of water.
● To minimize the visibility of yellowing resin over time, choose an adequately lightfast colour. It will ensure that the fading colour from UV radiation will be hardly noticeable, unlike with coloured resin.
Epoxy Resin Colouring Medium
Whether you're using paste pigment or powdered colour, your end product will still depend mainly on the basic texture of your epoxy. Various compositions may have different reactions to different colourants. That's why it's essential to ensure the quality of the resin art supplies that you're using.
Another factor to consider is the archivability of your colouring material. 'Archivability' is the durability of the ink or pigment, which can be determined by its water resistance, pH neutrality, and lightfastness.
When you're looking at the lightfastness of the artwork, you will want to see how well the pigment fulfils upon light exposure, regardless of the source. Direct sunlight might be the most damaging variant, but fluorescent and halogen lights harm inks, too. Meanwhile, incandescent lights hold minimal taint to ink and most artworks. It's also the reason why they are the conventional gallery lights.
The most lightfast are acrylic ink, mica and pigment powder, while the most sensitive are dyes.
Read on to know more if your art pieces can stand the test of time. Here are the different colouring materials you can use on your resin art and how they perform time-wise.
● Acrylic Ink
Due to the molecular bond of the colour and plastic, acrylic ink has the highest lightfastness and most extended lifespan among other inks. It's also waterproof and pH-neutral or acid-free.
● Mica and Pigment Powders
Both talc colours are immune to acid, alkali, heat, light, and weather. They are non-conductive and easy to disperse, thanks to the stability of their chemical properties.
Pigment powder looks similar to pulverized coloured chalk. It comes in many forms once mixed in with binders with which most pigment pastes are made. Usually, powdered colours take the name of their actual colours. While they don't shimmer the way mica powder does, they are outstanding colouring elements.
● Craft Paint
Due to its numerous water-based binders, craft paint is subject to a relatively faster fade time. Hence, it can't be considered archival.
● Alcohol Ink
This dye-based variation can have a wonderful output, however, it's not as stable when exposed to light. Alcohol ink pigments dissolve in Isopropyl or Ethyl alcohol and a binder, making the granules small and translucent.
● Dye-based Ink
This product comes from a mixture of water-soluble dyes and gum arabic, creating a wide range of colours and brilliance. Dye-based colours can be dazzling bright due to their low lightfast rating. Because it needs to avoid excessive light exposure, dye-based coloured pieces ideally stay within portfolios and sketchbooks.
Pigments You Shouldn't Use on Resin
● Acrylic Paint
As mentioned above, there is a good reason as to why you shouldn’t use acrylic paint to colour resin. Usually mixed with water, colour pigments, and binding agents, acrylic paint also blends with additives (i.e. preservatives). These elements are vulnerable to unpredictability, especially when combined with epoxy resin. Also, acrylic paint produces a matte and striped finish when used on flat surfaces.
● Oil Paint
The lipids usually found in oil paints pose challenges in smoothly mixing the pigment with resin. When used for resin projects, it will only form lumps that you can't mix.
This type of paint is not suitable for blending with epoxy resin simply due to its weak pigmentation.
Specialty Pigment Pastes for Your Resin Art
When you know why epoxy pastes are better for resin, why acrylic paint should not be used, and how pigment paste can be used in resin colouring, you're already halfway there! You can find quality epoxy pigment pastes for your next project from our extensive collection. Our highly-concentrated pigment pastes cover a wide range of colours - Titanium White, Mustard Yellow, Sunset Orange, Carnation Pink, Chromium Green, Atlantic Blue, and more!
Check out our collection of pigment pastes, or if these aren’t the products you're looking for, you can also check out our glitter glass, fine and flakes, glow pigment powders, and metallic pigment powders!
In need of friendly assistance for your resin art journey or pigment paste uses? Please contact us at Just Resin today.