Epoxy resins are commonly used for sealing floors, walls, and wood surfaces. Due to the fact that epoxy resins are more durable and effective than most glues, they are usually used in outdoor coatings. While epoxy resins come in different colors, it’s not uncommon to color epoxy resin to create unique colors for your specific project. In this article, I will clarify if and how you can use acrylic paint to color epoxy resin for your crafts project.
You can mix acrylic paint in epoxy resin in order to color it but you should stick to a ratio of 1:10 (1 part acrylic paint to 10 parts of epoxy resin). This ratio will ensure that the epoxy resin still drys hard and adheres well enough while enough paint can be added to effectively color the resin.
That was the short answer but there are quite a few more things, that you have to watch out for in order to properly and effectively color epoxy resin with acrylic color.
But before we get to that we will firstly take a look at what acrylic paint and epoxy resin actually are. So that we know exactly what we are going to work with later on.
What Are Epoxy Resins?
Epoxy resins are synthetic adhesives used in construction and building work.
These resins are made by a mixture of liquid resin with a chemical hardener. There are different types of resins and the mixture ratio will be different depending on the type of rein being used.
Each type of resin has its use and is unique in hardness, viscosity, and curing process.
In choosing the appropriate epoxy resin for your building or construction work, recourse should be made to the specifications given by the manufacturer of the product. This is because the materials used in the production of the epoxy resin play a huge role in its resultant properties and what surfaces it’s best applied to.
It’s imperative to note that the lower a resin’s viscosity, the longer its curing period. Resins with higher viscosity levels are more suited to laminating and casting projects.
I like to use this self-leveling epoxy resin for most of my projects. It is great for casting a mold, tabletop art like a river table, and more.
Why Should I Use Epoxy Resins?
You’re probably wondering why you should pick epoxy resins over other adhesives available on the market.
This question is easily answered by looking at the numerous advantages offered by epoxy resins. After completing its curing process (ie when the resin has become hard), epoxy resin offers ultraviolet resistance, is shatter-proof, low susceptibility to acids, weather elements, and abrasion.
Other advantages of epoxy resins include:
- Temperature deflection
- High resistance to cracks and splinters
- High compatibility with different surfaces as well as being an electrical insulator.
What Is An Acrylic Paint?
Acrylic paint is a water-soluble and fast-drying paint made of pigments that becomes water-resistant when dry. The major ingredient in the production of acrylic paint is the pigment soaked in an acrylic polymer emulsion.
The pigments begin to fuse as the water evaporates after painting. Acrylic paints offer the advantage of being water-resistant when dry and stains can be washed off them with water and soap without ruining the paint job.
They are also non-flammable and highly resistant to cracks and give off little odor. While they are fast drying and flexible, they also retain the density usually associated with oil paints.
Acrylic paints are less susceptible to the harmful effects associated with heat and other weather elements, particularly water. The flexibility of acrylic paints means they hardly give in to cracking and are also less toxic than most paint variants.
The major advantage of acrylic paint is its versatility and compatibility with different compounds when it comes to mixtures.
Can I Mix Acrylic Paint In Epoxy Resins?
Acrylic paint offers a huge variety of colors that make them appealing to the eye and increase the aesthetics and ambiance of a building or floors. Some of the wonderful colors acrylic paints come in, include neon, glitter, and glow in the dark.
Acrylic paints are also crack and water-resistant which makes them well suited to various surfaces regardless of materials. These attributes have made acrylic a popular choice among artists and homeowners as they retain the same density as the less durable oil paints.
Mixing acrylic paint in epoxy resin is very possible and helps you to achieve a wide range of nice colors.
When mixing acrylic paint with epoxy resin, it’s important to pay attention to the ratio of each component. This is essential so that you don’t mess with the flow of the resin. Fluid acrylic paint is much more compatible when mixing with epoxy resin due to its low viscosity.
However, whether you’re mixing with liquid or fluid acrylic paint, you should stick to a ratio of 1:10 (1 part acrylic paint to 10 parts of epoxy resin). Fluid acrylics are also much more color-based than their liquid counterparts.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Mixing Acrylic Paint in Epoxy Resin?
While mixing acrylic paint with epoxy resins offers you a wide array of colors and can give you wonderful outcomes, the resultant mixture definitely comes at a price (not just to your pockets).
Some of the disadvantages of mixing acrylic paint in epoxy resins result from the plastic nature of acrylics. Resins are by nature glossy, while acrylic paints are plastic and possess a matte finish which reduces the glossiness of your resin.
Also, owing to its quick-drying nature, acrylic paint may be difficult to spread.
Are There Alternatives To Acrylic Paint When It Comes To Mixing Resins?
Yes, there are.
Acrylic paint delivers great results when mixed with epoxy resins but doesn’t hold a monopoly of the mixture in this regard. Oil paints don’t mix well with resins and should be avoided else the resulting mixture will be messy and detrimental to the paint.
However, some of the viable alternatives to acrylic paint include the following:
- Alcohol Ink: Mixing alcohol ink with epoxy resin gives you a richly saturated effect. It offers calming effects such as branch and squiggles petrification, as well as inking tendrils. It should be noted that alcohol ink is flammable as opposed to epoxy resins, however, once added or mixed with alcohol ink, the resultant mixture becomes flammable and torches or light sources should not be placed in close proximity to it.
- Resin Tint: This is a specially made colourant for epoxy resins. It relies on epoxy resins to work as a binder and should not be used alone without the addition of resins. While acrylic paint and alcohol inks may be used independently of epoxy resins to great effect, resin tints can only be used with epoxy resins. Resin tint also retains the non-flammable, non-toxic and glossiness of epoxy resin, making it the most suitable epoxy resin additive.
- Airbrush Paint: Airbrush paints come in a wide range of colours just like acrylic paints. It also packs a thin viscosity rating and delivers vibrant colours when mixed with epoxy resins. It’s advisable to shake well before use. Airbrush paints should also be applied at the same 1:10 ratio as acrylic paints.
What Quantity Of Colourants Should I Add To Epoxy Resins?
The quantity of colorants to be added to epoxy resins generally depends on what you’re looking to achieve. However, it’s advisable to stay within a 6% colorant volume to the total volume of the epoxy resins.
This is because you don’t need a high quantity of colorant to saturate the transparent epoxy resin. You should also take the surface material into cognizance when mixing colorants with epoxy resins to avoid over saturation which may ruin the project for you.
Acrylic paint can be mixed in epoxy resin and serves as a great colorant choice due to its water and abrasion-resistant properties. It also dries quickly and isn’t flammable, helping to preserve the major properties of the epoxy resin.
In addition to this, stains can be easily washed off acrylic paint with soap and water without compromising the finish. However, acrylic paint may cause a reduction in the glossy nature of epoxy resin due to its inherent plastic materials and matte finish.
This could reduce the efficacy of the epoxy resin depending on the results you’re after. Nonetheless, acrylic paint remains a good colorant option.
While there are alternative colourants to acrylic paint, the focus should be on the surface and end goal of the project. If you’re unsure of what colourant to use in mixing, you should consider resin tints as they are specially made for, and are best suited to, colouring epoxy resins.