Epoxy resin, a material best known for its incredible durability, ease of application, and remarkably clear appearance, is often used as a finish for indoor (and outdoor) furniture and fixtures.
In many cases the clear finish of epoxy resin is desirable, providing a crystal-clear window into the coated item's substrate material. Because epoxy deepens the colors and vivifies the textures, it's transparent clarity becomes a major feature.
Some Color, Please
Despite clear epoxy's beautiful transparency, sometimes a little color—or a lot—is more appealing. A bit of color can bring a fresh new look to almost any room, whether a kitchen, bar, dining room—any space where aesthetic details tend to matter—and that's when epoxy resin really showcases its versatility.
When epoxy is in its initial liquid state, it is highly receptive to certain colorants, which can imbue the resin with various tones and hues—some translucent, some opaque—that give it a stunning new look, one which is highly customizable.
What Are Epoxy Powder Pigments and Epoxy Dyes?
Though they serve roughly the same purpose, there are notable differences in the makeup and visual outcome between epoxy powder pigments and epoxy dyes.
Epoxy Powder Pigments
Epoxy powder pigments are mica-based colorants made from ground mica minerals. Often these minerals are combined with additional additives, such as other ground minerals or synthetic compounds, often determined by which is safer and more vibrant.
Most epoxy pigments render the resin opaque, delivering a multi-toned hue that delicately shimmers in the light, which reflects off the microscopic mica particles suspended within the epoxy.
Epoxy Liquid Dyes
Epoxy dyes are similar to pigments, but are almost entirely synthetic. These liquid colorants can imbue epoxy resin with a singular, translucent tone that allows the epoxy to remain partially see-through and permit the passage of light.
Both types of these colorants are highly concentrated, meaning a little goes a long way. With a small amount you can provide a sizable batch of epoxy with bright and colorful tones, or deep, somber hues to suit your aesthetic goals.
What to Consider When Deciding on a Colorant Type
When deciding between epoxy powder pigments and epoxy liquid dyes, there are a couple questions you can ask yourself to help you make your choice.
What Kind of Effects Do You Want From Your Finish?
As mentioned earlier, either type of colorant specializes in a specific type of display. So, for instance, if you'd like something translucent, understated, and consistent in tone, epoxy dyes are the way to go.
On the other hand, if the idea of an opaque (non-transparent) finish that shimmers elegantly in the light appeal to you more, then epoxy powder pigments are the better choice.
What Material Will You Be Pouring Your Epoxy Onto?
When using colorants, especially epoxy dyes, the features of the substrate you'll be applying it to can influence the way the finish looks.
To give an example, imagine two different colors of wood—one dark, one light. If you were to apply a pinkish epoxy dye, such as Rose Red by Pigmently, in the same amounts, the tinted epoxy on the dark wood would seem deeper than the finish on the light wood.
This outcome is because a darker substrate absorbs more of the light that passes through the epoxy, reflecting less of it and making it seem dimmer despite the equal amounts of dye used. To compensate, you can use more of a dye when it will be applied to a lighter substrate in order to achieve a deeper tone. Keep in mind that the thickness of the resin layer also affects the apperance, so it will almost always seem darker in the mixing container than after it's been applied.
If you want a lighter tone on a darker substrate, just do the reverse, start small and add more until it looks just a little darker than you want. Once it spreads out on the substrate, the thin layer should seem lighter.
And finally, if you'll simply be applying your epoxy resin to a mold, then the mixing container should give you a good idea of how it will end up looking, as molded epoxy isn't bonded to a substrate and will look very similar to the way it does in the mixing container.
How to Color Epoxy Resin
Application of epoxy colorants is simple. Here's a step-by-step guide:
- Add the hardener component to your epoxy mixing container. Make sure you keep in mind the mixing ratio for your chosen epoxy product, so that it matches the resin proportionately when you add that later.
- Add your colorant to the hardener. Begin with a small amount—a little goes a long way—then gradually add more while mixing it until it starts to reach your desired color. You can add a little extra to compensate for the increased volume provided by the resin in the next step.
- Add you resin component, then mix the batch thoroughly. Follow the mixing instructions provided by your epoxy manufacturer to achieve optimal results. If, after mixing, the color doesn't seem deep enough, you can quickly add some more and mix it in to achieve a darker tone.
- Apply the epoxy resin to your substrate or mold. After it settles, remove any air bubbles and allow it to cure.
By following these 4 steps, your epoxy finish should feature a stunning new look, brimming with color!
Primaloc Epoxy: Premium Epoxy for Premium Results
When it comes to epoxy resin, Primaloc Epoxy gets the job done. Our epoxy resin is premium-grade, with high performance in every category, and is perfectly suited for epoxy colorant infusions, providing unmatched protection and a colorful, charming appearance.
Epoxy resin can be beautiful, strong, and long-lasting—which is why you shouldn't compromise on quality. With Primaloc Epoxy Resin, you get the ultimate finish in durability and visual appeal.
Protect your surfaces by giving them a rock-solid epoxy finish. Choose strong. Choose reliable. Choose Primaloc.