Epoxy resin's functional traits are often lauded. The material is noted for its incredibly physical durability, its waterproofing features, as well as its versatility and ease of application.
But there's also epoxy's aesthetic side. When properly applied on its own, a high-quality epoxy resin is crystal-clear, a remarkable trait in its own right. But it doesn't have to be, and the sheer variety of customization available to epoxy users is stunning.
Epoxy: A Wonderful Medium for Color
Epoxy resin is highly receptive to substances called colorants. These substances are used to imbue items with different colorful hues. They're strong, permanent, and generally intended to last for a very long time without ever fading.
In the case of epoxy, there are two types of colorants designed specifically around viscous resin materials: epoxy powder pigments and epoxy liquid pigments. These two categories of colorant consist of highly concentrated pigments that can be applied in minuscule amounts to infuse epoxy with deep, vivid tones.
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the premium colorants carried in our store, then we'll prompt you with some questions to help you hone in on the type of colorants that may best suit any projects you're considering.
What Are Epoxy Colorants?
The two epoxy colorant types are powder pigments and liquid pigments. Let's consider each separately.
Epoxy Powder Pigments
Epoxy powder pigments are typically made from mica powder, which is the finely ground powdered form of mica. Mica is the label for a group of 37 silicate minerals, all of which share a couple of distinctive features.
The first feature is a highly reflective surface. This means that mica, after having been mined and cleaned, will shine in the light. When ground into a powder, it keeps this trait, exhibiting a gentle, dynamic sparkle from the numerous tiny particles.
The second feature is a perfect mineral cleavage. This is what makes it so easy to mine in sheets, and thus create the thin, flat particles that give mica powder its vivid color and sheen.
Mica powder pigments, when applied to epoxy, will typically change the inherently transparent finish of epoxy into a more opaque form, with deep colorful tones and patterns. The mica powder particles become suspended in the resin finish as it's poured onto a substrate surface (or into a resin mold).
Epoxy powder pigments are thus a great choice for epoxy projects in which you don't want/need the usual transparency.
Click here to view our Epoxy Powder Pigments Selection.
Epoxy Liquid Pigments
Epoxy liquid pigments are the counterpart to mica powders. These colorants come in liquid form and are applied like a potent dye. In fact, just a few drops into a batch of epoxy will deliver a noticeable change in tone.
This depth and vibrancy of the an epoxy dye infusion can be controlled by starting small and adding more until a desired shade is achieved. As more is added, the epoxy gradually becomes less transparent and more opaque.
Unlike the powder pigments, epoxy liquid pigments don't impart their color as a dynamic multi-toned pattern. Instead, the color will disperse uniformly during mixing, until the entire batch has been affected evenly.
Click here to view our Epoxy Liquid Pigments selection.
Choosing an Epoxy Colorant for Your Project
Now that we've described the epoxy colorant types, let's go over some questions that can help you determine which of them will suit you best.
Consider the following questions:
- Do you prefer a transparent epoxy finish or something colorful but opaque?
- Would you rather the color be smoothly distributed or feature a dynamic pattern (which you can manipulate during the process)?
- What's more appealing: a low-key, subtle appearance or an eye-catching, shimmery presence?
Let's take a look at each of these.
Question #1: Do You Prefer a Transparent Epoxy Finish or Something Colorful but Opaque?
Both colorant types affect the transparency of epoxy in different ways. Epoxy liquid pigments, when added deliberately, can leave the epoxy finish translucent, allowing light to pass through the colorful coating.
Epoxy powder pigments, though, will render the finish opaque. Technically, you could keep it translucent by using very little, but this will come at a cost of less color intensity that may just seem washed-out.
For a translucent finish, where you can see the color but also what's beyond it, go with the Liquid Pigments.
For an opaque finish, where only the colors of the epoxy are still visible, go with the Powder Pigments.
Question #2: Do You Prefer Smooth Color Distribution or Something More Dynamic?
Both epoxy colorant types have their own distinct appearance, beyond the colors themselves.
Epoxy Liquid Pigments are uniform in their dispersion. When mixed into an epoxy resin batch and applied to a substrate or mold, the dye will have evenly distributed as if it was a natural part of the epoxy.
Epoxy Powder Pigments, in contrast, involve numerous tiny particles. These particles don't evenly distribute, as they are insoluble, but rather get suspended in the epoxy resin batch, spreading unevenly to generate striking patterns that make the interior of the coating seem textured.
Choose Liquid Pigments if you want a uniform tone in your finish.
Choose Powder Pigments if you want something more dynamic.
Question #3: Would You Rather Your Finish Exhibit Subtle Elegance or a Captivating Shimmer?
With liquid epoxy pigments, you tend to get a more elegant, low-key visual effect. The smooth color tones are vivid, but can remain understated thanks to their translucent appearance.
In turn, the epoxy powder pigments, performing the opposite role, showcase a shimmering effect. The shimmer intensity is determined by the pigments used and the amount used of them. Some pigments are far more eye-catching than others.
Epoxy Colorants of the Same Type Can Mix Together
You can blend multiple colorants of the same type (powder or liquid) together to generate new tones and visual effects.
Note that you'll want to use less of each to avoid oversaturating your resin when employing this technique, but the benefit of further expanding your color options is worth the effort if the tone selection in our store doesn't quite match what you're looking for.
How Do You Use Epoxy Colorants?
Applying epoxy colorants to your resin is actually quite simple. We've written a step-by-step guide for it, which you can view by clicking here.
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.
Our resin is also highly receptive to epoxy colorants, allowing you to infuse your epoxy with beautiful tones that serve to convey your aesthetic preferences.
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.