How To: Make Transparent Pigments

How To: Make Transparent Pigments – Resin is such a beautiful medium in the sense that there are so many creative possibilities. But one of the hardest choices to make when working with epoxy resin is deciding or finding the perfect colours for your resin projects.

If you want to make river tables, pens, bowls, beaches, or similar you will often want a transparent colour. This helps create depth and texture to your piece and allows you to see the full capabilities of the resin itself.

What is a transparent colour? Transparent or Transluscent are colours that show the specific colour, i.e. “blue” or “Red” but are still see-through. So if you add sand and shells to your River Board, you could add a blue transparent colour to create a water effect whilst still being able to see the shells and sand at the bottom.

Commonly, Alcohol Inks are used in resin to create a transparent effect, however this is not something we (as a resin manufacturer) would ever recommend. This is due to the lightfastness of Alcohol Inks. They are quick to fade in resin and can often differ in colour when added to resin, due to the evaporation of the solvent base.

Recently a new range of pigments were developed by Art Tree Creations, called Transparent Dyes. These brand new pigments are designed specifically as a transparent colour. There are 11 colours to choose from and only 2 drops are needed to tint 1 Litre of resin. So these dyes are super concentrated and go a really long way. Adding more or using less drops is also possible, and will achieve different levels of colour transparency.

BUT – If you already have a big range of epoxy pastes at home and aren’t looking to add more pigments to your collection, then we are here to teach you how you can create your very own transparent pigments.

If you have any of the “Darker” colours from the Art Tree Creations Epoxy pigment range or even our own U RESIN range, these are colours that will be the perfect transparent colours. When browsing our online catalogue of pigments or looking at our Colour Charts, you’ll find certain pigments marked as transparent. This means when used in small amounts they will be transparent otherwise in normal amounts, they will also be opaque. (So you’re already getting 2-for-1 value!)

When we say small amounts, we really mean small! Where you would normally use a 10 Cent coins’ worth of pigment you would be looking to add a tooth-picks worth of colour and swirling it into your resin. You can then add more to create different levels of transparency.

If you are working on larger scales and needing more volume, we recommend separating a small amount of your mixed resin and adding your colour in. For Example: You have a 10 Litre River Pour to create and you need a transparent blue colour. Once you have your 10L mixed, separate 1L of resin and in that 1L add the scoop of pigment.

Initially this colour will appear darker, but don’t worry it will change! Once that 1L resin has had the pigment mixed, add the 1L into the remaining 9 Litres of resin. Mix again and you’ll begin to notice the colour is no longer so dark. However, if the colour still isn’t deep, simply add more colour and mix until you are happy with the depth.

Here is an example video where Art Tree Creations mixed a small amount of Turquoise Blue into U RESIN OceanCast before adding it to the rest of the resin, to create a transparent River Table. Watch Here.

Where we would normally recommend 2-5% colour to resin, when creating transparency you are looking more for 0.1-1% colour at most. Working specifically with Epoxy Pastes in small amounts really is your best option as it is more economical (cost wise), has high levels of concentration and have excellent UV stability much like our full range of resin systems, so it won’t fade or yellow quickly.

At the end of the day, resin is all about experimenting and finding colours, processes and projects that best suit your style and personality. If you have ever tried making your own transparent colours, be sure to send us some pictures!

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We are a 3rd generation of family-owned business specialising in epoxy resin manufacturing and supplies. We are located in Perth, Western Australia, where we manufacture and distribute all of our resin products. We focus on three characteristics: Dependability, Customer Service and Uniqueness.
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