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I use resin a lot and have pigments for them as well. These are extremely expensive though. Is it a good idea to mix acrylic with resin? Has anyone done this? If yes I'd like to know how it turned out and how to actually proceed with this technique.

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  • Some people use printer toner refills as pigments (you don't get white though) By "acrylic" do you mean artists colours (rather than acrylic house paint)?
    – BobT
    Sep 18, 2020 at 13:43

2 Answers 2

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Yes, you can mix acrylic paint into resin (I assume you mean epoxy resin), but the results may wary from paint to paint.

The general rules apply:

  1. You can mix wet ingredients (paints, inks) up to 10% of the volume of resin into it. Anything more makes the resin cloudy or not cure correctly. Better be safe and limit it to 5%.
  2. If possible, mix the wet ingredients into the hardener before mixing the hardener and resin together. That guarantees even mixing and doesn't shorten your working time.

I strongly advice against using cheap acrylic paints, because they contain less pigments and more water than high quality paints, and sometimes additives like chalk. That means they make the resin opaque and you need more paint to reach the desired color of resin, which leads us back to problem 1: your resin could become cloudy.

I've had a bad experience with transparent glass color, probably because it wasn't acrylic based. The color didn't mix with the epoxy at all and formed little flakes of color in the otherwise untinted resin instead. Have a look at the result here.

I've had good experiences with acrylic colors and food colors. Both tend to mix well with resin, but both can change color quite drastically. Have a look at my results here.

  • Some food colors changed the physical properties of the resin and made it goopy
  • Some food colors didn't mix well with the resin
  • All food colors changed color in the resin
  • Food colors are not light stable! They will fade when exposed to light
  • All acrylics mixed well with the resin
  • Some acrylics changed color in the resin quite drastically, others not at all. I assume you'll face color changes especially with red paints because red pigments are known to be less stable than most other pigments.
  • Some acrylics are less light stable than others and will slowly fade when exposed to light. The amount of light stability is usually printed as a symbol on the tube of paint (at least on high quality paints).

I've had the least problems at all with powders like cheap eye shadow. It makes the resin opaque, but often adds a shimmer or pearlescent effect and in my experience never changed color in the resin. Be aware that powders sink to the bottom of the mould, which might look odd...

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I'd not advise mixing acrylic colors into resin. However, there are artist who circumvent this and produce great art.

You should rather apply your acrylic paints on the surface and let it dry before pouring your aptly tinted resin on top of the painted layer.

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    Will you please give us some examples of "artists who circumvent this and produce great art"? Also, the question is about using acrylic paints as pigments for resin, and NOT about applying resin over paintings. Will you please update the answer to fix these issues?
    – virolino
    Nov 29, 2022 at 6:16

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