Can You Mix Acrylic Paint with Resin? (How to Color Resin)

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painting using a popsicle stick to a canvasBoth acrylic paints and epoxy resins are wonderful mediums for creating stunning works of art. A question that many budding artists ask is can you use acrylic paints as resin tint. If you have asked the same thing then we are here to help.

In this article, we will discuss using acrylics to tint epoxy resin, how to mix the two, and answer a few other frequently asked questions we hear about using epoxy resins and acrylic paints to create stunning works of art.

If you are ready let’s dive right in.

Can You Mix Acrylic Paint with Resin?

Can you mix acrylic paint with resin; positively. As a matter of fact, the majority of people who work regularly with epoxy resins recommend using acrylic paints and pigments.

To start with, acrylic paint is available almost anywhere you can imagine. Hobby shops, craft stores, hardware stores, and even some convenience stores will often have acrylic paint available.

On top of that, acrylics can be had in an endless array of colors. From soft pastels to bright fluorescents, you can buy or create exactly the look you are wanting. Basically, acrylics are a joy to work with.colors of acrylic paints in tubes

Acrylic paint not only allows you to color epoxy resin, but many of them also come with special additives that can help to take your work to the next level. Just a few of the special properties that some acrylic paints have added include;

These are just a few of the more common additives you can find. More are being made available all the time and the list is almost endless.

As an added bonus, acrylics not only blend well with epoxy resin, they help to strengthen it. Just like adding natural stone to concrete makes it harder, adding acrylic paints and the additives they carry to epoxy resins make them bond tighter and provide a more durable finished product. That’s not forgetting how beautiful they are, to begin with.

How to Color Resin With Acrylic Paint (Step by Step)

showing a piece of designed colored resin artWhile creating the beautiful effects that are possible with resin art may seem intimidating, it is easier than you think. In this condensed primer we will walk you step by step on how to color resin with acrylic paint. This process is a wonderful first step to becoming a true resin artist.

What You Will Need

  • Epoxy resin
  • Epoxy hardener
  • Acrylic paint(s) in your choice of colors
  • Container to mix in
  • Mixing sticks or mechanical mixer
  • Safety equipment (gloves, mask, and goggles)

Along with these items, you will need a slight bit of knowledge. To assure that your epoxy resin flows and hardens properly you should never add more than one part acrylic paint to 10 parts epoxy by weight or volume. That is to say, if you need 10 grams of epoxy to cover a piece of artwork, you would mix five grams of epoxy resin with five grams of hardener, and no more than one ounce of acrylic paint.

Some artists say you can add up to three times this amount of acrylic paint.

woman mixing color with resin in a plastic cupAny more paint than this and you risk your epoxy not smoothing properly and in extreme cases drying to a tacky rather than a firm finish. A good rule of thumb is to use acrylic paint with the highest possible pigment content. It may cost slightly more but the results are worth the extra expense.

1. Setup Your Work Station

When working with epoxy resin time is almost always of the essence. While some may give you as much as an hour or two of working time, others will begin to cure in as little as a few minutes.

Because of this, you don’t want to be fumbling around looking for things once you start mixing them. Organize bother the area you are going to use to mix acrylic paint with the epoxy resin.

It is also a very good idea to also have your work laid out and ready for the epoxy once it is mixed. This avoids losing precious minutes of working time.

2. Prepare Yourself

Mixing acrylic paint with epoxy resin isn’t considered a dangerous activity. It is always best though to err on the side of caution.

woman wearing safety glasses and maskThe fumes from epoxy are less than present so a vapor mask is recommended. Some epoxy can get quite arm when it begins to cure and cured resin is very difficult to remove from the skin so gloves are mandatory as are goggles to protect your eyes.

3. Start Mixing

Once you have everything set up and you have properly protected yourself. you can begin mixing acrylic paint with your epoxy.

Many recommend mixing the epoxy resin with the chemical hardener before adding any colorant. We have found that adding liquid acrylics to the resin first, before the hardener, works fine for us.

It makes it easier to blend in the paint completely and tell when all three elements are completely blended later on.

Keep in mind that we use high-end, artist-quality, fluid acrylics. There are hundreds of acrylic paints on the market so you may want to do a test batch before choosing the method to use.

Regardless of which order you add your ingredients be sure they are mixed completely and uniformly. This can be accomplished with a mechanical mixer, plastic spoon, popsicle stick, or even a toothpick, depending on the amount of tinted epoxy you are going to need.

preparing to mix red pain to a resin in a cupIt is best to start with less acrylic paint than you initially believe you are going to need. You can more paint if the tint is too light much easier and cheaper than trying to lighten your epoxy by adding more resin and hardener.

4. Star Adding Acrylic Paint

For these instructions, we are going to assume that you have already mixed your epoxy resin and chemical hardener.

Either place your blended epoxy on an accurate scale or for small batches in a small mixing cup. We save and use the cups that come with many cough medicines for this purpose.

Slowly mix acrylic paint into the epoxy a little at a time. Don’t get in a hurry, especially if you are using more than one colored paint to develop a custom color.

5. Watch for Color Changes

added a drop of color to a container of resin mixObserve how the epoxy reacts to the addition of acrylic paint. We have found that some resins can cause a slight shift in the tones of some paints. If you are working towards a precise shade this can be critical to watch for.

6. Mix Thoroughly

Add paint slowly and mix each stage thoroughly before adding more. Tinting epoxy resin is a meticulous process. all three elements; the epoxy resin, acrylic paint, and hardener must be kept in balance. You also have to make sure and not stray too far afield with your colors.

If you don’t keep everything completely mixed before making changes, nasty surprises can occur.

7. Pour Your Epoxy

Once you are satisfied with the appearance of your epoxy resin, you are ready to pour it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Paint Can You Mix with Epoxy?

The only paint that is recommended to be mixed with epoxy resin is acrylic paint. Other paints, like Latex paint, have the tendency to clump when added to epoxy and some can cause the consistency and durability of the finished epoxy resin to be far from desirable.

resin art wall clock designAcrylic paints on the other hand can actually strengthen the epoxy resin much as gravel strengthens concrete. Acrylic pigments are actually plastic-based and very durable. The only negative with acrylics is there can be some loss of sheen in the finish.

What Can I Use to Tint Epoxy?

The most commonly available item to use when tinting or coloring epoxy resins is acrylic paints. Other items that can also be used include:

Can You Put Painted Objects in Resin?

Yes, you can put painted objects in resin and use resin to seal paintings. Types of materials that be used with epoxy resin include:

  • Acrylics
  • Watercolors
  • Oil paint (provided it is completely dry)
  • Photographs
  • Inkjet prints
  • Spray paint
  • Encaustics
  • Inks
  • Paper collage
  • Wood
  • Glitter
  • Metal
  • Flowers
  • Rocks