Coloring epoxy for inlays

Working on some christmas gifts and going to be doing some epoxy inlays and need a bunch of different colors. Wondering what others use for an opaque (dont want see thru) color that wont break the bank. Most of what I have found cost $10/color which seems like a lot

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I use Tenax coloring. It works well for me. A few drops is all that is needed

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I use acrylic paint.
Here is a video

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Epoxy is a plastic, you can almost use anything to color/tint it.

Foodsafe printer colour, nail colours with or without flakes, dyes etc… :slight_smile:

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Go watch Peter Brown on YouTube…he has used just about everything…lol…here is a video from not long ago

I use Smooth-on UVO Colorants. Their sampler 9-pack is $31, and it only take a few drops per ounce of epoxy to get an opaque result. The colorant is a liquid, so I use a blunt dispensing needle to punch the seal on the container and measure out the pigment. This gives precise control, extends the life of the pigment, and helps avoid spills. (Select Size: 9-pack, Color: Assorted)

1shot enamel for lettering/pin striping also works well and offers a broad variety of colors. Just keep the mix under 5% 1shot to epoxy to avoid interfering with the epoxy cure. I have only used West System Epoxy - I have no idea how other brands behave.

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Ok, i was looking at liquid dyes for soaps, specifically something like this:

They are pretty cheap and should work…right? And have lots of color choices

One thing to consider with that dye is color fading due to UV light - this is the main reason I stick to Smooth-on uvo and 1shot. If the product will be in direct sunlight, use a UV resistant colorant and sealant.

Another is how much colorant needs to be added to the epoxy to get the desired color saturation. Adding too much can harm the epoxy cure. The higher quality the pigment, the less you will need to mix in.

Oh, one other tip using epoxy… i recommend sealing the wood before applying colored epoxy. Some pigments will absorb into wood grain and bleed color into places where you don’t want it. I ruined a nice piece of figured red cedar the first time I tried epoxy inlay. That taught me to always do a few test pieces first.

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If you haven’t found anything, these work great! Alumilite dyes, 3 drops would give enough color for a solo cup of epoxy to not be transparent. I would give you the amazon link but they are cheaper here:

These also offer great coloring for epoxy and give it a pearl effect.

Both these products are frequent used in casting.

Here’s one of the projects I made using the alumilite dye in epoxy. For color reference, that was 1 large drop of the black dye in 2 pumps of West Systems epoxy. Both sign and gate curve completed on the x-carve)


Thanks for the info, going with some mica powders for now, but will keep that in mind

I use Pearl EX. Great results every time. Not to mention they have cool transition colors like blue-to-red or something that changes with the angle of the light. I also like that I can get them at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby almost whenever I need them.

Try Caster’s Choice. Much better than the Jaquard Pearl Ex IMO and much cheaper.

I have been using ‘soap dye’ for about a year and it has worked perfect. I am not a fan of using paint because it doesn’t really stand out and I have found it bleeds in to the wood easier. If you are doing detailed stuff order some cheap disposable needles. It makes placement so much easier. Practice on some scrap first. Try a sample pack from amazon to see what you like before buying a jar of pigment. Here is one of the kits I routinely order. For $13 it gives you some good variety and only take a small amount.