Color pigmentation of resins and epoxy's

What kind of color pigmentation can, or should you use to add color to resin’s ect. ? Without having to go buy or order ‘specialty’ pigment’s. Can regular food coloring work ? ‘Testors’ model paint (red) ? Just looking to blend alittle red into the resin without searching out too hard for a color pigmentation or just too cheap to buy. Hopeing to use what I might have on hand already at home. I even thought of scraping off red powder from a kid’s paint set or thick finger paint. (I’ll probably pre-blend a few little batches to see the result’s first) Just wondering what might work with what’s at hand already.

Use dry pigments
You should use a dry pigment.

Water in epoxy can alter the speed the epoxy cures.

Oil in epoxy will do unexpected things.

I worked in a fiberglass boat shop for two years, and we always added liquid pigments to the gel coat. It was a no brainer for new boats, but for repairs it took a pretty good eye to matche exitistng colors, especially since most colors dried a shade or two different than they appeared wet.

Have never tried adding picgments to resin and do not know if that would work. An option that will definitely work though is to paint the epoxy after it cures.

Adding color to resins
The colors are pretty cheap to purchase. Why mess up a kayak by trying to invent a new way to do it?

Always mix the color into the resin prior to adding the hardner.

Artist’s Acrylic Pigment

For the Chipewan rebuild, I tinted West System epoxy with artist’s Acrylic pigments from Michaels (the craft store). This is the stuff that artists use on canvas, comes in a tube. I was putting maybe a teaspoon into a cup of resin.

It seems to work fine. The pigment did not seem to alter the behavior of the epoxy at all. The epoxy cures translucent, does not cover opaquely like a paint.

The Chipewan hit the water in November and I’ve used it about 15 days so far, and the tinted epoxy is holding up like, well, epoxy.

I did some research via this heah board and other internet sources prior to using the acyrilic, and found others using acrylic as well. I think I even encountered somebody up your way who has mixed a bunch of different batches and put them outside and is reporting on the weathering affects. Wait, maybe that was hardners…old-timers disease strikes again. But I definately used acrylic in the epoxy and it is definately performing acceptably so far.


Sounds good to me.
I’m putting long strips of material on my old beat up Explorer hull so it’s not critical how matched up it looks. Or that it’s even pretty on the outside. It is full of crappy, campy, stickers after all. I’m just looking to not have that ‘glareing yellow’ with the kevlar felt at the repair location’s. I opted not to use the cloth weave because I’m a ‘low water’ poler and pushing up or down rocky shallow’s would ruin a ‘lite’ cloth weave on the outside sooner than a thicker felt material. Picture this -poling up a wet rock slide with a 275 lb grizzled swamp yankee, brrrr. Cloth wouldn’t stand up (pardon the pun) to that abuse. No, it’s not a pretty beast but it floats and carry’s a load. And she’s my gal.

I’d do the color in final coat or 2 of epoxy only, especially if you’re using some dubious pigment,this way you don’t affect the strength.

I work at a bodyshop and naturally i tried adding automotive basecoat paint to epoxy, works fine and was free for me. Or, toner from a printer cartrige would work as well(also had some free to try), you can also squeeze the juice out of a permanent marker pen of sorts.

But all that crap was free, if you didn’t have either handy,i’d just go to any plastic supply store and buy the epoxy dye for like 3$ a bottle.

Hey Booz, we talked about this a
while back.

YES YOU CAN use the 99 artist paints. NOT the oils, the acrylic enamel ones. Lots of fun colors.

Just a dab … if you put too much, the epoxy will let you know when you are mixing it.

Darker colors will last for years out in direct sun, lighter ones will fade and even change color. Worst of all is lime green.

Before moving, I had dozens of panels up on the roof using several different epoxys, and esters and have a good database on what happens to various resins and colors in the sun.

Water in epoxy will do more amazing
things, like causing the unset resin to boil up violently in the mixing pot.

If you liked a dark, mahogany red, you
could let some previously opened West 205 Hardener sit around 3-4 years, and it will get rather dark. It still sets up properly (West says it is a bit thicker), and the mahogany tone is rather attractive. I use it as this stage to repair broken mahogany furniture. And I patch boats with it, if I don’t have fresh 205. I LIKE visible patches. They emphasize the absence of gelcoat.

Memory not as bad…
Yah, thanks for posting. Onno speaks (types) from experience!


McCrae put Dynel on Topher’s Appalachan and it held up at least until I boated with him before he went west. I put a layer of Dynel on the Chipewan. It is fabric and is supposed to be highly abrasion resistant. It soaks up epoxy, is easier to work than glass cloth, and is much thinner than kevlar felt. How the two will compare after many rock drags I don’t know. We know kevlar is damn tough. Structurally, I don’t think the dynel is supposed to be as strong as glass. If you are just putting on a layer to replace what has scraped away, and don’t need structural repair, you might want to get some more opinions on dynel, as I think you’d save weight. I need to abuse the Chipewan more before I have an opinion.


If you wanted to cook up a batch…
… just pour it ( Hardener) into a glass jar and set out for a while … happens real fast.

Real life
Try Minicraft of Florida for dyes, tints, pigments we know will work.