Creating your own paint is a great way to cut costs while exerting greater control over the shades and effects you desire. Dry pigment powder can be combined with binders from oils to gum arabic to create a variety of painting media, and you usually need just a small amount of pigment. Like paint, however, the quality of powders is wide-ranging, to suit projects from slime-making to painted masterpieces. No matter what powder you favor, you should always handle these particles carefully and protect yourself from inadvertent inhalation.
1. Jacquard Pigment Set
Jacquard’s product is one of the most versatile on the market. Made from ground mica, these are highly stable pigments that incorporate well into any viscous medium without affecting its behavior. Mix them with oils, encaustics, acrylics, or epoxy; use them for stamping; dust them over polymer clay—the possibilities are endless. The superfine powder adds vivid color as well as a subtle pearlescence, which can lend your works a lovely depth. You get eight colors in this set of 0.5-ounce jars, including scarlet, emerald, and a dark brown.
2. Black Diamond Pigment Powder
Black Diamond’s pigments can be used for a variety of projects, from screen printing to acrylic painting, but they excel when mixed with epoxy, producing fluids that pour and drip smoothly. The fine mica powder comes in elegantly designed, resealable bags, and while these carry a small amount—5 grams each—you’ll need just a little to produce rich and vivid colors. Like Jacquard’s product, these powders add a lustrous metallic finish to your paints. This set includes 10 colors that stay true as your paint dries.
3. Gamblin Dry Pigment
For a versatile artist-grade pigment powder, consider Gamblin’s product, which is made of 100 percent pure pigment. Smoothly ground into tiny granules, these retain beautiful colors that shine whether mixed with a binder, oil, or pouring medium. Because they are so fine, these powders take a little more effort to mull, but the consistency you can achieve is worth it. Each color comes in a jar holding four fluid ounces; while you do have to purchase them individually, this lets you test one color before committing to this pricier brand.
4. Pinmu Pigment Powder
If color assortment is a priority, Pinmu offers this good-quality set of mica powder. You get 15 cheery colors with a metallic sheen, including a silver black and pearl white. They perform especially well in small, DIY projects like making slime, soap, or bath bombs. While the grains’ color vibrancy is not as intense as that of some other picks, they do mix nicely with epoxy resin. One caveat: Because the plastic containers aren’t labeled, you’ll need to take care in differentiating among the colors, some of which are quite close.
5. Wtrcsv Glow in the Dark Pigment
This is a fun product you can use to make eye-catching works that glow in the dark. Best mixed with a white or clear medium, these pigments produce a bright radiance after receiving a quick charge in sunlight or under a light bulb. They incorporate well with white acrylic paint, epoxy resin, or gum arabic to make watercolor; you can also mix them with clear nail polish. The intensity is also easy to control: for a stronger glow, simply add more pigment.