Mica Powder and Pigment Powder – Differences and Use with Epoxy Resin
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You might have wondered, what is mica powder? Well, this powder has been in use right from our prehistoric times and has been widely accepted by many civilizations like Indus, Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Aztech. Historians have found its wide use in cave paintings, monuments, Pueblo poetry, Japanese woodblock, and even Ayurveda. We tell you more about mica powder and what you can use it for.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Mica Powder?
- 2 What Is the Best Mica Powder for Resin?
- 3 The Advantages and Disadvantages of using Mica
- 4 Usage of Mica Pigments in Art
- 5 What is Pigment Powder?
- 6 How to mix Mica Powder and Pigment Powder with Epoxy Resin
- 7 Wonderful combinations involving Mica Powder:
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mica Powder?
Mica powder is one of the most popular choices for artists and enthusiasts who want to make the finest art. Consisting of the most natural elements, it is very safe to use and is non-toxic.
It is a common confusion on the difference between Mica powder and pigment powder.
Mica Powder is shimmery, giving a very glossy effect, while normal color pigment has a matte appearance. The powder is very flexible and is used in beauty products, healthcare products like lotions and soaps, and also in art supplies. Makeup enthusiasts are often baffled with the glow and the radiance it gives to their appearance. For artists, it is a perfect pick that can fit into any project.
With an extended usage in woodblock, festivals of color, clay pots, and architecture, Mica is an organic mineral found in stones. When this mineral with shiny flakes goes through the process of grounding, it is converted to the powder form. Mica powder is best known to give a perlaceous effect.
Cleaned Mica mineral
What Is the Best Mica Powder for Resin?
You have probably seen mica pigment powder around, whether it be in your local store or while you were shopping online for crafting supplies. Loads of companies make this product, and unfortunately, not all mica powder kits are made equal. This begs the question, what is the best mica powder for resin? Let’s have a look at some of the best-rated mica powder sets on the market and see how they stack up against one another.
Best Overall: JACQUARD Pearl Ex Pigment
Considering that most people use mica pigment powder for the mental effect it produces, it should come as no surprise that the Peal Ex team has chosen to capitalize on this with their 6-piece metallic hue set. This is one of the best quality mica resins color additives we have come across, featuring a vibrant pallet that adds a completely different dimension to your workpiece, whether you are adding it to your canvas paint, plaster, or resin.
- Includes six different colors of powdered mica pigment
- The mica pigments are versatile and safe to use for anyone
- Easy to mix into epoxy resin for stunning color results
The six-piece set includes metallic variations of gold, silver, white, violet, copper, and cobalt colors, ensuring that you have a wide range of high-quality metallic colors to add to your resin or any other medium you might come across. Although the pot volumes of the colors mentioned above are a tad disappointing at .75oz, these colors are 100% kiln safe, not to mention versatile. The Pearl Ex range can be used in substances like clay and even ceramic if the mood took you.
- High-quality finish
- Heat resistant
- Sheen finish
- Powerful color set
- Easy to use
- Sold in small volumes
- Limited color selection
- Not accessible to beginners
Best Value: ARTOPIA ARTISAN PIGMENTS Mica Powder
We mentioned previously that mica powder pigments come in two varieties, namely those with a shiny metallic finish and those with a pearl opaque one. The Artopia team seems to have gone for the latter when producing their ultimate 25 color mica powder kit for resin. This is a welcome change of pace from the typical high sheen finishes most manufacturers seem to be putting out, and although the colors are muted, by comparison, they are still extremely pronounced compared to conventional pigment powders on the market.
- Versatile mica pigment is suitable for resin, soap, or slime
- The mica powder is non-toxic, safe to use, and natural
- The range of pearl powder pigments includes many colors
If you’re looking for great value for money the Artopia team has you covered, with 25 color variations it really doesn’t leave you wanting much more, except maybe some more resin for all the dye you just purchased. The value is not only its variety, the Artopia team really hit it out of e park with the sheer versatility this product has, being graded for use on everything from kids’ slime (great for those on TikTok how-to videos), plastic, latex, nail art, soap, resin, and even screen painting! The possibilities are endless and are completely safe for both kids and adults.
- Variety of colors
- Easy to use
- Mixing stick included
- Easy to wash off
- Reasonably priced
- Containers not resealable
- No metallic finish
- Not graded for high heat
- Color quality inconsistent
Best Quality: U.S. ART SUPPLY Mica Pearl Powder Pigment
If you’re in the mood for something homegrown, why not give the mica Pearl from the U.S art supply a go? Unlike the Artopia team, the U.S art supply team seems to have focussed on quality and quantity, although they do seem to be lacking in variety for individual purchases. It does seem like a reasonable drawback for the rather high-quality color you get for each bag, and with 25 colors to choose from you’re rather spoiled for choice. One likeness this product shares with the Artopia team is its pearl finish, which seems to be slightly higher quality compared to the before-mentioned brand, and considering each color is available in 3.5oz, you will have ample supply for all your resin projects in the foreseeable future.
- Premium professional grade cosmetic mica powder
- The powder is safe, non-toxic, and will not tarnish or fade
- Suitable for paint, resin, glue, soap, candles, and much more
What really sets this brand apart from the competition is its versatility, and we don’t just mean applications to various surfaces. You seem, aside from being graded for use on candles, cosmetics, makeup, soap, slime, and screening, the mica pearl range can be loaded into an airgun. This adds a whole new dimension to what you could make with your mica powder, although it is a bit disappointing that each bag costs $9.00, which is a bit steep compared to both the Artopia and Pearl Ex range. On the other hand, they do make up for this with impeccable customer service, offering a refund and/or replacement order if you aren’t happy with your purchase!
- Easy to use
- Large volume per unit
- Large color selection
- Can be used with an airgun
- High-quality color
- Good customer service
- No mixing stick included
- Not graded for use with heat
- Not accessible for beginners
The Advantages and Disadvantages of using Mica
Many individuals often encounter the problem of using a product that does not suit their skin. Mica, however, is a relief as it suits all skin types and is extremely safe to use. Possessing all-natural ingredients that are very beneficial for health and beauty, it does not have any additional side effects on the skin like rashes and irritation. It is also ground to the finest powder creating a scintillating organic finish.
Mica minerals freshly from the ground
If Mica has any disadvantage, it would be the mining involved. The regions that have abundance in the deposits of Mica require huge amounts of manpower. Thus, the industry often deals with child labor, for example in India. States like Jharkhand in India are examples of the poverty-stricken helplessness the children deal with while mining.
Usage of Mica Pigments in Art
Mica pigments consist of minute particles that can easily dissolve into any opaque medium. Thus, for maximum benefits of shine and sparkle, the pigment powder can be used in clear or translucent mediums. These pigments shine, particularly in oil paints and watercolors. You can mix the mica pigment by the requirement for the intensity of the color, which can be light or heavy.
The pigments work wonders with transparent topcoats like shellac, wax, clear epoxies, and glazes. It is very useful for Iconography, and Egg Tempera Artists will find them particularly useful, especially in Iconography. It is also a common choice for walls, floors, and furniture as it never degrades and is safe to use.
What is Pigment Powder?
Pigment powders consist of pigments known to give color to paint, that are primarily used for adding color to many products. Innately, they do not possess any lustrous properties.
The effect is similar to powdered colored chalk. The pigments powder consists of a range of colors like ultramarine blue, cadmium red, yellow ochre, and titanium white.
Pigment Blue 15 is an example of synthetic artificial pigment that is not produced naturally. The pure pigments which are recommended often fare higher than the ones mixed with fillers like chalk.
How to mix Mica Powder and Pigment Powder with Epoxy Resin
Many consider mixing Mica powder and pigment powder with Epoxy Resin. This can be done in various ways. However, you will have to keep certain things in mind.
Make sure that your pigment powder is completely dry and away from any additional moisture. Moisture can prevent the epoxy resin from curing or can promote soft curing. Also, be careful while mixing your resin and hardener.
Combine Your Resin and Hardener
If you have never worked with resin and hardeners before, here’s a little crash course. Epoxy resin usually comes in two parts, the resin, and the hardener, Epoxy is formed when these two parts are mixed together in a 1:1 ratio.
Once poured together in this balance, use your mixing stick to get it nice and mushed up and give it a few seconds to settle before continuing to the next step.
Sprinkle the Mica Powder into the mixed Resin:
Take a considerable amount of pigment powder. Make sure it is not taken in excess and sprinkle little by little on your mixed cup of resin. You can use a measuring spoon for precaution. Gently stir it, not disturbing the consistency. If you still feel that more pigment powder needs to be added, you may add little quantities.
Beware of any lumps and stir the solution thoroughly with your mixing utensil checking for any lumps that won’t dissolve. For pigment powders that have been grounded well enough and do not accumulate together in lumps, this method is very suitable.
Wax Paper surface for Premixing:
The blending of the color should never be compromised, and this can happen if the pigment powder chosen is heavy. Sometimes they don’t diffuse well, creating many disturbances for your resin art piece. The consistency of the mixture can be very irregular with an unpleasant finish.
For such situations, you can go ahead by using a wax paper surface. Pour some quantity of your resin onto this surface, followed by adding the pigment powder. Mix the mixture well and crush the big lumps. Stir well to form a consistent mixture that will become your stock solution. Once you are sure that you have mixed well, you can add the solution to your resin.
Wonderful combinations involving Mica Powder:
Mica Powder and Glass:
Many consider fusing Mica powder with Glass. To do this, begin with taking a clean-burning glass glue and rubbing alcohol. The proportion 2:1:1 for Mica, Glastac, and rubbing alcohol, respectively, should be maintained. Apply the temperature of about 1325° F. Make sure you are safe in the proceedings and keep your skin and eyes away from the solution.
Mica Powder and Personalized Journals, Diaries and Scrapbooks:
To customize your journal with the right art going with your vibe, Mica is a wonderful option. You can get a glossy background for your diary scrapbook page or journal. All you have to do is pour some mica powder in a spray bottle and mix it well with water. Make sure you get a fine solution. With the bottle, you can directly spray it to the sheet.
Art enthusiasts are often excited about the numerous possibilities added to their artwork with Mica. Mica is so flexible that it can be directly mixed with your art supplies like oil paint, acrylic paint, and other products. This will make your work stand out and give it more contrast and visual appeal.
Mica Powder and Rubber Stamps
Rubber stamps are a way of adding your personalized signature to postcards, handmade greeting cards, and letters. It not only makes your card more visually appealing but also adds that extra detail. To make the stamp more beautiful, you can use the rubber stamp with Mica powder.
Begin with placing your rubber stamp firmly to your ink pad. Once you stamp the sheet, immediately cover the imprint with the powder. Be cautious about doing this before the ink dries. To avoid wasting the powder, you can pour the remaining back into the jar.
Create your own Glossy Spray Paint:
Mica powder works extremely well with metallic paint. The solution involves adding water, a tablespoon of powder, and glue. This solution can be kept in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to mix the solution properly. The shimmer spray works wonders for personal projects and other kinds of art pieces. Artists can add subtle detail to their work, creating a large impact.
Mica powder can also be used with clay to create some fabulous projects. This can be done in two ways. Either the powder can be directly mixed with raw clay, or the pigment can be brushed onto the clay providing a durable finish. Both ways create a visually appealing look.
Mica is a good pick for soaps because of its adaptability to different mediums. It remains stable in the cold processing of the soap. Along with many art materials, Mica is highly compatible with soaps too.
For this, you will require Mica powder, water, rubbing alcohol. While creating the melt for your soap, add the power in gradual proportions. You can spray rubbing alcohol on any bubbles that rise to the top. Mix everything well and pour the soap into the mold. Many use ½ teaspoon per pound of the melt to obtain a transparent melt, which usually works the best.
Furniture plays an integral part in defining the personality of your home and space. Adding that extra vibrance to your interiors can do wonders for your setting. Mica does just that as it blends perfectly well with furniture pieces, walls, flooring. Commonly used elements along with it are lacquer, topcoats, and wood. You can also use it to create stunning River Tables.
Thus, the answer to the question of what is mica powder is simple. It is one of the simplest supplies that can be used in multiple places. It is very beneficial to keep at home as it serves as an aid during many situations fitting in and blending perfectly with craft, decor, and lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mica Powder Safe?
Although mica powder is safe to use on your skin and other extremities it is not safe to inhale or ingest. Remember that these are not particularly soft particles and therefore inhaling or ingesting them in relatively large amounts can cause serious discomfort and/or internal scarring.
Is Mica Powder Artificial?
Mica Powder is not artificial, it is mined. Where conventional pigment powders can be both synthetic and artificial, mica powder is mined in a few places across the world and cannot be reproduced synthetically.
Why Is Mica Bad for Houses?
If you are concerned about Mica being toxic to your home environment, you shouldn’t be. Remember that Mica is a naturally occurring substance, and aside from large deposits, trace amounts can be found in most building materials. However, mica does absorb water, so it is not recommended or graded for use in construction or load-bearing applications.