Color Your Creations: Can You Use Food Coloring in Resin?

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As a seasoned woodworker, I’ve always appreciated the artistic dimension that color adds to any project. Whether it’s a finely crafted piece of furniture or a decorative epoxy resin item, color can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. 

This guide will delve into the world of coloring resin, focusing on an intriguing question: can you use food coloring in resin? Let’s embark on this creative journey and explore the potential of food coloring in resin crafting.

Can You Add Food Coloring in Resin?

The Compatibility Challenge

Resin crafting is an art form that demands precision and creativity. While food coloring is a household staple for adding vibrancy to culinary delights, it wasn’t initially designed for resin work. 

This compatibility challenge arises from fundamental differences in the composition and viscosity of food coloring compared to resin.

The primary hurdle is that food coloring, as the name suggests, is formulated for food products.

Food Coloring Resin

Its viscosity is tailored for edible applications and does not work well with dense materials like resin. However, this doesn’t mean we should dismiss food coloring altogether in resin crafting.

For beginners or budget-conscious crafters, incorporating food coloring into resin might be a viable option, especially if you’re experimenting or just starting your resin journey. 

It offers a cost-effective way to add hues to your resin projects and creations, but it’s crucial to recognize its limitations.

How to Color UV Resin

UV resin is a unique material in the world of resin crafting. Unlike traditional resins, UV resin cures and dries when in contact with natural or artificial UV radiation. 

This characteristic makes it particularly suitable for time-sensitive projects. But how do you effectively add color to UV resin, and does food coloring work in this context?

UV resin

Yes, food coloring can be used with UV resin, but there’s a catch. When using UV resin, opting for oil-based food coloring is advisable. 

The reason behind this preference lies in the compatibility of these two materials. UV resin and oil-based food coloring share a similar consistency, allowing them to blend seamlessly.

While water-based food color can still be used, oil-based food coloring yields better results. The consistency of oil-based food coloring matches UV resin, minimizing the risk of issues like streaking. Achieving a harmonious color blend is more straightforward with this choice.

Lightfastness and Food Coloring

Before we dive deeper into food coloring’s application in resin crafting, let’s clarify a critical concept: lightfastness.

In our discussion, lightfastness refers to the ability of a substance, in this case, food coloring, to resist fading when in contact with direct sunlight for extended periods. It measures how well the color retains its vibrancy when faced with UV rays or prolonged sunlight exposure.

mixing UV resin

Sadly, lightfastness isn’t its strong suit for food coloring. Food dye’s pigment tends to fade relatively quickly when exposed to sunlight over time. This characteristic underscores the importance of taking precautions when using food coloring in resin crafting.

If you color your resin items with food coloring, keeping them away from direct sunlight is advisable. 

While food coloring can add a touch of color to your creations, it’s essential to consider it as an option for projects that are solely indoors, particularly if you’re on a budget or lacking alternative resin dyes.

Pros and Cons of Using Food Coloring in Resin

Understanding these advantages and disadvantages will help you make informed decisions when considering food coloring in your crafting endeavors:



Food Coloring Resin Mold

Safety Tips and Best Practices


In resin crafting, color is indispensable for unleashing your creativity and transforming ordinary projects into art. While food coloring can be used in resin under certain conditions, it’s essential to consider its compatibility and limitations, particularly its sensitivity to lightfastness.

Exploring alternative materials such as dedicated colorants, acrylic paint, eyeshadow, chalk, and alcohol ink opens up possibilities for achieving vibrant, customized, and unique color effects in your resin creations.

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You've probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.
Robert Johnson

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