Mica powders in your paint!
In this article, I will cover a unique way to use mica pigment powders in painting art and craft. You will get a feel of how a finish may look when the mica pigment is added to acrylic medium or an acrylic paint with existing pigmentation.
Basically, mica pigment powders are available through cosmetic and soap making supply companies. They come in almost any color conceivable. Below you will see two candle holders that I painted with micas in acryic mediums and mixes with acryic craft paints. Many of my works in my Etsy shop incorporate mica powders in the finishes. Feel free to have a look at my Etsy shop.
Mica Powders In Arts And Crafts
Adding Mica Pigments to Acrylic Mediums
What are Mica Powders you may ask? In this artical, I will discuss mica powders as inorganic pigments. More specifically, I will refer to there addition to paint mediums and coatings and applying them as metal finishes. Usually, a specific color of mica is made by grinding a natural mica to a specified partical size and then applying various inorganic additives that create the desired color by creating and interference layer. The light strikes the modified mica and bends creating the color needed. This is very simular phenominon that you will find in a parking lot where oil and water meet.. A good place to buy micas is cosmetic and soap maker suppliers and these are the largest nonindustrial consumers of these pigments.
Most crafters just use mica powders for scrap booking, embossing, or perhaps for precious metal clays. One I will talk about the adding the mica to a clear painting medium and two I will relate this to applying a painted finish on metal art. In this article I will talk my experience with a water based acrylic medium. More specifically, the 3D crystal lacquer made by Sakura craft . This seems to be most preferred 3D lacquer for crafters. It is water based acrylic that is thick and dries especially shiny. All water based acrylics are opaque but dry clear as the water evaporates. This is because water based acrylic paint is an emulsion.
An Application Example
The pictures I am adding show two candle holders my wife asked me to repaint for her. We paid $2.99 for them at Goodwill and they where cheap steel artifacts mass produced in China that had the most hideous fake brass paint on them. This was chipping off so I used my steel bristle brush to finish off the coating. I applied Rustoleum white primer and flat black spray paint. The black finish was to be my canvas to which I would work. Since these works are our personal use, this was an experiment in technique and a learning experience. I learned that you need very little pigment for a given volume of medium. Especially if you are using the special interference micas that appear white but have coatings that change color on light angle. Too much of these leaves the finish very frosty looking. I had this problem with the moon holder and I used hot soap water to strip down back to the black finish. As you can see using cautions in mixing works very well.
This particular finish was a deep blue metallic blue with a light coating of interference purple.
This gave the moon a peculiar blue violet look which I feel the real moon possesses. Look how I did the sun one.
This has two interference coatings. One is copper interference and a slight accent with red interference on the rays. Here is what they look like together.
Application Of Mica Pigments In Paint
So far I have just talked about painting with mica powders in mediums and adding them into paint. But if you want to see what my main motivation is then you will have to check out my lense at Metal Art I Weld in Various Styles. This where I mention my metal art on Etsy.
When choosing a medium for mixing mica powders, you may want to read up on my lens about clear coats. Many lacquers, and clear coats mix well with micas, or if you prefer, you can sprinkle mica powder over wet and tacky clear coat.
Also, it bears mentioning that most colored metallic paints are mica suspended in a medium. If you are not interested in bothering with fine messy powders and laborious mixing, then perhaps you should buy a selection of colored metallic paints and experiment with color mixing that way.
Making Paint From Mica Powder and Acrylic Medium
Considering what all you can do with mica pigments, why not try making paint with a mica pigment and an acrylic medium. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, this is pretty straight forward process.
The photo above shows the supplies needed. I started with a half teaspoon of mica in the mixing container shown then adding water until dispersed evenly. If pigment is difficult to mix add a little isopropyl alcohol.
Add your medium to the pigment dispersion and add a little water if you need to thin the paint a little.
I was making this paint to pour it as an acrylic skin to reuse it later.
- Thinning Acrylic Paints (jtbmetaldesigns.wordpress.com)
- Clear Coats For Paint Jobs (jtbmetaldesigns.wordpress.com)
- Exterior Paint Buying Guide (lowes.com)
- The Importance of Varnish (adriannekari.wordpress.com)
- Soap Specifics: My take on color (awakeningbubbles.wordpress.com)
- The Color Blue in Art and Sculpture (jtbmetaldesigns.wordpress.com)