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Mica Powder can be described as a non-toxic mineral, it is known for giving off a metallic and shimmery appearance. Mica powder is used in an assortment of products including soap and lotions, cosmetics and even art supplies. The main difference between Pigment Powder and Mica Powder is their shine. Pigment Powders are matte while Mica Powders are shimmery. You are left with a beautiful glow when you use Mica Powder. Mica Powders are also very versatile and can be used for an assortment of different projects. In this article, we will advise who best to use it in your art projects.
Table of Contents
What is Mica Powder?
Mica Powder is a natural substance, it is a stone which has sparkly flecks throughout it. When you grind Mica into a powder it results in a mica powder which is sparkly and looks a bit like a very fine glitter. You can use mica powder to achieve a pearl-like effect or a metallic finish. Mica powder came in an assortment of colors.
A well-known brand of Mica Powder is Pearl Ex which is a pure mica powder. Mica powder shouldn’t be your first choice when wanting to color something. While they do have color to them, they are more effective in adding sparkle and they won’t give you a solid, bold color.
What are the Pros and Cons of using it?
Popular Mica Pigments for Epoxy Resin
Two options for popular mica pigments for epoxy resin are Pearl EX and Powdered Pigments by Jacquard. Pearl Ex gives a metallic finish without actually being metal and it is great as it does not fade or tarnish with time. Powdered Pigments by Jacquard is a multi-use product that is non-toxic and allows the user to make beautiful colors within their epoxy resin projects.
Using Mica Powder in Art
When you are using mica pigment powders in art and projects it is advisable to only mix them with clear or translucent medium. This is in order to ensure you get the maximum effect of the sparkle and shine. As the particles are so very small if you were to combine them with anything of an opaque nature, they would lose their effect as they would be buried.
When using mica pigments in art you can either use it lightly to ensure a subtle metallic effect, or you can mix them to create uniform color. Artists who specialize in Egg Tempera find mica powder of great use, particularly when doing Iconography.
When working with oil paints and watercolors, mica pigment powders create a stunning sparkle. When you are painting walls or furniture the mica pigment powders can be mixed with the transparent topcoats or waxes and glazes to add a shimmering effect. Mica powders look amazing when mixed with clear epoxies to be used on floors and countertops. An added benefit is they are non-toxic and will never tarnish.
What is Pigment Powder?
Pigment powder is very similar to powdered chalk, as it is a ground-up color in powder format. The Pigments identify as the individual colors themselves have come in an assortment of shades with names such as purple magenta, cadmium red, titanium white and ultramarine blue, just to name a few.
You can also find artificially created pigments with names such as Pigment Blue 15. Manufacturers use pigments to give paints different colors. Please remember that pigments are not sparkly. The best use of pigment powders is to color things. You do find that pure color or pure artist’s pigments can be very expensive. When you purchase cheaper pigments online, they are normally mixed with some form of fillers for example chalk. This allows the pigments itself to be stretched much further.
How to combine Pigment Powder and Mica Powder with Epoxy Resin
There are a number of options available when you choose to combine mica powder and pigment powder with that of epoxy resin.
It is important to remember before you begin to first combine your resin and hardener. Should you require assistance with that process you can refer to the article: How to mix resin and hardener
You also need to remember to ensure your pigment powder is as dry as it can be. When pigment powder has excess moisture, this can stop the resin from setting or hardening.
This method is as simple as sprinkling some powdered pigment on top of the already combined resin and then stirring the powder in. To start with add a little at a time, you can always add more if needed.
Next you will need to ensure your stir the resin sufficiently using your mixing utensil and watch out for any lumps that won’t dissolve. Using the sprinkling option works particularly well when using powders which are very finely ground as this consistency does not tend to clump like that of glitter.
Waxy surface Option
There are certain powders that do not want to dissolve very well for example the glow powder for resin. This results in a resin mix that does not look sufficiently blended. If you have this problem, we suggest you pour a portion of your resin on to a wax paper surface and then add the relevant powder.
You will then be able to easily move it around and combine it using your mixing utensil. This will help ensure all lumps are broken up. This mixture is then referred to as your stock solution. When it is sufficiently combined you can then add it directly to your resin.
8 Inspirations for Mica Powder
If you are looking to create a shiny background in your scrapbook or art journal, we suggest that you mix water and mica powder in a spray bottle. You can then spray the mixture on to your paper.
You can use the powder in conjunction with a rubber stamp to make beautiful projects such as homemade cards. The powder really adds a special effect to your rubber stamp projects. First, you would push your chosen rubber stamp into your ink pad.
Next, you then stamp the paper where you want the image to appear, then you sprinkle the powder over the design. Ensure to do this quickly before the ink dries. You can then shake the paper and any extra powder will fall off the design. You are then able to pour any leftover powder back into its container. The powder will add a stunning shiny element to your homemade cards.
In order to use mica powder on glass, you will first have to mix it with rubbing alcohol and a clean-burning glass glue (alternatively Bullseye Glastac). You can mix 2 parts of mica powder with 1 part of Glastac, and then 1 part of rubbing alcohol. You can then use this mixture to paint directly onto the glass surface. Remember you will then have to put it in the kiln at roughly 1325 degrees F to set.
Mica powder is so versatile you can simply add it to your acrylic paint, oil paint or any other paint medium you are using and this will then give your painting depth.
You are able to combine Mica powder with clay in one of two ways. The first being simply brushing the mica powder onto a metal surface and then applying the relevant finish. Alternatively, you can actually mix the mica powder directly into the raw clay.
To make a spray you can begin by filling your spray bottle halfway with water. You can then add a large helping of metallic paint in your chosen color to the water. Shake the bottle. Next you mix in 1 tablespoon of powder and some glue. Remember to shake the bottle once again. You now have a shimmer spray that can added an extra layer of shine to fabric, flowers or paper projects.
We weren’t joking when we said that mica powder can be practically added to anything. You are also able to mix it to varnishes, lacquers, glazes, waxes and top coats that can then be used on your furniture.
In order to add mica powder to your soap we suggest adding mica powder to the melt and pour method. You simply have to add mica powder to your melt. If you find that any mica powder forms bubbles floating to the top you can simply spray them with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Once you have combined everything you can then go ahead and pour your soap into the mold.
For transparent melt you can use just half a teaspoon per pound of melt.
Please note that mica powder works the best with combined with transparent melts.
History of Mica Powder
Mica powder has been used for hundreds of years, dating back to prehistoric times. It has been documented that mica powder was known to the Aztec, Indian, Roman, Egyptians, Chinese and Greek civilizations.
The use of Mica Powder can be seen as far back as cave paintings found in the Upper Paleolithic period.
Mica powder is a user-friendly substance with a variety of practical uses. It is staple for any craft supply kit and can add something special to your craft projects and home décor.