Alcohol Ink vs. Resin Dye

What's the Difference?

Alcohol ink and resin dye are both popular mediums used in various art forms, but they have distinct characteristics and applications. Alcohol ink is a highly pigmented, fast-drying liquid that is primarily used on non-porous surfaces such as glass, metal, or ceramic. It creates vibrant, translucent colors and can be manipulated with various techniques like blending, lifting, or adding texture. On the other hand, resin dye is specifically formulated for use with epoxy resin, a two-part liquid that hardens into a glossy, durable finish. Resin dyes are typically more concentrated and opaque, allowing for intense color saturation and depth. They are commonly used in resin art, jewelry making, or coating surfaces like countertops or tabletops. While alcohol ink offers versatility and quick drying time, resin dye provides a more permanent and glossy result suitable for resin-based projects.


AttributeAlcohol InkResin Dye
Application MethodApplied with brushes, droppers, or other toolsMixed with resin and applied with a brush or poured into molds
Base CompositionAlcohol-based pigmentsPigments dissolved in a resin medium
TransparencyCan be transparent or opaque depending on the brand and colorCan be transparent or opaque depending on the brand and color
Drying TimeDries relatively quickly due to the alcohol baseDrying time varies depending on the brand and thickness of the application
Surface CompatibilityCan be used on various surfaces like Yupo paper, ceramic, glass, metal, etc.Compatible with resin, so it can be used on resin-coated surfaces or mixed into resin projects
Color MixingColors can be mixed together to create new shadesColors can be mixed together to create new shades
PermanentOnce dry, alcohol ink is generally permanent and resistant to fadingOnce cured, resin dye is generally permanent and resistant to fading
TextureCan create various textures depending on the application techniqueDoes not significantly affect the texture of the resin

Further Detail


When it comes to creating vibrant and captivating artwork, artists have a plethora of mediums to choose from. Two popular options that have gained significant attention in recent years are alcohol ink and resin dye. Both of these mediums offer unique qualities and characteristics that can enhance the visual appeal of various art forms. In this article, we will delve into the attributes of alcohol ink and resin dye, exploring their similarities and differences, and providing insights into their applications.

Alcohol Ink

Alcohol ink is a highly pigmented, fast-drying medium that consists of alcohol-based dyes. It is known for its vibrant colors and fluid consistency, making it ideal for creating abstract paintings, fluid art, and even for adding colorful accents to other art forms. One of the key attributes of alcohol ink is its ability to blend and create stunning gradients effortlessly. Artists can achieve smooth transitions between colors, allowing for a seamless and visually appealing result.

Another advantage of alcohol ink is its versatility. It can be used on a wide range of non-porous surfaces such as glass, metal, ceramic, and even synthetic papers. This makes it a popular choice for creating unique home decor items, jewelry, and mixed media projects. Additionally, alcohol ink can be manipulated using various techniques such as blowing, dripping, and tilting, allowing artists to experiment and create different effects.

However, alcohol ink does have some limitations. It is not lightfast, meaning that over time, the colors may fade when exposed to direct sunlight. This makes it important for artists to consider the longevity of their artwork and take appropriate measures to protect it. Furthermore, alcohol ink can be challenging to control, especially for beginners. Its fast-drying nature can make it difficult to correct mistakes or make adjustments once the ink has been applied.

In terms of safety, it is crucial to work in a well-ventilated area when using alcohol ink due to its strong odor and the presence of alcohol fumes. Artists should also take precautions to avoid skin contact and ensure proper storage of the ink bottles.

Resin Dye

Resin dye, on the other hand, is a coloring agent specifically designed for use with epoxy resin. It comes in various forms, including liquid pigments, powders, and pastes. Resin dye offers artists the ability to add vibrant and translucent colors to their resin creations, such as jewelry, coasters, and artwork. One of the key attributes of resin dye is its excellent lightfastness, ensuring that the colors remain vibrant and true over time, even when exposed to sunlight.

Unlike alcohol ink, resin dye is specifically formulated to work with epoxy resin, providing artists with better control and ease of use. It can be mixed directly into the resin, allowing for precise color customization. Additionally, resin dye is available in a wide range of colors, including metallic and fluorescent options, giving artists the freedom to explore and experiment with different effects.

Another advantage of resin dye is its ability to create depth and dimension in resin artwork. By layering different colors or using techniques such as resin pouring or resin casting, artists can achieve stunning visual effects that mimic natural elements like water, clouds, or even galaxies. Resin dye also has a long working time, allowing artists to manipulate the colors and create intricate designs before the resin cures.

However, it is important to note that resin dye is specifically designed for use with epoxy resin and may not work as effectively with other mediums. Additionally, some resin dyes may have a longer curing time, requiring artists to be patient and allow sufficient time for the resin to fully cure before handling or displaying the artwork.


Both alcohol ink and resin dye offer unique attributes that can elevate an artist's work to new heights. Alcohol ink provides vibrant colors, effortless blending, and versatility on various surfaces, making it a popular choice for abstract and fluid art. On the other hand, resin dye offers excellent lightfastness, precise color customization, and the ability to create depth and dimension in resin artwork. Ultimately, the choice between alcohol ink and resin dye depends on the artist's preferences, the desired outcome, and the specific medium they are working with. Regardless of the choice, both mediums offer endless possibilities for creating visually stunning and captivating artwork.

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