Pearl ink

I have been looking around for a pearl colored ink but have not been having much luck. However I did find that Speedball does sell a Pearlescent Base and was thinking maybe I could mix this with my white ink to get the effect I am looking for. The only problem is the Pearlescent Base is water based and im not sure that this will work with the oil based ink, any suggestions?

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I was going to suggest mixing silver and gold with opaque white, but I just did an experiment in my shop. What you end up with is a grayish white with some sheen, but not pearlescent.

In reply to your question, don’t mix your water based pearl base with your oil based ink. You’ll just get a mess.

See if you can locate a dry, finely milled pearl powder. They used to sell a bronzing powder that you would apply to black inked areas after printing to impart a bronze cast. The technique was to print the form, then dust with the powder, then shake the powder off. (Breathing protection apparatus recommended…)

You might try the same on an opaque white or transparent white printed area with a dry pearlescent powder, dusting right after printing…

If thermograving will work for the job you have in mind, Therm-O-Boss sells a variety of pearlescent thermo powders. Use would be similar to the bronzing powder Alan describes, above, without any special protection needed but with a heat tunnel or toaster oven to fuse the powder. Or maybe the job really warrants foil stamping with pearl foil? I’m assuming you’ve looked at the Pantone metallic colors and none are close to what you want?

Alan mixing the color did sounds like a great solution, that’s disappointing it didn’t work thanks for trying it out. I think the Pearl powder could work out well, I will give it a try and let you know how it turns out.

Dave thermograving is a great suggestion to get the pearl look however, I really have my heart set on letterpress. Also love the idea of a foil stamp but I don’t have the money for that in my budget. Unfortunately Pantone does not have what I’m looking for either. Thank you for your suggestions!

You might check this out:

These are dry pearl pigments, you might buy a few and try them dry dusted on wet white ink as mentioned above, or try mixing them with clear mixing white or opaque white, blending them on the stone with an ink knife before applying to the press/rollers.

Note that if using the dusting technique, this doesn’t work very well on Lettra or other heavily textured papers. The dust tends to hang up in the paper. It does work well on smooth stocks like Neenah Classic Crest.

Let us know if you end up doing that and what the results were, as this request has occurred before…

Good Luck!

I played around with a few different powders and was not able to get them to work, when I mix it in with the ink it was making the ink clump together and wasnt giving the shimmer look. I also tried dusting the power on top of the wet ink however since the paper is so textured it was sticking everywhere. Not having much luck. Thanks for the suggestions.

not responsive to the question asked, but related to mixing inks: can you mix rubber based ink and oil based ink?
thanks in advance for any advice!

You can, but you never know how it will turn out. I tried many years ago. It did not give me what I was looking for, but since it didn’t mix thoroughly it gave a sort of psychedelic effect. But it is not something I will do again.

Mixing oil and rubber based inks works, generally the ink takes on the properties of the majority ink, 75% rubber base and 25% oil base would yield an ink with basic rubber base properties. Have had to mix ink this way over the years and either my luck or chance have had no issues.