Universal Tinters

Our Universal Tinters are a water-based, highly concentrated multi-purpose tinting agent for colouring both water-based and oil-based paints, glazes, varnishes and other decorative mediums. A useful addition to the decorator’s paint box for adjusting colours to fit specific projects and decorative schemes. Use to tint standard emulsions (latex), eggshell or satin paints to pastel shades or create bright shades with Acrylic Varnish or Scumble Glaze. Different amounts of Tinter will create different intensity and colour saturation depending on the original colour and pigmentation of the medium being coloured – white emulsions, for example, will only tint to pastel shades – see full information below. Available in 20ml squeezy bottles. More information below.

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Please note: we now have a minimum order of £10.00 UK Pounds before shipping costs are added.

Note: Allow up to 10 working days for our pre-order 200ml tinters.

Every effort has been made to represent our Universal Tinter colours accurately – however photographic reproduction and different browser colour variants mean that these colour swatches are only an approximate guide. Colour and tint charts are not available.

Tinter mixing quantity guidelines for emulsions

* Colours marked with a single asterisk * are only suitable for mixing with paints for indoor/interior use.
** Colours marked with a double asterisk ** are fast to light and weatherproof and can be mixed with paints to be used outside.

Universal Tinters can be used to add a tint of colour to coloured and white emulsions. As an approximate guideline one 20ml bottle of Universal Tinter added to white emulsion (latex) will result in the following pastel shades:

1 x 20ml bottle added to emulsion/latex: 2.5L 0.8% tint; 5L 0.4% tint; 10L 0.2% tint. 1 x 20ml bottle

Please note – white paints containing different levels of titanium dioxide will tint differently, so higher quality pigment paints will require more tinter than economy trade paints, depending on the tint shade required.

Universal Tinters can be used to 10% weight of the emulsion/paint product being tinted.

It is not possible to change a white or coloured emulsion to full saturation of another shade or colour such as red or blue or green, but a vibrant shade can be achieved. A clear/transparent emulsion base would be needed to achieve full colour saturation and these are not generally available to buy.

Tinter mixing quantities for acrylic glazes and varnishes

As the Universal Tinter is a concentrated colourant only a small amount is needed for adding colour to and changing the colour of transparent glazes and varnishes.  It is best to add a drop at a time for subtle colour tones and a few drops at a time for brighter hues and build up the intensity of the colour required. Always mix the full amount needed for any project, as retinting to the same shade can be difficult unless each drop added is counted into an exact quantity of glaze/varnish.

Universal tinters can be used to 5% weight of medium being tinted.

Full colour saturation can be achieved with transparent bases. Acrylic mediums such as varnishes or scumble glaze will not yellow with oxidisation, so colours mixed with Universal Tinters will stay true. Tinted shades mixed with oil based mediums will yellow slightly over time with oxidisation (the same applies to oil based paints that are tinted).

Also note

Universal Tinters do not contain binders so always remain ‘open’ and will not dry out. This also means that they cannot be used on their own without mixing into paints containing a binder, as the tinter will not adhere fully to the surface and will not be waterproof or fast and may not dry on some surfaces. Always mix with paint, varnish or glaze before application.

Cadmium Red and Magenta Tinters are higher price due to higher priced colourants used to create these colours.

Materials that can be tinted

Not all kinds of coating materials can be tinted. First test that specific materials are compatible and do not separate out. The following paint products can generally be tinted: Radiator paints, epoxy resin paints, fillers and primers, polyurethane paints, synthetic resin paints, hammer-tone finishes, latex emulsion finishes, nitro-cellulose lacquers, polymer emulsion paints, acrylic and alkyd resin paints, cold-water paints, cement colourings, water-based paints, acrylic latex paints, concrete floor paints, synthetic latex paints, glue-bound distempers, plasters and renderings, scumbles, stains and wood waxes, pre-mixed filler materials. Tinters are unsuitable or only work to a certain extent for colouring latex emulsions containing solvents or for colouring polyester resin finishes, single or two component synthetic resin paints or silicone resin finishes. Some materials will need stirring apparatus to achieve full colour dispersion.

Only use Yellow Ochre, Red Ochre, Burnt Sienna and White Universal Tinters in varnishes low in or free from aromatic compounds, in paints containing silicate or silicone resin, in all mineral building materials and in insulating varnishes, sealers, as well as in exterior paints containing solvents.