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Piñata Alcohol Ink

There are so many types and brands of ink to choose from, Pi√Īata Alcohol Ink being a popular one. We'll answer any questions you might have on how to use them and what makes them unique.

What makes Piñata Alcohol Ink unique?

The Pinata Alcohol inks are acid-free, transparent, highly concentrated, dye-based inks. They differ from other brands because they are Ethanol based which means the dye and binder are more soluble in ethanol than alcohol and offers a more intense colour. The ink is dye-based meaning it is light resistant but not light proof so, over time, the colours can fade. One exception to this is the white (Blanco) which is Pigment based. Direct sunshine testing after 1 month shows that the colour shows a little colour shift and after 5 months, some colours like the blues and Magenta show great fading. Pinata Alcohol inks dry to an indelible and moisture resistant. On their own, they may not stand up to scrubbing or dishwasher use without additional protection when used on a ceramic/glass surface. As with any painting, it is important to keep away from direct sunlight. A final varnish with a good UVA protection or displayed behind glass can offer additional protection against UV light. 

Line of Pinata alcohol inks on wooden surface

Piñata Alcohol Inks Versatility

Pi√Īata Alcohol Inks are versatile and can be used on many different surfaces beyond a paper surface. On a porous surface like paper the inks can sink into the paper and bleed through to the back. They can act as a dye for fabric, wood, leather and they work differently on a non-porous surface like Yupo synthetic paper, glass, foil, plastics, cellophane, acetate and canvas. Other methods are using them for rubber stamping, fine art, fibre art, scrapbooking, calligraphy, airbrush applications. A shiny surface will allow the inks to move organically across the surface. An Initial layer of alcohol ‚Äď (clean up solution) can also help with ink move on the surface if required.

5 Pinata alcohol inks with splatters on paper

Piñata Clear Claro Extender

Pi√Īata Clear Claro Extender can be used to make the Alcohol inks more transparent. When dropped or brushed on top of dry Pi√Īata, Claro Extender will make the ink spread and create a wonderful flowing marble-like texture, it also will stay shiny and not change colour. Although, this extends the drying and working time but if you don't mind the extra waiting time, it adds a whole new level of experimentation to your artwork. Pi√Īata Clear Claro Extender keeps the amount of binder (glue which holds the ink to the surface) the same meaning that the inks can be lightened without losing the adhesiveness.

Pinata ink bottles lying on paper with ink on the paper

Piñata Clean-up Solution

Pi√Īata Clean-up Solution is made from denatured ethanol alcohol which can be used to clean tools, wipe surfaces clean or dilute the colours. Drop the solution into the surface and inks to create interesting effects or add texture with tools or materials and solution to add texture, use tools to. Thinning or lightening the colours with the Clean up solution reduces the binder reducing the adhesive properties which can cause issues on some non-porous surfaces and the ink coming off if the binder in the ink is diluted too much.

Pinata alcohol ink bottles standing on paper with ink on paper

FAQs about Piñata Alcohol Ink

  • These¬†inks¬†are¬†Ethanol¬†Alcohol based inks and should be used with¬†Ethanol based¬†mediums like the¬†Pi√Īata¬†Clear Claro Extender¬†and the¬†Pi√Īata¬†Clean-up Solution.¬†

    If you use Isopropyl, then you can find that this because the isopropyl alcohol is reducing the solubility of the dye.  The dark colours and the white are especially affected. 

  • You can lighten or dilute the Pinata Alcohol inks with the¬†alcohol (Pi√Īata¬†Clean-up Solution) if use in large quantities in proportion to the ink this reduces the adhesive properties of the binder (the glue which holds the ink to the surface) causing issues on some non-porous surfaces and the ink coming off if the binder in the ink is diluted too much.¬†

    In order to retain the adhesive binder, you can make the colours more transparent with the Pi√Īata¬†Clear Claro Extender which contains the same binder as the inks and retain the adhesive properties the same meaning that the inks can be lightened without losing the adhesiveness. Ensure any surface is grease free before applying the inks as this can also affect the adhesive properties of the ink.

  • The Pinata Alcohol inks are ethanol based and the dyes are not as soluble in isopropyl, If you are using Isopropyl instead of the Pinata Clean up solution or Claro this may cause this issue. The inks are fairy dry after a few minutes, but they do harden over hours.¬†

    The smudging may also be partially due to the water left behind even when it is 90% alcohol there is water in there, and that takes them much longer to dry than the rest. It's better to use the Ethanol based Pinata Clean up solution with the Pinata Alcohol inks get ethyl alcohol rubbing alcohol to use with the inks than isopropyl. 

  • The Pinata Alcohol inks are indelible and moisture resistant once dry, on their own they may not stand up to scrubbing or dishwasher use without additional protection. To help protect the surface it is recommended to use a final varnish layer.

    The inks and many final varnishes are not food grade or food safe, so it is important that the ink and sealant should not be used in the areas which either food, drink or the mouth will be in contact. Consider where the ink and varnish is placed ‚Äď on the outside of the mug only and away from the rim. Taping off the rim will ensure that the ink and varnish doesn't come in contact with this area. There are a few dishwashers safe and food grade finishes available.

    It is not recommended that that product created using the Pinata inks are put into a microwave especially if the metallic inks have been used as these will react and spark in the Microwave. One suggestion to ensure that a ceramic for everyday use is safe and resistant is to create the piece on a flat surface and get the image sublimation printed onto a ceramic used for everyday food use.

Piñata Alcohol Inks to get you started...