For screen printing, I have always used Speedball screen printing paint. I know there are several brands out there and everyone has a different preference, but I have had a very good experience using Speedball. I have found that these paints are great to screen with, mix great to make all kinds of shades and hold up great in the wash. In fact I think they are superior than the paints used is store bought screen printed T-shirts. Speedball screen printing paints come is two styles: fabric and opaque. Speedball fabric paint is for light colored fabrics and opaque paint is better for dark fabrics, it covers better so the dark color do not bleed through the paint. Also the opaque paint has a slightly metallic look, they have a glittery look. Each paint style is available in many colors, but I have always purchased the 6 pack of paints. These come with the three primary colors, black, white and one extra. You can make any shade of any missing color by mixing the primaries. Although Speedball screen printing paint is a great product, I am not always happy with the color straight out of the jar. The colors are too strong: The fabric is a dead black, and each of the primaries looks better after being mixed with a small about white paint.
6 Pack Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Paint:
6 Pack Speedball Opaque Screen Printing Paint:
Mixing paint will most likely be an important part of your screen printing activities. It will be essential to have small jars to store your mixed paint so you do not have to mix paint every time you get ready to complete a project and to save extra paint.
I will go through all the colors and how to make them.
The Speedball Fabric black is a dead black, I did not like the way it looked the first time I screened with it. Artist will tell you to achieve a live black you need to mix all your colors together. However I was able to get a black I was happy with by mixing a small about of Speedball fabric white into it. You can get to a grey color by mixing in more white.
The opaque black does not look black to me. It’s more grey or silver. When I use it, I mix in the Speedball fabric black. This gives me a great black, with a metallic look.
You wont need to mix any paints for white. There is Speedball fabric white and Speedball opaque white. The opaque white looks more beige to me, so I have not used it very much. The fabric white has worked very well for me even on dark fabrics.
The Speedball fabric blue is a royal blue. If you need sky blue or baby blue mix fabric blue and fabric white. The opaque blue is also a dark blue and has a metallic look to it. If you need a light blue, just mix in some fabric white.
Fabric red look good, but you can add white or black for a lighter or darker shade. The opaque red is actually raspberry. I only use raspberry when I am mixing for pink or purple.
I haven’t had much use for yellow, but again you can mix it with white or black to get shades.
The fabric 6 pack comes with green, so your all set there. If you need an opaque green you can mix Citrine and Blue Topaz (yellow and blue).
If you need orange you can mix fabric red and fabric yellow or citrine and raspberry from the opaque set.
Any shade of brown you need can be made by mixing proportion of yellow red and blue.
To make pink I mix the opaque raspberry and the fabric white paints.
Purple can be created by mixing red and blue. A metallic purple can be made by mixing raspberry and blue topaz.
To make gold first make brown with the fabric red, fabric blue and opaque yellow. Add extra yellow and a small amount of opaque silver.