Ink mixing is critical to achieving a perfect print. Incorrectly mixing printing ink will drastically affect the printing process. This can get difficult and frustrating. This will, in turn, lead to reduced production time and wasted pad printing ink mixing.
To mix ink, you must have the proper equipment. Use a digital scale to mix pad printing inks. We recommend a gram scale that has an accuracy of 0.1 grams. Additional recommended supplies are: unlined mixing cups (no wax), mixing sticks, or a spatula. Unlined cups are important to reduce the chance of the ink getting contaminated. Contaminated mixed inks will cause the ink to have poor adhesion. Lastly, you need personal protective equipment—gloves and goggles. These are highly recommended. Learn how to mix ink.

Click here for the ink mixing instructions video.

pad printing ink mixing
step by step color matching


After you have gathered all the necessary pad printing supplies and equipment, the next step is to make sure that you have the ink and the appropriate additives. These additives are hardeners (catalysts) and solvents for 2-component inks and solvents for 1-component inks. 1-component inks do not use hardener.

  • Open the ink container and mix thoroughly.
  • Make sure the scale is on a flat (level) surface. Place the mixing cup on the scale, and then zero it.
  • Add the ink to the mixing cup. Note the weight of the ink and zero (tare) on the scale. For a 90-mm pad-printing ink cup, we recommend a minimum of 60 grams of ink.
  • Skip this step for 1-component inks. Add the appropriate hardener (catalyst) to the ink. Mixing ratios are on the ink container. You can also check the TDS and ink mixing instructions for each ink series. For i-300X, we recommend 10% of the ink weight.
  • Mix the ink and hardener thoroughly. Note: The hardener activates the ink, which gives the ink a pot life of 8–10 hours.
  • Place the ink-hardener mixture on the scale and zero out the scale. Then add the appropriate solvent to the ink. Add solvent to 5%–30% of the ink weight, and then re-mix. Add solvent until you achieve the desired ink viscosity. For most pad printing inks, use 20% of the ink weight. Let the mixed ink sit for 5 minutes once mixed before printing.


Also note that inks must re-think every 2-3 hours in the ink cup. This helps to replace evaporated solvents. Our pad printing machines have an ink mixing feature which will help the inks stay wet. Please note that Natron Inks are highly pigmented and may take more solvent than other inks. High pigmentation leads to high opacity prints. Lastly, never add fresh ink into mixed ink. Want to print on silicone, visit our SE silicone inks.

These simple steps will help improve your printing process. If you still require assistance, please contact us (+1 (781)-281-2558 and we will be glad to help you.

keeping ink wet

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