With Prussian blue being one of the most popular shades of dark blue used in a huge range of different arts and crafts, it is not surprising that we constantly see people reaching out and asking a range of different questions about the color and its specific pigment. Although there are a range of cheap decent commercial Prussian Blue paints on the market, more and more people have been reaching out to ask how to make Prussian blue pigment and paints in their own home.
Due to so many people reaching out as well as making your own materials for your arts and crafts being one of the main selling points for some people, we have decided to publish this article going over how you are able to make your own, homemade Prussian Blue color pigments and paints. Our hope is that we will be able to help you make your own products that are able to produce similar results to the commercially available paints to help you get a great end result with your art and crafts producing similar color comparisons to commercial Prussian blue paint.
Please keep in mind though, if you don’t already have the tools required to produce your own paint pigments at home, it is often considerably cheaper to just purchase some commercial Prussian Blue paint and be done with it. That said though, where possible throughout our article we will be going over a number of different alternatives to various tools required that are often common household items to try and keep your costs as low as possible.
We also know that some brands have stopped making Prussian blue in certain mediums, mainly in acrylics so some people need to make their own paint but a cheap, high-quality phthalo blue can often be a better substitute than making your own Prussian blue. You are also able to purchase some pre-made Prussian blue pigment and then add it to the medium of your choice to create the pain that you need usually offering a cheaper and easier way of making your own Prussian blue at home.
Please note that this article is focusing on making Prussian blue pigments for arts and crafts, NOT for any other uses that commercial Prussian blue can be used for.
What Colors Make Prussian Blue?
Although you can synthisist your own Prussian blue color pigments at home using the method covered in the next section of our article, the vast majority of people will not have all of the equipment required for the process so many people take the route of mixing existing paint colors in their collection. If you don’t have your own materials than this is usually the cheapest way to make your own pigments at home as many artists will already have these paints in their collection.
In our opinion, the best colored paints to mix to create Purssian blue are as follows:-
This does tend to produce a close hue to Prussian blue with most people starting with around 90% Phthalo Blue (Red Shade) and 10% Quinacridone Violet for their initial mix and then adding small amounts of additional Quinacridone Violet to suit. If you don’t carry these colors in your paint collection then you can try this next recipe:-
Although this recipe can produce a huge close to Prussian blue for your painting, it is not exact and does tend to be harder to get than the color recipe above so we usually recommend that our readers go with the first option. This is due to the different brands of these paints often using different pigment charts to each other making it very different to offer an exact ratio of colors. You can start with 80% Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), 10% Raw Umber, and 10% Phthalo Green and then adjust from there.
How To Make Prussian Blue Pigment At Home!
As we touched on back at the start of the article, it is usually much cheaper and easier to simply purchase your own pre-made Prussian blue pigment and then add it to the required paint medium of your choice than trying to make your own pigment from scratch due to the reagents and equipment required for the task.
That said though, if you are able to source some cheap ferrocyanide salt (Potassium Ferricyanide) and ferric chloride while also having the equipment required, you can create your own Prussian Blue pigment from scratch at home. Please note, always take the required safety precautions prior to mixing chemicals and do your own extensive research prior to moving forward with the following steps to make your own Prussian blue pigment:-
- Add 13.9 grams of ferrocyanide salt to a beaker and then add around 50ml of water. Stir the mixture for a few minutes and wait for the solids to dissolve in the mixture but please keep in mind that due to the purities of your ingredients, these may not dissolve entirely so may need to be removed leaving the liquid behind.
- Slowly add small amounts of ferric chloride to your liquid ferrocyanide salt that you made in step one. Although you are technically able to add a large amount of your ferric chloride to your ferrocyanide salt at once, the purity of your reagents can cause some issues so we usually recommend that you add it in batches of 5-10 grams in thirty-second intervals.
- You will see that the Prussian blue pigment is formed instantly when adding your ferric chloride to your ferrocyanide salt but you can usually keep adding your ferric chloride until the mixture becomes thick similar to honey.
- At this stage you need to filter the liquids out of your ferrocyanide salt and ferric chloride mix. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is usually to use coffee filters but keep in mind, you may have to filter it multiple times.
- Although not essential, we would recommend that you wash your Prussian blue at this stage due to a strong ferric chloride being able to add a yellow tint to the pigment. To do this, simply place the Prussian blue pigment that you have just created onto a new coffee filter and then add water to refilter it. You may have to repeat the washing process five to ten times depending in the purity of the ferric chloride that you used. Once the water added flows dark blue consistently with no yellow tint then you can move on to the next step.
- Place your Prussian blue pigment onto a drying surface, a paper towel is usually fine but be sure not to let your pigment dry completely due to it being able to stick to the pigment and contaminate it. When you notice that the surface of your pigment is starting to form a hard outer surface we would recommend that you remove it from the drying surface to a bowl.
- Although some people do put their pigment into their oven on a low temperature at this stage, we usually recommend that you just leave it to air dry over a few days until you have a dry pigment.
- At this stage you need to crush the pigment into the fine particles that your paint or ink medium will require. Although a Pestle and Mortar is usually the best option, you are able to get a similar result by using the back of a spoon to crush the pigment into smaller particles. This is the most common stage where people will make a mistake as they always underestimate how fine the Prussian blue pigment has to be prior to adding it to their medium so many people use an old coffee grinder at this stage.
- Your homemade Prussian blue pigment is now ready to be added to your paint or ink medium ready for use and although you are able to purchase expensive, specialist mediums, there is almost always a cheaper option. For example, if you are wanting to make Prussian blue oil paint, you can just use regular lintseed oil to keep costs low but we will be offering specific advice below.
How To Make Prussian Blue Acrylic Paint!
The easiest way to make your own Prussian blue acrylic paint is to add your Prussian blue pigment to some clear gesso acrylic medium until you are happy with the color. Most people drastically underestimate how much Prussian blue pigment is required to get the deep blue color when added to clear acrylic medium so it is usually better to start with a small amount of pigment and then scale it up as required.
Depending on the colors of acrylic paint that you have in your current collection, you may be able to mix some of your current colors together as explained earlier in the article to get a color very close to Prussian blue. As we mentioned above, some brands no longer produce their own Prussian blue acrylic paint so homemade options do tend to be more popular when it comes to the acrylic paint side of things.
How To Make Prussian Blue Oil Paint!
To make your own Prussian Blue oil paint you simply take your Prussian blue pigment and add it to an oil-based medium making it one of the easier types of homemade paint to make. Although there are a number of expensive oil-based mediums on the market right now, many people simply use some regular lintseed oil as their medium at a fraction of the cost.
One of the main issues with making your own Prussian blue oil paint is that you have to ensure that your pigment is as fine as possible and this is one of the main issues with homemade pigments made how we explained above. This is why we tend to recommend that you either use a commercial pigment or simply go with a high-quality Purssian blue oil paint as it tends to be cheaper and easier.
How To Make Prussian Blue Watercolor!
Making your own Prussian blue watercolor paint is probably the hardest option as you need to get your Prussian blue pigment to set in something like gum Arabic correctly and this is considerably more difficult than most people think. There are extensive guides online going over how you are able to do this but it does tend to be too difficult for the majority of people who want a quick and easy paint that will deliver good results.
In our opinion, just going with a high-quality watercolor paint in Prussian blue will always be a better option for your. It is much easier and cheaper when it comes to making your own watercolor paint and will almost always produce much better results once dry than a homemade variant. You are able to use the color combinations covered above going over how you can mix a number of colors to make Prussian blue with some of your existing watercolors and this too is probably a better option than trying to make your own from scratch.
How To Make Prussian Blue Ink!
Although you are able to make your own homemade Prussian blue ink, unless you only want to use it for dip pens or calligraphy, we tend to recommend against it due to the time, effort, and costs to produce a mediocre product. We would never recommend that you attempt to make your own fountain pen ink as it can easily cause problems with jamming in your ink path too.
The general steps are suspending your Prussian blue pigment in something such as gum Arabic while keeping its consistency as loose as possible to function as an ink. There are a number of mediums that you are able to use for your ink component outside of gum arabic too each having their own positives and negatives that you can research but a commercial Prussian blue ink tends to be the easier option.
That brings our article going over how to make Prussian blue pigment and paints to an end. We hope that you have found it helpful but in our opinion, the vast majority of our readers will simply be better off going with a commercially available Prussian blue paint due to it being cheaper and easier. Until you have gone through the process of producing your own paint a few times the results will probably be inconsistent too and not offer anything close to the results of a commercial paint when dry.