Using inlay powder is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to enhance the appearance and value of your woodworking projects.
Simply put, inlay powder is powdered metal or stone which can be applied to cracks and carvings in wood using epoxy.
When it comes to something as important as your woodwork, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re using the right product for the job. Removing the powder once you have applied it with epoxy is a challenging task, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re completely confident in your choice of inlay powder from the beginning.
Luckily, we’ve done our research and compiled a guide to the 5 best inlay powders on the craft market at the moment!
By far the best inlay powder on the market, in our opinion, is the Easy Inlay Mother of Pearl Fine Powder.
This fine inlay powder from Easy Inlay is made of real, natural mother of pearl, sourced from the shells of oysters and abalones. This makes it a rare and precious inlay product.
The powder comes in a 1 ounce container, so considering the superior quality of the powder and its affordable price, you’re getting excellent value for your money.
Easy Inlay’s Mother of Pearl Fine Powder has a hardness rating of 2.5, which is on the lower end of the hardness scale. This means that the powder is easy to sand for a smooth and even finish.
Another great thing about this inlay powder is the fact that it can be applied both wet and dry. For wet application, use Cyanoacrylate glue. On the other hand, you can use epoxy for dry application. The flexibility of the Easy Inlay powder in terms of application denotes it as a versatile product.
As an added bonus, the Easy Inlay Mother of Pearl Fine Powder includes a video tutorial for beginners who may not have used inlay powder before.
The only small downside to this inlay powder is the fact that it requires quite a lot of epoxy or glue for maximum permanence, which means that the application process can take slightly longer than with some other products. However, in our opinion, it’s more than worth it for the enhanced quality and finish.
- Natural mother of pearl - Sourced from oysters and abalones
- 2.5 hardness rating - Easy to sand
- Suitable for wet and dry application - Versatile
- Includes video tutorial - Beginner-friendly
- 1 ounce container - Good value for money
- Requires a lot of glue/epoxy - Application can be time-consuming
Another excellent inlay powder for woodworking is the Eye Candy Mica Powder Pigment.
This is a mica powder, meaning that it is the powdered form of the mica stone. Mica is non-toxic, naturally occurring, and organic, which means that it is generally dermatologically safe.
The Eye Candy Mica Powder Pigment is available in 17 shades of blue, including Ocean Blue, Angel Blue, Skyline Blue, and Pacific Blue, amongst many others. The only thing to bear in mind relating to the color of this powder is the fact that the pictures provided often aren’t an accurate representation of the color of the actual powder.
This is an ultra-fine powder, which means that it will deliver a bright, shimmery quality once applied. Finer powders also typically require less glue for application, which is a plus both in terms of time and cost-effectiveness.
Eye Candy’s Mica Powder is also stain-free, so it’s clean and safe to work with around your home and woodworking projects without risking stain damage.
- Mica powder - Natural and non-toxic
- Available in 17 shades - Wide color range
- Stain-free - Minimal mess
- Ultra-fine - Less glue required
- 50 gram containers - Decent value
- Pictured colors not always accurate - Actual powder color may vary
If you’re looking to make a profit from your inlaid woodwork, it’s a good idea to save costs where you can by choosing budget-friendly products. The Makers Minerals Copper Powder is the best budget inlay powder on the market right now.
This is a pure copper powder, and therefore, it shimmers appealingly once applied to your desired wooden surface.
The powder has a very fine consistency, which means it’s easy to work with as long as you have the right glue to hand. The recommended glue type for this inlay powder is thin Cyanoacrylate glue.
The consistency of the glue is important because the downside to the Makers Minerals inlay powder is that it doesn’t work very well with thicker glues.
Makers Minerals’ Copper Powder retails for an affordable price, especially considering the 2-ounce quantity that comes inside the container (more than the average for an inlay powder material).
- Pure copper - Impressive shine
- Very fine - Easy to work with
- 2 ounces per container - Excellent value
- Affordably-priced - Very budget-friendly
- Does not work well with thick CA glue - Thin glue is necessary for good results
The Black Diamond Pigments Variety Pack is the best variety pack of inlay powders out there. If you’re working on a project that requires multiple colors, this is the product we would recommend.
Black Diamond Pigments’ Variety Pack contains 10 sachets of mica powder, which is a naturally-occurring stone commonly used for inlaying. Each sachet contains a different color, and the pack includes 2 shades of blue, a blue-green shade, orange, battleship gray, copper, mahogany, red, yellow, and white.
It’s worth noting that some of these pigments look lighter in person than they do in the photographs, so you’ll need to factor this into your project planning.
One distinct benefit of this mica inlay powder is the fact that it’s rated at 10 to 60 microns, which means that it’s extra-fine for ease of application and enhanced shine.
You can find the portion guide for this powder through the Black Diamond Pigments website, which will show you how much of the powder to add to various substances for multiple project types.
- Mica powder - Natural and safe
- Includes 10 colors - Aesthetically versatile
- 10-60 microns - Extra-fine
- 5 grams per pouch - 50 grams total
- Portion guide available - Accessible through company website
- Pigments lighter than advertised - Photographs may be misleading
Our final recommendation for today is the Bluejoy Turquoise Natural Turquoise Inlay Powder. If you’ve been wanting to add a dash of sparkling turquoise to your woodwork projects, this is the inlay powder for you.
This powder is made from real, natural turquoise, sourced from Southwest America. Because of its authenticity, the Bluejoy Turquoise Inlay Powder retails at a higher than average price, but the ease of use and quality of the product is really impressive.
Bluejoy Turqouise’s turquoise powder is ground very fine for the ultimate professional finish. It can be used with glue, epoxy, or resin, depending on what your project calls for, so it’s a very versatile option.
Plus, the quantities in which the Bluejoy Turquoise Natural Turquoise Powder is sold means that you can select the quantity that best suits your project, whether it’s large or small. You can buy this powder in half-ounce, 1 ounce, 2 ounce, 4 ounce, 8 ounce, and 16 ounce quantities.
Please be aware, however, that the color of the turquoise is less vibrant in person than in the product images.
- Real turquoise - High value for money
- Fine consistency - Professional appearance
- Compatible with glue, resin, and epoxy - Versatile
- Available in 0.5 oz to 16 oz quantities - Suited to small and large projects
- Actual powder lighter than depicted - Not a vibrant turquoise
Best Inlay Powder Buying Guide
If you’re struggling to decide which inlay powder will work best for your current woodworking project, don’t worry! That’s what our buyer’s guide is here for!
Read on to learn which features and factors to bear in mind while you weigh up your options.
The first step to assessing any inlay powder is working out what the powder is made from. In most cases, this will be a type of metal or stone. If you’re buying from a reputable manufacturer such as one of those featured in our review section, this information should be readily available.
Mica powder is a common type of inlay powder. Mica is a silicate mineral, and it works well as an inlay because it has a naturally shimmery quality and can be ground very fine. It’s also relatively inexpensive compared with some other metal and stone types that can be made into inlay powder.
Alternatively, semi-precious materials such as turquoise and mother of pearl can also be powdered for inlaying into woodwork. These stones, in powder form, will add a lot of value to your completed projects.
Metals such as copper are popular choices because they provide a shimmery, metallic finish.
This information can be trickier to come across than the material from which an inlay powder is made, but it’s worth knowing if you can find it.
For inlay powders, the hardness rating is indicative of how easy the inlay will be to sand down. Sanding your inlay will make it look and feel more professional because the finish will be even and smooth.
The hardness scale goes from 1 to 10, with materials falling between 3 and 4 providing the optimal balance between softness and durability. Ratings between or close to these numbers indicate that the inlay will be easy to sand without succumbing to wear and tear in the process.
As you can see, our top choice of inlay powder has a hardness rating of 2.5. While this is slightly outside of the recommended range for guaranteed softness and durability, it’s still close enough to the desired ratings that you won’t need to worry about damaging your finished inlay during sanding.
This rating also indicates that the powder will be very easy and time-efficient to sand after the adhesive has dried. Just make sure to use a type of sandpaper that isn’t overly abrasive.
Unless you’re specifically going for a flakier or chunkier look for your inlay, it’s best to choose a finely-ground inlay powder.
This is because fine inlay powders typically have a better shine to them and will also work better when applied with thin glue, which is the recommended method of applying inlay powder along with epoxy and, if necessary, a resin coating.
Because you’ll be working closely with your inlay powder of choice, it’s always worth verifying whether the base material of the powder is non-toxic.
Usually, your best bet in terms of non-toxicity will be to prioritize organic, naturally occurring materials. However, reputable manufacturers should also state the dermatological and respiratory safety of their products, along with instructions concerning what to do in the case of accidental ingestion.
It might go without saying, but if you have an image in your head of what you want your finished project to look like, you’ll need to pay attention to the color of the powder you choose.
If you have multiple projects or a multicolored woodworking piece on the go, you could choose a multipack with a variety of colors to choose from.
Please bear in mind that the photographs used by manufacturers to advertise their products are often more saturated and vibrant than the in-person color.
Make sure you know exactly how much powder you’ll be receiving before you finalize your purchase! Different manufacturers sell their inlay powders in different quantities, and this can vary quite a lot between companies.
Typically, inlay powder is weighed and sold by the ounce, although you can buy half-ounce containers as well as much larger quantities, going up to 16 ounces.
However, it is important to remember that some manufacturers package their ounces according to volume as opposed to weight. The former will work out as less powder than the latter, so make sure you understand how the quantities are measured before you buy.