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Can You Use Acrylic Paint as Tattoo Ink?

A lot of people come up with some weird and wacky ideas to try and tattoo themselves. One idea that some people get is the use of acrylic paint as tattoo ink. Makes sense, right? Acrylic paint is safe. Does it make a good tattoo ink, though? Let’s look.

So, can you use acrylic paint as tattoo ink? You can, but it isn’t recommended. Unless the acrylic paint explicitly says that it is for tattoo use, I wouldn’t recommend it. You should definitely stick to regular tattoo ink.

Perhaps not surprisingly, there will be some people that ignore this warning. This is because acrylic paint does give a bright color when used as tattoo ink. It is also easy to get hold of too. This is why you will often find it used in prison tattoos, or homemade tattoos.

I would recommend sticking to regular tattoo ink, like this Stigma Set. If you don’t want to go that route, Golden High makes acrylic inks that are very watered down, but again I would recommend going with ink that is specifically for tattooing.

In theory, you could inject any sort of paint or ink into your skin and hope for the best. The thing is, you really, really do not want to do that. It could potentially cause a lot of issues, and these are not issues that are easily treatable. Some could even lead to early death. 

Is It Safe to Use Acrylic Paint as Tattoo Ink?

To answer this question, it would probably be wise for us to give you an idea of how tattoos work. This is a very brief overview. We aren’t going to go into all of the scientific aspects.

When you are injected with tattoo ink, the tattoo ink will be injected deep beneath the surface. A couple of layers deep.

The body isn’t a fan of this happening. As a result, your immune system will be kicked into overdrive, and hordes of white blood cells will be sent to attack the tattoo ink. The problem? The ink particles can’t be removed by the white blood cells. Unlike other ‘invaders’ in the body, the white blood cells cannot absorb them.

The result is that the body has no mechanism to remove the tattoo ink. This means that it will stay there permanently. 

Another tattoo ink I highly recommend is this Millennium Mom’s Tattoo Ink. A lot of tattoo artists use this brand for its vibrant and rich colors.

Since the ink is going to be sitting there for the rest of your life, any of the chemicals and compounds in acrylic paint will be sitting there too. Now, for the most part, acrylic paint is safe. However, there are some pigments that have to make use of compounds such as lead. Obviously, lead really is not something that you want to have sitting around in your body permanently, since it could kill you.

Now, you could avoid the acrylic paints that have these compounds. There will be a massive warning label on them that says they are toxic. However, this isn’t to say that the less-toxic materials in acrylic paint will be safe for a tattoo. They haven’t been tested in the human body, after all?

There are plenty of people that have injected themselves with acrylic paint for tattoos with no ill-effects. However, you have to remember that if there is an issue and your body doesn’t act properly, you are going to end up with a serious infection. This is an infection that is going to be exceedingly hard to treat. Actually, it is going to be pretty painful to treat too. It really isn’t worth the risk.

If you are going to have a tattoo done, make sure that only products rated for tattoo use are used. This means going to an actual tattoo parlor to have the work carried out. Yes, it is going to cost you a little bit of money if you want to have that done, but at least you are not going to be running the risk of a serious injection, which is pretty much always going to be a plus.

Final Thoughts

While there are some people that will use acrylic paint as tattoo ink, it really is not something that you should be doing. Acrylic paint is not meant to be used on the skin. Always remember to only use tattoo ink that is safe for your body.

Acrylic Art World

Annick's passion has been painting with acrylics since her youth. She has a lot of experience with all sorts of projects, from simple acrylic painting to advanced techniques like acrylic pouring.

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