Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you already know that there is pre-made gray wash tattoo ink on the market. While they are great for beginners and experts alike, what do you do when you need a specific shade of gray wash that is not already available? Lucky for tattoo artists, gray wash tattoo ink is not that difficult to make when you have the right ingredients and follow a few simple steps.
What is Gray Wash Tattoo Ink?
Most experienced tattoo artists can tell you that gray wash is a must-have for any artist.
Gray wash, or grey wash tattoo ink as it is sometimes spelled in many parts of the world, is a special blend of black tattoo ink and a clear solution to create varying degrees of gray tattoo ink.
Sometimes, it also contains a touch of white tattoo ink as well. Creating varying shades of gray is what makes realistic black-and-gray work possible as it enables artists to shade their work and add depth and dimension.
Getting Ready To Make Gray Wash Safely
Gray wash is relatively easy to make if you have the right ingredients and are careful. First, to ensure the safety of your tattoo clients, you want to make sure that the black tattoo ink that you are starting with is sterile and sealed. You should also make sure that you are using a sterile solution to make your gray wash. We recommend using Quantum Gold Label Holy Water Shading Solution to make your gray wash tattoo ink. This REACH Compliant formula will keep your clients safe and make sure that the results look amazing.
Make sure that any other supplies you are using, such as the empty bottles, caps, and stirring implements are either new and sterile or have been autoclaved. Always disinfect the work area and wear clean, fresh gloves when mixing your gray wash.
Contamination is one of the leading causes of tattoo infections. These precautions will help reduce the risk of your tattoo ink becoming contaminated.
Step-by-Step Instructions To Make Gray Wash
Once you have ensured that everything is sterilized and have prepared your area, follow these easy steps to make your own gray wash tattoo ink:
- Test mix your black tattoo ink: Start with a very small amount in a cap or another small container. The most common ratio for gray wash tattoo ink is 1 part black tattoo ink to 3 parts mixing solution. That means that for each drop of black, you want to use 3 equal drops of a mixing solution. Stir well until the gray wash tattoo ink is smooth and even in consistency without any lumps.
- Test your formula on paper: Create a swatch of your new gray wash tattoo ink on paper before using it on your client’s skin. Make sure that the shade you achieved is exactly what you intended.
- Customize your formula: Don’t be afraid to experiment with creating darker and lighter shades of gray wash tattoo ink by using more parts black tattoo ink or more parts mixing solution. You can even try to add a touch of white tattoo ink to create a more true gray shade. Just make sure to jot down how many parts of each component you included so that you can scale up or recreate your formula later.
- Test on paper again: Once you have achieved the optimal gray wash tattoo ink to suit your needs, test it on paper one more time just to be sure.
- Scale your formula: Create as much or as little gray wash tattoo ink as you will need for your session. Just make sure to stick to the ratio that you used to make the sample.
- Bottle your formula: Carefully pour or funnel your formula into a sterile bottle. Make sure it is tightly and securely sealed. Make sure it is stored in a cool dry place until you are ready to use it.
- Use your gray wash tattoo ink: Shake the bottle well before using your gray wash to ensure that any separation is blended back together. Test it one more time on a piece of paper to make sure that it is still blended well and is the desired shade. The gray wash tattoo ink is now ready to use on your client! Shade away to your heart’s content using sterile needles like Quantum Tattoo Cartridge Round Shaders.
- Clean your work area: Once you get the knack for it and can work more efficiently and with fewer spills, cleanup will be a breeze!
Quantum Makes Gray Wash Easy
Is the prospect of doing this all yourself just to create the perfect shade overwhelming?
Quantum Tattoo Ink has made finding the perfect gray wash tattoo ink easy!
Our EU REACH Compliant Gold Label Quantum Gray Wash Set offers 3 gray washes that are perfect for almost any piece. For even more variety, the Gold Label Revenge of the Sith Gray Wash Set offers 4 options ranging from Ultra Light to Dark. All of our gray wash tattoo inks can also be purchased in individual bottles.