Curious about Colorit

Hello all,

I’m interested in possibly using Colorit as an alternative to glass
enamel on red gold applications. Is there anyone in the Northeast
Ohio area who has a Colorit set-up who would be willing to give me a
quick demo?

I was also wondering if the far more reasonably priced dental UV
lights often for sale on eBay are strong enough to cure the Colorit

Lastly, if anyone has pigments or tools related to Colorit just
gathering dust, contact me off list, I may be purchasing materials

Thank you.


I’m in Oregon so I can’t offer an in person demo but I believe I’ve
got a video that I would be willing to mail and lend to you.

I have been using colorit for about 3 years and did in fact buy a
dental light which works just fine.

I clamp the handpiece into a rubber jawed vise - the kind that’s got
a ball joint so it turns in any direction - so that I can get the tip
of the light wand right over the colorit. These units run for 60
seconds at a time and it is a bit of a pain to have to keep
remembering to hit the button for the 3 or 4 turns it takes to fully

At least I don’t have to sit there holding the unit the whole time. I
try to plan it to be nearby doing something else - interruptible
while I’m in the curing process.

If you contact me off group with your address and a promise to return
it - I’ll hunt up the video and send it to you.


Hi Miche,

Thank you for the generous offer, I appreciate it. I’ll shoot you an
email off list.

I’m glad to hear that the regular dental light works fine. I don’t
mind buying quality machinery if it does what it is intended to, but
if I can find a lesser priced alternative that works just as well -
hey that leaves more of my budget open for metal and pretty stones

I browsed eBay yesterday and snagged a dental light made by 3M that
retailed at around $1250. It was listed for $220 so I scooped it up.
The curing time is 10 minutes and the spectrum of the blue light is
400 - 500. Given what you and John have told me, I think it will
work fine, I just need to buy a back up light bulb or two. I’m
excited about giving this a try, I love testing out new tools and


Responding to your additional questions:

Can Colorit hues be deepend with the addition of powdered pigments
like regular resin? 

No, as this would interfere with the photoinitiators. I think it’s
safe to assume the manufacturer has pushed the pigmentation as far
as it can go. The “Deep” Black, Blue, Red, etc. are darker, but
without reaching that 0.8mm depth threshold, you won’t get a true
opacity. (One idea I tried is to use bake-on paints underneath, and
for black, a silver blackening solution. The paints don’t work,
really, because there isn’t enough space for them and the Colorit in
a shallow channel. The silver blackener does work to a certain extent
as a “base coat,” but obviously it only helps when you are using
black Colorit above.)

Is the Colorit sticky and viscous? Can it be thinned for easier

Colorit has wonderful properties of thixotropy and viscosity. It is
really easy to work with, and stays where its put. It isn’t thinned,
but it does need to be heated before application. I use a $5 coffee
mug warmer for this. You could buy an expensive heater, but I don’t
see the point.

Did you find it necesary to buy the special applicator and mixing
dish, etc.? 

The applicator is good for the cyanoacrylate bond, which will ruin
brushes. For Colorit, you can use drugstore dental picks or your
favorite art store tools. Just make sure they’re steel and can be
cleaned with rubbing alcohol. I wouldn’t use a brush.

For a mixing dish, I use a very small piece of glass laid on top of
the coffee mug warmer. It works fine. I do have the covered
workstation, which is not that expensive, and will keep the product
from prematurely curing. It also works in reverse as an eye shield
should you decide to use a UV wand or gun.

Does this material pose less breathing hazards than epoxy resin? 

I can’t comment on the specific hazards with Colorit. In my
experience, there are no strong vapors as there are with some of the
epoxies and thinners. I expect Gesswein can send you an MSDS.

How do you remove Colorit from a piece? 

You can use methylene chloride to help dissolve it, but it won’t do
the job completely. (Keep in mind the dental precursor of this stuff
is made to go into people’s mouths for 10, 20 years or more without
deteroriating.) After dissolving as best you can, you have to pick
out the pieces with a small knife, graver or scriber. It’s a chore
and I wouldn’t recommend it unless absolutely necessary.

Did you find it easier or harder to grind than glass enamel or
epoxy? Do you use 3M wheels to grind? Or hand sanding? 

The cured product is actually slightly harder than sterling silver.
It is far harder than epoxy, even well-cured Ceramit or Durenamel.
I’ve found that fine files, sandpaper and tripoli or steel rouge
followed up with white diamond rouge works well. I use a handpiece
with micron-graded papers on tube-shaped mandrels running at a slow
speed. I generally lubricate them with water and/or bur lube when
sanding. I run from 180 or 220 up to 1200 then swich to the rouges.
Your mileage may vary. The only strong piece of advice I have in
this area is to not use 3M bristle wheels on Colorit; their smearing
action will ruin the finish.

And lastly, is it possible to apply this material to a flat
surface, like for instance as a clear coat for protection, without
it cracking, popping or peeling off? 

You can use it as a clear coat. The clear version runs like water and
levels really well. The key, however, is that it must bond onto
something. It won’t stick to bare metal, which has to be primed with
the Colorit cyanoacrylate bond product (basically a UV-curing Crazy
Glue). It will, however, stick to cured epoxy enamels, and I have
used it as a durable clear-coat over Ceramit that was abraded or had
minor optical imperfections. It’s clear as glass when it cures.

There are more tricks to this, and I have to say again that if you
have the money the full kit Gesswein sells might be the best route.
If not, you can figure out a lot of it on your own.