How to Showcase Color Play for Crushed Opal Inlay Projects

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How to Showcase Color Play for Crushed Opal Inlay Projects

Have you ever inlayed crushed opal and it looked different than you expected? Here is our tip on how to capture the best color play for your inlay. 

⚒️ What is Color Play?

Most crushed opal colors are going to have a primary and a secondary color that is present in the material. This is often referred to as color play, color flash or fire. The range of colors is what gives crushed opal it's beauty. Each color can be seen depending on the lighting, angle and the way the material is being used. We find that giving the crushed opal a background color, allows the material to pop in a way that showcases the color play due to the fact of some crushed opal colors being semi-transparent. 

⚒️How to Begin? 

The first step for our inlay process is to add a background color to the channel or desired inlay space. Not only does this help the color pop but it also helps with gaps that may be more visible without a background color. We start by selecting a paint or pigment (of your choice). Then finding a color match that is best suited to your inlay material color. 

⚒️How Can this be Applied to Any Project? 

You can apply this same idea to any type of project. 
For ring making, try painting the channel with acrylic paint.
For wood working projects, try applying wood stain or wood safe paint in your inlay space.
For a resin project, try adding a pigment in liquid or powder form. 
For nail art, start with a base nail polish color. 

⚒️ How to Select the Background Color?

The background color you want to select will be very dependent on what color you want to pop the most for your project. A good place to start is using black for your background color. This will give your project depth and contrast. Black or white could be used as a background color for any crushed opal color. You can also try a range of colors to see different results. You can also match colors with the secondary color to help them be more vibrant.
When inlaying Black Fire try a black background color. It will deeper enrich the black of Black Fire. Try a white background color for a high contrast effect. You can even apply a green, red, or orange background color to the inlay space to further bring out the secondary colors. 
For Pearl White use a white background color. It will enhance the white of Pearl. Use a black background color for a greater depth of contrast. You can also apply a red, green, or blue background color to the inlay space to further bring out the secondary colors. 

We find Sleepy Lavender to be one of the most subjective colors we offer due to the indigo hue. Not everyone will agree on if this color is purple or blue and this is why the background color method can be extremely helpful. Try using a purple background to bring out the lavender shades within this inlay material or try a blue background to brighten the "sleepy" hues. 

⚒️ Ready to See Video and Photo Examples?

We will be sharing our video and photos of our ring making steps as a further example of this method. 

Read our other blog to learn how make a ring with crushed opal

We start by painting the channel of the ring blank with acrylic paint. We then add our crushed opal and adhesive to the ring blank and continue with the ring making process as normal.

 We painted four different stainless steel ring blank channels with black, white, purple, and blue acrylic paint. 


 We added our adhesive and crushed opal to each ring core. 


Top Right: Black Fire with Black Background

Top Left: Pearl White with White Background

Bottom Left: Sleepy Lavender with Purple Background

Bottom Right: Sleepy Lavender with Blue Background 

⚒️ What Products Did We Use?


 Follow Us To See The Finished Rings