How to re-ink your dice

Re-inking dice

Re-inking can be a satisfying way to revive worn-out or dull-looking dice. Whether you want to restore faded numbers or think the numbers would look better in a different colour, this guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of re-inking your dice.

Why do people choose to ink their dice?

Re-inking or painting the numbers on your dice can be a practical and creative solution for various reasons. Any tabletop player knows that their dice are crucial, and over time, the ink on them may fade or become less legible.

By re-painting dice, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Save money: re-inking extends the life of your dice so you can continue to use them for many adventures to come.
  • Personalisation: you can choose colours that align with your chosen theme, or opt for a unique design to make your dice stand out.
  • Improved legibility: some dice may have numbers that are hard to read. Inking with a brighter or clearer colour can enhance legibility.

In tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons, legible dice are crucial for smooth gameplay. Avoid interruptions and double-checks by using easily readable dice. Learn more about dice with our guide to dice in D&D.

What to re-ink dice with

There are lots of ways to ink dice, including with marker pens, crayons, or nail polish. While these options offer quicker results, we recommend using acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is easy to use, adheres well to most types of dice, and provides a smooth finish that will last you many rolls.

Can you use nail polish to ink dice?

Yes, you can use nail polish to ink dice, but we don’t recommend it. Nail polish isn't designed to be long-lasting, so it might discolour or fade over time. For a more resilient finish, we recommend acrylic paint.

What markers are good for inking dice?

An ultra-fine point permanent marker can work well, allowing precise inking of the grooves for a quick and cheap finish. However, their ink may rub off during use, which is why we recommend acrylic paint for a smooth and long-lasting finish.

What is the best paint for dice numbers?

When re-inking dice numbers, acrylic paint is the most durable choice. Though it requires some time and precision, the results are worth it. Acrylic paint bonds well, while watercolours and oil paints are less suitable due to their lack of adhesion and extended drying times.

If you're interested in the world of dice, explore our guide on what dice are made of. For most dice, including plastic dice, acrylic paint is the ideal solution for re-inking the numbers.

How to remove ink from dice

Be cautious of soaking dice in isopropyl alcohol, as it risks causing cracking. Instead, use a cotton swab with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to gently rub against the ink. If the ink proves stubborn, you could try LA Awesome or Elbow Grease.

Some paints may be very resistant, requiring scraping or sanding, or even painting over the ink as a last resort.

Dice set before inking

Above: our dice had stubborn ink that resisted removal. Despite swabbing with isopropyl alcohol and soaking it in Elbow Grease, the ink remained strong. In the end, we opted to paint over the grey ink.

How to ink dice with acrylic paint

To ink dice with acrylic paint, start by ensuring the dice are clean and dry. Remove any existing ink if needed. Dip a fine brush in your chosen acrylic paint and carefully apply it to the numbers. Wipe away excess paint with a cotton swab or tissue, then let the dice dry thoroughly.

To get started, you'll need:

  • Dice
  • Acrylic paint in your preferred colour
  • Fine-tipped paintbrush
  • Something to wipe off excess paint, like cotton swabs or tissues

Inking dice with acrylic paint

Above: the acrylic paint and paintbrush we used (other brands are available!).

Steps to re-inking your dice:

  1. Clean the dice: ensure a smooth finish by cleaning the dice to remove any dirt before inking them.
  2. Secure the dice: use a vice grip or gloves to prevent accidental smudging while applying paint.
  3. Apply the paint: dip your paintbrush in acrylic paint and carefully fill in the numbers or pips.
  4. Remove excess paint: gently use cotton buds or tissue to dab away any excess paint.
  5. Apply another layer if needed: add a second layer once the first is dry if necessary for complete coverage.
  6. Allow them to dry: let the paint dry thoroughly before using the dice again, following the paint instructions.

Well done! Your freshly inked dice are now sporting a vibrant new colour, ready for your next adventure.

Dice set after inking

Above: how our dice look after inking with gold acrylic paint. Now, they are easier to read, reducing confusion during rolls.

Enjoy our range of quirky dice sets

Now that you've mastered the art of inking your dice, delve deeper into the world of dice organisation and storage with our creative solutions in the accompanying guide.

At Dice Dragons, we offer a diverse selection of polyhedral dice sets. From classic designs to our quirky dragon eye dice sets, where the eyes move with each roll, there's something to suit every adventurer's taste. Treat yourself to a new set for your next tabletop journey!

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