Grey wash tattoo inks are used for creating contrast in black tattoos. The result is similar to a pencil sketch, with different textures and shades of black creating the perfect image. With the application of these tattoo inks, you can play around with negative spaces and create subtle details in color tattoos.
You might assume that you can create any shade of grey or black by simply diluting or mixing a dark, rich black tattoo ink. However, using this method, you can’t achieve every Pantone shade of black and grey. The degree of accuracy of the shades you want to produce will vary. Also, this process will require experimentation, which is time-consuming.
A collection of grey wash tattoo inks can help achieve all the Pantone shades you need. With nearly zero deviation from exact shades, you can rely on creating the exact shade with the same process every time. So, here’s a list of the 8 best grey wash tattoo ink sets that you should consider adding to your collection.
8 Best Grey Wash Tattoo Ink Sets: [Reviewed]
I’ve selected and sorted these tattoo inks based on these categories.
- Brand History
- Certifications and Popularity
- Healing Time
I’ve prioritized shade, mixability, safety, and value in my list. For grey wash tattoo inks, these factors affect the usability of these tattoo inks greatly. As an artist, pricing or healing time may matter more to you. If that’s the case, you should choose according to your needs.
1. Kuro Sumi Liner and Shader Set
Kuro Sumi is an old brand that is reputed for using old Japanese formula and organic ingredients. The company’s initial promise was to deliver the blackest black in existence. They have kept their promise by producing excellent quality, deep, rich shades of grey and white. Kuro Sumi has expanded its collection to feature tattoo inks of other colors, but it remains undefeated in the realm of black and grey wash tattoo inks.
Kuro Sumi features three tattoo inks in the Liner and Shader Set. These are Outlining, Greywash, and Soft Greywash. I’ve described the base shades of these tattoo inks here.
- Outlining: Kuro Sumi Outlining contains the blackest pigments in the tattoo industry. The tattoo ink matches the Pantone color, Perfect Black. It is one of the darkest shades of black available on the Pantone color list, and the darkest black in the industry.
- Greywash: Greywash is also filled with deep black pigments. The matching Pantone color for this tattoo ink would be Smoky Black. Greywash is a lighter shade than Outlining, but it is still darker than most other brands’ black and grey tattoo inks.
- Soft Greywash: Soft Greywash is a lighter shade of grey. It matches the Pantone color Silver Foil. The tattoo ink’s light shade is perfect to create exaggerated negative spaces.
Every tattoo ink in the Liner and Shader set boasts the highest concentration of black pigments. While mixing and creating new shades, this can create issues. Increasing the concentration of pigments can mean increasing toxicity if the pigments are metallic or harmful chemical compounds. Also, this can stagger the ink flow rate.
However, Kuro Sumi tattoo inks are fully organic. Meaning pigment concentration can only improve performance, and not have any adverse effects. Mixing the tattoo inks will not cause any staggered flow rate, thanks to the carrier quality.
The tattoo inks featured in the set can be freely mixed to generate any shades of black and grey that are needed. No other tattoo inks will be needed to produce Pantone shades. Kuro Sumi designed the tattoo inks to work as intended within the set they retail and require no additional purchases.
Because Kuro Sumi uses fully organic ingredients, the tattoo inks have carriers and pigments that are safe for everyone. It’s even safe to use for people with sensitive skin or some mild skin conditions. The authentic, traditional, Japanese formula that the brand uses only improves the safety aspect.
Certifications and Popularity
Kuro Sumi has an ISO 13485 certification for its manufacturing facility. This makes the tattoo ink producer authorized to manufacture, install, and service medical-grade equipment. This rating is an unquestionable proof of Kuro Sumi’s dedication to quality control.
As a tattoo ink brand, Kuro Sumi is one of the market leaders in terms of safety and color. Tattoo artists that are inspired by Japanese artwork, comics, or watercolor paintings often rely on Kuro Sumi. The tattoo inks are also used by artists who have to work on clients with skin issues or a history of allergies.
Because of the organic nature of the tattoo inks, tattoos that use the Liner and Shader set will heal within one and a half weeks only. The healing time needed is remarkably low, and the tattoo inks don’t cause any additional skin infections.
The price of the Kuro Sumi Liner and Shader set can come to $61. The tattoo inks come in 6 fluid ounces in the set.
The value of the Liner and Shader set is immense. The set has the blackest pigment-based tattoo outlining ink. A volume-to-price ratio also comes to 1:3.5. Which makes the pricing far cheaper than the performance that the tattoo inks promise.
- Best brand in the market for Grey Wash and Black tattoo inks.
- Blackest color pigments.
- High mixability.
- Able to produce exact Pantone shades of grey.
- ISO-rated facility.
- Greatest possible safety.
- One of the fastest healing times.
- Great value.
- Can be expensive for starting artists.
Kuro Sumi Lining and Shading set is the most formidable grey wash tattoo ink collection on the market. It’s safe to use for every client, and safe to play around with to make new shades. It has the blackest color pigments and the highest concentration without giving up on ink flow rate. Other than the hefty price tag, this set surpasses every other tattoo ink brand in every category.
2. World Famous 3 Bottle Grey Wash Set
World Famous is one of the oldest brands in the tattoo industry. With over 50 years on the market, the tattoo ink brand has fought and survived through scrutiny, skepticism, and biases about body art. While other brands have experienced the same, World Famous has stuck it out through its meticulous attention to creating color and safety.
The 3 Bottle Grey Wash set comes with Dark Grey Wash, Mid-Tone Grey, and Charcoal Grey Wash. I’ve provided a description of each shade here.
- Dark Grey Wash: Dark Grey Wash is the deepest and darkest of the grey wash tattoo inks in the set. It matches the Pantone color Black 6 C. On its own, the tattoo ink can create vibrant outlines.
- Mid-Tone Grey: Mid-Tone Grey is an interesting shade of grey to play around with. It matches CSS Grey on the Pantone color palette. The tattoo ink has an interesting brightness value of 51% on the HSV/HSB scale, which gives it a dull look, yet an almost imperceptible light sheen effect. World Famous is known for creating the most interesting shades and colors, and this shade is a good example.
- Charcoal Grey Wash: Charcoal Grey Wash is the lightest shade of grey wash tattoo ink in the set. It matches Light Silver on the Pantone color palette. The tattoo ink is a bright shade that’s perfect for creating lighter shades.
The pigments in the tattoo inks in the 3 Bottle Grey Wash set are non-organic. However, this isn’t a cause for concern. Due to the emphasis World Famous puts on safety, it has made sure that toxic chemical reactions don’t happen within the carrier and the pigments when the tattoo inks are mixed. There are also no issues with staggered or abundant ink flow and pigment oversaturation.
You can create nearly every shade of grey that you’ll need with the tattoo ink set. However, this set specializes in creating lighter, silvery shades of grey more than darker ones.
World Famous has made their name in the market for their near inhuman standards for safety. While the tattoo inks produced do not have organic pigments, they are produced in a sterilized space with quality control that won’t let even a single bottle go without matching the exact requirements. The result is tattoo inks that can be used on any client with healthy skin without fear of infections.
World Famous also sterilizes the tattoo inks before they are transported. The tattoo inks are sealed in PET bottles that are transport, tamper, and contamination-proof. The brand also prints a QR code on every bottle, so that you can scan it and determine the authenticity of the product. It’s a measure that other brands have yet to take.
Certifications and Popularity
World Famous has made a name for itself in the tattoo industry in safety. The tattoo inks are produced with utmost care in an ISO 13485-certified manufacturing facility. This rating is concrete proof of how sterile and tightly controlled its manufacturing process is.
As for popularity, the brand is known more for its ability to create unique, eye-catching colors over its attention to safety. World Famous is a brand most artists would use to create vivid, colorful tattoos. The brand does not have the same sway when it comes to black and grey wash tattoo inks.
Because of their commitment to safety, the healing time is only 2 weeks on healthy skin. The 3 Bottle Grey Wash set is usable on almost all types of skin bar the most sensitive. It will yield the same results for tattoos on every skin type.
The 8-ounce pack of World Famous 3 Bottle Grey Wash set will cost around $75. This is a higher price than Kuro Sumi.
The value of the 3 Bottle Grey Wash set is quite high. The volume-to-price ratio for the set comes to 1:3, a better value than Kuro Sumi in volume alone. It is okay to use on nearly every type of skin for tattooing, and it can create excellent lighter shades. However, it cannot outperform Kuro Sumi in any other category bar sheer volume-based value.
- Reliable brand image and history.
- Eye-catching medium grey wash shade.
- Good mixability.
- Ability to better produce lighter grey shades.
- Best safety standards on the market.
- Iso-certified facility.
- Good healing time.
- Good value.
- Price is too high for young artists to get.
World Famous 3 Bottle Grey Wash set is a tattoo ink set that cannot surpass the Kuro Sumi Lining and Shading set by any means. However, it is still an excellent set that can create lighter shades with ease and heals quite fast. You can ascertain the authenticity of the tattoo ink yourself, which is a layer of safety that no one else offers.
3. Starbrite Lunar Greywash Set
Starbrite is a brand that’s known for producing bright, and safe tattoo inks. It’s not one of the older brands, with only 15 years under its belt. However, Tommy’s Supplies is the parent brand, and it has been working with tattoo inks for over 30 years.
The Lunar Greywash set features 5 grey wash tattoo inks. I’ve discussed their shades and use cases here.
- Light Moon: Light Moon is the lightest of the set. It is optimal for mapping out lighter areas on the tattoo. It’s a subtle grey that matches Off White Grey on the Pantone color palette.
- Quarter Moon: Quarter Moon is a tad bit darker, and has a light to a medium gradient effect. Quarter Moon is good at creating light saturation, smoothing edges, and making soft shadows for filling in open spaces. On the Pantone color palette, the color it comes closest to is Spindrift Grey.
- Half Moon: Half Moon is a medium shade of grey. It’s good for creating transitions into lighter and darker shades and creating contrasts. The tattoo ink matches Space Grey on the Pantone color palette.
- Dark Moon: Dark Moon is the darkest shade of grey in the set. It’s a borderline black shade of grey that’s good for creating smooth saturation in darker areas. The brand claims that it’s capable of lining excellently, but it’s not as good as Kuro Sumi or World Famous equivalents. The shade matches a dark Boho Black on the Pantone color palette.
- Brite White: Brite White is provided as the agent for creating lighter shades of grey in the set. It’s also great for tinting work in tattoos. Brite White matches a bright Blinding White on the Pantone color palette.
While the set does have a white tattoo ink to mix with, it’s not a mixing ink that can produce exact Pantone colors. The Lunar Greywash set comes with 5 types of tattoo inks, so that artists can create shades with little to no adjustments. The expectation is to not have to mix and use the tattoo inks for intended case scenarios only.
The pigments in the tattoo inks are non-organic. Mixing the colors doesn’t create any harmful chemical reactions, but can create mild oversaturation. The ink flow rate is staggered a little without mixing, due to the high viscosity. Unfortunately, it will increase when mixed, but it won’t cause issues while tattooing.
Starbrite takes safety seriously as a brand. They make sure that their tattoo inks are produced in Class A 100,000 clean environment that’s kept sterile through high-powered HEPA filters. This creates tattoo inks that are fully contamination free.
Certifications and Popularity
The tattoo ink production facility has an ISO 8 rating. This means any particles that are larger than 0.5 microns are filtered out of the facility. There are filtering equipment such as HEPA filters, air pressure, humidity, temperature control, static, lighting, and sound controls. The air alone is changed over 20 times per hour.
Starbrite gained recognition for creating bright colors that are rich and saturated. The brand’s pigment concentration is also very high, causing high viscosity but a good ink flow rate. However, the grey wash or black tattoo inks are reliable but not the cause for the brand’s popularity.
Since the production facility makes a great effort to ensure that there are contaminants, the tattoos heal very easily. The Lunar Greywash set will heal within 2 weeks of tattooing. However, unlike Kuro Sumi and World Famous, the brand can’t be used on every skin type. Sensitive skin types will have a slower healing rate, up to two and half weeks.
The 0.5-ounce variant of the Starbrite Lunar Greywash set will cost around $30. This is significantly less than other top selections and can make a good choice for young artists.
The Volume-to-price ratio for Starbrite Lunar Greywash set is 1:12. This makes the value of the tattoo ink set significantly decrease in value compared to Kuro Sumi and World Famous brands. However, the value of the grey wash tattoo ink set lies in the number of shades you get. A young artist will have a set of grey wash tattoo inks that don’t require much adjustment to create great black tattoos.
- Good brand history of safety.
- Good collection of grey wash shades.
- Great attention to safety.
- ISO 8-rated production facility.
- Good healing time.
- Affordable price.
- Not meant for much adjustment.
- Not popularized for black and grey wash tattoo inks.
- Value in volume vs. price is worse.
Starbrite Lunar Greywash tattoo ink set is a great tattoo ink set for young artists. They can afford the set without breaking their bank. The tattoo ink set can create brilliant black tattoos without much adjustment. It’s a good starter kit for artists due to the pricing and quality.
4. Element Tattoo Supply 3 Stage Grey Wash Set
Element Tattoo Supply is a brand that has over 20 years of experience in the tattoo industry. The brand is not considered a market leader in terms of grey wash tattoos. However, it’s hailed as an underdog by many artists.
The 3 Stage Grey Wash set comes with 5 tattoo inks. Of these 3 are grey wash tattoo inks, 1 black, and 1 white mixing tattoo ink. I’ve discussed their shades and use cases below.
- Light Shade: The Light Shade tattoo ink matches the Metro Grey color on the Pantone color palette. This tattoo ink is the lightest shade in the set, yet it leans towards a darker coloration. It’s a good tattoo ink for creating contrast, and the darker shade allows more headroom for adjustment.
- Medium Shade: The Medium Shade matches the Versatile Grey color on the Pantone color palette. This grey wash tattoo ink is also darker than that of most other brands’ medium shade tattoo inks. This is also intentionally designed to create room for adjustment.
- Dark Shade: Dark Shade is the darkest shade in the 3 Stage Grey Wash set. Curiously the shade is lighter than other brands’ darkest shades. The tattoo ink matches the color Winter Gray in the Pantone color palette.
- Nighthawk Black: Nighthawk Black is a deep, rich black tattoo ink. This shade matches Black Shimmer on the Pantone color palette. The tattoo ink is great for making darker shades of grey.
- White: The White in this tattoo ink set is quite special. The tattoo ink is a mixing ink, which allows an artist to produce exact Pantone shades. The tattoo ink matches White Parakeet on the Pantone color palette.
The 3 Stage Grey Wash set shines when it comes to producing new shades of grey and black. The set has some issues with pigment oversaturation, but no toxic chemical reactions or compounds are produced. The tattoo inks in the set can combine to create any grey shades on the Pantone color palette with good accuracy. The darker grey shades of the light and medium shades help greatly in this regard.
The company itself doesn’t make any comments on how safe their tattoo inks are. The brand website talks about toxic and carcinogenic metals being used on tattoo inks, and veganism-based concerns. However, it does not assure that the tattoo inks produced by the brand are any better. All it mentions is that Element Tattoo Supply has a reputation for high quality.
Coming from artists, the brand is quite safe to use on people. The tattoo inks cause little to no skin irritation on healthy skin. Although it’s not recommended to use it on clients that have a history of skin issues. The best method to ensure would be to do a spot test.
Certifications and Popularity
Element Tattoo Supply doesn’t have any certifications for its manufacturing and quality control. There is also no official explanation for their manufacturing process.
The brand is no market leader, but it has become an underdog in the grey wash tattoo ink pocket. The ability to create almost every shade of grey with the 3 Stage Grey Wash set is seen as a great benefit for experienced artists. These artists would rather have customizability over a curated selection.
The healing time needed for the 3 Stage Grey Wash set is around two and a half weeks. The tattoo ink set’s healing time is average. It’s not usable on sensitive skin, so no issues of consistency apply.
The price of a 1-ounce version of Element Tattoo Supply 3 Stage Grey Wash set is around $30. This is a price that’s quite affordable.
The volume-to-price ratio for the 3 Stage Grey Wash set comes to 1:8. Element Tattoo Supply’s set loses ground here to the top contenders. It also gives ground in safety, certification, and healing time. However, the customizability aspect of the grey wash tattoo ink set is a powerful advantage.
- Brand name with decent history.
- Good base shades of grey and black.
- Has a mixing ink.
- Able to create every Pantone shade of grey.
- Good price.
- Unclear values of safety.
- No certifications in production and quality control.
- Not universally safe.
- Overall loss in value.
Element Tattoo Supply 3 Stage Grey Wash set is not a set for beginners. This set is meant for experienced artists who can understand client needs and skin types well, and need customized colors to create tattoos. The adaptability the set offers is a potent advantage, but only when you know how to use it.
If you do not need the White or Nighthawk Black, then there is another set that only features the grey wash tattoo inks. You can get this set for cheaper.
5. Millennium Mom’s Shading Series
Millennium Mom’s is a brand that started producing tattoo inks in 1998. It has become a market-leading brand in terms of consistency and pigment saturation. The brand is well known for its pre-mixed grey wash tattoo ink set.
The Mom’s Shading Series has 4 grey wash tattoo inks that have been pre-mixed. The intention is to make a curated set of grey wash tattoo inks that will be usable straight from the bottle. I’ve elaborated on the shades and use cases of these tattoo inks here.
- Greywash One: Greywash One is the darkest shade in the set. The color matches Charleston Green on the Pantone color palette. This tattoo ink is intended to be used to create darker zones on black tattoos.
- Greywash Two: This tattoo ink is a lighter shade. It matches the color Outer Space. This is meant to be used for transitioning between the darker and lighter grey shades.
- Greywash Three: Greywash Three is even lighter, matching Granite Gray on the Pantone color palette. The tattoo ink is used to create light pencil-like shadings to create the impression of shadows.
- Greywash Four: Greywash Four is a tattoo ink that is used for highlighting and generating contrast. The color it matches is CSS Gray on the Pantone color palette.
Mom’s Shading Series is meant to be a curated collection of grey wash inks. This set wasn’t intended to be mixed to create new shades. Also, the high pigment saturation and high viscosity contribute to the difficulty. It’s ideal to not try and create shades from the set.
Millennium Mom’s tattoo inks are made with pure, uncut, homogenized pigments. This results in high pigment dispersion. The pigments disseminate within the skin quickly and don’t cause any issues by clumping up in the skin. Although non-organic, the pigments and carriers of the Millennium Mom’s tattoo inks have had no complaints regarding skin issues.
Certifications and Popularity
Millennium Mom’s doesn’t have any certifications for their manufacturing facility or quality control.
Millennium Mom’s gained its popularity through outlasting turbulent times in the body art industry as a whole. Despite the stigma tattoos faced in the earlier times, it kept producing quality, high dispersion tattoo inks with one of the biggest collections in terms of colors. When it comes to grey wash tattoo inks, Millennium Mom’s Shading Series set is a well-known option if you’re not big on custom colors.
Mom’s Shading Series has an average healing time. Tattoos made with the set will take about two and a half weeks to heal up. The tattoo ink can be used on most types of skin. For sensitive skin, it may take up to 3 weeks and cause some inflammation.
The 1-ounce version of Millennium Mom’s Shading Series will cost about $23. This is another affordable set that’s great for young artists.
The volume-to-price ratio for the tattoo ink comes to 1:6. While this doesn’t match the ratio of Kuro Sumi or the World Famous brand, it’s still a good representation of value. Otherwise, the value of Mom’s Shading Series is similar to Starbrite’s Lunar Greywash. It’s a curated selection of grey wash tattoo inks that a young artist could use.
- Reliable history with grey wash tattoo inks.
- Base shades cover most grey wash tattoo ink needs.
- Reputed for the Shading Series set.
- Cheap pricing.
- Good value for young artists.
- Not a set that can be mixed for custom shades.
- No certifications for manufacturing and quality control.
This is a great choice for young artists. Although Mom’s Shading Series doesn’t have pure black and white colors like the Lunar Greywash set does, it features a greater collection of grey wash shades. This allows the tattoo inks to cover more ground. As a set purely focused on grey wash tattoo inks, this is a winner.
6. Kokkai Sumi Grey Wash System
Kokkai Sumi is a brand that creates tattoo inks based on the traditional Japanese Sumi tattoo ink formula that Kuro Sumi uses. The brand is relatively new to the market, but it promises the same level of safety that Kuro Sumi does. However, the brand does not use organic ingredients to create pigments as Kuro Sumi does.
Grey Wash System comes with 3 pre-mixed shades of grey wash tattoo inks. I’ve mentioned the matching Pantone colors and intended use cases here.
- Light: The Light grey wash tattoo ink matches the Silver Foil color on the Pantone color palette. This tattoo ink is meant to create light impressions of shadows.
- Medium: Medium grey wash tattoo ink is similar to Raisin Black on the Pantone color palette. The intended use for this tattoo ink is to create undertones of the outline and create depth. The shade is deep and rich, which is good for its purpose.
- Dark: Dark grey wash is close to Chinese Black color on the Pantone color palette. The tattoo ink is meant to create outlines for black tattoos.
Just like Mom’s Shading Series and Lunar Greywash, the Grey Wash System also features pre-mixed grey wash tattoo inks. This set is not intended to mix and create new grey shades. Kokkai Sumi markets the set as perfect getting for consistent grey wash shades and saving time.
Kokkai Sumi uses the same traditional Japanese Sumi tattoo ink formula. However, they don’t use organic pigments. While the traditional formula might offer a greater level of safety than typical tattoo inks, the lack of organic pigments means it cannot be used on every skin type without concern.
Certifications and Popularity
Kokkai Sumi doesn’t have any manufacturing certifications, nor any quality control ratings.
The brand is a relatively new one, so not many artists use it. Those that do provide good feedback, but nothing extraordinary. In terms of grey wash tattoo inks, the collection it has is considered purely average.
Thanks to the formula it uses, it has a good healing time. Tattoos made with the Grey Wash System set can heal within 2 weeks. This healing time is a bit faster than average.
The 4-ounce Kokkai Sumi Grey Wash System set retails for around $20. This is the cheapest set so far on the list, and it is quite good for what you get.
The value of the set is great based on the volume-to-price ratio, which comes to a great 1:1.5. The true value of the set lies in time-saving, good healing time, and the usability it offers for young artists. It’s also safer than most other brands that use non-organic pigments. However, the shades that come with the set can’t cover much ground when tattooing.
- Safer than most non-organic pigment-based brands.
- Good healing time.
- Great price.
- Good value for young artists.
- New to the tattoo industry.
- No certification for production and quality control.
This is the perfect set for inexperienced apprentices who want to master black tattoos. They can use on most skin types without worry and get consistent grey shades every time for cheap. However, there’s not much room for adding details and depth due to the limited collection of shades.
7. Dynamic Ink Greywash Set
Dynamic is a market-leading brand that has been dominating the industry since 1990. The tattoo inks produced by Dynamic are loved universally by artists, thanks to their deep color, pigmentation, and consistency. When it comes to grey wash tattoo inks, Dynamic has a formidable collection of tattoo inks to offer.
The Greywash set offers 4 shades of grey wash tattoo inks. I’ve talked about them here.
- Greywash #20: Greywash #20 is the lightest shade in this set. It matches the Chinese Gray on the Pantone color palette. The tattoo ink is good for shadows, and playing with negative spaces.
- Greywash #40: Greywash #40 matches Space Grey on the Pantone color palette. This tattoo ink is good for contrasting and fading in or out of shades.
- Greywash #60: Greywash #60 matches Woodland Grey on the Pantone color palette. This tattoo ink is used to create depth and darken spaces.
- Greywash #80: Greywash #80 matches Night Black on the Pantone color palette. This is used for outlining.
Dynamic Ink markets the Greywash set as mixable, although it can only produce a limited range of grey. The tattoo inks have high pigment content, but the viscosity isn’t problematic. The tattoo inks are good for both experts and amateurs. The base shades are good enough for the job of practicing apprentices, while the expert artists can make a wide variety of grey shades with these tattoo inks.
Dynamic Ink claims that it takes particular care to produce all the grey wash tattoo inks in the set. The carrier is made from hospital-grade water, which is filtered, distilled and then UV treated. Dynamic also adds Witch Hazel to the grey wash tattoo inks to create a soothing effect for clients, and speed up the healing process.
However, the tattoo ink brand has had an issue with bacterial contamination in recent history. In 2019, the company got a citation for bacterial contamination in batches of black and white from the FDA. Dynamic has revamped its product lines and put more emphasis on safety since the incident. The artists overall have rarely raised any safety concerns when it comes to Dynamic.
Certifications and Popularity
Dynamic Ink doesn’t have any certification or rating for its manufacturing and quality control.
Dynamic is considered to be the market leader by most artists when it comes to black and red tattoo inks. Its grey wash tattoo inks are also loved by many experts, for their adaptability, coloration, and pigmentation.
Dynamic Ink Greywash set has a good healing time. Using this set alone, tattoos will heal within 2 weeks.
A 4-ounce pack of Dynamic Ink Greywash set will cost around $92. This is a hefty cost to pay for the set.
The volume-to-price ratio for Dynamic Ink Greywash set is 1:6. This is similar to Mom’s Shading Series, but this ratio is deceptive. The value of the Greywash set lies in the quality, promise of safety, and adaptability. However, you can find all these qualities in other tattoo ink sets for cheaper.
- Rich brand history.
- Great base shades for tattooing.
- Can create a range of custom shades of grey.
- Good attention to safety.
- Good healing time.
- Good value for experts.
- No certifications or ratings regarding manufacturing and quality control.
- Very high price for little volume.
- Not affordable or practical for amateurs.
Dynamic Ink itself has a rich history of care and quality, and the Greywash set reflects it. However, the grey wash tattoo ink set’s cost is exorbitant, and its qualities are matched or beaten by cheaper tattoo inks. Overall, the tattoo in the set is well suited for veterans.
8. Eternal Marshall Bennet Grey Wash Set
Eternal is the oldest tattoo ink brand on this list. The brand came to be in 1976 and has thrived even in times of stigma and scrutiny about body art. The brand is constantly at work to improve its products, launch new products, and keep the market fresh. The Marshall Bennet Grey Wash set is a prime example of its commitment.
Eternal Marshall Bennet Grey Wash set comes with 4 grey wash tattoo inks. I’ve talked about the tattoo ink shades here.
- MB20: MB20 is the lightest shade, and it matches Bright Gray on the Pantone color palette.
- MB40: MB40 is a shade of grey that’s great for shading work, emphasizing negative spaces. The tattoo ink has the Silver Chalice color.
- MB60: MB60 is the transitioning shade, helping to fade in or out of the other grey shades. The tattoo ink matches the Sonic Silver color on the Pantone color palette.
- MB80: MB80 is the darkest shade, and it’s similar to the Dark Liver color on the Pantone color palette. This is a good shade for outlining work.
The set was redesigned by Marshall Bennet to create better pre-mixed shades of grey that are more efficient. The greys in the shade are purpose-built to serve their intended purpose. However, the shades have also been readjusted to allow greater room for mixing.
Marshall Bennet Grey Wash set has tattoo inks that have low viscosity. The tattoo inks have non-organic pigments, but the saturation isn’t too high. Experts can use the names themselves as guidelines and create a range of Pantone accurate grey colors.
Eternal makes sure that all the tattoo inks it makes are sterilized, safe, and certified by independent laboratories. Eternal also claims to produce tattoo inks according to the EU/REACH regulation regarding pigments.
Certifications and Popularity
Despite the company claiming that it has been certified by independent laboratories, it has yet to cite any. The brand doesn’t have any ISO rating for its manufacturing and quality control.
The brand is universally liked by artists. The brand constantly reinvents its products and brings innovations to the tattoo ink space. Especially the grey wash set in question was revamped by Marshall Bennet, which made the tattoo ink set better than before.
Marshall Bennet Grey Wash set has an average healing time. The tattoo will take two and a half weeks to heal properly.
The 1-ounce pack of Eternal Marshall Bennett Grey Wash set will cost around $33. The pricing for the tattoo ink set is reasonable and affordable for young artists.
The volume-to-price ratio for the Eternal Marshall Bennett Grey Wash set come to 1:8.25. This ratio is unimpressive, as there are better options that provide more raw value. The set still has good value, as both amateurs and experts can use it. The base shades of grey can cover a lot of ground, and their percentage help experts create many of the customs shades they need for their projects with accuracy.
- Oldest and most reputed brand.
- Great base shades.
- Can produce Pantone grey colors.
- Affordable price.
- Unclear about safety protocols.
- No certifications or ratings for manufacturing and quality control.
- The raw value is one of the worst.
It’s clear that with this set, you’re paying for the brand image and Marshall Bennet’s collaboration. The price for the 1-ounce pack is affordable, but not worth it. The qualities of the set’s grey wash tattoo inks are good, but it cannot beat Kuro Sumi, World Famous, or Starbrite in any areas. I’d recommend this set if you’re an expert who’s into creating Pantone exact grey shades as fast as possible.
Grey Wash Tattoo Inks: Pre-mix vs. Custom Colors
One of the choices that you have to make about grey wash tattoo inks is whether you want a curated selection, or to mix up your custom shades. There are tattoo ink sets that claim to do both, but those are typically incapable of doing both properly. There are many other factors that you have to watch out for when choosing the set you need, but this is the biggest deciding factor.
There are obvious advantages to creating your grey shades.
- You can create the exact shades of grey that you want to use on the tattoos.
- You have more control over the artwork that you create.
- Also, it allows greater freedom to create depth, texture, and play with negative spaces and shadows in black tattoos.
However, there are some downsides to creating your shades. I’m going to mention the key issues that are caused by mixing tattoo inks.
- Pigment oversaturation. You can create a mixture with high viscosity that has staggered ink flow and can struggle to disperse in the skin.
- Chemical reactions. If the pigments are non-organic, especially metallic compounds, then mixing can cause chemical reactions that produce toxic substances.
- Waste of time and ink. If you don’t know how to exactly mix the shades to create what you need, you’ll end up using up a lot of tattoo ink and time to create the shade of grey you want. And the accuracy will be thrown off.
Going with pre-mixed grey wash tattoo inks causes the reverse to happen. You now have greater consistency, and save time with a curated selection that can cover a wide array of black tattooing work. However, you lose out on exercising your creativity and trying out new shades to use.
You can go for pre-mixed grey wash tattoo inks as an inexperienced artist. Leaving the customizing to the experts might seem like the wise choice. But you have to experiment to grow, and that leaves you with no avenue to do so.
A good idea would be to go for two sets of grey wash tattoo inks, one that is a curated pre-mixed set, and one that is meant to be mixed. You cannot have both in most cases, as pre-mixed tattoo inks will have high viscosity and pigment saturation, while the customizable ones will be the opposite.
My Two Cents At The End
Grey wash tattoo ink sets are tricky for most tattoo artists. Choosing the best grey wash tattoo ink set will be entirely dependent on what you need the most. Pricing and shade play major roles for beginners, while safety and value are important to many experts.
It’s recommended that you pick the best grey wash tattoo ink set after reading this article, doing market research, and asking for expert opinion. However, no tattoo artist, in reality, has the time needed to spare. So, I’ll be providing a short TLDR section that you can read and pick out a set that catches your eye.
The best grey wash tattoo ink set overall is Kuro Sumi Liner and Shader. The value for the set exceeds the price in every way. The set is also the safest of all the options. Chances are if you can’t use it, then the client can’t get tattooed.
If you’re new to tattooing and need a cheap practice grey wash set, then pick up Kokkai Sumi Grey Wash system. This grey wash tattoo inks set is cheap but has good performance. It comes pre-mixed, and won’t affect most skin types adversely.
If you’re an apprentice or have just begun practicing, then use the Starbrite Lunar Greywash set. The set comes with pre-mixed grey wash tattoo inks, and black and white tattoo ink as well. The set is the ideal starter pack for creating black tattoos. And you won’t find many brands that are so concerned with safety.
Finally, if you’re an expert, or you need to experiment to understand color mixing better, then pick Element Tattoo Supply 3 Stage Grey Wash. The set comes with a mixing ink, and grey wash tattoo inks that are meant to be mixed. The set is capable of creating perfect shades of grey and matching exact Pantone colors.
As an artist, mastering black tattoo inks is crucial. If you can create depth, shadows, highlights, and textures on a black tattoo, then you have a good grasp of the fundamentals. This is exactly why you should pick your best grey wash tattoo ink set according to what you need. Even if you don’t have time to research for other colors, spend time picking your black, grey wash, and white tattoo inks at all costs.
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