Let’s Talk Resin

Let’s talk resin

I’m a sucker for a nice shiny chrome bumper. The same goes for the art pieces I create. It’s as if the only reason I create art is so I can see that beautiful glass like end result. Depending on what type of resin you are using, depends on the challenges you are forced to overcome while using resin. So let’s talk resin! There are two different kinds of resin, epoxy resin and UV resin. Epoxy resin comes in two parts and needs to be mixed while UV resin, well, does not.  In this article I’ll go over how to prepare the two different types of resin and why we would choose one over the other.  But you be the judge, to resin or not to resin.  

Polymer clay piece without resin

Polymer clay piece with resin

Epoxy vs. UV

Epoxy resin is a beautiful varnish for a project as small as an earring to something as large as a garage floor. Epoxy resin will cure on its own.  A full cure can take from 72 hours to 30 days.  This depends on the brand you use.  UV resin is used for smaller projects because UV light is the hardening factor.  It must be applied in very thin layers for the UV rays to go through it.  UV resin will cure in minutes.  Hence the immediate gratification.

Mixing 2 part epoxy resin

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A list of what you will need prior to mixing.

  • Epoxy 2 part resin-I prefer to use ProMarine Resin
  • Craft stick (tongue blade or Popsicle stick)
  • 2 plastic cups.
  • Gloves (latex or nitrite)
  • Respirator (preferable a full face respirator)
  • Isopropyl alcohol (in a spritz bottle), torch, or heat gun

It comes in two separate containers. One is the resin and the other is the hardener. The first thing to do, after donning your respirator and gloves, is put the resin into one of the plastic cups and an equal amount of hardener into the other plastic cup. Then pour the resin into the cup with the hardener in it. The resin is the thicker of the two so I tend to pour that into the hardener as opposed to vice versa.

Next, most epoxy resin manufacturers’ recommend mixing the resin for 3 minutes. Check your package label for the resin you are using to make sure you are mixing for the appropriate amount of time. This is very important. While mixing your resin you may notice a lot of bubbles forming. This is normal and we’ll take care of that a little later. Initially when you stir it, it’s going to appear cloudy. This will resolve itself and it will end up nice and clear. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the cup to make sure all the resin is mixing thoroughly.

Now you are ready to add your resin to your piece. Apply some resin and spread evenly with the craft stick. If you have bubbles remaining on your piece there are a few things you can do to eliminate the bubbles.

  • Use the torch – Being very careful to not allow the flame from the torch to remain on the resin too long, quickly go over the piece and watch the bubbles disappear. Leaving the flame too long will burn the resin and there is no coming back from that.
  • Use the heat gun – As with the torch, do not keep the heat in one area for too long. Move the heat quickly over the piece to eliminate the bubbles
  • Use the isopropyl alcohol – This is the safest way to eliminate bubbles. Just spritz the alcohol over the piece.

Once you have eliminated the bubbles there is only one thing left to do, cover your piece! Oh, and then wait at least 24 hours before you touch your piece. After that waiting period, wallah, a beautiful shiny masterpiece!

Resin’s worst enemy, Dust!

This is true, dust is everywhere! And if you don’t catch it in time it can end up on your piece. That means you may end up having to put another layer of resin on. So covering it can prevent this scenario from happening to you.

UV resin

What a beautiful thing this UV resin is. UV resin is used (by me anyway) for smaller projects. I use it for my jewelry pieces.  If you would like to see how I us UV resin to finish my pieces check out my post titled “How to apply UV resin to a pendant.”  One of the main reasons is it offers immediate gratification. You also don’t need to use a heat source for UV resin as there is no mixing which means few to no bubbles. You do, however, need a UV light source.

The list of items you need for UV resin is also much shorter than for the epoxy resin.

  • UV resin
  • gloves (latex or nitrite)
  • something to spread the resin such as a toothpick
  • Respirator or N95 mask
  • UV light source

UV resin is only one part. So no need to be mixing anything. You simply apply the resin to the piece, spread it all over being careful by the edges so it doesn’t run over. If you do notice a bubble or two, simply pop them with a toothpick. Then you place the piece into the UV light source and let it cure. Check the manufacturers’ recommendation on your UV resin for the curing time. I usually leave it in for approximately 4 minutes. But this may vary. Once that is done, your masterpiece is complete!

Conclusion

Now that you know the two different types of resin and how to use them, you are all ready to go shine up your projects! I would love to hear about your experiences with both epoxy resin and UV resin. Do you have any tips to share? Do you have any questions about using resin?  Would you choose to resin, or not to resin?  Please feel free to share in the comment section below. And check out my Instagram to see how I have used resin on my art.

You can check out my designs in my Ebay store at

https://www.ebay.com/str/myeclecticdesign

Fun Facts!

When mixing 2 part epoxy resin, place the cup in a warm water bath to help cut down on bubble formation.  Also, resin does not wash off with soap and water.  I use Isopropyl alcohol to wipe it off if I get it on my fingers.

 

12 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Resin”

  1. Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing this information in such a clear and concise manner. There are certainly some nuggets in this article that are fascinating. Have you noticed an increase in the popularity of epoxy resin tables? They also look unique and so different to the stereotypical tables.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    Best wishes,
    Sharon

    Reply
    • Hi Sharon, thank you so much for visiting my site and offering your kind words. I absolutely agree, there are more and more people using resin and creating all sorts of projects. My son and I have completed a small table. We created the marble effect. It was so fun to do. Thank you again!

      Reply
  2. Oh wow I never knew that there was so much to know about using resin. My 8 year old daughter is so arty and love doing any sort of crafting. She did a crafts class for a few years that she loved and they mostly concentrated on pottery but I’ve taken both my kids out of extra mural classes this year due to time and expenses constraints. I’ve been looking for something to do with both my kids each week.

    How do you feel working with resin will be suited for children? Oh and please note I am not the arty type, so I need to be able to teach them the basics on how to use it and slowly back away!

    Reply
    • Hi Lynne, thank you so much for taking the time to visit my site and comment.
      For an 8 year old I would say UV resin would be the way to go. Reason being, UV resin
      will only cure with UV light. So if she were to get it on something, like the floor or
      work space, it will wipe off (I use the isopropyl alcohol to clean resin off of a hard
      surface). Epoxy resin is a 2 part resin and once cured, it’s there to stay!
      There are some shallow silicone molds you can purchase. The options are endless as far
      as things they could create with the molds. Keychains, pendants, earrings, etc.
      Those things make really great stocking stuffers or secret santa gifts at a very low
      cost. It’s so much fun. I could go for a long time about it. :o)
      Thank you again and feel free to contact me with questions. I’m happy to help in any
      way I can.
      Have fun!
      Take care,
      Teresa

      Reply
  3. These are stunning! The resin sure does make them ‘pop’. I do home you are selling some of these because they would make great gifts for people of any age. Can I ask you about where you source most of your materials?

    Reply
    • Hi Catherine at the moment I get my clay from Creative Wholesale. Also a Fabric/craft store called Joann Fabrics.
      And also Amazon. Thank you for taking a look at my site and for the kind words.

      Take care,
      Teresa

      Reply
  4. I really enjoy using resin in my projects. I have made coffee tables, keepsake boxes, and even tall lockers with two step epoxy resin.
    I love the depth I can create with it.
    I am new to UV resin. I have never used it, but I can see how great it would be to use on smaller projects like the magic wands I make or my gourd maracas.
    Thanks for introducing me to UV.
    How many layers of UV do you normally use on a pendant?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Greg, thank you for visiting my site. I normally only use one layer of resin on my pendants.
      The only reason I use a second layer is if I need to sand the first coat for some reason.
      Glad I could help by introducing you to the UV resin. You won’t regret giving it a try!
      If you have any questions I’m happy to help.

      Take care,
      Teresa

      Reply
  5. Thank you for the detailed information regarding resin. I’ve bookmarked your eBay store. I’m considering purchasing a gift for my niece for her birthday. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hello Hannie, thank you for visiting. It’s good for me to know there are still people who need
      to be introduced to this topic.

      All the best,
      Teresa

      Reply

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