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.
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!
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
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.