7 Steps to a Bubble-Free and Flawless Cure

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7 Steps to a Bubble-Free and Flawless Cure

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Few things exist that are more satisfying than creating a bubble-free resin piece that is flawlessly cured. On the contrary, few things are more frustrating than working tirelessly on a piece, and the result being less than satisfying. No artist enjoys putting time, effort, and passion into a piece, and it coming out sticky, covered in a layer of jelly-like goo, or filled with bubbles.

So, whether you have worked with resin before, and want to perfect your craft, or have recently learned of this mystifying medium and are attempting to build the courage to create your own piece: here is our guide to ensure that your projects reflect the vision that you start with. 

  1. The temperature of the workspace, and resin itself, is key. The workspace should be between 72°-78°F, the closer to 78°, the better.
  1.  If the resin is cool, use a warm bucket of water and place the resin and hardener bottles into the warm water. This will prevent microbubbles. The working time* of the resin mixture will go from 45 minutes, down to 30 minutes. This is because the resin mixture is thermosetting, and with increased temperature, the curing process will begin sooner than usual.
Art 'N Glow Epoxy Resin and Hardener sitting in buckets of warm water to increase their temperature
 

    (*Working time is the time you have to mix and pour the resin mixture once the hardener and resin meet in the same cup.)

    1. When pouring either the resin or hardener, carefully pour down the side of the measuring cup. Pouring from high above the measuring cup can result in air bubbles.

    Carefully pouring resin in a measuring cup

    1.  Double check that the resin and hardener are exactly a 1:1 ratio of resin to hardener.
    1. When mixing, mix smoothly, thoroughly, and consistently to avoid adding air bubbles. (To avoid adding air to the mixture, press the stirring utensil to the bottom of the cup while mixing.)

    Mixing the resin and hardener together using a stir stick

    1. After the resin and hardener is mixed and poured, wait about two minutes. Then, to remove any air bubbles, use an artists torch, kitchen torch, lighter, toothpick, or straw to remove bubbles. (Keep checking over the next 1-2 hours to make sure that additional bubbles do not appear.)

    Using a torch to remove air bubbles from resin poured into a silicone mold

    1. Last tip: If the resin and hardener are ever milky or cloudy, this is a good indicator that the temperature of your resin is too low.

    Working with resin can seem intimidating at first. However, once you understand the elements of a successful pour, it is easy to retrace your steps and see what went wrong whenever issues arise. We hope that these steps give you the confidence to jump into working with resin, if you haven't already. If you already have experience working with resin, we hope that these steps serve as a guide so that every pour you do leaves you satisfied with your work and inspired to create more! 


    10 comments

    • Ashley at Art 'N Glow

      Kim – There are a few things you can do to reduce the appearance of microbubbles in your resin pieces! Warming your resin and hardener bottles before use and increasing your work space temp to 78 degrees F can really help with this. When encasing organic materials in your resin, it is important to seal them first, either with a thin layer of resin or some sort of spray sealant that is intended for flowers and similar materials. This is because oxygen can be released from organic materials while the resin is curing, creating bubbles in the center of your piece that are difficult to remove. Lastly, using a torch or lighter over the surface of your resin is great for removing the bubbles that do appear :)

      Dave – We usually recommend pouring in layers at a maximum thickness of 1/4" each. The thickness of your pour is likely what prevented it from curing properly. There is hope for your piece! You can scrape away the gooey resin, sand, and recoat the sides that are still not cured with a final, thin layer of resin to restore a hard and glossy finish.

    • Dave Menderski

      First time user. My pour was 1 and 3/4" thick. The top has hardened. This is 4 days after pour, i took base from under pour. It is gouey. Will it set now exposed to air? Or am i to have to scrap it? Got a lot of time into this piece. Would be painful!!!

    • Kim Leslie

      Hello!
      Looking for some help. I make sphere or terrarium jewelry using real (dried) flowers. I really need a flawless or should I say bubble-less finish.
      I purchased your epoxy resin and I get micro bubbles. I have done everything, i’ve read everything… am I missing something? Should this resin be used for jewelry?
      Please help!
      Thanks so much.

    • Tahlia Bailey

      Thankyou for this! Great notes, explained in-depth. I will try all these tips next time and hope for microbubble-free resin!

    • Alex

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the question. We do have artists that choose to use a vacuum pot to ensure that there are no bubbles. You absolutely can choose to use it. We just recommend experimenting with how to use it if you have not used one before, before using it on a large amount of resin.

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