Step by Step Guide: How to Coat Paintings with Resin

Adding epoxy resin to a painting or art piece enhances the colors and gives the piece a glossy, clean finish. A clear coat of resin also provides added protection from general wear or scratches. Although the results glisten for themselves, the process requires patience, preparation, and care.

Below we’ve outlined how to coat a painting with epoxy resin, including the materials you will need, pro tips, and the precautions you should take when handling resin.

  1. Prepare Your Workspace
  2. Prepare Your Painting
  3. Proceed with Caution
  4. Mix the Resin
  5. Pour and Spread
  6. Remove Bubbles
  7. Finish Edges
  8. Cover and Cure
  9. Clean and Store

Materials Needed

  • The painting or art you want to coat
  • Art 'N Glow Clear Casting and Coating Epoxy Resin
  • Several disposable cups for mixing
  • Stirring utensil
  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • A level
  • An artists torch or heat gun
  • A box or something similar to cover your resin with as it cures

Prepare Your Workspace

Before you do anything, you need to prepare your workspace. When using epoxy resin, ensure your workspace is well-ventilated. You also want to pick a space that is relatively clean and has very little dust, as these particles can find their way into your resin during the curing process. 

The temperature of your workspace should be mild to warm. Aim for between 72°F-78°F. For best results, the temperature should be closer to 78°F. Wipe down surfaces and lay down a protective covering over the table or floor. If you are applying resin to a large painting or project, you may want to cover both the table and the floor. A plastic drop cloth or large garbage bag works best for protection since the resin cannot seep through.

An epoxy resin workspace should be:

  • Dust and dirt free
  • Between 72°F-85°F (22°C-29°C)
  • Well-ventilated
  • Covered with plastic for protection

Prepare Your Painting

Your painting or project must be balanced perfectly in order to spread the resin out evenly. If your art piece is off balance, it will tilt, and your resin will leak off the edge. Resin is expensive, so take care not to waste it and make a mess of your workspace in the process. 

Make sure there is no dust or hair on the surface of your painting before you being, by wiping it with a cloth damp with solvent (such as rubbing alcohol or acetone). If the surface you are applying resin to is porous or highly-absorbent, it must be sealed first. Paper or cardboard are examples of materials that should be sealed before applying resin. To seal the surface, paint on a thin layer of resin and let it dry before you move to the Pour and Spread step.

If you want a thick layer of resin on a project, create a barrier (dam) around the edges with masking or painters tape. Press the tape around the entire project. The tape should stick up at least a half inch.

🎨 Pro Tip: When damming or taping your edges, it is best to remove the tape at the 24 hour mark for the least hassle.

Mix the Resin

Before you mix your resin, determine how much you will need to cover your entire painting. Measure equal parts resin and hardener into two separate cups. Next, pour those cups into a third cup for mixing. Do not pour the mixture from high above the measuring cup, as this can result in the formation of microbubbles. Mix the resin and hardener thoroughly, scraping both the sides and the bottom as you stir. Mix for 3-5 minutes, or until there is no ‘streaking’ in the resin.

🎨 Pro Tip: Use resin at room temperature or slightly above room temperature to reduce bubbles. If your resin is too cold, the consistency may be too thick to pour and spread. Additionally, it will appear milky and cloudy instead of clear.  

    🎨 Pro Tip: Stir your resin with a plastic spoon or knife, or a popsicle stick. Using something recycled that you can throw away after will save you time during your clean up.

    Pour and Spread

    Pour the resin evenly over the surface and spread the resin to each edge and corner with your hands (while wearing gloves), a plastic spreader, a brush, or something disposable like a popsicle stick. Even if the resin you are using is self-leveling, it’s a good idea to spread it out manually.


    🎨 Pro Tip: You can use a playing card or business card to spread your resin. The flexibility of the card will help you spread the resin evenly.

    Remove Bubbles

    A few minutes after you have spread the resin across your project, you will begin to see bubbles rise to the surface. To get rid of these, it’s best to use a butane or propane torch on a low flame. 

    When using a torch, hold it approximately eight inches away from the surface of your project and always keep it moving. Keep the flame on low, and gently sweep the flame across the surface until all the bubbles have been removed. If you do not see the bubbles disappearing before your eyes, move the flame slightly closer to the surface. DO NOT hold the torch in one place for too long, as this can result in yellowing and permanent damage to the surface and coating.

    After you have applied the torch, observe your project carefully under good light. Dust particles or hair can still be removed at this point, so look closely. 

    🎨 Pro Tip: Pop any persistent bubbles with a small pin or toothpick. 

    Keep checking the surface for 1-2 hours after spreading to ensure no new bubbles have appeared.

    💡 Read our 7 Steps to a Bubble-Free and Flawless Cure.

    Cover and Cure

    As your project cures, make sure you cover it so that no dust, dirt, or hair finds its way into the resin. Place a large box over top of the project to keep particles out. Ensure the box or covering is clean before placing it over the project.

    After applying the resin, allow it to cure for 24-72 hours. Depending on the size and thickness of the project, you may want to let it cure for longer. We recommend you allow your project to cure and harden for 5 days before placing objects on it.

    If your resin project will be outside, you can spray it (after it has cured) with a UV resistant acrylic for added protection against the outdoors. This protection is only temporary as all epoxy resin will eventually yellow after prolonged UV exposure.  

    Finish Edges

    Depending on your painting or project, finishing edges may not be necessary. If you used a tape barrier around your painting or pulled your resin to exactly the edge, you won’t need to worry about finishing your edges.

    To get a professional-looking, finished edge, you’ll need to use a table saw (not for canvas projects). With a table saw, you can achieve a clean cut through the resin and your artwork. You can also achieve a finished edge with a power sander. Once you’ve trimmed or sanded your edges, you can optionally paint them any color. 

    Clean and Store

    After the resin has cured (is solid), it is safe to throw away with your regular garbage. If your resin has not cured, for example, on your stir stick or mixing bowls immediately after application, do not wash them to prevent uncured resin from entering into soil, ditches, sewers, waterways, and/or groundwater. 

    Always ensure any unwanted unmixed resin or hardener is properly disposed of.

    Try Our Resin!

    If you’re using any of our glow in the dark or other pigments, check out our Clear Casting and Coating Epoxy ResinThis resin was rigorously tested with all of our pigments to ensure perfect compatibility. Our resin is self-leveling, self degassing, cures crystal clear, is resistant to yellowing from UV exposure, and is American made!

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