How to Coat Wood-burned Art with Epoxy Resin
Adding epoxy resin to wood-burned artwork gives the piece a glossy, professional finish! A clear coat of resin also provides added protection from general wear or scratches. Let's follow along with woodburning artist @alyoopsartistry as she coats one of her breathtaking pieces using Art 'N Glow epoxy resin.
Below we’ve outlined how to coat a piece of wood-burned artwork with epoxy resin, including the materials you will need, pro tips, and the precautions you should take when handling resin.
- Create Your Masterpiece
- Prepare Your Workspace
- Prepare Your Wood-burned Artwork
- Proceed with Caution
- Mix the Resin
- Pour and Spread
- Remove Bubbles
- Cover and Cure
- Clean and Store
- A wood round or another flat piece of wood
- Wood burning tools
- Pen or pencil and eraser
- Sandpaper (300-400 grit)
- Art 'N Glow Clear Casting and Coating Epoxy Resin
- Several disposable cups for mixing the epoxy resin
- Stirring utensil
- Protective eyewear
- A level
- An artists torch or heat gun
- A box or something similar to cover your resin with as it cures
- Masking or painter's tape (optional)
Create Your Masterpiece
First and foremost, you'll need to create your wood-burned art! Start off by sketching your design using a pen or pencil.
Then, you can use your wood-burning tools to trace your sketch and fill in the details of your design. Wood burning is such a fun and relaxing form of art!
Prepare Your Workspace
Before coating your wood-burned art with epoxy resin, 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-85°F. For the best results, the temperature should be closer to 78°F. Wipe down surfaces and lay down a protective covering over the table or 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)
- Covered with plastic for protection
Prepare Your Wooden Artwork
Your 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, or the surface may cure unevenly. Make sure there is no dust or hair on the surface of your wood-burned artwork before you begin.
Wood is a very porous or highly-absorbent material, so we recommend sealing it first prior to applying your epoxy resin. To seal the surface, apply a very thin layer of epoxy resin (polyurethane also works) 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 painter's 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 after pouring on the resin for the least hassle.
Mix the Resin
Before you mix your resin, determine how much you will need to cover your piece. Measure your resin and hardener in equal parts by volume in 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, the resin 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 the edges 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.
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. A heat gun will also work well.
When using a torch, hold it approximately 6-12 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 periodically 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 wood-burned 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 48-72 hours. We recommend you allow your project to cure and harden for 5 days before placing objects on it.
Clean and Store
After the resin has cured (is solid), it is safe to throw away with your regular garbage. Always ensure any unwanted, unmixed resin or hardener is properly disposed of. For information about how to dispose of your resin and hardener bottles, please refer to your local waste management requirements.
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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 Resin! This resin was rigorously tested with all of our pigments to ensure perfect compatibility. Our resin is self-leveling, self-degassing, it cures crystal clear, is resistant to yellowing from UV exposure, and is American made!