Epoxy Resin is a versatile material that's used in a wide variety of crafts. Resin casting is a fun way to accent your furniture, create jewelry and ornaments, etc. Resin starts as a liquid and then hardens, so you can pour it into molds, or add items like dried flowers, insects, or leaves. Because people may not have knowledge on the vast uses of resin there may be some hesitation or intimidation by the idea of trying it at home. We have provided answers to common questions we receive to help artists understand more about using resin in their upcoming art projects.
What can you create with resin?
- Jewelry - you can make pins, pendants, rings, beads, and charms.
- Coated items - you can coat objects in resin to give them a smooth, glossy surface. For example, decorate an old table or bar stool with pennies or bottle caps, and then fill in the gaps with resin.
- Preserve items - dried flowers, leaves, pine cones, bugs, etc. can be added into resin. When it hardens, the item inside will remain perfectly preserved.
- Molds - pour resin into molds to make sculptures, figurines, or other decorative items.
- Paintings - By mixing epoxy resin with your paints an artist can create a marbelized abstract painting.
How do you work with resin?
There are different types of resin that are used in different applications, but in most cases, your resin is mixed with a hardener to cure it. When using molds, silicone works best, because you don't have to coat the mold in any substance to keep the resin from sticking. Most resins harden completely within 24 hours. You'll want to wear gloves when working with resin because it can damage your skin. Also remember to work in a well-lit, well-ventilated area.
You'll want to keep an eye out for flaws like bubbles in your resin before it dries. These must be removed with a toothpick or needle, because nothing can be done about them once the resin is dry, so examine your projects closely.
Many unique products exist for resin crafters, so continue to experiment with different products and molds. You can even make your art glow in the dark, by adding powder to your resin as you're mixing it. The possibilities with resin art are endless, so get creative!
What special equipment do you need to make a resin cast?
Other than the resin itself, you will need catalyst/hardener, a respirator (resin can off-gas and become toxic), rubber gloves, newspapers to prevent spillage, hard soap, cooking spray, a dremel tool, a mixing cup and acrylic sealer (you can also use clear nail polish from your makeup supplies if you have it). You should work with resin in a well-ventilated area. You will also need resin molds if the project calls for them.
How do you get molds?
There are two ways. The easiest is to buy molds, which can be bought from hobby stores. However, if you can't find the mold you want, you can make molds - you can use silicone rubber or plasticine with a layer of liquid latex on it. This is a little trickier, but you can do any design you want.
What color is the finished product?
Straight up resin pieces are clear in color - in order to get other colors, you will need to decorate or add to the product in some way.
How do you produce colored resin pieces?
The easiest way is to paint the resin, then add a second layer of acrylic sealer. Always wait until the piece is dry before painting. Acrylic resin should be sanded and trimmed before painting and painted with acrylic-based paint. For extra fun, you can use glow-in-the-dark paint - make sure you choose acrylic-based paint. Another alternative is to mix in colored or glow-in-the-dark powder when you mix the resin and catalyst - this provides a sparkle of color that goes throughout the object and may work better for objects like tree ornaments that can be viewed from multiple angles.
How else can you use resin?
You can use resin to form a layer on another object - resin table tops are waterproof and somewhat scratch resistant and you can use powders to make interesting colors. You can also put a layer of resin on a boring figurine or use it to make wall art. All kinds of things!
Art-N-Glow sells clear epoxy resin that is less likely to off-gas than normal acrylic resin and is designed to match well with our glow-in-the-dark and pigment paints and powders. It resists yellowing and comes with detailed instructions to make all of your resin art great.