Resin is a versatile and widely used material that can be used to create a wide variety of projects, from jewelry to home decor to functional art.
In this resin troubleshooting guide, we will go over some common problems that beginners may encounter when working with resin and provide tips on how to troubleshoot and fix them.
Resin Won't Cure/Harden: One of the most common problems with resin is that it won't cure, or harden, properly. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including incorrect mixing ratios, insufficient curing time, and exposure to cool temperatures.
- Inaccurate Measurements: When using Art 'N Glow resin, make sure to mix in a 1 to 1 ratio by VOLUME, NOT WEIGHT.
- Incompatible Colorants: Adding liquid pigments, paints, or dyes can throw off the chemistry and prevent the resin from properly curing. Use non-water-based colorants for the best results.
- Temperature is too cool: The resin and ambient temperature should be between 72°-85°F (the closer to 78°, the better). Curing resin below the recommended temperature may slow down the exothermic reaction and prevent the resin from fully curing.
- Mixing: After pouring equal parts resin and hardener into two cups, then pour those two cups into a third mixing cup. It is extremely important that you mix thoroughly in this cup, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the cup as you stir. Mix for 3 to 5 minutes OR until there are no “streaks” left in the resin.
- Added Moisture: Any added moisture can cause issues with curing. Eliminate the introduction of moisture by storing your resin and hardener indoors with caps securely closed, eliminate any moisture from mixing cups, inclusions, and molds, and do not work in high-humidity workspaces.
- Cure Time: Allow your project to cure for the full cure time. While your project will harden within 24 hours, it will not be fully cured until 72 hours.
Resin is sticky or tacky: If your resin is sticky or gummy, it could be due to a few different factors. One possibility is that the resin and hardener were not mixed thoroughly enough to catalyze all of the material to cure. It's important to mix all of your material slowly, but thoroughly, scraping the sides and bottom of your mixing vessel with your stir stick, and stirring until there are no streaks remaining in your epoxy mixture. While pouring, do not scrape the material out of your mixing vessel, to prevent any unmixed material from contaminating your pour.
Bubbles: When mixing, mix smoothly, thoroughly, and consistently to avoid adding air bubbles. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your mixing vessel while stirring, to ensure the resin and hardener are evenly mixed and all material is catalyzed to cure. (To avoid adding air to the mixture, press the stirring utensil to the bottom of the cup while mixing.) After the resin and hardener is mixed and poured, wait about two minutes. After pouring, we recommend using an artist's torch or heat gun in a sweeping motion about 6-12 inches from the surface of the resin to remove the bubbles that do appear and returning to your piece periodically for the first couple of hours to remove any bubbles that rise to the surface.
Resin is cloudy: Working in temperatures that are cool can cause a cloudy/frothy appearance. We typically recommend that your workspace and the materials used are between 72°-85°F (the closer to 78°, the better). You can put your resin and hardener in a warm water bath prior to use and also some customers use a space heater in their workspace while the resin cures. When you have a drastic change in temperature between the cool workspace/resin and heat caused by the exothermic reaction of the resin and hardener - this can increase surface tension which causes bubbles to form.
We hope this helps! If you have any further questions or issues with your resin projects, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.