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How To Work With Epoxy Resin | MUST KNOW Tips For Resin Art

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How to work with and use epoxy resin

If there is one thing that is for sure around here at the DIY Craft Club studio, it is the fact that we absolutely love working with epoxy resin!!! And there is so much you can make with resin, the creative possibilities are just endless.

A favorite of ours when working with epoxy resin is creating geode resin art. There are so many different techniques and materials that are out there! We have some amazing tips, tricks and absolute resin HACKS that we keep mentioning on our Instagram and Facebook pages, and thought we would share some of our best discoveries with you, our readers in one great article!

How To Work With Epoxy Resin: Best Tips, Tricks, And Hacks

1. How To Get Resin Off Of Your Hands

We have found a way to get resin off of your hands without using harsh chemicals if you happen to get some on your skin. We always recommend wearing the proper PPE (and please read our safety article about working with epoxy resin here as we get real about everything you should know when it comes to working safely with epoxy resin) but if you have gotten some on your skin before, you know just how sticky and nearly impossible it is to get off! Here is how to effectively get epoxy resin off of your hands using natural ingredients:

  • Pour about 1 tbsp. baking soda right into your hand. 
  • Don't add any water!
  • Pour about 1 tbsp. of dish soap onto the baking soda. 
  • Scrub your hands together over a sink.
  • Rinse your hands. Repeat if necessary. VOILA!

How to work with and use epoxy resin

2. Peel Tape Off Of Canvas Edge While Resin Is Still A Bit Wet

If you are doing your resin pour on a canvas or wood panel (or anything) with thick edges, you may opt to have the resin pour run down the edges for a continuation of your art down the sides. Alternatively, you may want to have the edges clean and paint them afterward.

How to work with and use epoxy resin

I personally like to paint my edges, and the way I like to do this is by using painters tape. When I am working with resin on anything with an edge, I let it partially dry for an hour or so or until it sets a bit. Then, I make sure I take the tape off before the resin cures. Then when the resin is totally cured, I paint a white or metallic edge! I like to use Golden Fluid Acrylics when painting my edges.

How to work with and use epoxy resin

3. Resin + Mica Floats Overtop Of Resin + Acrylic

If you are wanting a mixed media look, pour the resin mixed with mica powder next to resin mixed with acrylic paint and blast with a heat gun. The mica pigments will gently float over your acrylic creating a neat effect! This effect can add a very realistic look if you are going for geode or agate art! And if you are using mica powder to color your resin, you barely need to use any to achieve a vibrant color. I think coloring resin with mica is my favorite way to add color to resin!

How to work with and use epoxy resin

4. Create A Resin Well For Concentrated Lines

When I first started working with resin, I remember creating these gorgeous lines of glitter: chunky glitter, mixed glitter, fine glitter... After a while, the glitter and sparkle would disperse and float around my resin, still leaving a very nice effect but not the concentrated, well-defined glitter line I was going for. So what I started doing was drawing out where I wanted my concentrated line of glitter to be, then going over it with a clear glue from my glue gun on either side, making a well!

How to work with and use epoxy resin

Once my glue gun lines were dry, I would mix my glitter and resin together, then pour into the well the glue gun created for me. the glitter stayed in the line I wanted and looked concentrated and very sparkly! That would get me the look I was going for. Then when my resin art was done, I would color over the glue gun lines with a metallic marker that matched my glitter. I really love using my Krylon Leafing Pens to go over the clear glue lines that are left showing afterward. They give me the perfect look I am going for every time. If you want a closer look at the gold leafing pen that we use, we have a great article here.

Another thing you can do is buy glitter glue gun sticks! This pack of 72 glitter glue gun sticks comes in 12 colors and fits a mini glue gun, plus they are a great price for that many. Grab the pack right here!

How to work with and use epoxy resin

 

You can read all about the best glitter to use with resin in our article, Best Glitter Ideas For Geode Resin Art

5. What You Can Do With Leftover Resin

Resin wasting: you don't need to waste your resin anymore with a bit of planning ahead! A little can absolutely go a long way if you plan your pours and think to yourself: 1) less is more, and 2) you remember exactly how much of your choice colorant you mixed with your resin. Mix with mindfulness! That way, if you run out of a color in the middle of a pour, you can easily make some more. On the opposite end, if you finish your resin art and have leftover resin mixed in your cups because you have made too much of a color, you don't have to throw it out if you are prepared! Here is what I do with my leftover resin: I pour it into silicone molds that I have ready to go. There are so many silicone molds out there that you can have on hand to make some unique pendants, bookmarks and bookcase covers, bracelets and other items with your leftover resin! 

How to work with and use epoxy resin

Here are some molds that we bought and tried with our most recent resin pour. I filled these molds with the leftover resin I had from some geode resin art made with shades of ink, white and gold! They came out perfectly!

How to work with and use epoxy resin

6. Use Pumps To Measure And Get Resin Out MESS-FREE

The first time we were playing with resin in the DIY studio, we were measuring from the Art Resin bottles into little cups by pouring it out, and it would run down the sides of the bottles and create the most sticky mess. Everywhere we went there was resin! Resin on the bottles, resin on our hands, resin on our paint bottles, resin on the glitter tubes, resin on the mica packages... Resin here, resin there, resin resin everywhere! lol.

Here is how we work with resin and keep it clean: We discovered that we had some pumps from our flavored Torani coffee syrups that happened to fit PERFECTLY on the 32 oz Art Resin bottles!! This eliminates the need to pour resin into cups. Simply put pumps on bottles, pump resin into cups and go!

(Hint: Have another look at our cover photo for this article to see the Torani pumps on our Art Resin bottles!) Now, we make sure we have many of those Torani Pumps on hand, as they are quite inexpensive and save so much time cleaning up. Plus, we found an amazing RESIN HACK using these Torani Pumps! Easy measurement!!! One full pump from the resin, to one full pump of the hardener!!!! This made it so easy!!! We can even measure the length of the pump with a measuring tape, and draw the halfway mark on for measuring exact half pumps of each. Mind. BLOWN.

How to work with and use epoxy resin

7. Safely Smash & Use Flat Marbles

We have been using half marbles A LOT as the reflective pieces in our geode resin art. However, they are quite hard to smash with a hammer and a cloth over them. Those little guys are strong!!! NOTE: If you decide to smash anything breakable to add to your resin or other art, do so at your own choice and risk with proper protective gear for your hands, eyes and anywhere else.

How to work with and use epoxy resin

How to safely smash glass for resin art: The trick to smashing the glass marble is to bring the temperature of the glass up high, then cool it quickly. This heating then quick-cooling method should cause the glass structure to crack in some areas. Then, bring the glass somewhere safe (we like to go outside), lay them on a cloth and cover with a cloth and carefully hammer them. Continue reading for details:

Some tricks for heating up your marbles: you can carefully drop them in boiling water, put them in a heated frying pan and cover them, or even try them in a container in your dishwasher. Then, and very carefully with protective gear on, scoop them up with a spoon and drop them into a bowl of ice water. (Note, please be very careful if you choose to try this method and do it at your own risk).

Transferring the glass from hot to cold quickly will cause little cracks in the glass, which you will be able to see when you take out of the cold water bath. This method breaks down the structural integrity of the glass to make smashing so much easier. After placing the glass on a cloth and covering the glass with a cloth, (and wearing your protective gear) go ahead and hammer away, carefully! You should feel the half marbles smashing as you hit.

Depending on what size of gemstones you are going for, you can stop smashing as soon as you feel they are broken or keep going to get smaller pieces. Just keep in mind, there will always be tiny shards no matter what size you are going for. So make sure you have gloves on when working with shattered glass!

For more ideas of what you can use as gemstones in your geode resin art, check out our article here!

How to work with and use epoxy resin

8. Make Sure Resin Proportions Are Measured Accurately, Equally

We have learned the hard way just how important it is to accurately measure your resin and the hardener. We like to use Art Resin which mixes at a 1:1 ratio, but each brand of resin has a different mixing ratio, so be sure to check your specific brand for mixing instructions.

When we first began playing with resin, we got comfortable after a while. We felt ok pouring our resin by eye into our cups (this is before the Torani Pumps we bought to do measured pumps from each resin bottle, see point number 6!). After the curing process from some of our pieces, we would notice that parts of our pieces still felt a bit sticky to the touch. The reason why our resin was still sticky, was because of the inaccurate measurement of resin to hardener. Here is why your resin is still sticky in some places: if the amounts are NOT mixed together according to the instructions, they will NOT cure properly and will still be sticky in places.

If your resin is still sticky after the curing time, here is what you do: mix your resin to hardener in the specified ratio to your resin brand, enough to cover your canvas or wood panel,  and pour a clear coat on top of your piece. This is called a flood coat. This will set your piece and will harden perfectly as long as you are measuring the specified ratio accurately.

9. Getting The Bubbles Out Of Your Resin 

There is nothing worse than finishing a resin art piece you are sooo proud of, then letting it cure, only to come back to a piece with little indentations all over it. That totally ruins the shiny, beautifully finished effect. Many people like to use a fine tip tool to get bubbles out by hand, but I do not recommend that method. The best way to get bubbles out of resin is by using a heat source: either by flame or a heat gun. I personally recommend using the heat gun to eliminate bubbles in your resin piece. It is a controlled method of bringing bubbles to the surface, popping them and spreading your resin around.

After a resin pour, the bubbles are going to come to the surface no matter what, and you can either get them out while your resin is still wet using your heat gun. The heat gun we like to use for resin art is the Zap Heat Gun by American Crafts. It works beautifully for getting the bubbles out (and we think it looks really great in our videos for our YouTube channel too! Make sure you check us out and subscribe!)

You can also read our article How To Get Bubbles Out Of Resin where we go into some other tidbits you definitely will want to know about!

How to work with and use epoxy resin

10. Mistakes Can Lead To Beautiful Creations

Don't feel discouraged if the color you just poured isn't giving your piece the effect you are going for. Whether you are making resin art to sell or to give away, just think that every piece is unique and you never know what creation can come from what you pour! Let the art take on its own life and just go with it! It is also about learning and having fun, and resin art is totally therapeutic and fun. So don't stress about how that gold is looking more like a tan color, or how your glitter isn't staying put (glitter likes to take on its own life and float around sometimes!) Just have fun, and let the resin guide you. Turn on some music and go with it!!! I really love having some music on. I have a free trial to Amazon Music I will share with our readers below to try. The trial is FREE for 30 days and gives you access to over 1,000,000 songs. You can also access all of their free movies and free tv episodes as well as free 2-day shipping from Amazon as well during this free trial period. Our gift to you.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading out all of our resin art tips, tricks, and hacks!! Which one are you going to try? Which is your favorite?? We would love to hear from you, please comment below! We will respond to all comments!

Also, I am going to mention our safety article again for working with epoxy resin, as we talk about all of the risks and safety precautions you should know about before opening those resin bottles. Be sure to check it out right here

How to work with and use epoxy resin

And be sure to PIN any picture on this page right NOW so you can remember all of our RESIN TIPS LATER! We would really appreciate that :)

best tips tricks and hacks for working with resin

Thanks, have a colorful day!




4 Responses

DIY Craft Club Admin
DIY Craft Club Admin

March 27, 2019

Hi Harsha, thank you for the comment!
In this article, we are specifically referring to Art Resin, which has a 1:1 volume mixing ratio. There are so many brands out there and you would have to read the instructions and the mixing ratio by volume for whichever brand you decide to use. I will put the link for how to measure and mix Art Resin and hardener below for you. I hope you found this helpful!
https://www.artresin.com/blogs/artresin/how-to-measure-epoxy-resin-and-hardener

Harsha
Harsha

March 27, 2019

Hi … All the points r really useful … I m just curious that the pack of resin itself tell that the ratio is 2:1 n here u mentioned the ratio should b 1:1 … Plz confirm

DIY Craft Club Admin
DIY Craft Club Admin

March 26, 2019

Dear Sharon, Thanks for that information and sharing your Facebook group with our readers. We will be sure to join! And we also want to say thanks for starting this conversation too. Comments like these help companies be accountable to their claims. We are going to look into this further and we are also working on another post of Must Have Safety Equipment all resin artists must have. In the meantime, here is a link to the safety information of the resin that we have used and featured in this post. https://www.artresin.com/blogs/artresin/how-is-artresin-non-toxic-when-is-it-not-non-toxic.

Sharon Mark
Sharon Mark

March 26, 2019

Great article but I must in good conscience tell you that art resin…is NOT non toxic. NO Resin is non toxic. DESPITE their website claims. ALL resin has the same basic makeup of chemicals. These ARE in fact CHEMICALS that are meant to be mixed. Mixing alone creates heat and fumes, let alone adding colorants and torching or a heat gun. It does not matter what 2 chemicals on the planet you mix, you are going to get a chemical reaction. That reaction creates TOXIC fumes. These fumes get into your tear ducts, skin, open wounds, lungs etc and cause a reaction. Some people go months even years without a reaction, then one day…BAM, it hits. I had my first…and worst reaction with art resin products, and now will never use them again because the company refuses to admit that HUNDREDS if not more….have reacted to their product. They do not care for customer safety whatsoever.
Anyone reading this article, do yourself a favor and join the facebook group “Epoxy is not my friend”. The group is growing DAILY with people who are/were completely ignorant of the dangers because of “non toxic” claims by brands and you-tubers using it without the PROPER PPE.
Proper PPE?
FULL face respirator with ORGANIC vapor cartridges.
BLACK Nitril disposable gloves (Chemical resistant)
FULL disposable body suit protection like hazmat people wear.
And barrier cream for any exposed skin.

This stuff is no joke. It’s caused serious health problems including 3rd degree chemical burns, swollen eyes, throats, lips, horrible itchy rashes, headaches and more.

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