Artists and DIY enthusiasts have embraced the use of Epoxy Resin for its versatility, malleability, and crystal-clear finish. However, working with this material could be difficult for beginners. So, this article provides troubleshooting tips to help resin art enthusiasts overcome common challenges and achieve flawless results.
Choosing the Right Epoxy Resin
Choosing a high-quality epoxy resin suitable for your intended project is crucial to start your resin art journey on the right foot.
Resin Art Projects
Usually, you'll need to pour thin layers of resin when creating geode inspired pieces or resin ocean art projects. For such applications, always look for resin products formulated explicitly for art applications like ARTE by Resin Art Flow, ensuring they have excellent clarity, cures faster (so you can pour your next layer sooner), with the most suitable viscosity, self-leveling properties, and UV resistance.
Resin Casting Projects
Thicker layers will be needed for deep pours or casting molds, river tables, and woodworking projects. So look for epoxy kits specially formulated for casting and deep pours applications like RIO FLOW by Resin Art Flow. These provide:
- A crystal-like finish
- Low viscosity to avoid trapped bubbles
- A UV filter reducing the yellowing over time
Preparing Your Workspace for Resin Art
To enjoy your resin art experience, having a tidy and orderly workspace is essential. Before starting your project, thoroughly clean your work area to eliminate any dust, debris, or other potential contaminants that might ruin your piece during or after being poured. Also, invest in proper ventilation and PPE to minimize the inhalation of resin fumes and protect your skin. Finally, cover your work surface with a non-stick material or use a dedicated resin art mat to protect it from spills and stains.
Accurate Resin Measurement and Mixing
To get the desired results and ensure that your epoxy resin cures properly, it's crucial to measure accurately and mix thoroughly following the manufacturer's instructions.
See below some tips from the ARTE Resin Kits manufacturer.
- Make sure to use a 1:1 resin-to-hardener ratio, so Parts A and B are in the exact same amount.
- Avoid estimating quantities by eye. Instead, use a scale or calibrated measuring cups.
- In your mixing container, pour resin first (Part A), then hardener (Part B) to simplify the blending process.
- Use a wide vessel for heat dissipation.
- Mix for 2-3 min MAX. Stir gently Part A and Part B like tea, not pancake batter.
- Do not use power mixers.
- Mix small batches of resin as needed and pour soon after mixing.
- Pigments, in general, speed up the curing process. But pigment pastes contain Resin Part A in them and act even faster.
- Add pigment powders once Parts A and B are thoroughly mixed, and don't over-mix.
- Please do not use more than 10% of any colorant to the total amount of resin because it might affect the curing process resulting in bendy or sticky pieces.
Working and Curing Time
- Room temp should be around 21C/70F for best results when working with Resin Art Flow products.
- ARTE Kits are designed to cure faster than other resins to increase productivity and reduce the time you wait between layers. As a result, the curing time for this resin is much shorter than standard resins, taking only 5-6 hours instead of the typical 24-48 hours.
- Working time is also shorter, between 20-30 mins. So it's recommended to mix resin only when you know what you will create. Avoid letting it sit in the container.
Preventing Air Bubbles in Resin
Air bubbles are a common challenge in resin art. Still, there are several techniques to minimize their occurrence, and epoxy resins with the right viscosity level, like RIO FLOW for deep pours and ARTE for resin art applications, also help bubbles to get to the top quickly. Start by pouring the mixed resin slowly and from a low height to allow air bubbles to escape naturally. Using a heat gun or a handheld torch, gently pass the flame over the resin surface to burst any remaining bubbles. Also, preheating your resin in cold weather can help reduce bubble formation.
Dealing with Uneven or Tacky Curing
Dealing with uneven or sticky curing can be pretty bothersome, but fortunately, it can be avoided or resolved. First, ensure that the ambient temperature and humidity levels are within the recommended range for your resin. Extreme temperatures can affect the curing process and result in undesirable outcomes. If you encounter uneven curing, consider using a heat gun or a heat lamp to warm the affected areas and encourage proper curing.
Epoxy Resin Safety Measures
Since experimenting with Resin Art projects involves working with chemicals, prioritizing your safety is crucial. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator, to protect yourself from potential harm. Avoid direct skin contact with uncured resin and work in a well-ventilated area to minimize fume inhalation. Additionally, read the safety data sheets provided by the manufacturer to understand any potential hazards associated with the specific resin you are using.
To learn more about Resin Art Safety Guidelines, check out this article.
By following these epoxy resin troubleshooting tips, you can avoid common beginner's pitfalls and enjoy a more successful and enjoyable experience when working with resin.
- Remember to choose a high-quality resin formulated for your intended application.
- Maintain a tidy and clean workspace.
- Follow the manufacturer's guidelines to measure and mix resin, use calibrated measuring cups and scales to ensure the correct resin-to-hardener ratio.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and adhere to the recommended room temperature, mixing time since inadequate mixing can result in a flash curing or tacky resin that fails to cure properly.
- Please do your best to prevent air bubbles because they can ruin your pieces.
- Always prioritize your safety using PPE and proper room ventilation.
If you are interested in other resin art techniques, we invite you to check out our blog with articles on how much pigment is needed to color resin, to a comprehensive Guide to Resin Art for Beginners.