Fixing surface imperfections (and general guidance request)

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    • #12512

      I do airbrush painting over sheet/plate aluminum, and apply resin on top as a gloss coat. I only recently began using clear resin for this, so am still trying to figure out how to deal with the problem of foreign debris. I don’t have the money to turn any particular space into a NASA level clean room, but I’ve put filters on heater vents, kept things clean, and so on. That said, things still get into the resin on occasion.
      I’m looking for information on how to sand down the surface then bring it back up to the normal beautiful smooth gloss (including tool suggestions, grit levels, polish types, etc.)
      Also, where is a good place to start with doing basic resin pouring that can be done in a home environment (in other words: safe to use indoors on a hot day when it’s 115F outside). I’d love to have resin art as a 2nd medium, and hope to mix the two some day, but there are so many options, and so many methods. I’d really just like to make art without worrying about hurting myself, my family, or my pets.

    • #12522
      Katherine Swift

      Hi Jon,

      Welcome to the world of resin! Here are my thoughts and suggestions with your situation:

      1. The best way to keep debris out of your resin while it’s curing is to cover it after you pour the resin. I don’t know how large your pieces are, but a large plastic container placed upside on your piece works best. If your pieces are extra large, a plastic swimming pool can work. Keep your piece fully covered until the soft cure stage.

      2. If you do get dust into your resin, you may be lucky enough to cover it with another layer of resin and no one will notice. From time to time, I would find a stray hair in a resin casting only because the surface would look uneven. Another coat of resin smoothed everything out and the hair ‘disappeared’. If you do find you need to sand the pieces, start with a coarse wet/dry sandpaper. Continue to sand until you end with a 1000 grit or higher, otherwise, you may see sanding marks underneath your new layer of resin. Wear a dust mask and be careful not to inhale/ingest the dust. Once you have the piece sanded, recoat the entire piece with a new layer of resin. If you don’t, you will be able to see your patches. By doing it this way, you will get the glossiest and most even finish possible.

      3. For resin pouring, you want to be sure you are using a resin that conforms to ASTM D-4236. These are resins that have been reviewed by a toxicologist and are deemed suitable for art purposes. That doesn’t mean there aren’t safety precautions (like wearing gloves, having good ventilation, etc.), but at a minimum, it means that someone has reviewed them knowing they will be used in an small-scale artist environment (home or otherwise) and have found them to be able to be safely used for that purpose. Once you settle on a resin you would like to use, ask to see the safety data sheet (SDS) for that resin. There will be specifics in that document as to safety precautions, how to dispose of it, etc. We also have several safety articles that may be helpful to you:

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