How to get cells in resin – Create cells in resin paintings

How to make cells in resin

Getting cells in resin art projects is the ultimate goal for many artists. They create unique and exciting patterns that make looking at resin art paintings very pleasing and stimulating.

So exactly how do you get cells in resin?

First, you have to start with an artwork resin.  This is the one we recommend:

Option 1

Add a ‘repellant.’ This is an oily substance that works to repel the resin against itself. When using a repellant, only add it to one resin color so you can create cells in the resin. Examples of repellants are dimethicone hair serum and silicone lubricant used for maintaining small gears like exercise equipment.

Here’s an example of using silicone oil in resin:

Option 2

Mix in chemical additives to change the viscosity of the colored resin. Use something like acetone or alcohol.  Add it to a single color to make it more fluid. This allows that color to spread easier over other colors.

Here’s an example using three different chemical additives:

Option 3

Use pigments with different densities. By using ‘heavy’ pigments on top of ‘light’ pigments, the heavy pigments will want to move downwards. This movement helps to create a cellular effect. The tough part here is knowing which pigments are dense and heavy and which are not. In general, it’s something you have to learn with your experience of using different colors. You can see how I made cells in resin using the Resin Obsession opaque white pigment with Resin Obsession transparent colors here:

White cells over purple and magenta

Bonus tip:

Use a heat gun. This resin tool is excellent for not only getting rid of bubbles in the resin but also pushing resin around the surface. Combine this with any of the methods above, and you can create even more cells in your resin.

What has been your experience getting cells in resin?

Want to learn the basics of resin painting?  Grab a copy of Resin Fundamentals.  It’s the instantly downloadable PDF that will take you from confused to confident with resin in an afternoon!

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2021 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  Which resin do you use for resin art?

19 thoughts on “How to get cells in resin – Create cells in resin paintings

  1. Very helpful. I would say that in most cases an opaque white is going to be the densest color. Often I will create a new color by combining white with a touch of alcohol ink to get more cells, This way I have both the alcohol and the density working together to form cells.

  2. Where can dimethicone be purchased? Do you sell it? I haven’t been able to locate a source. Also, would mixing in some nail polish remove with acetone work or will that damage the curing? Very interested in creating cells but have not had any luck yet. Tried Resin-Blast but results have been sporadic – hints? Thanks!

    1. Dimethicone is the main ingredient in hair serum. You should be able to find it at any store that sells hair care products. Nail polish remover is acetone, so mixing the two of those together won’t get you any better results.

  3. You are by far thee best instructor on how to make cells. I’ve watched 1000,s of YouTube videos and spent $100’s of dollars on alcohol inks. My white always sinks to the bottom and ruins what I was hoping would be the out come . Thank you , thank you , thank you. Your videos are so explanatory and I’ve learned so much from you . Do you have online classes , do you have a preference with alcohol inks or inks , or resin colorants ? Again thank you so much for your videos and easy to follow along instructional videos ! It’s appreciated. Best wishes , Genevieve

  4. Appreciate your helpful tips and detailed descriptions of equipment (especially the pics included)!
    My question: is the white “fluid acrylic” paint, or acrylic ink (Or are they one in the same)? Super new to this and thank you in advance for any info you can provide!

  5. Thank you for this very helpful video. I am going to try this with acetone.
    Also, I have silicone oil that I had purchased a while ago at an art store. Can that be mixed with resin as well?

  6. Hi there! Thanks for all of the helpful tips and tricks! Do you find that the added chemicals ruin the colors of the resin? Especially the white, I’m afraid of it yellowing from the silicone oils, acetone, etc. Thanks for the advice in advance 😀

  7. I HAVE BEEN NEEDING TO WATCH BOTH THESE VIDEOS AND DIDNT EVEN REALIZE IT!!! I have to say, like many others who left comments, at least the productive and relevant ones, the explanation of why this is the process that you specifically use is miles above and beyond the libraries of how to videos I’ve watched!!! I failed a lot of science, and usually find the explanation given to be beyond my level of comprehension, however here, I didn’t even realize how complex what you were doing was until I explained it to someone else and they gave me the scientific explanation I didn’t understand!!!! I would take online and in person classes from you even if that meant travel!!! Please don’t stop making instructables like this!!!

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