How To Get Cells In Resin Like A Pro With These 4 Tips

How to make cells in resin

Getting cells and lacing in resin is the holy grail when creating epoxy art. Like how are you supposed to make an ocean painting and not have foamy waves? Ah. I can hear the surf and feel the cold drink in my hand…

Whoops. Sorry about that mental vacation there. Let’s get back to it.

So how do you get cells in resin?

First, you have to start with an epoxy for art.


This resin formula is meant to go on a surface. It mixes thick and covers your surface evenly. That’s important so you don’t get dimples and fish eyes on your resin painting surface.

The Resin Obsession artwork resin works great for this:

*Color stable. You don’t have to worry about your colors sinking or not saturating the resin.
*Make art faster. the shorter working time means you can pour your resin sooner than with other brands.
*Budget-friendly. Have fun making resin art, knowing you aren’t breaking the bank.

Now that you’ve got your epoxy resin, how do you get cells in that resin?

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 to create cells in the resin. You can use dimethicone hair serum or silicone lubricant for maintaining small gears. You might try searching for exercise equipment oil.

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

Option 2: Mix in chemicals

These change the viscosity of the colored resin. You can use acetone or alcohol. Add a few drops to a single resin color to make it more fluid. That color will spread more easily over other colors.

⚠️ IMPORTANT: Both of those chemicals are flammable. Plus, you’re adding them to the chemicals in your resin kit. Please take a moment to review resin safety precautions to make sure you don’t hurt yourself.

Here’s an example using three different chemical additives:

Option 3: Use pigments with different densities

If you use ‘heavy’ pigments on top of ‘light’ pigments, the heavy pigments will push downwards. This movement creates resin cells and lacing. The tricky part here is knowing which pigments are dense and which are not. In general, it’s something you have to learn from your experience of using different colors. You can see how I made cells in resin using the Resin Obsession opaque white pigment (the heavy pigment) with Resin Obsession transparent colors (the light pigments) here:

White cells over purple and magenta


Option 4: Use a heat gun.

This resin tool is excellent for getting rid of bubbles in the resin and pushing resin around the surface. Combine this with any of the methods above, and create even more cells in your resin.

Want to learn more resin basics?

Grab a copy of Resin Fundamentals. The ebook will take you from confused to confident with resin in an afternoon. Buy the PDF book now and get a download link to your email in minutes.

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2023 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  A Beginners Guide to Making Epoxy Resin Art (Updated 2024)

24 thoughts on “How To Get Cells In Resin Like A Pro With These 4 Tips

  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!!!

  8. I used this method i do a lot of multiple pours in my work . I found that you can not do another pour over this method. It will repel the next layer. I last 2 large pieces of art doing this. And i found with my art it was hard to clean the oil off do to the texters in my art.

  9. Hi there, Is there any resin you could recommend that has a UV protection in it that is also in the “art class”? I do a lot of patio tables but I do have a problem with dimples sometimes and I have to pour a second coat to cover them. I am looking to avoid them. Thanks in advance for your help!

  10. Hi Katherine.
    I want to pair using acetone and the heat gun to create beach waves. Will I still need to use a butane torch?

    1. Hi Deborah, the heat gun should work well for what you want to do. Plus, since acetone is flammable, I won’t use a torch with it.

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