Ready to make a beautiful, one-of-a-kind resin painting to display in your home or office? Awesome, I want to help! It might seem overwhelming for beginners to make resin art, but it simply starts with a good supplies list.
Here’s what you need to make your first resin painting:
1. Resin Obsession self-leveling epoxy resin for art
2. Mixing cups
3. Stirring sticks
4. Resin colors
5. Heat gun
6. Painting surface
7. Painter’s tape
9. Plastic cups or risers
11. Plastic drop cloth
12. Paper towels
13. Acetone or rubbing alcohol
14. Box or plastic bin larger than your painting surface
15. Safety gloves
What else besides supplies should beginners know about making resin art?
Is the resin I use important?
Absolutely! Because creating resin art involves pouring mixed resin onto a flat surface, you need to use a resin formula that will evenly cover a surface without leaving holes or fish eyes.
Best resin for art
- Combines 1 to 1 by volume
- Mix between 3 ounces and 1 gallon at once
- Locks in color
- Short working time so you don’t have to wait long for the resin to thicken, meaning your colors and patterns won’t blend and get muddy-looking
Now that you’ve got the resin, you need mixing cups and stirring sticks to go with it. When I’m troubleshooting sticky resin problems, the majority of the time, it comes from inaccurate measuring or incomplete mixing. You need to make sure you do both of these steps extremely well to ensure your resin goes from a liquid to a solid coating.
Tip: if you’re new to creating epoxy art, this article shows you how to mix resin in five easy steps.
Can I reuse my mixing cups and tools?
Once you’ve finished using your mixing supplies, you can wipe them off with a paper towel and reuse them. If they aren’t cleaning up quickly, apply acetone or alcohol to the paper towel, then wipe again.
If your resin is curing and doesn’t come off easily, just wait. Let the resin cure, then flex the cup or stick. If you’re lucky, the resin will pop off like a skin that you can peel off the surface, allowing you to use the items again the next time you make resin art.
Can I use anything to color my resin?
Unfortunately, no. Resin hates water, so any excess moisture in the mixed resin can cause it to cure soft or may cause it not to cure at all. You will get your best results with colors for epoxy resin as they’ve been formulated to avoid these problems. I also like to use resin colors because I can count on the same color every time I use them.
Does that mean you should never use anything but resin colors?
No, in fact, experimenting with your supplies is one of the fun things about encouraging beginners to make resin art. You simply need to expect that something may not go well, and you might be unhappy with the results.
I share more of my tips here on how to color clear epoxy.
How do I get rid of resin bubbles?
Once the resin is on your surface, go over it with a heat source to pop the surface bubbles. I like to use a heat gun for this, not to mention that a heat gun is also great for pushing colors around on your painting surface.
Pro tip: If you’re careful in mixing, you will prevent a lot of bubbles. Don’t whisk or whip your resin. Be thorough but gentle.
What should I use for my painting surface?
There are a ton of choices for resin art surfaces! The most popular and easiest to use option is a cradled wood board. You don’t have to worry about the painting sagging in the middle, and it will be the easiest to hang once your painting cures.
For beginners though, you might not want to invest a lot in resin art supplies. I get it! When I started creating epoxy art, I used 12-inch square ceramic tiles from the home improvement store. I got them for a dollar each! I felt much more relaxed using them because I knew I wasn’t spending a lot practicing my skills. Once you feel good about creating, you can try more expensive art panels.
Do I have to protect the surface in any way?
Before you ever paint, you will need to apply your painter’s tape to your art surface’s sides and bottom edge. Once your resin cures, peel the tape away. Otherwise, the resin drips will permanently stick to your painting substrate, and you will have to sand them off or be annoyed there are a bunch of drips on the back of your painting.
Where should I create my resin art?
Ultimately, you will need an area where you can place a table that’s large enough to hold your work and stay undisturbed for 24 hours. The surface also needs to be level; otherwise, your resin won’t flow evenly and may expose your surface to fish eyes.
Pro tip: You may be able to use your smartphone as a level. Check what’s available for your model.
Because the resin will flow across the surface, some of it will drip off the side. That’s why you need something to elevate the surface. Cheap plastic drinking cups work for this. However, be sure it’s a cup you don’t want to drink from again as it will likely get resin on the surface.
Since resin tends to drip everywhere (especially when beginners create with it), a drop cloth is one of those essential art supplies. Not only will you want one to cover your table, but you should have one under your table too. Also, if you invest in a thicker cloth, you will likely be able to use it several times as cured resin peels right off!
I’ve poured my resin. Now what?
Protect it from dust and dirt. A plastic bin or large box can work to cover your art. Be sure everyone else knows not to touch it for the next day. They will have to wait like you are to see how it turns out!
How do I keep myself safe while creating my art?
Protective gloves are necessary supplies for beginners to resin art. They will protect your hands from sticky resin. Good room ventilation is also vital to move chemical smells away from the area. Here are more of my best resin safety recommendations.
Don’t forget to get your downloadable resin painting supplies list so you can easily head over to the Resin Obsession store and get what you need!
Want more help getting started with resin painting?
It’s why I wrote the book Resin Fundamentals. I’ve condensed my fifteen years of resin experience into an easy-to-read book you can have access to in minutes. Instead of spending your time and energy on making mistakes, buy the book and read it this afternoon to avoid other resin beginner pitfalls!
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