Surfaces for resin artwork

surfaces for resin artwork

The Scoop on Substrates

by Becky Wanamaker

Did you know that you can use a wide variety of surfaces for resin artwork? If you look around your home, you probably have many available that you never considered before. In this article, I will discuss several substrates that you can use when painting with resin.

Canvas

Canvas is a great surface to paint with resin. They come in a wide range of sizes and are pre-primed and ready to use. I like to do test pours on small canvases ranging in size from 6 inches to 12 inches square, when I am working out color schemes or experimenting with techniques or additives. I usually do them on small canvases because they are inexpensive. Once I have tested different color combinations along with the technique, I will do a “true pour” on a larger substrate such as cradled birch or others listed in this article. If you choose to use a very large canvas for your pour, make sure you have added evenly spaced support underneath. Failure to evenly support your canvas will result in pooling because the canvas surface will not stay level.

supporting a canvas for resin painting
Using a paint stick to support a canvas for resin painting

Prior to painting with resin, use a spray bottle to mist water over your canvas. Allow it to dry completely. This will help to tighten the canvas. To prevent sagging in the center, add some extra support under the canvas prior to starting your painting. I have found that anything that is 24”x24” requires extra support. On that size canvas, I place paint stir sticks between the canvas and the wood frame. You can get the stir sticks free or inexpensively at your local hardware store. Once the painting has cured, simply remove them .

You can purchase canvases at your local craft store such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. They are also available online at Amazon, createforless.com, Cheapjoes.com and other art supply sites.

Cradled Birch & Wooden Artist Panel

You can order cradled birch and wooden artist panels online through art supply sites and even Amazon. Cradled birch and wooden art panels are more expensive than canvas, but still affordable. These wood surfaces are my preferred surface for resin painting because sagging isn’t an issue and they are very sturdy. The reason cradled birch and wooden art panels work so well is because the wood substrate is framed with more wood. This is what prevents the wood from warping. If you were do a resin painting on a sheet of plywood or a wood panel from the hardware store, your painting will would warp because it isn’t secured with the frame.

Priming cradled birch and wooden artist panels is really a matter of personal preference. When I first started pouring on cradled birch and wooden artist panels, I did a pour on one primed board and one that wasn’t primed. I discovered that the only real difference between the two boards was the primed one made the colors pop better because they were poured on a white surface. If you are incorporating translucent colors into your pours, it would be wise to prime your board before pouring. If you are painting with opaque colors in your resin, there is no need to prime the surface unless that is your preference.

Another consideration you should make prior to pouring on cradled birch and wooden artist panels is how you want the sides to look when the painting is complete. There are two main choices on how to treat the sides of your substrate. You can either allow the resin to flow over the edges and down the sides or tape off the edges.  By allowing your pour to flow over the edges of the panel, your painting will continue on to the sides. This look can be quite stunning. Prior to pouring put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the underside of your substrate starting and the edge and going inward about an inch. This will help to keep the resin from curing on the underside of your substrate. After your pour is complete, take a popsicle stick and drag along the underside to help remove resin that has dripped beneath the substrate. You will need to do this several times as your painting cures since the resin will continue to self-level as it cures. After the painting has completely cured, use a cloth or paper towel to wipe off the petroleum jelly and resin drips that remain.

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Taping off the sides of your substrate will help to keep your sides clear of resin. I prefer to use flashing tape because it adheres to the substrate so well. You can purchase flashing tape at your local hardware store or online at Amazon. It is a stiffer tape that is made from aluminum and looks like regular aluminum foil. I recommend purchasing the two inch roll so that you have enough width to work with. You will need to apply the tape to your substrate so that it sits at least half an inch higher than the surface of your substrate. Use a plastic credit card to smooth the tape over the edges of your substrate. Make sure that there are no wrinkles or bubbles and that the tape has firmly adhered to your substrate. The tape will keep the resin contained on the surface of the substrate. After the resin has cured, peel the tape off. You will most likely need to sand the edges with an extra fine grit sandpaper to remove any sharp or uneven spots. You can either leave the sides of your substrate unfinished or paint in your choice of color.

MDF Board

MDF boardMedium-density fiberboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product and is generally denser than plywood. Pre-cut MDF boards come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. They are relatively inexpensive and can be found at your local craft store as well as online. They require no priming . Like with the cradled birch and wooden art boards, you can prime the surface if you wish for your colors to really pop. Again, it’s a matter of personal preference.

 

 

 

Vinyl Records

vinyl record, resin, fluid acrylics, soft bodied acrylics, copyright 2016, Becky Wanamaker

Vinyl records make great substrates for small resin paintings. If you don’t have any packed up somewhere, head over to your local Goodwill store. They often will have entire albums or box sets for sale for about $1 each. You can also find inexpensive used vinyl records on eBay. Tape the hole in the center to prevent resin from dripping through to the other side. I prefer to prime vinyl records before I start painting so that I am working on a white surface. Otherwise, some colors won’t show up as well against the black background. Always put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the outer edge of the same side as the tape. This will help keep the resin from sticking to the backside of your painting. When the painting has cured, wipe the petroleum jelly off the back with a paper towel or dry cloth. If you have any resin drips, simply trim with a pair of scissors or Exacto knife. (watch out for your fingers!)
If you use a heat gun or torch to manipulate the resin and remove air bubbles, do so carefully. Keep the heat at least 4 inches from the surface of your record and make to avoid focusing the heat in one place for more than a few seconds. Too much heat will warp your record.

Tile

Tile is another great surface to paint on with resin. You can use glazed or unglazed tiles, both will work well. Regular white square bathroom tiles can be found at your local hardware store for about half a dollar each. Resined tiles make great coasters or trivets. They require no priming and make for quick projects as well as great.

What other surfaces for resin artwork have you used?

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2017 Resin Obsession, LLC

63 Comments

Katherine Swift

I don’t know. Let me see if I can have a couple others comment.

Reply
Becky

You can use glass and plexiglass as a substrate. I suggest tempered glass as a precaution though. Keep in mind that those substrates can be heavy once you add a layer or two of resin to them.

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Cassandra

I’ve used resin on glass on several projects. Initially it adheres well with the glass but after about 6 months it starts to peel away from the glass.

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Katherine Swift

Interesting. Is the glass changing temperatures at all? Like does it get really cold?

Jo

That’s what I feared because glass is smooth that it may peel off (over time) like how cured resin just peels off the plastic cups. I prefer not to use something smooth as a base because of that issue. But I only recently started on my resin adventure so there’s still plenty of experimenting!

Eleanor A. Vasil

how about a light sanding of the glass? just enough to break the surface of the glass. it seems it would give a little “tooth” to the surface and prevent peeling.

Lyn

What about textured glass. Like the bottom of a round microwave turntable? It is tempered glass. Will the resin adhere and stay adhered to that?

Dawn

Great tip about using petroleum jelly on the backside; this may solve a problem I’ve been having with my resin work. Thank you!

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Wendy

Where do you get the boards in the photo at the top of the blog post? I love those.

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Josee Lebel

Je recherche la résine en 4 litre 1.2 et le gallon durcisseur ce que madame utilisé comme produit pour sa tablette en mélanine je suis pas capable de le
Commander direct en 4 litres svp
J ai besoin d aide à savoir qu elle compagnie est capable
De
Mem’ivrer ce
Produit et say elle prix je vien du Québec merci Josee Lebel

Reply
Tish

I have 2 questions about using records…. If I were to create a resin art piece, what would I need to do about the hole in the center? Taping it up on face value doesn’t seem that it would hold up well long term.

What can I do to be able to mount it like a picture on the wall? Do I need to create something on the back of it for it to hang without fear of it falling due to the possible weight?

I am ABSOLUTELY a beginner. So much a beginner that I am in the research phase. I haven’t started painting or using resin just yet. But I am very eager to begin. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sell some of my pieces in the future. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond. Any links to sources I can learn from would be helpful.

Reply
Katherine Swift

I would tape the hole on the backside to keep the resin from running through. You can remove the tape after casting.

Reply
Tish

If I wanted a piece that didn’t showcase the hole, what would you suggest? I’d like a flat surface. Maybe adhering a piece of thin balsa wood or something a bit more sturdy on the back side?

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Katherine Swift

Are you not wanting people to notice a divot for the hole? If so, I would use a little bit of a quick cure epoxy to fill the hole. Once that is cured, apply resin with your desired colors.

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Eva Carvajal

I also am a complete beginner and am interested in making jewelry and other items. I don’t know if resin is used for mixed media wall hangings but would appreciate any advice as to where I should start. I believe getting books would help with more information so that will be my starting point. Also any websites, shops, blogs, etc that you may recommend would be helpful. Thank you so much. I could not publish without filling in website space. My website is pending.

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Jacqui

Hi I’m wondering what Resin to use to cover pre-painted (Acrylic) coasters or Lazy Susan’s that will with stand normal heat from dinner plates or coffee cups. Thanks in advance and love your very informative site. Also what do you use on Records to hang them up if hole is covered in Resin. Cheers
Jax

Reply
Katherine Swift

Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a resin that will withstand the heat of a hot plate. 🙁 To hang a record that has been painted with resin, I would suggest attaching a picture hanger to the back.

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Christine Johanns

FX Epoxy I just read about. It can withstand up to 500 degrees 🙂

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Karen at YaYa Studio

I’m new to Resin, but learning. I’m also a Potter (20 years exp.), and it’s good to hear that Resin will adhere to both glazed and un-glazed Pots. When first seeing Resin Painting, I immediately thought of using it on my large Urns, but haven’t tried it yet. I will now, on smaller pieces. Yay!

Reply
Trish

Hi have you any idea why my resin is not sticking to the sides?
I did prime with white paint?
Love your idea about the Vaseline!
Thanks trish

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Rhonda

Can I use it on cedar or cypress wood I have some very unique pieces that I want to make a desk and table out of

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Valda

Hi. Great article. Re MDF Board, what thickness is the norm for acrylic painting, resin painting etc. there are a few thicknesses. Thanks.

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Jil Cowan-Stewart

Hi, I am a collage artist and have several pieces that I have added a layer of cutout matt laminate on top of glued papers. I am wanting to resin all over so was wondering if the resin will be ok ontop of the matt laminate.

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Amy

I’m new to working with Resin. I am wondering if I can use tiles made from clay and covered in a resin design as tile for my back splash and other tile projects typically made with commercial tiles? Or cement covered with resin tiles? I hope you say yes!

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Katherine Swift

Hi Amy, yes, you can do this, but I can’t comment as to how well they will hold up to ‘kitchen wear’ like grease, cleaning products, etc.

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Sharon

Do you have any problems with warping? I have had my 1/4 inch warp and it is rather disheartening. I find the 1/2 inch to be pretty heavy.

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Katherine Swift

If you are pouring onto something like a canvas or artboard, there will be hardware on the back for mounting.

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Katherine Swift

Yes. Make sure your surface is clean and the resin should adhere without any problems.

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Daniel Bernard

Another Question, as I do very Large pieces on canvas. Do you think that if I did a epoxy on the reverse side of the stretched canvas that it would then give me the strenght to hold a resin painting on the front side of the canvas?

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Katherine Swift

I wouldn’t try that only because it would add a lot of weight and expense to your artwork. Perhaps there is a way to brace it from the back like using the paint stirring sticks shown in the article?

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Monte

I have tried round thick table tops from home depot, looked great but warped the next day, once it was laid flat on a suface it straightened out.

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Kenya M Carr

Ok!! Sometimes I make skins out of acrylic paint applied to freezer paper. If I where to put the freezer paper onto a canvas and paint or pour onto that, let dry and remove from canvas can I apply resin to the acrylic painted freezer paper????😬

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Janis Carlson

I’ve carefully peeled the skins off the freezer paper, mod podge (or glue) it to a substrate and then pour resin. Looks great

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Danny

I poured resin on a canvas and it didnt fully cure. I have spots that are still tacky/sticky. Can I pour another layer without sanding it first?

Reply
Jennifer

Hi Katherine. I have done an acrylic pour over canvas and would like to Resin it, however I have read in a couple of different places that over time it will warp if I put resin on. Is that true?

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Katherine Swift

That has not been my experience provided the board/substrate the painting is on is strong enough to hold the weight of the painting and the resin.

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Leesa

What kind of product and how is the best way to attach the hanging hardware on the back of a heavy 1/4 inch resin geode mdf piece.

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Katherine Swift

You will need to find hardware that will support that weight. A shop that sells framing supplies should be able to help.

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Annabelle

Hello, how do I prep glass so Resin would stick to it permanently? Can I use modge podge first so resin would permanently stick to it? Thanks much 🙂

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Katherine Swift

The glass needs to be clean and free of grease. Don’t use Mod Podge. Glass cleaner is better.

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Katherine Swift

Yes, except I don’t know how much air hardie board traps. You may find that it releases bubbles into your resin.

Reply

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