Why are there dents and holes in my resin painting?

why are there dents and holes in my resin paintingYou made an amazing piece of art only to ask yourself, why are there dents and holes in my resin painting?

It’s simply aggravating!

These dents and holes are also known as fish eyes in resin.  On a personal note, I’ve never had one look exactly like a fisheye.  Mine look more like areas where the resin simply didn’t cover the area in the smoothness and depth I was expecting.  I like how calling it a fish eye somehow makes it sound more exotic and unplanned.

Here are a few explanations as to why you may have dents and holes in your resin painting:

1. You didn’t use a resin for art.

When pouring resin to coat a surface, it must mix thick enough so that it wants to stay on the flat surface.  Some resins, specifically those meant for casting, mix thin and will run off an artwork surface.  Artwork resins, are considered doming resins and have the surface tension to stay on a flat surface.  If you aren’t sure of the difference between casting resins and doming resins, learn more here:  What’s the difference between doming resin and casting resin?

If you want an excellent quality artwork resin at great price, then be sure to check out the Resin Obsession artwork resin.

2. You didn’t use enough resin.

Even if you use a resin for art and painting, if you don’t use enough of it, it’s not going to cover your surface evenly and will pull away in places.  Artwork resins are formulated to self-level to a depth of one-eighth of an inch.  You need to be sure you mix enough resin to cover your substrate surface length and width to an eighth of an inch deep.  So how can you be sure to do that?  Use the Resin Obsession resin calculator.  It calculates the amount of resin you need to coat a surface or fill a mold, making sure you don’t waste precious resin.

Pro tip:  Mix a smidge more than the calculator tells you.  Why?  Speaking from personal experience when I’m pouring resin for art, I find I always need a little extra resin.  I like to have enough to make more of a color I’m already pouring or maybe mix a little for a new color.  I hate wasting the stuff too, so I always have things set up for leftover resin projects for the times I don’t use all the resin in my painting.

3.  Something is repelling the resin from your painting surface.

While resin mixes with a lot of things, oil isn’t one of them.  While adding liquids like silicone oil or hair serum can be a fun way to create cells in resin, it can also be a way to cause dents and holes in resin.  If you are coating resin on a surface, you need to make sure the surface is clean before coating it with resin.  Wash with a good-quality soap and water or wipe with isopropyl alcohol first if possible.  Oily surfaces also include wax and tape adhesives, so make sure those are off of your resin painting surface as well.

4. Your artwork surface has dents and valleys that are deeper than one-eighth inch.

I see this commonly with mixed-media projects.  Even if you use enough resin, the resin isn’t going to fill up your entire painting without a little help.  This is where using painter’s tape or masking tape to create a dam around your artwork is essential to get the resin to pour deeper.

Pro tip:  Since artwork resins are meant to be poured in a thin layer, pouring them deeper can mean more bubbles.  Here are my 10 best tips to getting rid of bubbles in resin to make sure your masterpiece cures bubble-free.

5. You manipulated the resin towards the end of the pot time.

I get it.  It’s tempting to continue to work on your masterpiece as long as you possibly can, but there is a ‘point of no return’ where working the resin won’t let it self-level.  When you work with it right as the pot time is running out, you will get holes and divots in your resin that won’t go away before curing.

So what do you do if this happens to you?  I’m so glad you asked!

Here’s how you fix dents and holes in your resin painting.

Want to understand more of the resin basics?  Learn from an artist with 14 years of experience.  Buy your copy of Resin Fundamentals, the downloadable PDF that will get you to resin expert status in only an afternoon!

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

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10 thoughts on “Why are there dents and holes in my resin painting?

  1. Will mold release cause this too? I am creating pendants in tiny narrow tubes (prisms and cylinders), and I have to use a tiny paint brush to get mold release into the silicone pendant tube molds. I leave it overnight to dry, but I still get holes and divits in the pendants. I’m so unhappy. I can’t get them out without mold release, but I wonder if it’s causing the problem too.

  2. Thanks this was very helpful for my table where I applied artwork resin and got bumps. I suspect I manipulated the resin towards the end of the pot time. How can I tell what is the “end of pot time”? I didn’t see any instructions on the containers about how quickly I must use up the resin (note, after I stir for about 3 minutes, I have used a tip I found at this website to let it sit for about 7 minutes to let the bubbles evaporate), so I’m about 10 minute in before I start to pour. One time I worked with resin it got obviously hot and hard towards the end so it was clear I should stop pouring, but are there other ways to tell if I’ve used it too long, before I get to the hot/hard point? Thanks

  3. Hi, I keep getting some sort of dry residue that sits on top of my resin every time , it’s driving me nuts & costing me a fortune, every time I sand & re coat n the same thing happens , please help.

  4. Hi I have a problem when I cast objects in my silicone molds. After they cure there are circular holes or missing resin from several sides of the finished project. What am I doing wrong and can I put the pieces back in the molds and pour a little resin just in the areas where the resin is missing?

    1. Hi Stanley, it sounds like you are trapping bubbles in your mold. Unfortunately, putting it back in the mold and adding resin doesn’t work very well.

  5. Hi, this was helpful but my fisheyes are still tacky, how can I correct this problem? I used an epoxy resin, can I sand everything & use a doming resin? Can I sand if spots are still tacky?

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