Why didn’t my resin cure properly?
This is a problem that resin newbies and seasoned professionals alike run into from time to time. Here are a few trouble areas where you should evaluate in case you’re asking yourself, “Why is my resin sticky?”
1. How old is your resin? We recommend only purchasing enough resin that you can comfortably use within 6 months of purchase. Eventually, moisture may collect in your bottles, which will affect how it cures.
2. Are you keeping your resin in a climate controlled environment? If the temperature changes a lot, moisture will collect on the inside of the lids which can drip into your resin and affect cure hardness.
3. Did you measure it properly? I know some people will talk about a little more of this, or a little less of that, but the Resin Obsession super clear resin mixes as two parts resin to one part hardener. If you’re using another brand of resin, follow directions exactly.
4. Did you mix it thoroughly? This is usually where I have goofed. You need to mix the resin well, scraping your sides and your mixing utensil as you go. (There is a video about proper mixing of resin at the bottom of this post.)
5. Were your mixing cups dry? If you had reused them, was there any leftover residue?
6. Are your inclusions completely dry? For example, while pastel powders can add some great colors to inclusions, they also attract moisture. If possible, dry your pigments in a 150 degree oven for a few hours next time before adding to your resin.
7. What was the temperature of the room you were making your resin project in? Was it at least 70 degrees? Was your resin warm as well (i.e. not cold like keeping in refrigerator or something)?
8. Did you mix it in the proper ratios? Always read the directions! Don’t assume that all resins are 1:1, 2:1, etc.
9. Were both components of the resin from the same batch? I don’t know if this makes a big difference, but I always try to use the epoxy and hardener that came together in the same kit versus using leftovers from one kit with materials from a new one.
10. Did you mix the minimum amount? For example, the minimum amount of Resin Obsession super clear resin that should be mixed is 10 ml of resin and 5 ml of hardener. That amount must be mixed in order for the proper chemical reaction to occur.
11. Are you using a latex mold? Sometimes, resins do not like latex and may not fully cure.
12. Make sure any mold release agent is completely dry before pouring resin into that mold.
What other suggestions and tips do you have?
You may also be interested in our video on How to properly mix epoxy resin for jewelry making