Determine how hard has your resin cured.
Not all resins can take heat and friction well. Some will make crumbs and can even melt. So how do you know how hard your resin has cured? Determine the type of resin you used for your project. Polyester and polyurethane resins cure quite hard. Very few epoxies cure hard (like the hardness of glass) but the Resin Obsession super clear resin is one of them. If your epoxy resin has cured, but can be dented with a fingernail or softens with body heat, this is not a hard curing resin.
Hard curing resins: Polish with a buffing wheel and compound
Use a cotton buff and polishing compound appropriate for resins (I use Fabulustre). Let the buff spin, use it to pick up compound, then press onto the resin. You can use a Dremel tool or flex shaft for small projects like charms, but a large buff makes quick work of polishing something larger like a bracelet. Keep the piece moving, meaning you do not want to buff any one area more than a couple of seconds. You also do not want to press the piece into the buff. Let the buff do the work; let it run over the resin charm, but don’t use too much pressure. Go over the entire piece as necessary. Wash with soap and water to remove any polishing compound residue.
Here’s a video showing how to polish resin with a buffing wheel:
Take all proper safety precautions when working with power tools.
Soft curing resins: Polish by hand with polishing compounds
Because soft-curing resins will melt with too much heat and friction, we have to polish them with a ‘lighter’ touch. This is a good time to use polishing compounds meant to be used by hand. The Novus polishing kit works great for this. It is designed for the automotive industry, but works well to polish resin jewelry and charms.
Simply follow the steps to use the liquid with the polishing cloth to get a shiny finish. While resin jewelry may not get as shiny a finish as using rotary tools, it does achieve a shinier finish than without buffing. You can see how to the Novus polishing kit here:
So what other options do you have to get a shiny finish on resin jewelry and crafts if you don’t want to polish it?
1. Recoat with another layer of resin. While it can be a bit messy, another layer of resin will give your resin project a glossy finish.
2. Spray with a couple of light coats of resin gloss sealer spray. Make sure your surface is even (i.e. no scratches, dents or divots), then apply lightly to your resin jewelry and charms. Recoat if necessary. You can see how to use the spray here:
3. Buff with automotive wax. While it won’t give you as shiny a finish as the other options listed above, it’s a quick fix.
I’ve got a comparison of six different polishing options for resin here:
What other questions do you have on how to polish resin?
Want to learn more about crafting with resin but overwhelmed with knowing where to start? Get your copy of Resin Fundamentals. I took my more than my decade of experience with resin and condensed it into a book that gives you a clear path on how to make something amazing with resin.
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC