How To Make A Resin Dam With Tape

How to make a tape dam for resin

When you think about a dam, you’re probably thinking about corraling water into one place. Like what this master of function and beauty does. And the cool thing is that we can apply this concept to create a resin dam.

painting edge

Why would you create a resin dam?

To keep your resin on a horizontal surface without running over the edge.

If your edge comes together at a 90-degree angle, a dam is overkill.

canvas edge

But, if there’s any curve, resin can run over the side.

You can also apply a dam to recoat a piece of resin art with a new design.

peeling painters tape

What can you use to create a resin dam?

Tape is the easiest and cheapest way to do this.

Does it matter what tape you use?

Yes.

Cheap tape that isn’t sticky will let resin slip between your vertical surface and the tape.

Super sticky tape leaves gooey residue that you’ll need to clean up after the resin cures.

So the Goldilocks just right version of creating a tape dam for resin is to use good quality painter’s tape.

applying tape to painting edge

How tall should you make the tape dam?

If you’re coating artwork, make sure the tape is no higher than 1/8 inch. You’ll minimize a resin edge since this is the depth doming resins want to self-level to.

even resin tape dam edge

Your tape dam edge should be parallel to the resin surface when you’re done.

uneven resin tape dam edge

Ensure the entire portion of the tape is 1/8 inch above the surface. If your tape is higher than this, resin will create an edge that you’ll have to sand away later.

adding resin to tape surface

Does it matter what resin you use with a tape dam?

Doming resins do best for coating.

Why?

They self-level and avoid pits and dimples on your surface.

removing tape

When do you remove the tape dam?

Wait until your resin is completely cured. Then, peel away the tape.

If your resin runs over the dam, remove the tape while the resin is formed, but rubbery. Otherwise, the tape will be a permanent part of your art once the resin dries.

You can see more of what I’m talking about when I used epoxy to coat a canvas.

What if you want to make a tall tape dam for a thick layer of resin?

You can do that, but you need to know these two things:

The tape can leave a frosted finish on the sides of the resin. Expect to polish the sides after removing the tape.

💡 Pro tip: There are clear tapes that promote they won’t leave the frosted finish like making and painter’s tape can. I’ve used these myself and think the resin is less frosted, but it isn’t clear. (But I haven’t tried them for pieces like this, only for filling open bezels with resin.)

If you want a layer deeper than 1/8 inch, you’ll need to use a casting resin. Here’s what you need to expect about using that epoxy type on a flat surface.

Want to go beyond more than learning how to make a resin dam with tape?

Then you’ll want the beginner resin book, Resin Fundamentals. This ebook covers everything you need to know to make something beautiful with resin from your very first go. Buy the PDF book now and a download link arrives to your email in minutes.

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2023 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  The 10 Most Underrated Resin Tips for Beginners

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