I’m guessing you landed here because you need a resin dictionary. And I get why. There are a bunch of words and phrases revolving around epoxy resin that you need to know the meaning of so you don’t misunderstand something.
Or make resin mistakes.
Here are the easy definitions of resin jargon so you can get started making your epoxy art and resin crafts.
RESIN DICTIONARY Terms beginning with the letters A through C
Accelerator: An additive that speeds up the chemical reaction between the catalyst and resin. It’s not something you want to use unless you’re experienced with resin.
Air Bubble Void: An air entrapment on a surface or within your resin casting. Air bubbles are one of the biggest challenges resin crafters face.
⭐️ BONUS: Here are ten tips to get rid of resin bubbles.
Bezel: A jewelry finding with a rim that can hold resin. They may also be called cups.
Casting (process): You pour the mixed resin into a space, usually a mold. Then allow it to cure.
Casting (object): A cured resin piece.
Catalyst: An agent that causes the resin to dry. It’s labeled as Part B in your resin kit and can also be called the hardener. It’s sold in a separate container from the resin (part A) and made to match the specific resin included in your kit.
Cavity: A depression in your resin molds. It’s the space where you pour resin.
Cure (process): The reaction between resin and hardener that causes it to set.
Cure Inhibition: When a contaminate prevents resin from curing as expected. (This is not a good thing.)
⭐️ BONUS: Reasons why your resin didn’t cure.
Cure Time: How long it takes for resin or silicone to cure, dry, or harden completely.
⭐️ BONUS: How long does it take resin to cure?
Curing Temperature: The temperature range your room and the surrounding area need to be for your resin to cure.
⭐️ BONUS: What is the ideal temperature for resin?
RESIN DICTIONARY Terms beginning with the letters D through G
Demolding: The process of removing a model or resin casting from a mold.
Demolding time: The time when the resin is cured enough that you can remove it from a mold. It can still be soft and will require more time to cure fully.
Doming: The process of using resin to create a dome on a surface. It also refers to a resin suitable for this process.
Embedding: When you include an object or other finding in resin.
Epoxy: Class of synthetic thermosetting polymers containing epoxide groups. One of the most available resins.
⭐️ BONUS: What are the different types of epoxy?
Exothermic: A chemical reaction that causes heat production. This is a necessary reaction for the resin to turn from a liquid to a solid.
⭐️ BONUS: Is it normal for my resin to get hot?
Findings: Parts used to make resin castings wearable as jewelry.
⭐️ BONUS: What are the finding options for resin jewelry?
Flash or Flashing: Excess material attached to a molding or cast product, caused by material leakage outside of a border.
Gel Stage: The semi-solid stage when resin turns from a liquid to a solid. It’s the consistency of jelly.
Gel Time: The time it takes to reach the semi-solid stage. The resin will be tacky or sticky when it comes to this point.
⭐️ BONUS: What is the gel time of resin?
RESIN DICTIONARY Terms beginning with the letters H through P
Hardener: A substance added to part A resin to cause it to harden. It may also be called a catalyst. It will come with the part A resin when you buy resin supplies.
Inclusions: This is anything added to your resin. These can be resin colors, found objects, art and craft items, or jewelry findings.
Mix Ratio: The proper proportions (either by weight or volume) of part A and part B (resin and hardener) you mix together.
Model: An object or pattern that serves as the template for a mold. Models can be made of wood, plastic, wax, clay, metal, plaster, bone, rock, etc. A model can be any shape, pattern, or texture you want to reproduce.
Mold Release: A compound applied in a thin layer to the surface of an item, either a model or mold. It makes demolding easier.
⭐️ BONUS: Three reasons why I always use resin mold release.
Molds: A form that you pour liquid into. As it cures, it takes on the shape of the form. Resin crafting molds are most commonly made from plastic or silicone.
MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet. This term is outdated. See SDS.
Open Time: See pot time.
Polyester resin: A type of resin made from a polyester base. It mixes with drops of hardener based upon the volume and thickness of the casting. This resin type should only be used in molds.
⭐️ BONUS: Five things you need to know about polyester casting resin.
Polyurethane: A synthetic resin that cures very hard. It has a short pot time and is not a suitable resin for beginners. It should only be used in molds.
Pot time: The amount of time you have to work with mixed resin. It may also be referred to as pot life or open time.
Pressure Casting: This is a process where you put a resin casting in a chamber attached to an air compressor. Air is forced into the pressure pot, which shrinks bubbles. The resin is left in the pot for the entire curing time.
Pressure Pot: Chamber used for pressure casting.
RESIN DICTIONARY Terms beginning with the letters R through Z
Resin: A class of organic materials that may be natural or synthetic, thermoplastic or thermosetting.
⭐️ BONUS: What is resin?
SDS: Safety Data Sheet. Contains information on chemicals, including composition, potential hazards, and safe use instructions.
Sealer or Sealing Agent: An agent necessary for porous models before using as a mold template. Or use it for porous inclusions that will take up moisture stains when placed into resin.
⭐️ BONUS: How to seal paper for resin.
Shore Hardness: A measurement of the hardness of different materials.
Silicone: A rubbery resin that usually has resistance to temperature, water, and chemicals. It’s ideal for mold making.
Silicone Putty: Silicone compounds that you can knead together by hand. It’s excellent for making molds quickly.
⭐️ BONUS: How to use silicone putty to DIY resin molds.
Tensile Properties: Ultimate Tensile Strength is the force, measured in PSI, needed to stretch a material until it breaks.
Tensile strength: Tensile strength measures the stress required to pull something to the point where it breaks.
Thermoplastic: Resins that will remelt when heated.
Thermosetting: Resins that are set permanently after heating. These are the resins we use in jewelry making and crafting.
UV Resin: A one-part resin that requires an ultraviolet lamp or sunlight to cure.
Vacuum casting: Process where resin is placed into a chamber, and the air is removed with a vacuum pump. Air bubbles come to the surface to pop.
Viscosity: Refers to how a substance will flow. A material, like water, with low viscosity, will flow easily. A material, like peanut butter, with a high viscosity, will not flow easily. If at all.
Eager to get started crafting with resin but overwhelmed with where to start?
I felt the same way when I started creating with resin. It’s why I wrote the beginner resin book, Resin Fundamentals. I share everything beginners need to know to succeed with resin beyond the dictionary words you see here. They are the details I wish someone had shared with me when I started with epoxy crafts.
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2022 Resin Obsession, LLC
32 thoughts on “Being A Resin Rockstar Starts With This Resin Dictionary”
When a description for a tabletop suggest 2 pours. What is the timeframe between? Do I wait for the first to harden?
A few hours as long as it’s hard and tacky
@Julie, you don’t need to wait for the first layer to harden, but at least wait for it to be semi solid (i.e. a semi-solid gel) before pouring the next layer.
What is a soft cure?
Soft cure is where the resin has hardened enough to demold, but may still be dentable.
Any of the doming resins in this chart should work fine for your project: https://www.resinobsession.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/resin-choices-april-2016.pdf
I will be pouring epoxy resin over jewelry that is on a piece of marine plywood. I want the jewelry to be encased and stuck to the wood when I’m done. Do I have to glue the pieces down first? or if I have an edge, can I pour the resin and everything will stick in place?
I might glue them down just a tad to make sure they don’t shift during the pour. Otherwise, they should stick fine.
Do I need to treat or seal the wood? If I paint or stain the wood, will it still stick? Thanks, that’s my last question.
Yes, if you paint the wood first, the resin will stick to it.
I’d like to make a silicone mold for a piece that is too large to cover in the 3 minutes pot time. If I mix in batches and make the mold bit by bit, will the new batch stick to the previous one?
You risk introducing bubbles that way. I would suggest using a silicone with a longer pot time.
Hi and thankyou for any advice given. What is the best resin/brand to pour into a closed Terrarium for the ocean? I have tried a variety and living in Hawaii with the humidity I have been wasting a bit of my resins. Also, how do you seal your substrate (soil/gravel) before pouring your resin in? I have tried tape, plastic, mixture of glue and spray sealants.
Any advice is deeply appreciated. By the way, your Terrariums pieces are beautiful and inspirational!
and thank you.
Hi Wendy, I’m afraid being in Hawaii, you are limited to the resins you can use because of shipping restrictions. I’m afraid you are going to have to ‘make do’ with whatever you can find in your area, although a casting resin is best. This article shows how to make a koi pond with resin. https://www.resinobsession.com/resin-tutorials/mint-tin-koi-pond/ The artist did not use anything to seal the gravel first.
how do I keep my add ins from sinking to the bottom (top) when working with cube, sphere, or pyramid molds?
Hi Cara, you will need to work in layers. This article shows how: https://www.resinobsession.com/resin-tutorials/steampunk-crafts/
hello. I am working with food safe resin to reapply labels on slumped wine bottles. Thinking the label will go on the bottom of the bottle. Is it necessary to tack the label to the bottle prior to pouring the resin on? Or will the resin seep thru the paper, allowing for it to adhere? I you do re ommend affixing it first, what product would you recommend useing? Thank you so much fir your thoughts!
Hi Michelle, a clear drying white glue to adhere the label is advised in this situation. This is the one I would use: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/tools-and-supplies/products/ice-resin-paper-sealer
I hear the term “blanks”.
Is this a generic term for castings?
Hi Arthur, blanks is the generic term for metal jewelry before things like resin have been added. You can find blanks in our store here: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/findings
I have a skull that cut out of a raw crystal, so there’s actually the crystal poking up on one side of it n i want to encase it in resin or epoxy, which would be best? Its smaller than a baseball, planning on using it for a shift knob.
Hi Gwenda, the Resin Obsession deep pour resin would be great for a project like this. You can find it in our store here: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/resin-obsession-deep-pour-resin
Hi there, I wonder what resin or adhesive should be best used for delicate inlay work on rings. I need a good crystal clear resin or glue that can fix nicely the crushed opal and turquoise stones I put on rings. It needs to be something that is hard enough to polishes nicely on a buffing wheel. Thank you for your advice.
Hi Adrian, for what you want to do, the Resin Obsession super clear resin will work great. It cures very hard and does well on a buffing wheel. You can find it in several sizes in our store here: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/resin-obsession-super-clear-resin
Hi I am wanting to make pandora style beads with cremations inside using a UV resin but I am finding once in hot water they go a bit floppy I need them to be as hard as glass have you any suggestions plz
Hi Kath, I don’t have any experience with UV resin in this situation. Have you considered using a different resin? The Resin Obsession super clear resin is what I use for these situations. You can find it in our store here: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/resin-obsession-super-clear-resin
Hi! In your resin buying guide, you have ‘x’ in sections like “casting resin” and “suitable for artwork”.. does the ‘x’ mean that is is NOT suitable or it IS suitable?
Thank you for the clarification. I’m new and have never played with resin before but I’m very interested in trying it out!
Hi Tiffany, the ‘X’ means it has that property or is suitable for that use.
Guidance please. I want to fill 1 1/2 “ scallop shell with a stop of Velcro, small weights then resin. Making decorative weight belt for free diving. Velcro is so I can add or take shell depending on how much weight I need. I’m hoping to get each Shell to weigh close to one pound. Which resin would be best to order from you & will the resin stick to a natural shell?
Hi Patricia, it sounds like you will use less than 3 ounces of resin at once in this shell. In that case, the Resin Obsession super clear resin works great for a shell project. You can buy it in our store here: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/resin-obsession-super-clear-resin. What I don’t know is how well the cured resin will handle prolonged saltwater exposure. If you give this a try, will you let me know how it goes?
Great dictionary of terms to have at hand! Perhaps you could also clarify “casting epoxy resin” and “clear casting resin”.
Hi Valerie, happy to clarify! Casting resin means that it is meant to be used in molds. Clear casting resin means that it cures clear once cured.