The second most popular question I get asked is, ‘Why didn’t my resin cure? You just mix the stuff together, and it gets hard, right?’
Yes, technically speaking. But YOU have to do your part to ensure that happens. And when you don’t? Well, you’re here looking for reasons why your resin didn’t cure. Here are the twelve most common causes why your resin doesn’t dry hard and smooth.
(And read to the end of the article if you’re wondering what the number one question is that I get asked most.)
Reason 1. You’re using old resin.
Only buy enough resin that you can comfortably use within half of the expected shelf life. Moisture can collect in your bottles, which will affect how it cures. Besides, all resins eventually yellow, so you want to use all the resin while it’s still clear.
⭐️ BONUS: Here are a few ways to know how much resin you need for your projects.
Reason 2. You aren’t storing your resin in a climate-controlled environment.
If the temperature changes a lot, moisture will collect inside the lids. This water drips into your resin and affects curing.
⭐️ BONUS: Here’s how to store resin.
Reason 3. You didn’t measure it accurately.
Measuring it properly means using graduated mixing cups to ensure you get accurate measurements. They have lines on the side to see exactly how much you’re measuring. (Unlike party cups and bottle caps)
Reason 4. You didn’t mix it completely.
You must mix the resin well, scraping the sides of your cup and resin stirring stick as you go. Resin stuck to the side of your mixing cup doesn’t get mixed well unless you try to mix it.
⭐️ BONUS: Here’s how to mix resin and hardener in five easy steps.
Reason 5. Your mixing cups were contaminated.
If you reused them, was there any leftover residue? Any extra water, soap, or solvents can explain why your resin didn’t cure.
⭐️ BONUS: Here’s how to clean resin tools for another use.
Reason 6. You added something ‘wet’ to the resin.
Inclusions are anything extra you add to epoxy to make your resin crafts. If you sealed items with glue, are you sure they were dry before adding them to your resin?
⭐️ BONUS: Here’s how I like to seal items before including them in resin.
Reason 7. Your room was too cold.
Resin cures best at a room temperature of low 70’s F. Make sure to mix your resin at the right temperature.
⭐️ BONUS: Here are some cold weather resin casting tips to get your room temperature up during the winter.
Reason 8. You didn’t mix it in the proper ratios.
Always read the directions! Every resin has its own mixing directions. Do not assume they all mix the same. Otherwise, you may find yourself asking…why didn’t my resin harden?
Reason 9. You mixed incompatible resin and hardener.
You cannot use one brand’s resin with another brand’s hardener. It doesn’t work like that.
⭐️ BONUS: Here’s what resin is if you’re a nerd like me and want to know these things.
Reason 10. You didn’t mix enough of each part together.
When you mix resin and hardener together, a chemical reaction causes heat production. This heat is what makes the mixture get hard. You have to mix together a specific amount of each to generate enough heat for the resin to harden.
Reason 11. You poured the resin into a latex mold.
Sometimes, resins do not like latex. Weird, right?
Reason 12. Your mold added moisture to the resin.
Your resin mold release must be completely dry before pouring resin into that mold.
⭐️ BONUS: Here’s how I apply release to a resin mold
So what’s the number one question I get asked (after why my resin didn’t cure)?
Why do I have so many bubbles?!
I can help with that too.
⭐️ BONUS: 10 tips for getting bubbles out of resin
Frustrated with your resin results?
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