What Everyone Needs To Know About Resin Vs Epoxy

difference between resin and epoxyResin is resin, right? There are so many resin formulas out there. How are you supposed to know what to use in the battle of resin vs epoxy?

Let’s start by exploring what resin is

 

adding copper colored resin to silicone coaster mold

Resin is a unique chemical mixture that has been a part of nature for a very long time. It is a liquid mixture that, under certain conditions, will harden. This happens when you mix resin with hardener (two-part resins) or expose it to ultraviolet light (UV resin).  And you may already be familiar with nature’s resin — amber.

So, what’s the difference between resin and epoxy?

Epoxy is a specific type of two-part resin. Epoxy resins are the most commonly used type of resin for crafting and creating art with resin. Because they are the easiest to measure and mix, epoxy resins are what I recommend for resin beginners.

So if you had a resin vs epoxy battle, there wouldn’t be a winner, because epoxy IS a type of resin.

Huh.  So what other types of resin are there?

Polyurethane resin

These resins have a short working time. Polyurethane resins only give you a few minutes to mix and pour before it starts to harden.

Polyester resin

Polyester resins cure very hard but require you know exactly how you will use it so that you know how much hardener to add.  Plus, they’re really stinky.

Both of these resin types are fun to craft with once you’re beyond the making messes and mistakes phase.

BONUS:  If you want to know more about these two kinds of resin, read this: What are the different resin types?

How will you know if a resin formula is an epoxy resin?

You should see this information on the resin kit label or product description. You can also review a resin’s safety data sheet. Most importantly, if you aren’t sure, ask. Using the wrong resin means you might make something ugly, sticky, and full of bubbles.

How do I know which epoxy resin is the best one for my project?

 

cups of colored resin

When understanding resin vs epoxy (vs any other formula), it’s much like buying paint for your house. There are many epoxy resin formulas to choose from.

But ultimately, here’s what you need to know:

There is no ‘one size fits all epoxy resin’. We can all agree that we want the best epoxy resin.  But first, you need to visualize the specifics of what you want to create.

Are you trying to coat a surface or fill a mold?

 

pouring resin into a bracelet moldspread resin over the collage surface

Surface coating resins are also known as doming resins. They mix thick and self-level.  You’ll want this resin type if you want an even, glossy coat of resin over a painting, countertop, tumbler, or another surface.  But, their stiff consistency is why you shouldn’t pour doming resins in depths greater than 1/8 inch. It’s difficult for all the bubbles to release before the resin starts curing.

Your other choice is to use epoxy resin for molds which are known as casting resins. They mix very fluid and release bubbles quickly. You can pour them in depths as deep as two inches, and they cure bubble-free. Casting resins are what you want to use when creating resin river tables, paperweights, and other large resin statuettes.  But, they don’t self-level.  If you pour them on a flat surface, they’ll leave dimples.

Like this post? You may be interested in  7 Gift Ideas For Resin Artists And Jewelry Makers

BONUS:  There are other differences between these formulas too. If you want to know more, read about the differences between casting resins and doming resins.

How much resin do you want to use at one time?

Epoxy resin formulas also differ in how much you can mix at once. Mix up too much, and the resin heats up too quickly. Mix too little, and it may not get warm enough to harden.

The good news is that we detail that information for you in our resin buying guide for all the resins sold in the Resin Obsession store.

How do you mix epoxy resin?

Epoxy resin kits come with specific mixing instructions. They typically mix by volume with a particular amount of Part A (the resin) with a particular amount of Part B (the hardener). Obey the directions and don’t deviate from the ratios. If you do, your resin may not cure.

BONUS:  If you are new to the resin vs epoxy battle, here’s how you mix resin and hardener in five easy steps.

How long does it take resin to cure?

 

demolding wood and resin coasters

Curing times are also specific to the resin kit. Some epoxy resins can cure in as few as eight hours, while some may need two to three days. Your resin instructions will detail the resin drying times.

Of course, it’s hard to cover everything you could need to know when buying a resin. Here are the ten questions you should have answers to before you buy a resin.

So now that you know what’s the difference between resin vs epoxy, where can you buy the stuff?

Resin Obsession has several epoxy resin formulas to help you create something one of a kind.  Plus, you’ll get help from an actual resin expert.  Not some rando in a cubicle somewhere typing off a script.

Ready to get started with resin but hesitant about getting started?

I get it.  No one wants to waste an afternoon on something you wouldn’t show anyone.  It’s why I wrote the book Resin Fundamentals.  I’ve condensed my fifteen years of resin experience into the vital facts you need to know to have success with resin from day one.  Buy a copy of the PDF ebook now and it’s yours to read in minutes!

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2022 Resin Obsession, LLC

12 thoughts on “What Everyone Needs To Know About Resin Vs Epoxy

  1. You do not address no mix resins for jewelry. You probably don’t carry them but I’m hoping you can tell me something about them because of your experience. Are they premixed? How?

    1. Hi Cheryl, it sounds like you are talking about UV resin. You’re right, I don’t have enough experience with them to share any advice.

  2. I`m new to this craft, but have been in lapidary for many moons. I have hundreds of small gem quality stones that I want to incorporate in resin pendants, maybe up to three quarter inch deep. Could you please tell me what I need to order from you to get me going? I can hardly wait to get going! Thank You

    1. Hi Bob, welcome to the world of resin! Are you wanting to make resin jewelry with molds or jewelry blanks? That will best help me with a recommendation.

  3. well after reading your information, I see what maybe some of my projects did not do well. I mixed so left over products with some new. I didn’t know about the two different kinds of resin. So, I made a serving plater and some placed was sticky after I took it out of the mold.

    Your information is great…. I am a beginner and am making gifts..

  4. I want to coat the inside and outside of a resin and champaign cork bowl to thicken the sides and coat the corks a little. Do I want to use doming resin (which I have zero experience with)? I need it to cling on all of the non horizontal surfaces without pooling in the bottom of the bowl.

  5. If you are pouring epoxy resin on a table top that is uneven and need more than an 1/8″ to even the top, can you pour a second coat after the first pour is cured? Will there be a noticeable separation line?

    1. Hi Virginia, yes, you can pour a second layer, but you will need to recoat the entire layer, otherwise, you will see seam lines. Unfortunately, you can’t use resin like a spackling paste.

  6. Hi, does the book cover all of the tips/hints that you have on your site? I was looking at the latest ones you have since January of this year and I just wanted to know if I buy the book, are those already in it or do I need to save those too? I haven’t bought anything yet, no molds, no resins, nothing. Just wanting to educate myself before I buy anything. I plan on making earrings/pendants with pictures, so I’m thinking maybe I need the self leveling epoxy? Thanks, Cyndi

    1. Hi Cyndi. Welcome to the world of resin! The book is the fastest way to get started with resin. It fast tracks you with the important items you need to know to get started. The chapters in the book are not available on the blog.

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