It makes total sense when creating with resin that your first step is choosing a resin. Like you can’t make a resin project without the resin. But maybe you’ve never worked with resin, and you don’t know where to start. With so many types of epoxy resin, how are you supposed to know which one to use?
Or maybe you didn’t even realize there are different types of epoxy resin.
But, hey. What does it matter. Because one resin can make anything, right?
Unfortunately, no. There is no one-size-fits-all all resin.
Making something beautiful means understanding the differences between epoxy formulas BEFORE you buy resin so you can choose the RIGHT one for what you’re making.
What’s the difference between the types of epoxy resin?
Here’s the BIG thing you need to know:
There are two major types of epoxy resin: Doming and Casting
A doming resin mixes thick so it finishes with a smooth, even surface on your project.
These are meant for coating a surface.
Doming resins are also what you want to use when you make an epoxy tumbler or need epoxy for a tabletop. The surface tension of doming resin is such that it wants to finish uniformly. They’re also great for getting a dome on jewelry blanks.
A casting resin mixes thin, making it easy to release bubbles.
These resins are meant to be poured into something that will contain the resin.
This could be resin molds or an open space to make a resin river table. This thinner viscosity is what makes casting resins ideal for spreading into all the intricate parts of a mold. They also have the advantage that they release bubbles easily, making them ideal to pour in deep layers.
When would you use a doming resin?
A doming resin mixes thicker and will stay on the surface of something. For example, if you want to make epoxy art, you want a doming resin so that it will produce a glossy surface on your resin painting.
Doming resins are also important if you want to make jewelry with a domed finish.
When would you use a casting resin?
Casting resins are meant to be used for just that – casting. You should pour them into something that has sides to be able to contain the liquid. They can be poured into deep layers if desired. Comparing both types of epoxy, removing bubbles from casting resins is much easier than doming resins.
For small jewelry projects in molds, you want something that will cure clear and durable.
When making larger projects like sculptures, deep paperweights, and river tables, a slow-curing formula that you can pour in thick layers is ideal.
Can you use doming resins and casting resins interchangeably?
Sure. If you’re one of those people who think butter and margarine are the same thing.
The resin doesn’t know how you’re using it. It only wants to do what it’s designed to do.
That means you shouldn’t pour doming resins more than an eighth-inch deep (the depth it wants to self level to). While you can pour them in thicker layers, it’s harder for all the bubbles to release before it starts curing. Plus, when you use doming resins in molds, they can cure bendy.
A casting resin can be applied to a surface without sides, but because it mixes thinner, it won’t spread out evenly. If you use it to coat a large surface, you’ll get ‘fish eyes’ and voids in your surface.
What should I notice when I’m mixing these resins?
How do I know which of the epoxy types I’m buying?
When you buy a resin, it will be one or the other. For the resins sold on Resin Obsession, we have that information in our free resin buying guide.
💡 Pro tip: If a resin tells you that it’s both, then treat it like a doming resin and don’t pour it more than 1/8 inch deep in molds.
Can I apply multiple layers of doming resin or casting resin?
Both can take additional layers. You can wait until the previous layer is fully cured before applying the next layer, or if you only wait until the previous resin layer starts to gel, you can pour the next layer and minimize the lines between them.
If you want to see differences between the types of epoxy, this video shows more:
Want to learn more about the types of epoxy?
Then you will want a copy of Resin Fundamentals. I explain everything you need to know about resin in clear and concise details. It’s the ebook I wish I had when I was a resin beginner! Buy the PDF book now, and you’ll get an email download link in minutes.
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