It seems logical that creating with resin means that your first step is choosing a resin for your project. Like you can’t make a resin project without the resin. But here you are. You’ve never worked with resin. You really want to try it but 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.
Like one resin does everything right?
Unfortunately, no. There is no one size fits 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 want to make.
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 enough that when you use it, it finishes with a smooth, even surface on your project.
These are meant for coating. 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 in a thinner viscosity.
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 is going to stay on the surface of something without sides. 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 them. 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, you want something that will cure clear and durable.
When making larger projects like sculptures, deep paperweights, and river tables, a slow-curing formula meant for deep pours is an advantage.
Can you use doming resins and casting resins interchangeably?
While the resins should cure without any problems, you may not get the results you want.
You shouldn’t pour doming resins more than an eighth-inch deep to allow bubbles to escape easily. While you can pour them in thicker layers, it’s harder for all the bubbles to release before it starts curing.
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’.
What should I notice when I’m mixing these resins?
Doming resins will mix like the consistency of syrup. Casting resins will mix closer to like water.
How do I know which of the epoxy types I’m buying?
When you buy a resin, it will be one or the other. (And anyone who tells you it can do both is selling you a load of balderdash.) For the resins sold on Resin Obsession, we have that information in our free resin buying guide.
Can I apply multiple layers of doming resin or casting resin?
Both will 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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41 thoughts on “What You Should Know About the Types of Epoxy”
I’ve been trying to coat polymer clay earrings that I put an image on to (baked in) with the doming resin and find that many times when I think I’ve put enough on it starts to pull back from the edges (no rims on the earrings) or leaves a dry spot. If I try to correct this after the resin hardens it doesn’t blend in. Any suggestions? BTW this video is great.
Are you sure it’s doming resin? Are your earring surfaces flat?
Let’s say I want to add a dome to something that I have cast, can you use a doming resin on top of a casting resin?
Yes, you can.
I have seaglass, small shells and some pottery shards glued to an old window and want to use resin like grout for the mosaic. I am still not sure if I need doming or casting. I have not used resin before
A doming would probably work better for you since it mixes thicker.
Why can’t you use some resins on wood? I’ve got a table and the top is timber Pailings with a gap between each one. I know it’s a design feature but it’s not good for crumbs. I want to pour resin into each gap. But I think I’ve bought the wrong product. It’s called Kleer Cast by Norski
Some resins shrink too much after curing and can pull away from the wood. What kind of resin is Kleer Cast? I’m not familiar with that one.
Can I use casting resin for the first layer and then use doming resin on top of that?
Yes, you should be able to do that.
if my resin is gooey after curing time what do I do, or what can I do. I did a 6 pane window with seaglass I want to hang inside but it i hang it will it run?
Unfortunately, it might run. You are going to have to scrape out as much as possible and start over.
Hi, and thanks for all the helpful advice above.
I am trying to make some drink coasters on ceramic tiles. The painting part is fun and works out well. However, I can’t get any resin to go hard enough to withstand a hot coffee cup without getting indentations from the cup base. Even after 2 weeks it still happens. The only doming resin in my local (ie. New Zealand) hardware store is by Norski. I have also tried a casting resin and a clear polyurethane varnish. Any ideas?
I’m afraid not. Most resins can tolerate a warm mug, but not necessarily a very hot mug.
What kind of resin would you suggest I use to “glaze” a sculpture? Can I “paint” the resin on it?
You need to use a doming resin, but know it’s going to pool. You are going to have to keep your sculpture moving like I did in this tumbler tutorial: https://www.resinobsession.com/resin-tutorials/how-to-glitter-and-resin-a-tumbler/
Thank you for responding, your answer really helped. I am VERY new to this, but I’m also very eager to expand my creative side with resin! After watching your vid, I also learned that I’m going to have to make a contraption of some sort to rotate the piece (a mannequin head) 180 degrees throughout the process which will be tricky because I need the resin to cover the entire piece, top of the head to the base.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EPOXY RESIN SUPER GLOSS COATING AND TABLETOPS AND CLEAR EPOXY CASTING RESIN?
It sounds like the first resin is a doming resin and the second resin is a casting resin.
Thanks, Katherine, that is what I was thinking as well! Great tips, keep it up!
Would like to see everything you sell
I have mistakenly bought the casting resin to seal artwork. One coat and I see the non coverage. If I put another coat of this resin will it eventually make a smooth coverage? Or do I have to get some doming resin to do the next coat?
Hi Shelley, you are going to need a doming resin for the next coat in order to get even coverage. Our artwork resin will work great for something like this: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/resin-obsession-artwork-resin
I did a 1 7/8″ wide x 1″7/8 H x 3 1/8 long paper weight with Amazing Clear Cast resin. I did the pouring into the silicone mold (I made) in 2 sections. I poured the first mixed portion and waited about 8 hours before I poured the second mixed resin portion. The outside shape came out great and shiny but I had “tons” of very small bubbles. While I was mixing, I put the mixing cup in hot water (from the faucet) to minimize bubbles. I also used a butane candle lighter on the surface to also pop any air bubbles that came to the surface. After 10 minutes in the mold, I use a few light spritz of spray of isopropyl alcohol, again to pop any bubbles that came to the surface. I read about using a fire torch or a candle flame lighter, the warm/hot water in a bowl and the spray of alcohol from various readings and videos, and I did all these. But I still got “tons” of tiny bubbles – help!
Hi Teresa, I’m sorry this happened to you. Because of the mixing thickness of the Amazing clear cast resin, it likes to hold onto bubbles. It’s very difficult to get a bubble-free casting when using this resin in pours of greater than 1/8 inch. Instead, one of our clear casting resins is a better fit. For pours of 3 ounces or less, the Resin Obsession super clear resin is what you want: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/resin-obsession-super-clear-resin
For pours of 3 ounces or more, the Resin obsession deep pour casting resin works great: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/resin-obsession-deep-pour-resin
Hi! I want to use clear doming resin to seal shrinky dinks. They have irregular shapes, and they’re also typically decorated with either colored pencil or alcohol marker.
Is there anything I need to do to protect the designs? What do you recommend for a beginner?
I included a link to my products. I currently seal them with embossing powder, but find it can cloud the image a bit.
Hi Kylie, I’ve had great success applying resin to cured shrinky dinks without any extra prep. This is the one I would use: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/products/resin-obsession-crystal-doming-epoxy-resin-jewelry-grade
I am currently making epoxy resin cheese boards,the problem I have is that the epoxy only leaves a very thin layer on the sides with very little color..do I need a thicker epoxy resin?
Hi Wayne, unfortunately, it’s the nature of epoxy resin to drip off the sides. While a thicker resin will help, it’s not going to be as thick as the top of your cheeseboard.
Does anyone know if this Casting Resin turns yellow over time?
I love working with Polyester resin because it’s harder, never goes yellow, and has less bubbles then Epoxy… but I also wanna try something different.
I’m worried about the yellowing… Does anyone know about it?
Hi Isabelle, unfortunately, all resins, whether polyester or epoxy, will yellow over time.
I’m a wood turner and have some logs that dried too quickly and, as a result, have cracks that are approx 1/8 to 1/4 wide. I just want to fill the cracks so I can turn them on the lathe. What would you recommend for this, casting or doming? Thank you, in advance, for your response!
Hi Bob, you’ll want to use a casting resin as it will penetrate the wood easier. Here’s where they are in the Resin Obsession store: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/casting
This was very informative. I am trying to learn how to preserve flowers in resin
Hi, i am from Mumbai, India, and resin sculpture & art are rudimentary here having missed the resin popularity wave evident in the US & Europe, or even China for that matter. My facination with the infinite wonders i yearn to create with resins is at odds with my zero knowledge & experience in this field. I would appreciate if you guys have some tutorials or PDF docs i could dip into pro bono. Warm Regards, Nikhil Barchha.
Hi Nikhil, we have a lot of beginner resin resources to get you started here: https://www.resinobsession.com/tag/beginner/
Trying to make a beach scene for a wedding. Do I use two different epoxy’s? One for mixing and setting then the other to seal?
Hi Patrick, you can. This quiz also helps you decide which resin you need: https://www.resinobsession.com/resin-frequently-asked-questions/resin-buying-guide/#quiz-cat-help
Hi, thanks for the explanation about casting and doming resin. I’m a beginner (“resin rookie” 🙂 ) to this creative field (from years of paper craft and printing) – and want to do some doming – and have been devouring YouTube videos. Is UV resin suitable for doming, to be then UV cured, vs a 2-part epoxy resin?
PS: You have some great molds that are now on my list to get! Glad you can ship them internationally. (I did get the coupon link from “reading the fine print” 🙂 — but that page didn’t have a newsletter sign-up form).
Hi Dean, I’m afraid UV resin isn’t my thing. But from what little I’ve used it, I wouldn’t expect it to dome. And I’m glad that you were able to get your coupon code. 😉
Resin or epoxy resin is a synthetic resin that can be used for many different purposes. The epoxy is created by mixing two components that are matched to each other. When the liquid resin is mixed with a suitable hardener, a chemical reaction is set in motion, which usually lasts several hours.