It seems logical that creating with resin means that your first step is choosing a resin for your project. But it can get overwhelming quickly. 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 you need to understand 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 to use as a 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.
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 is going to 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.
Doming resins should be poured in no more than an eighth-inch depth to allow bubbles to easily escape. You can pour doming resins in thicker layers, but the thicker the layer, the more it hangs onto bubbles. You may not be able to remove all the bubbles in the resin before it starts to cure.
A casting resin can be applied to a surface without sides, but because it mixes thinner, it will spread out and not self-level. If you use it to coat a large surface, you’re likely to get ‘fish eyes’.
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 is going to be one or the other. If that information isn’t on the packaging, ask! 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 book I wish I had when I was a resin beginner! Buy it now and you can download it in minutes.
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