In 5 Minutes, I’ll Give You The Truth About What Resin To Use

Professional advice on what resin to useChoosing a resin is confusing. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.

Let me start by saying it isn’t your fault. There are lots of companies besides Resin Obsession trying to sell you resin supplies.

And most of it’s crap.

(More on that in a moment.)

Lots of you have asked me what clear epoxy to use for your projects. Part of the fun of learning this medium is experimenting. It’s fun to learn what works for your specific situation. Besides, I believe experience is the best teacher. (Did that comment reveal that I’m a mom to three teenage boys?)

But, I also get that you don’t want to waste your time and energy. Goodness knows that when I get a moment to myself, I do everything I can to make the most of it. That’s why I’m walking you through the specific epoxy formulas I use WHEN and WHY.

But before I get in the weeds on this, you need to understand a few basics. If you’re new to resin, read this article on choosing the best epoxy resin for your project, then come back here.  (I’ll be waiting.)

⭐️ BONUS: If some of the vocabulary is making your eyes glaze over, learn what these resin crafting terms mean.  Don’t worry, there won’t be a test.

Epoxy for molds

Also known as casting resins

When I’m working in molds, it comes down to 3 ounces.

Do I need more or less than 3 ounces of mixed epoxy?

3 ounces or less:

Resin Obsession super clear resin This jewelry resin is perfect for molds and casts very sheer. Plus, it cures hard and won’t bend like some other brands.

Project example:  Petri earrings

resin petri earrings

3 ounces or more:

Resin Obsession deep pour resin.  I can mix as much as 3 gallons at once. Because it cures over 2 to 3 days, I don’t have to worry about cracking. Along with working great for big mold projects, it also makes river tables.

Project example:  Wood and resin coasters

wood and resin coasters

What else should you know about these resins?

They are designed for molds. That means they won’t cure like something that looks like you poured it from a soda can.

Epoxy for coatings

Also known as doming resins

When it comes to giving a surface coating, I decide if I’m keeping the epoxy clear or coloring it.

Clear projects

Resin Obsession crystal doming resin.  It cures hard and gives a raised dome finish. This epoxy is my choice for jewelry blanks, tumblers, tile, and artwork where it needs to finish extra glossy and clear.



Project idea:  Photo resin pendant

photo resin pendants

Project idea: Give a tumbler a glossy finish

stainless steel tumbler covered with glitter and resin

 

Colored projects:

Resin Obsession artwork resin.  It’s a cheap epoxy to color and cover a surface.

Project idea:  How to make epoxy art

epoxy art painting

If I’m coating a surface that needs to be food contact safe surface, I use the Alumilite Amazing clear cast PLUS You can use this food safe epoxy for cheese boards and other projects after a seven-day cure.

Want to learn more about what epoxy to use?

Check out our resin buying guide.  It details all the resins sold we sell so you can compare formulas to see which is the best fit for you.

Now, why are most resins out there crap?

First, a big majority of them have not passed government safety inspection. And they’re selling them to you anyways.

Some of these companies are selling you their leftover commercial-grade epoxies. That means they aren’t formulated for artists and crafters.

*They may get soft and bendy with use.
*They might not have UV agents to protect against yellowing.
*They may not have the appropriate tech support to help a creative like you.

Read the product descriptions on other resins. (Especially on that site where the guy who owns it needs to dismantle a bridge to play with his latest ego boost.) They will tell you they can do everything but mix themselves. Like you can use them to make ANYTHING. I’ve been making resin crafts for 15 years. There is no one epoxy that can do everything.

⭐️ BONUS: Learn the questions you should be asking before you buy resin.

Want to learn more about creating with epoxy?

Then you will love reading my beginner epoxy book.  I’ve written it for novices to go from confused to confident with epoxy in only an afternoon.  Stop making mistakes and instead making something that will have people saying, ‘I can’t believe you made that!’  Buy now and get a download link to your email in minutes.

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

Like this post? You may be interested in  Essential Tips For Working With Epoxy Resin

93 thoughts on “In 5 Minutes, I’ll Give You The Truth About What Resin To Use

  1. I just completed my first ever resin casts. I embedded plastic buttons into some of my moulds, the buttons have faded. Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?
    Thanks!

  2. @Sam, I’ve never had that problem before with buttons in resin. I would suggest trying a different brand of buttons.

  3. Great article, I have worked with both Super clear resin and Easy cast for the plastic molds. Hands down my first choice for a clear and quicker work time is Super Clear resin, with Easy cast I have to heat it up 8-10 minutes before use and some times has a yellow hue. As a working mom, I don’t have much time, but it’s fun just sit down for a few seconds to pour your next great creation.

  4. I LOVE working with resin. Still learning though. I poured a few pieces last night, and have a couple issues with one piece. I forgot to cover it while it hardened, and it looks like a small piece of link floated in 🙁 also, same piece, I put a little piece of dried lilac in the piece and part of it is still sticking out. I’m not sure I can add more resin to cover it. My thought was to file or sand the resin and then pour another very thin coat of resin to fix it. Would that work? What should I use to file/sand the resin?? I used Ice Resin Thx!

  5. I have been working on some coasters for quite some time now. I’m having problems finishing them after sanding them down. I currently have a smooth, but cloudy surface. I have tried using the resin gloss sealing spray, and also tried a thin layer of resin. The resin gloss spray was not very smooth feeling or glossy. The resin was too sticky for coaster use. Any suggestions on finishing coasters?

  6. @Erin, the Easy Cast epoxy is relatively soft resin and can be hard to polish. What is the finest grit sandpaper you finished with on the surface?

  7. @Erin, 400 grit is still too coarse to get a shiny finish. Go over it again with 600, 800 and finish with at least 1000. You can get 1000 grit and higher sandpapers at automotive supply stores.

  8. Hi
    I am very keen to make a resin screen with green leaves embedded in it to fit onto a window looking out onto an unattractive outdoor scene – could you you advise me what resin to use? I saw this many years ago and have always remembered it.
    Thanks
    Susan

  9. Hi, I was wondering if you were aware of a way when casting a tarantula to avoid or minimize color loss. I plan on using easy craft resin.

  10. Hey, Katherine thank you for the quick response. I checked out the link and that sounds like it might just work. I’m also going to cast in multiple thin layers to minimize heat so hopefully my beloved pet of ten years will stay as natural looking as possible. Thanks again for the quick response
    Shane stewart

  11. Hello,
    I am hoping you will be able to answer my question. I’ve searched on the Net and found nothing!
    We have a glass patio table that we glued colored gems too and are going to apply resin for a clear finish. This table will be going outside so we need to know if it will need a sealer to protect it and which kind.
    Thank you so much for your time and I really like your website and product lines!
    Jane

  12. Hi Katherine, thanks for being so dedicated to helping others. I have a few questions that I hope you can help me with.

    I’m in college and making a 2ftx8ft beer pong table topped with beer caps, but in order to ensure that the beer caps (each is .25 of an inch in height) are fully submerged, I plan to use 3 gallons of resin (the amount of resin per square footage calculates out to a height of about .30 of an inch). I was very fixed on buying 3 gallons of envirotex lite, but after reading some posts on your website I’m having some reservations.
    1.) Is the depth of resin I’m shooting for too deep for envirotex lite? Should I be looking into a different brand or product perhaps?
    2.) The table will have ping pong balls bouncing on it at times and will be exposed to wet conditions much of the time as well people that may scratch it with everyday objects. This makes me think that a poly resin may be the way to go, but I’m not sure where that would put me price wise if I’m looking for 3 gallons.
    3.) If you still feel that envirotex lite is the avenue I should be exploring then where can I get the best price for the amount I’m buying? The cheapest I can find ANYWHERE is a wholesale website online that sells a gallon at about $65 each and with shipping my total comes out to around $220… I’m from Wisconsin and even with 50% coupons, craft stores can’t come close to that. That’s a lot for a broke college kid though still.

    Well thanks for any help you can offer me, I would GREATLY appreciate a response to any or all of my questions if you have time.

    1. Hi Ryan,

      A total depth of 0.3 inches for the resin will be fine, you will simply need to pour it in two to three layers. The Envirotex Lite should be fine for the surface of the table and all you plan to do with it. By poly resin, do you mean polyester resin? If so, I would not recommend that for your table. It will be difficult to pour a surface that large and get bubbles out of polyester resin before it starts to cure. As for a better price, I don’t know of another source for you. Sounds like you have done some intense price comparisons, and the prices you quote are what I would expect for a quantity that large.

  13. I need a resin to use in rings that is scratch resistant, very clear, won’t yellow over time, shiny and is doming. What do you recommend? Thank you, TK

  14. Hi Katherine,

    I paint hard plastic phone cases and have been experimenting with getting the best varnish. Someone recommended resin to me and I’ve been using Easy Cast. I’ve followed the instructions to the letter but the end product is slightly tacky to the touch and does scratch a bit. Do you have any tips? Should I sand it? Or use different resin?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    Ruth

  15. Hello, I am beginning a project of making shell rings for Christmas gifts. I am planning to use a bit of resin to fill the inside of scallop shell, then place a “gold filled” ring in the resin to keep the shell attached to it. I am just wondering if gold filled metal is appropriate to be using with resin and if there is anything I should be worried about using these materials together? Thank you, Tawny

  16. Hello, I have some dried pressed flowers from a funeral arrangement that I would like to embed in a flat circular mold with resin and make into a sun catcher. I’m having trouble finding a circle resin mold that is big enough (I’m thinking 8″ in diameter). Can a regular silicone baking mold be used or any plastic? Ideally, I was hoping to find a thi. Bezel type of frame for it, but haven’t so having the edges be open resin is a compromise. I was thinking of trying the Castin’ Craft easy resin and using some test flowers since this will be my first resin project. Do you think I’ll need the resin gloss sealer spray for this type of project? I am hoping to get everything I need beforehand. Thank you

  17. Hi Katherine, I want to coat an antler carving of a dragonfly wing in resin. It is a curved surface and I am a relative newcomer to resins. Can it be done/ how would you suggest I proceed? I can send photos if it would be helpful (and if you tell me how). Thanks, Jim

  18. Where can get a supplier for plastic resins such as the polyethylene to use in DIY homemade rotomolding?

  19. Katherine, is there a resin that can stand heat? I want to make coasters, but I know the people I give them to will put hot things on them, like coffee cups and possibly use them for trivets.

  20. Hi Katherine, do you have suggestions/videos for ideas of how to create a kitchen counter surface using resin? This would be in a 1975 home with a laminate kitchen countertop. I’d like to totally cover the laminate with a resin-based design. Is this possible without disassembling the counter?

    1. Yes, you can do this. Two suggestions: 1. Make sure your counter is completely clean. After going over it with soap and water, I would go over it with rubbing alcohol to make sure there are no oil residues. 2. Create a tape dam around your counter edges before pouring. Once the resin has cured, you can peel the tape away.

  21. So glad I found this thread. My granddaughter and I are drying Queen Anne’s lace and plan to make resin Christmas ornaments for gifts. Can you suggest links which might guide us in the right direction? We’ll need molds 3-4″ in diameter. Although I make jewelry, I’ve never worked with resin. Looking forward:)

      1. Thank you so much. I have been reading many posts here and it’s getting time to start experimenting…must search around to find the right size mold for these Queen Anne’s lace flowers.

  22. Hi, I’m working with broken china pieces to create jewelry. I noticed as I was smoothing the edges with a dremel tool, that the front of my piece of China got scratched. I’d like to use something to seal or protect the surface if the China piece to prevent the design being scratched off. Would a resin work for that, and if so what kind would you recommend?

  23. Hi. I make broken china mosaics. I have used resin on some of them and had good results. If I chose to leave the finish (sealed grout and china) without poured resin could I use the resin gloss sealing spray just to make the piece very shiney?

  24. Hi.i am designing a table top of resin. I wana know which type of resin is best for it. I am using crushed glass in resin and also guide me with selecting the depth of the tabletop.

    1. Hi Annie, the Alumilite Amazing clear cast epoxy would work well for this. You can find it here: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/products/alumilite-amazing-clear-cast-epoxy-resin-32-ounces It will self-level to a depth of 1/8″ inch. If you want a pour deeper than that, you will need to cast additional layers. There is a discussion in our forum about something similar that may be helpful to you as well: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/products/alumilite-amazing-clear-cast-epoxy-resin-32-ounces

  25. Hello,

    This will be my first time using resin. What would be a good and easy resin to make clear (no yellow tint) coasters with embedded artificial flowers? The coasters will
    be used for mostly cold drinks. I’m using a silicone baking mold, and the coasters will have the dimensions of 3.5″ x3.5″ x 0.875″.

    Thank you for your help!

  26. Hi Katherine,
    I’m making jewelry with flowers in resin, but I made 2 that cracked, I made it in 2 parts the first day, I poured a small amount and added the flowers, so since the flowers rise to the top, I left it dry and the next day I poured more resin on top to cover completely but I noticed it cracked. I don’t know why…

  27. I made a bottle captable with a2 part epoxy resin.it came out fine but I had to mask it for some table painting and I couldn’t get the tape residue off so I wet sanded it and now cant remove the cloudy finish. I’ve tried auto polishing compound and furniture polish.to no avail. Please Help what can I use.?

    1. It sounds like you ended with a coarse grit sandpaper. Continue sanding until you finish with a 1000 grit or higher.

  28. I’m trying to remove the cloudy finish on my epoxy resin table top left after wet sanding.please help.

    1. It sounds like you ended with a coarse grit sandpaper. Continue sanding until you finish with a 1000 grit or higher.

  29. I have been in to resin crafts lately and i’ve been reading a lot of your articles. This one is really informative! Thank you and i really love the videos that you shared.

  30. I’m searching all over and finally this is the closest I’ve come to the information I’m looking for!
    I’d like to begin casting my own gauged ear plugs and wondered which resins were best for this application considering body temperature, sun exposure, and so on.
    I’ve found some silicone molds which seemed best to use.
    The last conflict I have is that I live in a place which tends to have low temperatures and high humidity; how will that affect my choice and/or preparations?

  31. Just made three resin square coasters to go with one already cured. Titanium white golden high flow, alcohol inks after. Unmolded just fine, not stick, but very bendable, 4 days later. What can I do to harden these coasters? They look great, but I think I could fold them if I tried!

  32. Envirotex Lite, have used a half gallon on various projects, been very happy. Mixed as always, three minutes minimum, following directions.

    1. Sounds like the cured with too much moisture. I’m afraid there is nothing you can do at this point to make them harder.

  33. So perhaps I used too much alcohol ink, or too much golden high flow to get the white I was looking for? I guess that sounds like the logical conclusion to me. Lesson learned.
    Thank you so much for the answers, I love resin, and want to do it well.

  34. Which resin would be best for very clear resin for over rocks? I used easy cast and it made the rocks more dull when cured. Looked great when first cast, but now? Ick. Also, what works best for 3″ globe casting? Thanks.

  35. I am making a key ring with seed beads and I have no idea what resin to use, and if I should use a mold. I’m lost

    Net

  36. Well I am not sure, would it be better to use a key ring base?. I want it to show on both sides, could you still see it if using a key ring base?. See I’m lost..I’m not wanting it to be really thick, just something to keep it from wearing the threads down,.. I’m sooo confused😨

  37. Oh my goodness, I just want to cry. This is just what I need to do my project, thank you so very much for helping me.. when I get this done , I will send you a picture. .again thanks for your time, and knowledge. …..

    Nelda Hutchison

  38. Hey there! I’ve got a question I can’t find an answer to after 3+ hours straight of Internet searches, and I’m really hoping that you might have an answer. What’s the difference between acrylic water and casting resin? And for very small projects (such as thinly coating a decorated phone case or trying to make some tiny pendants with a silicone mold), would acrylic water suffice? I’m new to resin, and on a tight budget, and the only thing I can find available right now that’s affordable is FloraCraft Acrylic Water from Walmart, and I would like to know if it’s at least good enough to get to start playing around with resin. I was able to confirm that the acrylic water is indeed resin, just not what kind.

  39. Okay…But that didn’t answer my question. The kit I’m looking at can only make a whole 8 ounces of resin, and it doesn’t need to be mixed all at once. I’ll just ask someone else if it will work for what I’m wanting…

  40. I have a corner of my tub which is lower than the rest and therefore collects water. Can a resin be used to level this surface.

    1. Hi Maary, it sounds like you are the perfect candidate for a coaching call. They are 15 minutes long and cost $20. If you want to take advantage of that opportunity, please use the ‘contact’ link to send a message about a coaching call request.

  41. This is great information so far! THANK YOU! I could use some assistance though.. I’ve used Envirotex Lite to cast into both store-bought silicone molds and some of my own molds (made with Amazing Mold Putty). In both, the areas exposed to air do dry beautifully clear, but anything touching the mold comes out cloudy. Even after sanding down 600 -> 1000, it’s only slightly less cloudy. I’ve never used any other brand or type.. Could it be the resin type/brand? Is it me?? Some molds are detailed and sanding wouldn’t really be an option.. What could I do?

  42. I have a set of molds that are meant to be used to make hand fans. Each mold makes three fan blades, the molds are quite shallow and I’ve tried different resins but they usually come out bendy and won’t harden. What kind of resin would you suggest to keep its hardness in such a thin mold?

  43. Hello, could you please provide some advice on casting a durable ring for my wife? It will be clear with dried flowers in the band and a golden stone setting embedded in it. I’ve been able to get a crystal clear polished finish, I’ve made several already and they’re lovely, but they keep breaking without any obvious stress or trauma. I tried two different brands of hard type UV resin first, but they both turned out soft, flimsy and quickly cracked in half. Then I tried both Amazing Clear Cast and Clear Cast Plus – better but still really flexible, especially after being on her finger for a while, and they didn’t last. Figuring I needed a harder curing product, I tried Castin’ Craft’s clear polyester casting resin using the recommended ratios of resin and catalyst for the thickness of the band. The ring was definitely harder, but it still broke within a few days of gentle use. I’ve done my best to strictly follow guidelines regarding accurate measuring, thorough mixing, more than adequate curing times, and even tried casting the resin in an excessively arid room wit and without the flowers thinking humidity and moisture either from the environment or the flower petals might be part of the problem, but I’m having zero success. I’ve purchased a number of resin rings off Amazon that seem plenty sturdy and don’t bend like mine do, and my other larger resin projects have turned out great. I feel like I must simply be using the wrong type of resin. ANY advice you can give me would be immensely appreciated!

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