A professional artist’s thoughts on what resin to use for a specific project
Lots of you have asked me what resin 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. I do understand, though, that it can be confusing and sometimes frustrating not knowing which product to use or using the wrong product for a project. Today, I’m going to walk you through the products I use WHEN and WHY.
If I’m working with molds, and I need a clear casting, I like to use the Resin Obsession super clear resin when the volume I’m pouring is three ounces or less. It is designed for molds and also casts very clear. The super clear resin also has its own line of resin colorants, so it’s easy for me to color and cast the resin as well.
Project example: Resin petri earrings
For mold projects of three ounces or more, I use the Resin Obsession deep pour resin. I can mix as much as 3 gallons at once. Along with working great for big mold projects, it also works great as a river table resin.
Project example: Wood and resin coasters
If I want to cast and demold something quickly, the Alumilite Amazing Casting resin works great. It is a quick cure polyurethane resin that cures opaque white but can be colored with coordinating liquid colorants also by Alumilite that are specifically made for coloring polyurethane (and epoxy) resin. It cures hard, making it a good choice for ‘high impact’ items like rings.
Project example: Mixed media resin pendant project
When you want to use it as a coating, it needs to be a doming formula. These formulas mix thick, which gives them the ability to ‘cling’ to a surface and cure evenly. Because they mix thick, though, they shouldn’t be used in molds because they can trap bubbles.
For jewelry bezels, I use the Resin Obsession crystal doming resin. It cures hard and clear, plus has gives a beautiful domed finish. This kit also works great to coat tumblers!
Project idea: Photo resin pendant
Project idea: Coat a tumbler with resin
If I’m coating a large surface with resin, such as a canvas or artboard, I use the Resin Obsession artwork resin. It has a great combination of performance and value which makes it a very economical choice for large surfaces.
Project idea: How to make epoxy art
If I’m coating a surface and need a food contact safe surface, the Alumilite Amazing clear cast PLUS is what you want to use. This product is considered food contact safe after a seven-day cure.
If I only need to mold a small item, say 1 1/2 inches in diameter or less and not very thick, I will use the Alumilite Amazing mold putty. Because you only have a limited amount of time to mix and form the putty, I only like to use it for small items. I will also use this if I want to cast a food item. The Amazing mold putty is FDA food safe after curing.
For plastic molds, the Castin’ Craft mold release will do just fine. The Ultra 4 parafilm mold release is better suited to silicone molds. The Petrolease universal mold release works on both, and for me, is my ‘go to’ mold release all the time. It may be overkill on the majority of plastic molds, but for deep molds, like the bangle bracelets and domes, I have found it makes demolding so much easier.
If you’re making a two-part silicone mold, or will be casting silicone into a silicone mold, the Alumilite rubber to rubber mold release is a good choice.
Getting a glossy finish
For the times I want a glossy finish on a small surface, I coat it with another layer of doming resin. If it’s a large item, the resin gloss sealer spray is a great choice. I like the ‘wet to the look’ finish another layer of resin gives, but find it can be tedious to accomplish on a large surface. When I don’t need a super glossy finish, but just need to shine it up a bit, I will use the Novus polishing compounds.
Want to learn more on which resin kit to use?
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