A 5 Step Epoxy Resin Guide That ANYONE Can Follow

Beginner's guide to epoxy resinSo you googled epoxy resin guide, and you ended up here.

Which is exciting.  Exciting because you’re probably a beginner.

But it’s also terrifying.  Terrifying because it’s easy to make a big, gooey, expensive mistake.

I know because made gigantic, bubble-filled gummy resin blunders when I was a resin beginner.

Like this one.

bubbles in resin pendants

This was from the first resin class I ever took.

Yes, those are supposed to be pendants. No, they’re not supposed to look like bathtime bubbles.

But—here’s the good news.

I can help you avoid those sticky, bubble-filled mishaps. Because not only have I made mistakes, but I figured out WHY I made them.

Which means I can guide you on how to use epoxy resin and avoid making those mistakes too.

Ready?

Here are the FIVE big steps you need to know:

Step 1: Get ready

epoxy resin supplies

Working with epoxy resin can be messy. That means you need to protect your work area with a non-stick surface.

Then, gather your supplies. You’ll need mixing cups, stirring sticks, gloves, molds or jewelry blanks, and colors. Have everything there with you as you get started.

Your work area temperature needs to be in the low 70s F. It’s the resin goldilocks version of not too hot. Not too cold. But just right.

⭐️ BONUS: This complete epoxy resin beginner supply checklist will guide you on all the materials you need to get started.

Step 2: Measure

measuring resin

Measure part A (resin) and part B (hardener) into separate cups according to the kit directions. You should never guess at these amounts. And don’t deviate from the instructions. It can keep your resin from curing.

By the way, some formulas mix equal parts of A and B, while others don’t. Every kit has specific instructions.

⭐️ BONUS: Here are the most common reasons your resin doesn’t cure.

Step 3: Mix

clear epoxy

Mix both parts together.

poorly mixed resinIt will be streaky in the beginning.

completely mixed resin

But keep mixing until it’s clear. Be sure to scrape your cup and mixing stick several times while you do this. Undermixed resin is the most common reason why it cures sticky.

⭐️ BONUS: Get the guide of epoxy resin mixing instructions, including a helpful video.

Step 4: Use your resin

pouring resin into a mold

Use your mixed resin for your project. The time you have to use it varies between epoxy resin types and is called pot time.

Some pot times can be as short as a couple of minutes, but some can be as long as 90 minutes. As it comes to the end of the pot time, the resin thickens and will get stringy like taffy.

resin in a bangle mold

If you want to add resin colors, glitters, charms and other kinds of fun things, do it after you’ve mixed your resin.

⭐️ BONUS: Here are 15 epoxy crafts that are perfect for beginners.

Let your resin dry. The time it takes for this also differs between formulas.

You need to leave it undisturbed this entire time. It can take on fingerprints or hang onto bubbles if you try to work with it while trying to dry.

⭐️ BONUS: How long does it take resin to dry?

Like this post? You may be interested in  What kind of resin should I use? - Choosing a resin

Step 5: Demold and finish

demolding a resin bracelet

After the resin is dry, you can remove your casting from the mold.

Sand any sharp edges or points with a nail file or wet/dry sandpaper.

resin bangle with clear epoxy and sequins

And marvel in your creativity.

So let’s recap the most important details so far in this epoxy resin guide:

Get everything ready before you start.
Understand the instructions.
Measure accurately and mix thoroughly.
Use the mixed resin before it thickens.
Don’t bother it while it cures.

Does it matter what resin you use?

clear epoxy resin flower vase

Yes. It makes a HUGE difference.

There is no one size fits all epoxy resin.

I will say it again because it’s one of the most important things you need to know about making something beautiful.

THERE IS NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL EPOXY RESIN.

So how do you know which type you use?

If you’re pouring into a space, use a casting resin.

If you’re covering a surface, use a doming resin.

💡 Pro tip: If you get this right, you’ll be much further ahead to making something gorgeous.

⭐️ BONUS:  We’ve got that information for you in our epoxy resin buying guide. Plus, it includes a two-question quiz you can take that makes it crystal clear what epoxy type you should buy.

Yes, pun intended.

Can I color resin?

resin epoxy colors

Yes. That’s one of the best things about using it. You can color it to look like stones or semi-precious gems. You can also add fun mementos, charms, and found items to make something beautiful.

You’ll color it after you’ve mixed the resin and hardener together but before you pour it.

⭐️ BONUS: Learn how to color epoxy resin.

What else can I include in resin besides colors?

adding flowers to clear resin

Candy
Glitter
Flowers
Coffee beans
Metal charms

And here are even more things to include in resin.

⭐️ BONUS: Here are five things you should NEVER include in resin.

How do I avoid bubbles?

bubbles in resin

Resin bubbles are the biggest nemesis to resin artists. The best way to handle resin bubbles is to avoid making them when mixing. The BEST and EASIEST way to do that is to choose the right epoxy type.

That means using casting resin for molds and spaces and coating resins for artwork, tumblers, bezels, and countertops.

But despite all your best efforts, you’re probably going to have a few to deal with. You can go over your epoxy resin surface with a heat gun to guide any stubborn bubbles to pop before your resin starts curing.

⭐️ BONUS: Ten tips to avoiding resin bubbles.

Can I use resin in molds?

Is the Pope Catholic?

adding black epoxy to a silicone mold

Pouring resin into molds is one of the best things about creating with it. You can use it to make

Dominoes
Bracelets
Serving trays

sunflower resin coaster diy

And one of our most popular projects – resin coasters.

But do I have to use molds?

Professional quality

No.  Epoxy resin makes a beautiful coating on art, photographs and metal tumblers.

Can I use the resin in layers?

Yes. If you don’t want the layers to blend, wait until one layer cures before adding the next layer.

But, if you’re in a hurry, once a layer starts to gel (like gelatin), you can pour the next layer, and they won’t mix.

Is resin safe to use?

Yes, but it’s like driving a car. Let your driving experience guide you when using epoxy resin.

How?

An automobile is safe when you follow traffic laws and wear a seatbelt.

Resin is the same thing.

You want to

✅ Wear protective gloves
✅ Have good room ventilation
✅ Use a resin that conforms to ASTM D-4236.

So I get the first two, but I’ve never heard of the last one. Why’s that?

Because 90% of the resins out there don’t have that certification. Especially on that site that won at business but lost at humanity.

You can read more about why the ASTM certification is essential when you buy resin.

Or – for the TL:DR crowd, don’t buy one that doesn’t have the certification ‘conforms to ASTM D-4236’. Ever. Your health isn’t worth it.

What’s the easiest way for beginners to use resin?

By getting a starter kit. It’s got everything you need to make something the same day you get it.

Resin Obsession has two beginner kits. And you guessed it – one has casting resin, and one has doming resin.

The Resin Obsession super clear resin casting kit has

Casting epoxy
Silicone mold
Mixing cups
Stirring sticks
Protective gloves

Use the mold to make a coaster for your favorite beverage.

The Resin Obsession crystal doming resin kit has

Doming epoxy
20 jewelry blanks
Mixing cups
Stirring sticks
Protective gloves

One of my favorite ways to use this kit is to make photo pendants.

Ready to try resin but want more help getting started?

For less than the cost of an epoxy kit, you can get a copy of my ebook, Resin Fundamentals. It’s the same teachings you get from my in-person classes, all from the comfort of home. Buy the book now, and a download link will arrive in your inbox in minutes.

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

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