Problems when casting resin – resin troubleshooting

resin troubleshootingIf you have worked with resin long enough, you will find it can be challenging (and sometimes not in a good way!).  Here are a few of some problems when casting resin along with ways to fix them:

1.  “Water stains” on embedded items.  This is when you embed papers and paper items into your resin castings only to see later that the paper has stains on it like it is wet.

The fix:  Coat any paper items ahead of time with a glue sealant.  (Ultra seal glue, mod podge, Elmer’s glue, ICE resin paper sealer just to name a few)  Coat well, including the edges, allow drying for several hours.  A second coat is never a bad idea either.

2.  Resin castings look like Alka Seltzer.  I have had this happen when the resin reacted with the embedded items.

Possible fixes:  Coat embedments in sealant before using.  The resin can react with your embedments, especially if you are talking about vintage papers.

Make sure the resin in warm before mixing.  Put in a warm water bath for 30 minutes before pouring.  Be sure your containers are dry before working the resin to avoid any water contamination.

3.  Resin is still tacky on top after curing time.  This is probably one of the biggest problems I face from time to time.

The fix:  Eliminating moisture and getting a thorough mix with the proper amounts of resin and hardener is essential to keeping this from happening.  If it does happen to your pieces, you can try either sanding the tacky resin off (if it’s just the surface) or you can try to recoat with resin.

Have problems when casting resin that you don’t see here?  Then check out these resin troubleshooting tips.

What other problems when casting resin have you experienced?

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2012 Resin Obsession, LLC

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32 thoughts on “Problems when casting resin – resin troubleshooting

  1. My resin earrings look like they have chips out of them
    On the outter edges. When I pop them out of the mold
    They look this way. Any tips?

  2. i casted a mosiac style bezel pendant with SCR. it came out with a few bubbles. I would like to salvage the bezel pendant. Can the resin be removed?

  3. I am using Easy Cast resin, have never had a problem until today. My first couple of pours were fine, but only 5 minutes in, the resin kept getting hotter, and it all hardened. Everything was done according to the instructions…equal parts, clean mixing cups, everything. I am baffled as to why the resin got hot and seized. Anyone else experience this?
    Thanks!

  4. Crystal, a couple of questions for you:

    What was the total volume you were mixing?
    Did you include anything in it (colorants, etc.)?
    What kind of cups were you mixing it in?

    (If I can’t find an answer, I will be happy to see what I can find out from Castin’ Craft.)

  5. Thank you!
    Total volume was 2 ounces (1 ounce from each)
    No colorant used. The first mixing cup was a cup from my local Tap Plastics store, like I had used with other mixing without a problem. I had to use (for the second stirring) a very clean and dry plastic Fiji water bottle.
    What concerned me the most was how hot the mixture got, not so much that it seized within 5 minutes of mixing, although that was pretty weird too.
    I guess it isn’t the end of the world, but a learning experience when I figure out what really happened, and a tad frustrating to lose so much product.
    Thank You!!

  6. Crystal,

    My first thought is that there is something with the Fiji water bottle. I’m not familiar with that particular brand of water and its bottle, but if it’s like other water bottles, the plastic is very thin. Resin cures because the chemical reaction that occurs between the resin and hardener (which is a catalyst). Resin always warms up a bit with this chemical reaction. I wonder if there was something with that plastic that acted as an even bigger catalyst.

    I will send a copy of this message to Castin’ Craft and see what they say.

  7. Crystal, the comments I received from the Easy Cast manufacturer were that

    1. Tech support wasn’t sure if you had warmed your resin, but in case you did, it should only be warmed for 5 to 7 minutes before use.
    2. The only other problem could be with the Fiji water bottle. They have no experience with this plastic, but admit that since that was the only thing different between your first and second batch, they were concerned that was the problem.

  8. i made a belt buckle that didn’t cover quite evenly. I would like to add another thin layer to get the last bit covered, but most of what little lip was there is now filled, it will have to be very thin over most of it. Can I do this without ruining the first layer?

  9. I have somewhat of a unique question. I make my own cheap & easy molds from a mixture of 100% silicone caulk, corn starch and glycerin/acrylic paint (the combo results in an easier to manipulate, evenly curing mold material). I’ve had mixed results with this. I’m working with Envirotex lite and using these homemade mold. After pouring the resin, curing and removing from the mold, the exterior finish of the pieces is rough and cloudy. It’s not smooth at all. I’m wondering what is causing this and how to remedy it?

  10. @Gizem,

    The surface of your mold is going to impart onto the surface of your casting. If the template used to make your mold isn’t shiny, your castings aren’t going to be either.

    Also make sure your resin is at least room temperature. Cold resin can sometimes cure cloudy.

  11. I had the same problem as Crystal. I’m using EasyCast as per the instructions. I mixed the resin in a water bottle all 3 times, but this last time is the only time it heated up and solidified around the Popsicle stick. What a mess. And the smell 🙁

  12. I actually did some reading around after my post here, and I think it’s more likely that my mixture ratio was slightly off. Apparently with epoxy resins, if you mix in too much of the Part B (the stuff that makes it harden) it will cause the product to generate a lot of heat. The ratios are incredibly important. I was using the rest of mine, so I just dumped both bottles into the water bottle (reserving a little of the thinner part to counter the fact that not all of the thicker part will come out of it’s bottle readily) and obviously didn’t withhold enough. Lesson learned, I guess!

  13. I did everything right – let it cure; it was clear. But then I couldn’t get it out of my plastic mold right away. So I put it in the freezer for a few minutes and then took it out and banged it on a towel on top of the counter top and when it came out, it had chipped on the ends.

    Whoa is me – will I ever get it right?

  14. I live at the beach and my easycast would not cure (4 days later). Mixed right and all that jazz. The sticky-goo is not cleaning up well even with acetone. I’m going to try again with the dehumidifier going, but I am wondering if there is anything else I can do about the sticky…fingers,molds,soap lid,etc.

    1. You could try denatured alcohol. I have also heard this from the Easy Cast manufacturer: Take dry detergent and make a paste with hot water. Apply to the area and let it sit for a couple of hours. Wipe clean. (Let me know if this works!)

  15. I read up a lot about resin and watched lots of your videos and my first attempts were terrific and I was thrilled. However; my latest efforts are like a crackle glazed effect. I am wondering if it because the weather is now colder and I need to leave the resin longer to set? How does temperature affect setting? I have been making buttons. The room is about 18 degrees during the day but probably cooler at nighttime

  16. Hi Katherine!

    Love your troubleshooting forums!! <3
    I have some trouble with the tints I'm adding to my resin. I poured a silicone mold and wanted to create a sort of galaxy effect with different colours and at first it looked amazing, but after half an hour it seems to have all mixed together. Now it looks more like a dark coloured lump.

    1. Hi Leonie, it sounds like your resin was pretty fluid when you added your colors. Try waiting until closer to the end of the pot time.

  17. Hi! I have been searching for answers on how to seal an uneven open back project. I’ve used tape, and contact paper, but because my items are uneven, the resin leaks out the bottom. What can I use to seal them, without ruining the back of them? Thank you so much!

  18. I took my pieces out of mold after proper curing time, they are bendable still. How can I salvage my pieces?

    Thank you

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