Purchase resin – 10 questions you should ask before you buy resin

what you should know before buying resin

Before you purchase resin for your next project, here are the questions you should be asking

Whether you are new to resin or have tons of experience, choosing the right resin for your project is essential to having resin casting success. Here are ten questions you should ask before you purchase resin for your next project.

1. I want to make ______. Will this resin work for this?

Nothing hurts worse than buying a resin you think will work for your project only to find out after using it that it was not a good fit. Any knowledgeable manufacturer or retailer should be able to tell you whether or not this specific resin will work for what you want to make.

Pro tip:  You should never hear that this resin will work for every situation. There is no one size fits all resin.


2. What is the pot time, cure time, minimum, and maximum mixing amounts for this resin?

This information is essential to know your time and volume limitations when using it. These numbers will let you know:

How long you have to work with the resin, once you start mixing before it starts to cure.
How quickly you can demold castings or have to wait for the surface to become solid.
If you can mix a large (or small) volume without it impacting curing.

You want to be sure the resin will fit your project needs.   Having these numbers will also make it easier to compare one resin to another.

Pro tip:  For all the resins sold in the Resin Obsession store, we have that information for you in our resin buying guide.


3. What is the shelf life of this resin?

Epoxies generally have a shelf life of twelve months. Polyesters are usually half of that. Polyurethanes are even shorter. My rule is only to purchase enough resin to use completely in half of the expected shelf life.

Pro tip:  If you find your resin is yellowing, it might be usable.  Here’s what you can do with yellowing resin.


4. Is there anything I should not do with this resin?

Going back to the ‘there is no one-size-fits-all resin’ comment, you might find out that a particular resin is great for doming but too thick to use successfully in molds. You might also find out like in the case of polyurethane resins, you are limited in your coloring options. Once again, a knowledgeable retailer or manufacturer should be able to give you these details to help you before you make a purchase.

5. Is this resin appropriate for my skill level?

This question mostly applies to those new to resin. I never recommend beginners start with polyurethane or polyester resins since they are more complicated to measure and mix. It can also be a little tricky to get them to cast before the pot time expires.


6. Do you have a small quantity I can purchase first?

You might be in love with this resin, but let’s go on a ‘first date’. Only purchase a little bit to start. If it works for what you want to do, then invest in purchasing a larger volume to get a better price.

Like this post? You may be interested in  Beginner questions about resin jewelry making - resin beginner


7. Does this resin conform to ASTM D-4236?

Resins intended and sold for art purposes, by U.S. federal law, must conform to ASTM D-4236. This notation will be included on the product packaging or in the point-of-sale description. This certification means the resin has been reviewed by a toxicologist and deemed appropriate for art use (home, school, or anywhere in between). If you don’t see the notation, ask.

If a manufacturer/retailer says they don’t have the certification and they are trying to sell it to you for art and crafting purposes, not only are they violating the law, but they cannot tell you if their product is safe to use.


8. Can you provide me with a safety data sheet (SDS) for this resin?

As a part of the ASTM certification, an SDS should also be formulated which gives you additional information about the resin such as the ingredients, safety precautions, and how to properly dispose of it amongst other things.

Pro tip:  Any manufacturer that won’t give you this information either has something to hide or has not done their due diligence in getting this necessary information together.  I would never purchase resin where I couldn’t read and understand the SDS first.


9. What would you like me to know about this resin?

Manufacturers and knowledgeable retailers know their product best and want you to be successful. Each resin has its own quirks and nuances that experienced users can share with you to ensure you have a successful resin casting experience.


10. How do you use this resin?

This is where you can really learn about a resin and if it fits into what you want to do. The manufacturer or retailer should have extensive experience with it and be able to give you their tips and tricks on how to make it shine.  If they can’t tell you much, it means they probably don’t have the experience necessary to give you the technical support you need to make sure you have the best outcome possible.


Wondering what else you should know before you purchase resin? Read my tips on what kind of resin to use.
You can purchase resin in the Resin Obsession store including resin beginner kits.

You can watch more about what you need to know before your purchase resin here:

Need more help before you purchase resin?

I get it — you can spend a lot of money on supplies only to realize you bought the wrong resin.  It’s why I wrote the ebook, Resin Fundamentals.  For less than the price of a resin kit, you can get complete clarity on what resin is the right one for your project.  Buy the book now and you can download it to read in minutes!

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2021 Resin Obsession, LLC

27 thoughts on “Purchase resin – 10 questions you should ask before you buy resin

  1. i would like to resin a high top round bar table. what resin will be the most resistant to scratches?

  2. I would like to mold, color add decorations inside and drill my resin for outdoor hanging decorations. I prefer it to be clear. Which resin would be best?

  3. I would like to add a colored resin to a box lid and be able to use a router to round over the edges. Also to trim the edges with a table saw. Can this be done if taking small cuts?

  4. Hello
    I am running a craft camp and want to make resin crystals from molds I purchased. The molds are bigger then I thought ( about 3 inches tall and a 1 inch to 1 and a half inch wide) I have 8 campers, so will need quite a bit of resin to make them. I will also need them to be able to be removed from the molds and taken home with in 2 hours. I first purchased UV resin that would have worked great but wasn’t able to find it in large enough volumes.

  5. i want to do resin art work.like making tables with clear epoxy resin…i dont know how to mix them.i dont know anything about using resin….please help.i want to learn about resin and do art work..

  6. I am using the resin for making tumblers. I have seen people use alcohol ink on the tumblers which look really good but how safe is it. Does something like alcohol ink break down the resin and make it unsafe?

  7. I’ve used nothing but tr resin. Love it. But. Forearms broke out w red blotches they fade after awhile. Now put castor oil on then Hubbys tube sock up to elbow. Respirator n goggles. What can be done better. Does all resin do this. Turned shed into studio w 3 windows now. Thk u. So glad I learned about resin

    1. Unfortunately, it sounds like you are having a reaction to the resin. I’m not a medical professional and would direct you next to your healthcare provider for advice.

  8. I’m in the very early stages of making a decorative wood surfboard for my wife this upcoming Christmas. I’d like to use coloured resin to fill in the etched out design on the board. Wondering what types of resin work well with wood and can handle sanding, buffing and coming into contact with wood stain? I’m a beginner with resin as well.

  9. I am making tile coasters that have a poured paint design. I have used some resins for jewelry making. Some of it got a bit soft (sticky) in was in a heated area. What type of resin would be best to seal the coasters with a gloss (just poured look ). They might have a wine glass or coffee mug on it. Thank you

    1. Hi Bonnie, are you looking to coat the coasters or use them in a mold. I want to be sure I recommend the right resin.

  10. I want to pour molds to make crystal clear gems, maybe with some iridescence/rainbow to them to hang indoors. I want something that is reminiscent of Swaroski crystals, but affordable! Do you have a brand you recommend for making these in small batches? And what is the best way to introduce iridescent shimmer without obvious inclusions? I don’t want it to look like glitter. Thank you!

    1. Hello. I’ve been making resin crafts for 4 months now. I’ve tried 4 different brands so far. And all of them became bendy last week regardless of how long it had been since I’ve made them. I’ve searched the internet and your blog came up so I wanted to ask for your opinion. The thin bookmarks, thick keychains, coasters… Some were made 3 months ago, some were made last month. But almost all of them became resilient last week. The only thing that comes to my mind is that the weather is especially hot lately but I’ve been told that weather changes don’t affect resin once it’s cured. Is it true or does it in fact affect the resin work? If it does, what temperature should I keep my cured resin crafts?

  11. Hi, your expert advice is required please. We have wood framed doubled glazed windows that are leaking because rain runs down the glass into the frame and is forced out through the beading on the inside in high winds. In the past we have tried putty, it dries out and the birds peck at it, we tried sealants, they shrink and degrade as the wood shrinks and expands in the seasons. Can you suggest a resin that will fill the gaps but is liquid enough to be syringed between the wood and glass?

    1. Hi Marguerite, I’m afraid resin isn’t a good choice for a project like this. Resin and glass expand at different rates from each other. At some point, one of them will crack.

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