Resin casting problems

If you’ve spent anytime at all with resin, you have run into resin casting issues or problems with resin curing.  (Myself included!)  I’m going to share with you a few of the problems I have run into and a few resin jewelry making techniques to help.cat hair in resin

1. Make sure your area is clean.  (and clean some more)  I don’t know why, but Murphy’s Law always applies when it comes to dust and resin.  (cat hair is even worse).  If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated room for your resin crafting and jewelry making, keep everyone and everything out if possible.  (especially the pets)  Sweep, mop and vacuum regularly to keep dust to a minimum.  I would still recommend putting a solid dome over projects while they’re curing and make sure that container is clean as well.

2.  If you’re putting something else besides resin into your project, make sure it is dry OR very well sealed.  Resin HATES moisture.  Any little bit of extra moisture can keep your resin from curing properly.  Read how to properly seal papers and inclusions for resin jewelry making.

3.  If you’re adding liquid colorants, add as little as possible.  Yes, the liquid colorant is a liquid, so since resin hates liquid (read number 2 above), adding more than a little bit can mess up the resin curing time (if it even cures at all).  Of course this is all relative — two drops of colorant in a 10 ml mix isn’t like 2 drops of colorant in a 100 ml mix.

4.  Bubbles.  A few ways to avoid bubbles is to keep them from forming.  Make sure your resin is warm, 70 degrees or so, (place the resin containers in a warm water bath for an hour to help bring up the temperature if it’s not warm enough) and mix the two parts together in a deliberate fashion without whipping.

5.  Resin comes out to a gooey mess. This usually comes down to one of two things:

  • moisture — either in the resin, mixing material  (water left after cleaning out a mixing cup), inclusions (adding a non-dried flower for example) or adding in too much liquid pigment
  • not mixing properly — this is the one I usually fall into.  I won’t say you can’t mix too much, but my personal rule is to mix for 10 percent of the total pot time.  For example, the Resin Obsession is 25 minute pot time, so you should plan on mixing for 2 1/2 minutes.  I have tried to guess how well it is mixed by looking at it only to find that a timer works best.  Also be sure to scrape your sides and mixing stick several times while mixing your resin.

 

My best advice I can give to you about resin casting problems: Keep a journal!

I don’t know how many times I’ve done that something that has worked (or hasn’t worked!) only to wonder what I did.  Seriously.  Best advice I can give you.  Write it down!!

What are some of your suggestions?

 

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

Like this post? You may be interested in  More resin troubleshooting

40 Comments

Kathy

I have just started doing resin. I do ok until I file off any sharp edges. I then try to use glaze. I have ruined over 1/2 my pieces with this process. I have tried nail polish and Americana Triple Thick gloss glaze.It pitts the piece sometimes. It runs under it even when I am careful. What am I doing wrong.I have ruined so many beautiful pieces.

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dr

Hi again! I guess I had beginner’s dumb luck when I started using resin… just a few large bubbles easy to dispense with. Now a dark resin cloud has moved in: I follow your instructions yet end up with a large number of tiny bubbles…some string together and look like pearl necklace. I use the straw/heat gun which doesn’t seem to impact little ones…is it that they haven’t yet come up to the top? Sometimes they get to the top and string together on the top edge. Help.

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Katherine

@Dr Laura,

The same thing happens to me as well. I don’t know what the physics of the small bubbles are, but they certainly don’t want to come out with heat or hot air! I get them out by scooping them up with one of our stir stix. A toothpick would work too, but it will take you longer.

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Mandi

Hello,
I have been having a problem with my resin. My pieces seem to be fully cured, they harden, retain their shape, and I can’t make imprints on them. However, after any very small amount of heat is added to them again, such as holding them in my hand for half a minute or trying to sand down the edges, they become rubbery and their shapes distort. Is this because of moisture? Are they just not setting properly? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this problem.

– Mandi

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Katherine Swift

Hi Mandi,

I have transferred your question to our forum under ‘troubleshooting’.

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marcia

My first pours are cloudy and when the resin gets very warm that pouring is crystal clear. Also, sometimes after cured and removed from mold, the bottom is slightly pitted but the top is smooth and crystal clear. Whats happening?

Thank you!

Marcia

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marcia

When i pour resin over seashells they float to the top. Should I pour in layers even though the mold is shallow? Also, want to add sand. Which goes first…sand or resin?

Thank you,

Marcia

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marcia

Bought Xlarge bangle molds…too big and chunky. Can I pour half full to cut down on the size, will they still pop out ok?

Thanks,

Marcia

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Katherine

@Marcia,

It sounds like your resin may be cloudy because it isn’t warm enough. Try warming the bottles in a warm water bath for 3 to 5 minutes before using. When you say the bottom is pitted, is this the surface next to the mold, or the surface exposed to the air?

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Katherine

@Marcia,
Yes, I would recommend pouring layers. That should keep your shells from floating. As for the order, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. What do you want your final project to look like?

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Bonita

I have not used my resin for awhile and I noticed that Part B is getting thick yellow and seperated looking. when I used it my castings are rubbery and not hard after curing. Should I warm Part B before I cast?

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Bonita

Another question please. I want to pour very tiny 3-D shoes with high-heels that are even more tiny for charms. Is there a resin that will pour into molds that tiny. what I have tried so far is too thick to run to bottom of mold so I come out with the shoe and no heel on it.

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Katherine

@Bonita,

I would suggest using the Resin Obsession super clear resin. It is a thin viscosity and will do well in getting into that high heel.

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Katherine

@Bonita,

It sounds like your Part B has water contamination. I would suggest either getting a new Part B or new kit altogether.

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Kayleigh

I have been using resin over nail polish in jewelry. It looks great, everything is fine, but then a week or more later huge bubbles appear inside. Ideas? The bubbles don’t seem to be there initially, they show up much much later. Very large bubbles, too.

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Katherine

@Kayleigh,

I don’t have any experience with using it in that manner. You’re welcome to post a question in our forum though. Maybe someone else can comment?

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deborah

Firstly I have to say thanks, I love it when people do this kind of chat that really helps when there is a problem.
I have 2 issues I would be grateful if you could advise on. Firstly I sometimes take my sculptures out of the silicone molds and they have a kind of crazy paving affect…not smooth, is this lake of mixing.
Secondly I use alot of glow in the dark pigment powder and sometimes the lowest point in my mold gets the highest density as it falls to the bottom…I really don’t mind the effect but it can leave the surface very rough. Any ideas.

I do work very cleanly with no moisture.

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Katherine Swift

@deborah,

Your casting will impart the surface of the silicone mold. If a perfectly smooth item wasn’t used to make the mold, your castings won’t be perfectly smooth. To make your surface smooth again, you can try recoating with another layer of resin or seal with our resin gloss sealer spray.

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Sara

I used a Clear Resin product purchased at Hobby Lobby. I don’t think I mixed it long enough and the bottle cap jewelry that I did with 4th and 5th grades is tacky and never cured. Is there anything I can coat over the top of the resin to get a hard top coat? Will clear nail polish work? I hate to throw 18 bottle caps in the trash.

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Molly

Hi! How long would you say I should wait before applying resin to stones that have had nail polish applied to them? Thanks! 🙂

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Katherine

@Molly, I would make sure the nail polish was completely dry. Twenty-four hours should do it.

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Laurie

hi! i’ve been pouring resin layers on top of oil paint and alternating them.. my last resin pour turned cloudy and now you can’t see any of the painting please tell me you know a way to uncloud the resin once it’s already poured ?!

Reply
Katherine

@Laurie, unfortunately, there is no way to uncloud the resin once it has been poured.

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jeff

Hi! I’ve been using your super clear resin to make thin rings embedded with small objects. I’m consistently getting very tiny bubbles that create some porosity when I sand down the rough edge. They aren’t big air bubbles but even so when they are sanded they create tiny pinprick holes. Also noticing some cloudiness on some rings. I mix very carefully and weather is fairly warm out here. planning on buying the gloss to help with the pinpricks, any other suggestions?

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Jana

Hi! I’ve noticed that when transporting my pieces to & from craft shows; if the resin from one piece is touching the resin of another piece, they stick together. Do you have any suggestions to keep this from happening?

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Katherine

@Jana, I would suggest wrapping them in wax paper or freezer paper for transport.

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Cliff

Is it possible to cast a smooth part with epoxy (SmoothOn – 61D)? We are using a pressure pot to get the bubbles out but once it cures the result is a rough surface. This means having to take the extra step to manually smooth it out using a dremel.

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Katherine Swift

I have not worked with that resin, so I cannot say whether or not the resin is contributing to the problem. What are you using as your mold? If your mold surface isn’t smooth, your casting from that mold will not be either.

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Violet

I have a client I’ve sent a couple pieces (I make orgonite) to and two of her three pieces have started to go funky on her. When I sent them to her they were perfect, but after a couple weeks the first one started to peel off the crystal at the top and the second one started to “melt” any idea of what could cause this?

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Katherine Swift

What kind/brand resin are you using? Do you have a picture of a similar piece for me to look at?

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Hailey

I was wondering if you dome a resin piece with a layer of resin and it cures and you notice you missed a spot can you double dome it?? I don’t want to ruin my piece cause it’s literally just a tiny spot but it is bugging me lol thanks a lot !

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Emma Betsy

HI, Can you give me some advise please? I set faux flowers in clear resin so to look like water. Sometimes the resin shrinks then pulls out the vase. Would you know what I’m doing wrong please? Or what I can do to prevent this please?

Also, sometimes there is so much heat generated it cracks the vase. How can I prevent this please?

Thanks EB

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Katherine Swift

It sounds like the resin is getting too hot. What kind/brand of resin are you using?

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Bearvans

Have you tried UV resin? If so is it any good, and/or are there any problems with using it.

Reply

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