It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. No, I’m not talking about this famous novel. I’m talking about my first six months as a resin artist. It was back before the days of googling terms like best epoxy resin and having the answer in a couple of seconds. When I started with epoxy seventeen years ago, I only had one book to refer to. And the book didn’t cover everything. And it sure didn’t cover problems you might have with resin casting.
As if the frustration of resin casting problems wasn’t bad enough, I didn’t know why I was making resin mistakes. Much less what I could do to avoid them.
But the cool thing is that I got better with resin. I sold my resin jewelry at shops across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. Fast forward to today, and I’ve helped lots of artists worldwide get better with resin.
I want to help you too.
Here are the five biggest resin casting problems you need to know about.
Plus, the ways you can avoid them so you can fast-track your way to resin superstar status.
1. Dust settling on wet resin.
Murphy’s Law applies to resin too. If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated room for your resin, keep everyone and everything out if possible. Sweep, mop, and vacuum regularly to keep dust to a minimum.
Even after all that cleaning, you need to put a container over projects while they’re curing. And make sure the container is clean too.
⭐️ BONUS: How long does it take resin to dry?
2. Resin not curing.
Any little bit of extra moisture can turn your resin into a goopy mess of casting problems.
And where does this extra moisture come from?
Anything you add to the epoxy.
If you’re adding colors, you’ll get the best results with colors for epoxy. They’re designed to color resin without causing problems. Acrylic paints and food coloring can make resin bendy. Or can keep it from curing at all.
If you want to embed items in resin, they need to be completely dry. While putting a cheeseburger in resin might seem like a funny gag gift, the joke will be on you when your resin doesn’t cure.
⭐️ BONUS: 5 things you should never set in resin
3. Bubbles throughout your resin
No amount of hope and finger-crossing will ever keep bubbles away. But there are things you can do to reduce the number you have to deal with.
Choose the right epoxy type for your project. If you’re having a problem with bubbles in molds, you might not be using a casting resin. This resin type is specifically designed to let bubbles escape easily.
⭐️ BONUS: 10 tips for annihilating resin bubbles.
4. Sticky resin surface
If you’ve been multitasking while you’re reading this, I need you to come back to me.
Sticky resin is operator error 99.94% of the time.
Trust me on this. As much as we all want to blame it on the resin, epoxy will only cure as much as we help it to cure.
And that means you need to mix it completely.
And how do you do that? While mixing, scrape the sides of your resin cup and mixing stick, bringing that unmixed resin to the center. Keep doing this until you see your resin is clear and streak-free.
And if you’re absolutely freakin’ sure that you’re doing that, and you’re still having sticky resin, then you should check this casting problems resource:
⭐️ BONUS: How to fix sticky resin.
5. Soft-curing resin
So what if you’ve done everything right, and your resin cures soft? Like was solid after the cure time, but now that you’re wearing that resin bracelet, you can bend it with your hands.
It comes down to two things:
Your resin needs more time to cure, OR you’re using a soft curing resin.
The first problem is an easy fix. Keep the resin warm and give it another 3 to 7 days to harden.
But if you do that, and the resin is still dentable, then you need to use a different resin.
⭐️ BONUS: Why did my resin cure soft and flexible?
💡 Pro tip: Keep a journal
I don’t know how many times I’ve done something that has worked (or hasn’t worked) only to wonder what I did. Write it all down so you know what to do (or avoid) later.
Are you tired of resin casting problems?
Wasting your time and effort in making something you wouldn’t show anyone is aggravating. I know because I’ve been there.
It’s why I wrote the ebook Resin Fundamentals. It shares the essential points you need to know to avoid the sticky, bubble-filled messes and instead make something that you can’t wait to show off. Buy the PDF book now, and a link to download the book arrives in your inbox in minutes.
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2023 Resin Obsession, LLC