Resin casting tricks

resin casting tricks

Resin casting tricks

One of the neat things about resin is that while many people create things with resin, almost everyone has a different way of doing things.  Over the course of time, many of us have found our own resin casting tricks to help us get the end results we want.  I recently asked a few of my favorite resin crafters and manufacturers what their favorite resin casting tricks were to share with readers.

My favorite trick is using a heat gun or embossing tool to pop bubbles in resin. It has saved me with so many projects.

-Jasmine Moore, resinista blogger at Resin Obsession

Got a large open-backed bezel that packing tape won’t cover? Try using contact adhesive instead. It has a bit more stick than packing tape so you might find that some sticky residue is left behind. Here’s three ways to make light work of cleaning it off:

o Place the item in the freezer for half an hour. This can help the tape release more easily, leaving behind less gummy residue;
o Gently rub it off with methylated spirits (denatured alcohol); or
o Spray it with WD-40 lubricant and gently rub with the pad of a finger. Clean up with paper towel to remove any greasiness, before washing it clean.

-Mylene Hillam, jewelry artist and resin blogger, Mill Lane Studio

yorker caps

My favorite trick (albeit a costly extra step) is to mix a batch of resin and then pour it into a bottle that has a yorker cap. The cap gives me much more control putting resin where I want it without dealing with drips and overpours when using a cup and stick.

-Carmi Cimicata, resin blogger and mixed media artist, I Love Resin

This one is kind of a stumper because I have a few favourites! Marbling is fun and creates neat effects. Brushing powdered pigment in moulds yields really cool effects. Liquid resin on a curved surface is tricky hard to do but is a super cool effect. Using texture tiles and cookie cutters with Silly Putty is fun because it can be so unique. ARGH! I think my favourite trick is the one I have most recently used that makes me smile when I see the final result and it meets or exceeds my expectations. This does mean that my favourite trick changes when I work on a new project with a different technique, but that’s okay. I like doing a lot of different things. If only one thing was my favourite, I would likely do it too much and then not like it as much.

-Kate Ledum, resinista at Resin Obsession, mixed media crafter and artist, Rijacki Design

Baby powdering and warming the silicone rubber mold up before casting resins are by far my favorite tricks as the baby powder releases the surfaces tension of the silicone rubber eliminating air bubbles and the temperature helps the resin cure faster!

-Carol Wedlake, technical service, Alumilite Corporation

I actually don’t know which one to choose!!

I hate bubbles as everyone does!  I always heat my resin before mixing, then I vacuum the resin, then I pour it very slowly into the mold.  I have a tooth pick handy to remove bubbles caught in corners.

Then depending on the project I might put the filled mold into the vacuum again.  After that I have a creme brulee torch which I use to zap the remaining bubbles.

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Another thing I do is set up more molds and projects than I need, as I hate to waste resin!  So sometimes i get a little extra pair or earrings made or a ring!

-Linda Carmichael, resin jewelry artist, Ruby Bijou

Always have gel alcohol hand sanitizer on hand and baby wipes when working with resin. It is the best stuff to help get resin off you or anything else you may accidentally get resin on. Easy trick but totally worth it!

-Ellen Anderson, resin artist, @EllenAndersonArt

resin on acrylic

Our favourite trick is saving excess resin mix on an acrylic sheet to chop up and use in other pieces at a later date!

-Kate Battes and Claire John, resin artists and UK resin supplier, Resin8 UK

When using a plastic mixing jug don’t try to clean the leftover resin with solvents afterwards. Just leave it to set overnight with the mixing stick standing up in the container.

The next day simply pull the cured resin mass out using the stick.  The whole mass will come out like a skin, leaving the container clean and ready for use again.

-Aram Friedrich, President, EliChem resins

I think my best tip for working with resin is to warm it up, especially if you are in colder climates. Warm – not hot! It mixes better and it keeps the bubbles down too!

-Mona Schmitt, resin and mixed media crafter, Craft Klatch

The trick I would like to share is one I just shared with one of our customers. After doing her project yesterday she realized this morning that she spilled epoxy resin on her glass table top. I shared the following: Place boiling hot water on and old towel or rag and place it over the epoxy; then wait a few minutes and use a putty knife or another flat tool to gently get up under the epoxy and pop it off. This works like a charm. It needs to be a hard surface that water will not damage.

-Marty Sanchez, technical service specialist, Environmental Technologies, Inc.

Learn when the soft cure time of your resin happens.  There is much you can do during this time should you have made a mistake.  I found this out when I was doming resin and went back later to check my pieces.  The resin was so syrup-y, I couldn’t get the microbubbles to pop.  Instead, I pushed them over the side of my piece.  Once the resin had cured to where it was rubbery, I found out I could peel it right off!  Now, when I drip resin over the sides of my bezels and such, I don’t panic.  I set a timer to go back in so many hours and peel the resin off.  Anytime I don’t have to sand off excess resin is a win!

(You can see how to do this at left.)

-Katherine Swift, resin blogger, author and proprietor, Resin Obsession

What other resin casting tricks do you have?

13 Comments

Matt

I have found out that when coloring resin with alcohol inks
purples and violets and reds loose their color once mixed in
the resin. When first mixed it looks beautiful , but 10 minutes later its clear. You had a video using India inks and had purples that kept their color. Is india inks the solution????
What works best for coloring resin purples reds etc?

Reply
Tereze

I wish someone would post a tip about getting the resin really glossy and shiny. I’ve tried everything I’ve read on this site, plus other sites – Novus, spray, diamond glaze. Nothing does the job. I recently read about envirotex Lite, but you’re supposed to pour it. How would you pour it over a bracelet?

Reply
Katherine Swift

Hi Tereze, if you want a high gloss finish on your pieces, I would suggest either using a polyurethane or polyester resin. Those will withstand the heat of a buffing wheel. You can achieve a high polish by using a cotton buff and buffing compound (I like to use Fabulustre.)

Reply
Amy P

I have found that if I let my resin sit about 25-30 minutes after mixing it (it thickens) and then use a paint brush to paint a layer over my pieces, they come out like glass. The thicker it is, the harder it can be to work with so don’t let it sit too long. I like mine not quite as thick as honey. Also keep in mind once it thickens it’s easier to make bubbles so keep a flame source handy. I use acetone nail polish remover to clean my brushes so I can re use them. Check out my Facebook page to see how mine turn out: Facebook.com/designsbyamyp

Reply
sogol

I can’t believe I can’t find any classes on mold making and resin casting in NYC. I am self taught but just need a workshop and some hands on training. At this point I am willing to travel. Any suggestions/tips would be greatly appreciated.

Reply
sogol

It’s so weird. One studio told me they discontinued the resin classes as students were disappointed they had to wait for curing and didn’t have the instant gratification but I think that’s one of the cool things about it. De molding is like opening a present. Good luck with finding something.

Reply
rebecca

any chance you’re still advancing your resin-casting skills? i have a small project and i’m looking for someone to execute it. trying to float some broken pieces of glass in a resin cube approx 6x6x6″. thank you!

Reply
sogol

hi, sorry for late reply. happy to help if I can. moving and traveling so need to get back to it now

Reply
Ann

Has anyone tried to put human ashes in a project, and how does it come out? I was thinking of a clear necklace with a small picture of my father and his ashes in it…. Any suggestions?

Reply

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