Safety tips for working with resin

safety tips for working with resin

Originally published March 2012.  Updated September 2018.

Working with resin is fun, but precautions are necessary.  Here is what you should follow anytime you are working with resin.

Proper ventilation

Make sure there is fresh air entering a room when working with resin.  Open a window or use a fan if necessary.

Wear disposable gloves

I prefer nitrile gloves since they are less likely to react with the resin.  If you have super sensitive skin, you might consider coating your hands with a barrier cream first.

Wear protective clothing

Resin can soak through clothing and irritate your skin.  Resin drips will also not come out of clothing.

Designate items as resin only

Silicone baking molds can make great resin molds too, but once used for resin, they should not be used for food again.  The same goes for mixing containers and utensils.

Wear a respirator

Some resins, including polyester and polyurethane, can be very dangerous.  Wear a NIOSH approved respirator for fumes and make sure it fits properly.

Note:  A product safety data sheet (SDS) will detail whether or not you should wear a respirator when using the resin.  However, if you feel safer wearing one even if the SDS does not suggest it, then do it.  You can never be too safe!

Wear safety goggles

If a resin requires respirator use, you need to wear safety glasses as well.  You should also wear these if you are sanding the resin or using power tools.

Clean up spills immediately

While it’s inconvenient to stop in the middle of a project to clean up a resin spill, it’s better than getting some on yourself later or having an unknowing person get it on him or herself.

When sanding resin, wear a particle mask or respirator

For light sanding, a particle mask is probably sufficient, but if you’re using a belt sander, grinder or buffing wheel, a respirator may be more appropriate since the resin will be more aerosolized.

Exercise care with solvents

If cleaning up a resin spill on the skin, don’t use a ketone or chlorinated based product.  This will only put the resin deeper into your skin.  Use only soap and water.

What other precautions do you take in your resin jewelry studio?

 

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2018 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  7 tricks for using Pearl Ex with Resin

22 Comments

Kathy

HELP!!!

I have started to work with Resin, when I take my item out of the mold the side that has been exposed to the air is sticky. Do you have any ideas what I could be doing wrong? We are adding about about 3 drops of hardener per ounce.

Reply
Bruce Burton

Kathy,
The stickiness is quite likely due to a phenomenon referred
to as “amine blush”. If you Google “Bruce Burton amine blush” you will find my paper on the subject. Regards, Bruce

Reply
Katherine

Kathy, thanks for posting your dilemma. I am moving the discussion to the forum under Troubleshooting.

Reply
ginny

Can someone answer a question for me about safty while working with resin?

I am pouring resin over canvases under 3’x4′ a friend offered me a garage to do this. It has a furnace in it.

I live in california, cooler days are coming, I can work with the door up, but would need to close it at night.

Will the residue create a flammable situation? Should I find some other place to work?

Reply
Katherine Swift

Colleen,

I would recommend specifically speaking with your physician about heart issues if you’re concerned.

Reply
Vuyo

im working with resin for impreginated paper i wanted to know what appropiate PPE that we must be given.

Reply
Ali

Hi, I have just started using epoxy resin (easy cast) and I wore nitrile gloves so my hands were protected, I washed my hands using Fairy liquid soap, should I be okay safety wise?
Also whilst I was working with the resin I had two windows open and the door of the room, how long would I have to keep the door and windows open until it’s safe to
close them again?
Thank You.
Thank You.

Reply
Katherine Swift

Hi Ali, it sounds like you used good precautions when working with the resin. I would also suggest reviewing the SDS for the Easy Cast resin for any additional safety recommendations: http://www.eti-usa.com/sites/default/files/sds/EasyCast/MSDS-SDS%20-%20US%20(ENG)%20-%20EASYCAST%20RESIN%20-%202016-03-22%20(02).pdf http://www.eti-usa.com/sites/default/files/sds/EasyCast/MSDS-SDS%20-%20US%20(ENG)%20-%20EASYCAST%20HARDENER%20-%202016-03-22%20(02).pdf Without knowing how many air exchanges your room is experiencing, it is hard to say exactly how long you would need to keep windows and doors open again to evacuate all the fumes. I would suggest at least 1 hour. For the most thorough answer to your question, I would also suggest speaking with your physician.

Reply
John Ward

Hi, I was wondering what kind of resin is best for making jewellery and ornamental pieces? Is it environmentally friendly, what is it’s decomposition rate and if that is toxic to the environment if say I make an outdoor piece and is it suitable for being outdoors? A lot of questions I guess but I want to make sure I do this right and safely. Thank you

Reply
Katherine Swift

Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ resin. As for jewelry and other things, are you working with molds or something else? That will help me give you the best recommendation.

As for being outdoors, that UV light will speed up the time that the resin starts to yellow. Is that something you are okay with?

Reply
John Ward

I’ll be making makeshift molds like plastic sheets with a non stick coating for the casting. I’ll be using wood with the resin for my projects.
I will be using ink in the mixing but I can incorporate the natural yellowing from the sunlight into whatever I do. I just want to make sure the structure doesn’t degrade and lose strength as well as creating a toxic run off of some kind.
Just trying to get a good grasp and what to use

Reply
Brittney Ross

Hello! If anyone could help me I would be extremely grateful! I make jewelry with polyester resin and I am wondering if I am making it WAY harder than it has to be.

So far the items that I am encapsulating sink so closely to the surface that sanding and buffing to a shine exposes them somewhat, sand them briefly to remove mold release, then RECOAT them in resin several times to build up a layer…..THEN finally sand and buff to a shine…. It’s a lot of work I feel and am hoping someone has an answer…… ??? Thanks for any help!

Reply
Katherine Swift

Have you thought about pouring in layers? Pour your first layer. Once it starts to cure, pour your second layer and include your items.

Reply
Grace

Hello. I’ll be using resin for the first time, I’ll be making different items and I’m planning to use fabric and paper the most. I’d like to know if I need to coat them first? If yes, can I use the Clear spray paint to coat them.

Thank you in advance

Reply
Breana

Hi, I was wondering if resin molds could be used for other media (silicone, polymer clay, etc.) materials or resin only?

Reply
Katherine Swift

While I don’t have any experience with it, others have told me they have used resin molds for polymer clay and concrete.

Reply
Lauren Held

I recently made a couple coasters made out of resin and only used latex gloves indoors but did not open any windows. I didn’t wear face protection either. After reading this site, Am I doing it all wrong as far as safety? I’m not using any tools to sand them or anything.

Reply
Katherine Swift

Hi Lauren, you should check with the details of the safety data sheet of the resin you are using. That is the definitive source for safely using that resin.

Reply

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