Twelve things you need to STOP doing with resin

things you need to stop doing with resin

Twelve things you need to stop doing with resin

In getting questions from resin crafters all over the world, there are a few things that can get me to give a good eye roll when I read a question.  Call it a pet peeve, misunderstanding, mistake or something else, but there are a few things I wish people would STOP doing with resin.  The one I thought about this week was—-

While I appreciate crafters trying out resin and thinking of new ways to use it, I wish people would stop thinking anything can be used as a resin mold.  In addition to resin being great for surface coatings and casting three dimensional objects, it is a great adhesive.  That means, you cannot use glass baking dishes, cookie trays, hard sided boxes, etc. as molds.  Your resin will stick and your ‘mold’ isn’t flexible enough to release it.

I also asked some of my other resin friends what they wished people would STOP doing with resin.  Here are their very insightful answers:

Stop putting the lids back on the bottles before wiping away the drips from the thread, especially when working with polyurethane resin. Apart from leading to messy bottles covered in resin (you don’t want to touch this with ungloved hands!), the hardener part will act like a glue and seal the bottle so tightly that you can’t get the lid off.
-Mylene Hillam, jewelry artist and resin blogger, Mill Lane Studio

I would like to see people stop being afraid to explore with resin. There is so much that it can do. I get so many questions asking if resin can do this or if resin can do that. I say do it. Try it, explore!
-Susan Lenart Kazmer, jewelry and mixed media artist, creator of ICE resin, susanlenartkazmer.com

My number one wish is that people would stop adding more hardener to their EliChem resins thinking the resin will cure quicker. The hardener component does not impact the speed of cure, it’s the amount of accelerator pre-blended into the resin component that determines the curing schedule. By exceeding the recommended mix ratio and adding more hardener, the user will overload the system and result in slower curing times, and in some cases non-cure at all.
-Aram Friedrich, President, EliChem resins

Stop trying to work with resin when it’s too cold (below 70F). Stop storing the resin and resin-related products (epoxy clay, liquid colourants, resin sprays, lacquer sprays) in a place that’s too cold or has variable temperature (like a garage that’s not insulated or heated).
-Kate Ledum, resinista at Resin Obsession, mixed media crafter and artist, Rijacki Design

I wish people would STOP using (polyester) casting resin as a coating product. I often hear from people that have used our polyester casting resin as a coating for a painting or a table. Polyester casting resin does not self-level and it has up to 7% shrinkage. This is fine when pouring it into a mold as it was intended, however it makes a horrible mess when used as a coating. Try an epoxy product to do your table, your bar top, or a painting.  You will get much better results!
-Marty Sanchez, technical service specialist, Environmental Technologies, Inc.

Stop thinking resin and hardener ratios are not absolute. You have to use measuring cups when you mix resin. I pick up far too many gorgeous finished pieces that are sticky. That means the mix was not correct.
-Carmi Cimicata, resin blogger and mixed media artist, I Love Resin

Stop ignoring the directions! If they are followed there is almost always success. Under-mixing or going off-ratio are things that may typically give an unusable casting. Warming the resin will help it mix easier. Keep the caps on tight and place the bottles in a bowl of hot water. They will measure and mix easier.
-Carol Wedlake, technical service, Alumilite Corporation

Stop letting your mind wander during creative time. The mindfulness movement is in full swing currently and I admit I’ve jumped on the bandwagon, and so glad I did! I find that the ‘being present’ message that mindfulness teaches has been quite transformative in my life and I’ve started to bring it to my crafting. I am making more of an effort to enjoy the process of whatever I am doing at the moment and not rush to get to the end so much.  With resin this has made me more curious and excited about the curing process instead of impatient.  So enjoy the process, stop and think about why you started working with resin in the first place, why you continue to be passionate about it and be ‘in the moment’ as you work your way through your project.  I bet you will enjoy it more!

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–Penny Reid, Resin Obsession resinista

I wish people would stop mixing resin without reading and following the directions. All resins are not made the same and are not necessarily prepared the same. The directions are written by the manufacturer and nobody knows that product better than they do. Resin can be a little temperamental and it’s very tempting to take short cuts (not measuring carefully, not mixing enough, or not providing an adequate temperature). To be honest, when I started working with resin, I didn’t think being exact was all that important either. You quickly learn that nothing is more disappointing than going through the effort to make a great project and it stays sticky, or worse yet it never fully sets and you have to try and clean up that mess!
-Mona Schmitt, resin and mixed media crafter, Craft Klatch

Stop putting ‘wet’ leaves and flowers in resin. If you are going to put them in resin they must be bone dry. Otherwise the moisture will make the resin cloudy and the flowers and leaves can rot and discolour in the piece, which is not a good look.
–Claire John, resin artists and UK resin supplier, Resin8 UK

I wish resin artists would stop overlooking good art health and safety habits. Resin artists should take the time to educate themselves on safe use of materials and equipment so they can safely create the art they love so much. All resins, even those with low or no VOC’s, should be used while following proper health and safety practices. Read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the resin you’re using for safety information. If you don’t find the SDS in the packaging, look on the manufacturer’s website.
–Becky Wanamaker, resin artist, fluid artist, Resin Obsession resinista, Becky Wanamaker on Instagram

What are some other things you need to stop doing with resin?  (and I promise, we won’t judge!)

23 Comments

Jane Biven

Great post Katherine! I’m glad Becky addressed the safety issue. I tell my resin students and artists everyday that they HAVE to take the proper measures to protect themselves, but they don’t listen. Painters need to wear a respirator NOT a mask and everyone should always wear gloves. you won’t have to ask!

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cathy

Hi, i hope you can help on this question. First one i did almost perfect. I want to glue old paper w writing on it and the paper is yellow which is fine. Will it dry so it shows both sides n if so can i stop that? Other paper is more smooth i guess w pictures. The first one i did i copied all the pictures on same paper n it came out good like i said. Almost perfect. Ok so i am wanting to use an old wood six panel door. Here it comes…. How do i fill up the panels after i have done the clear coat n all my pictures n things? I sure hope you can help me. Thank you so much for your time! This will be my secound project and if it works i have another door i want to use! 🙂
thanks again, Cathy

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Katherine Swift

Hi Cathy, I’m not clear on what you want to do. You want to glue the old papers to the door then fill it with resin?

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bernie

Thank you so much for this insightful article. Lots of good advice here that I will take note of. I am a newbie and, right now, just a lurker, but I have mentally filed the info away, and to prompt me to remember, I have pinned it.

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Grace

Ho, may I know what will happen if we direct contact with mixed resin? Is it poisonous to our skin?

Thank you.

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Katherine Swift

You should immediately wash your skin with soap and water. The product SDS will give you any additional steps you should take if you are exposed in that way.

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Bev sullivan

I’m a little unsure about the ratios when mixing part a and b resin. I have read that it should be 50/50 and also 2 to 1.
What do you recommend?

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Katherine Swift

It depends on the resin. The manufacturer will include specific directions on how much Part A to mix with Part B.

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Jeff

Great place and great advice. I could use a little. Maybe this is a pet peeve of some folks.. I and using some transtint dye and putting 1 drop to get my clear parks super glaze to be a transparent red resin. I’ve also added copper metallic dye 3 drops. To give a candied look. I add these additional Elements after I have mixed 1:1 parts of resin and activator together. Omg, it looks gorgeous, deep gloss, glass red metallic. It pours on fine. Here is the question. It takes the mixture about 48 hours to harden to touch. After 72 hours, it may be cured, but if I press my nails hard enough, it will leave a ding. I am current testing small batch of this mixture on a sanded and cleaned piece of wood as well as on mixing stick.. do u think the moisture in the dye and metallic liquid suspension is creating an issue with the curing? Should I expect my glaze finish to be hard as a rock? Much apppreciated to hear your experiences with color and mixing external elements for creative usage of resin

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Katherine Swift

I have not used any of the products you mentioned. My two thoughts are that either there is too much moisture added to the mix causing the casting to be soft, or it may be the inherent nature of this resin to cure soft. (Not all resins cure with a rock-hard finish.)

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Deb Benninger

I’m wanting to make wood and resin pendants. I can’t find a mood large enough for my purposes. Can I use a plastic box as a mold? Any prep I should do to it first?
I purchased the blue box of Alumilite super clear casting resin, can I color it and can I sand it? I read some of your articles and am still unsure.
Any help would be much appreciated.

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Deb Benninger

Is there any other colorant I can use? I see people use paint and powders. Is this possible?

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Katherine Swift

Yes, but sometimes colorants not designed for resin may affect curing. It’s always best to try a test piece first.

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Boni Lawhorn

I have had 2 large bottles of ICE resin and hardener stored for nearly a year. I am noticing that the resin is turning yellowish in the bottle. Is it too old to use, now, or when it turns yellowish, will it be yellow on the final product I use it for?

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Katherine Swift

It will cure with a yellow tint now, but I would expect it would still cure. It would be great for your projects where you are going to color the resin anyway.

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Nicky Raynard

I was realy interested to read about not using fresh flowers in resin. Does this mean i have to dry wood and seeds like horse chestnes and pine cones too?

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Katherine Swift

Yes, that is the approach I would take. Any kind of extra moisture can make them rot in resin.

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Kathiespat

I’m trying to find a resin that I can use to seal glass to wood as in a frame.

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Cyndi Colson

Stop. Don’t assume that all resins are the same. There are casting resins and coating resigns just to name two. Coating resins do not work well in molds. Most are only meant to be 1/8″ in thickness. Also, casting resins tend to be ” softer ” when cured. Make sure you are using the correct resin for the project. Have fun!

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