I’ve been a resin artist for more than 16 years. A day hasn’t gone by where I haven’t learned more about working with resin. These are the tips I wish someone had told me when I was a resin beginner. It would have saved me so much time and aggravation.
But not gray hairs. I have my kids to thank for that.
Here are my favorite tips for working with resin to give you a jump on your epoxy projects.
Tip 1. Start
If you never start, you’ll never make a mistake.
But you’ll never make anything, either.
Have you heard the famous quote, ‘You will miss 100 percent of the shots you never take,’? (Which this guy said, not Michael Jordan.)
I get that no one likes wasting time and effort on something you won’t be proud of, but it’s all part of learning. It’s okay to be hesitant about starting. I’m going to say it — resin can be hard. (You can read more about how I started as a resin artist and had a miserable first experience.)
Tell that voice in your head to fly a kite because you’re going to do this.
Tip 2. Get marvelous at mixing.
Tip 3. Work in a way to prevent resin bubbles.
I love getting resin bubbles.
Said no one ever.
Have you heard the phrase, ‘work smarter, not harder’? Write it down and put it with your resin mixing cups as a reminder to use good resin techniques. That means being careful about mixing your resin. You don’t want to introduce bubbles that you have to work yourself into a sweat removing them later.
Tip 4. Choose your project, THEN choose the best resin for that project.
Quit trying to make your resin work for every project you want to make.
I get that you don’t want to waste resin, but that’s the very thing you’re going to do if you use the wrong resin for your project. Instead, check out this article to help you choose the best resin for what you want to make.
Tip 5. Keep a journal.
No, you don’t need to journal your thoughts about resin. But, you when you’re working on dozens of projects, it’s hard to remember everything you did. Especially when you try to recreate them later.
Write down all the details of what you’re doing. Basics include are:
- Resin used
- Colors added
- Specific techniques
- Anything new or different you tried
Get bonus points if you take pictures of what you’re doing and include them in your journal.
Tip 6. Pay attention to your environment.
Resin needs temperatures in the low 70s F to cure as you’re expecting. And by cure as expected, I mean not too quickly and not too slowly.
If your resin is too cold, it may not cure at all. And working with resin that’s too hot means it can flash cure.
Tip 7. Understand the directions of the products you’re working with.
Your resin supplies come with specific instructions for a reason. You need to obey them to make sure everything turns out as you’re anticipating.
And for those of you who tell me you don’t read the directions on anything, resin might not be for you.
Tip 8. Get organized.
Trust me when I say you will save yourself time and money by knowing what resin supplies you have and what you don’t have. Nothing hurts worse in the resin world than finding a kit of yellowing resin that you forgot you had.
Tip 9. Use a timer.
Time flies when you’re multitasking. The last thing to do before mixing your resin and hardener is to set the timer for about two-thirds of your resin’s open time. Know that you better use or lose it when that sound goes sounds off.
Tip 10. Plan out what you’re going to make, then walk through it.
Think through a plan in your head or on paper with the steps you need to make your resin crafts. You want to have everything close by so you don’t waste your resin’s working time looking for your supplies.
Tip 11. Lessen the lines between layers by knowing your resin’s gel time.
How do you make something in resin without lines? You apply the next layer when the previous layer is starting to thicken. This is the key to making things look like they’re floating in resin.
Tip 12. Use a level.
Don’t ever start crafting without making sure your surface is perfectly level first. Get a cheap level, or you might even find a FREE level app for your smartphone.
Sometimes, working with resin doesn’t have to cost anything.
Tip 13. Have experiments ready to go.
You can’t have a resin obsession without using up every drop of resin you’ve mixed. That means you should have resin experiments ready to go to use up your leftover resin.
My favorite is testing something radical to color resin. Like spicy paprika.
Tip 14. Give yourself at least double the time you think you need.
Nothing asks for a resin disaster like rushing through a project. Or life, for that matter. That means you need to expect the unexpected and be ready to tackle it like the resin boss I know you are.
Tip 15. Don’t be afraid of mistakes.
I’ve easily learned more from my resin disasters than my successes. Of course, that doesn’t mean they were fun. Or welcome. Or enjoyable at the time. But I will tell you, the messier they were, the bigger the learning lesson. And besides, when you save them (because you will), here is a list of things you can do with your resin mistakes.
Which one of these working with resin tips hits you the most?
By the way, if you want more help working with resin, I would love to be your resin yoda young padawan. I wrote the book, Resin Fundamentals, to help anyone learn the ‘need to know’ details of creating with epoxy resin. Buy the book now, and it’s yours to read in minutes.
P.S. If you only read this article because you saw rubber bands and resin, here’s how you make that resin bracelet.
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2023 Resin Obsession, LLC