How to epoxy resin a tumbler – make a resin tumbler

how to epoxy resin a tumblerIf you are wondering how to epoxy resin a tumbler, you are in the right place!  Applying a coat of epoxy resin to a tumbler is a great way to personalize or seal your artwork.  Here are the steps to epoxy a tumbler.

Choose a tumbler

stainless steel tumbler

Stainless steel tumblers work best.  Resin likes to stick to metal, so you don’t have to worry about your resin peeling off the surface.  The stainless steel is also firm, meaning you don’t have to worry about your tumbler shrinking and expanding which can also cause your resin to crack and strip off the surface.

Clean your tumbler

In order for the resin to stick to your tumbler, the surface must be clean and free of any dirt, especially greases, and oils.  Isopropyl alcohol works great for this.

Decorate your tumbler

applying a layer of glitter to a stainless steel tumbler

In decorating this tumbler for resin, I decided to apply glitter first.  I applied a thick layer of decoupage glue, then went crazy adding sparkles!

If you want to let the resin do the work, you can do that too.  Skip this step and instead add glitter or colors to the resin and apply once your tumbler is turning.

Set up your tumbler turner

Because resin wants to lie on a flat surface, and a tumbler has a curved surface, you have to keep your tumbler moving while the resin is wet.  If you don’t, your resin will run off the side or pool in places and not coat evenly.  The easiest way to keep your resin moving is to use a turner, similar to a ‘rotisserie cooker’ to keep your cup moving.  Your cup will need to turn while you apply the resin and during the entire resin curing time.  There are ready-made and DIY options for creating a resin tumbler turner.

Protect areas where you don’t want resin

applying painters tape to both ends of a stainless steel tumbler

Because resin is fluid and will want to go everywhere with this project, you need to tape off areas that you don’t want to get resin.  Use painter’s tape to cover openings and other places you don’t want resin to cover.

Prepare your work areas

Because resin is going to drip onto your work surface, you want to be sure you have your table protected.  A garbage bag, plastic painter’s tarp or something similar works great.

Mix your resin

Once your area is set up, mix your resin.  In my experience, an average size tumbler takes 1/2 ounce of resin to cover it with a light coat.  You might want to mix more than that and have a couple of extra projects ready to go just in case you have leftover resin.  Here are a few of my favorite leftover resin projects.

By the way, if you have never mixed resin before, there are a few details you want to be sure to get right.  Here’s how to mix resin and hardener in five easy steps.

Apply the resin

You may be wondering exactly how to epoxy resin a tumbler.  Don’t be afraid, it’s actually pretty easy.  Use your stir stix or a foam brush to apply the resin or directly pour the resin on the tumbler.  If you are wearing safety gloves, you can also use your hands to apply the resin.  You want to be sure you are using a resin designed to coat tumblers, so that it covers evenly and without fish eyes and voids.


Let the resin cure

Keep the tumbler turning until it is fully cured.  This depends on the resin you use but usually takes 18 to 24 hours.

Enjoy your beautiful epoxy resin tumbler project!

stainless steel tumbler covered with glitter and resinWant to see how to epoxy resin a tumbler?

Learn how in two minutes:

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3 Comments

Michele Buhr

I’ve seen where people spray paint the tumbler first, how long does that have to cure before I apply the resin?

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Katherine Swift

I’m not sure, but if it were me, I would wait at least 24 hours.

Reply
Carol

I made my first resin tumbler this past week. There is a small part at the top of the cup that’s plastic (where the inside part attaches to the outside, stainless part). I taped it off so the resin would have a nice, straight line around the top edge when it was done. The problem is that after I removed the tape, the resin is kind of sharp and might not be comfortable for putting your mouth on when you drink. All the videos I see put tape on, but no one mentions taking the tape off and if they have to do anything along that edge. I can sand it, but then it’ll need another clear coat to get rid of the scratches and I’ll have the same issue. I used stir sticks to put the resin on. Perhaps using a foam brush along the top would be better? Thanks for any suggestions.

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