A beginner's guide to Resin Art

Do you want to pick up making Resin Art but have no idea where to start or what to buy? Then this beginner's guide to Resin Art is exactly what you are looking for!

There is a lot to say about Resin Art and we could write a book about it. In this article we stick to the basics and introduce you to the basics of Resin Art. We give you useful tips & tricks so that you can get started with this cool hobby well prepared!

1. What is Resin Art (epoxy)?

Resin Art simply means 'epoxy art' and is an art form that uses epoxy casting resin as the base material. The art form originates from America and is now also immensely popular in Europe. The great thing about Resin Art is that you can do so much with it. For example, you can make beautiful epoxy coasters, jewelry, paintings, trays and tables. With countless pigments and molds you can give your own twist to your works of art. This is how you make your Resin Art truly unique!

What is epoxy?

Epoxy is a liquid resin from the polymer family. Epoxy consists of 2 components that you have to put together. After joining, a chemical reaction occurs that releases heat, causing the resin to harden into a hard, plastic-like material.

2. What products do I need for Resin Art?

Resin Art is a super fun hobby and the possibilities are endless. With a little searching on the internet you will come across hundreds of pigments, glitters, moulds and various epoxies. You might be overwhelmed. We are happy to explain to you which products are essential to start with Resin Art.

Resin Art essentials

These are the most important products you need to get started with Resin Art:

As soon as you have above mentioned products at home, you can get started. You can of course expand these products with materials such as stones, glitter, figurines, etc. You can also use different pigments to colorize your epoxy. We will now delve a little deeper into the different epoxies, types of pigments and other useful products to use. In Chapter 3 we explain step by step how to mix epoxy and what you should pay attention to.

Which epoxy is suitable for Resin Art?

There are very many different epoxy resins available. You may be wondering which one is most suitable for Resin Art. Below are the most suitable epoxies for Resin Art. These resins are equipped with a UV stabiliser so they do not yellow easily in the sun. In addition, they are transparent and easy to use. Please check out the Epoxy category for an overview of all the other epoxies.

  • RESION UV Epoxy Resin
    This UV stable epoxy has a 100:60 mixing ratio and is the best-selling epoxy at the moment. The epoxy can be poured up to 3 cm and is suitable for almost any Resin Art application. In terms of viscosity (liquidity), it is comparable to the LV Resin Art Epoxy.

  • RESION UV Resin Art Epoxy LV
    This is a UV stable epoxy with a simple mixing ratio (2:1) and low viscosity. This means that the resin has a thin flow which makes it very suitable for small Resin Art works such as jewellery.

  • RESION UV Resin Art Epoxy MV
    This epoxy resin of medium viscosity is a lot thicker than LV Epoxy. As a result, the colours do not blend as well and you can 'control' the colours better, which makes this epoxy suitable for coasters and paintings. This epoxy is also UV stable and has a 2:1 mixing ratio.

  • RESION UV Resin Art Epoxy HV
    This is the thickest Resin Art epoxy (highest viscosity). This variant is very suitable for geodes, ocean art or as a finishing layer. Like the other variants, it is also UV stable and has a 2:1 mixing ratio. Would you like to read more about epoxy resins that are very suitable for Resin Art? Then view our comprehensive article: All about RESION UV Resin Art Epoxy. In it, we elaborate on our Resin Art epoxy product line.

Would you like to read more about epoxy resins that are very suitable for Resin Art? Then view our extensive article: All about RESION UV Resin Art Epoxy. Here we discuss our Resin Art epoxy product line in more detail.

Resin Art pigments

There is a huge range of pigments in all sort and colours. Pigment powders, pigment pastes, Alcohol Ink (Piñata), transparent pigments and much more. Below are the 3 most common types of pigments. Please also check out our other Resin Art pigments.

  • Pigment powder (Mica powder)
    Add a luxurious look to your epoxy with the widely used MetalTint mica powder pigments. RESION MetalTint is available in arounnd 30 colours in packs of 2 and 100 grams. These powerful pigments have a slightly metallic appearance.

  • Pigment paste
    Pigment pastes give an opaque and even colour to your Resin Art art. For example, use our Resi-Tint MAX. This paste is available in more than 20 beautiful colours that you can mix together. Are you a fan of pastel coloured pigments? Then check out our the RESION PastelTint pastes. The nice thing about pigment pastes is that you need a maximum of 3% pigment to achieve an opaque colour.        

  • Alcohol Ink
    Alcohol Ink is our personal favorite. With Piñata alcohol inks you can create beautiful effects. Please note that some colours may turn out slightly differently than expected, as alcohol ink is originally not intended for epoxy. You can drip or mix Alcohol Ink. 

Resin Art moulds

 At Polyestershoppen, you will find dozens of moulds you can use for Resin Art. From various trivet moulds to moulds for jewellery and pyramids. You simply have 2 different types of moulds: silicone moulds and HDPE moulds. Want to make your own mould? Then use Siliconen casting rubber Shore 15 for this.

  • Silicone moulds
    Most moulds in our range are made of flexible silicone. This means the epoxy does not adhere to the mould and is easy to release. The silicone moulds can be used several times.

  • HDPE moulds
    HDPE (high density polyethylene) moulds are of very high quality. The disadvantage of these moulds is that you have to stick them with tape. However, the moulds are very sturdy and can be used several times.

Resin Art auxiliary materials

The following auxiliary materials are highly recommended for use. With the inexpensive Resin Art auxiliary materials package, you have various auxiliary materials directly at home! We recommend using the following products: sturdy mixing cups to accurately weigh out epoxy. Available in various capacities.

  • Mixing cups
    To weigh out and mix in your epoxy, use mixing cups. These RESION mixing cups are sturdy, transparent and easy to use. You could even reuse them. Looking for small mixing cups? Then use our inexpensive plastic cups. For a reusable mixing cup, you can also use a silicone mixing cup. After curing, you can easily remove the epoxy from these.

  • Mixing spatulas
    With these sturdy beech wood mixing spatulas, you mix epoxy without any effort. Available in an inexpensive set of 10. If you want to use small mixing spatulas, choose mixing spatulas with rounded sides or plastic mixing spatulas

  • Nitrile gloves  
    Nitrile gloves are a must when working with epoxy. So make sure you always wear gloves and avoid contact between epoxy and skin. In Chapter 4, we go into more detail on safety regulations.

  • Scales
    This digital kitchen scale allows you to weigh epoxy very accurately. This ensures that your epoxy always cures nicely.

  • Spirit level
    Make sure the surface you are going to work on is always level with this compact spirit level. If the surface is not level, the epoxy will sink to the lowest point.

Accessories (extra)

You can use the following accessories to simplify working with epoxy or to finish your work.

  • Gas Burner/Bubble Burst
    When you start pouring, you will notice bubbles appearing in your epoxy. You will also see this reflected in the final result. Fortunately, you can easily remove the bubbles with a mini gas burner brander or with RESION Bubble Burst (isopropyl alcohol spray). This will give you the nicest and smoothest result.     

  • Posca markers
    Finish the edges of your coaster, etagere or painting with these paint markers. Posca markers are available in various colours. Do you want a marker with a fine tip (PC-3M) or a marker with a thick tip (PC-8K)?

  • FERM Combitool
    With a FERM multi-tool you can easily sand, grind and polish your work. Especially for small jobs like jewellery it is extremely handy to buy a similar tool!

Many more epoxies, pigments and accessories are available in our shop. All Resin Art related products can be found on our website in the Resin Art category!

3. How to process epoxy

Epoxy is easy to use but does require some care. Epoxy is sensitive to errors during mixing and/or weighing. If you do not use the correct mixing ratio or do not mix enough, the epoxy will not cure completely. Therefore, make sure you follow the steps below very carefully!

Step 1. Weighing epoxy

Weighing out epoxy is perhaps the most important step in the process. Make sure you always weigh both components as accurately as possible in a mixing cup, according to the mixing ratio. You can always find the mixing ratio on the packaging. Make sure you always use the right base (A) and hardener (B). Always weigh your epoxy properly with (digital) kitchen scales.

Step 2. Mixing epoxy

You can now start mixing both components together. Stir gently with a mixing spatula for 3 minutes. Also scrape well along the bottom and side of the mixing cup. Be careful not to stir too quickly (to prevent the formation of air bubbles).

Tip: use the two-cup-mixing method! After you have mixed well, pour the epoxy into a clean mixing cup and mix well again. This way, you don't risk bad results due to incorrect mixing.

Step 3. Add pigments

Now add the desired pigments to the epoxy. Be careful not to use too much pigment, glitter or other materials. This may affect the final result of the epoxy resin.

Step 4. Pouring and venting

Once you have colorized the epoxy, you can continue casting! Gently pour the epoxy onto the surface or into the mould you are going to use. After pouring, you will notice air bubbles appearing on the surface. You can remove these very easily by brushing over the surface with a mini gas burner. Be careful not to hold it too close to the epoxy when doing this, otherwise the epoxy will get too hot and start to yellow. You also run the risk of burning your mould to the epoxy this way.

Tip: : easily vent epoxy without damaging the mould or epoxy? Then use RESION Bubble Burst isopropyl alcohol spray (for small areas only)!

Step 5. Curing

Once your epoxy is cast, you need to let it cure for a while. With most epoxies, the casting is dry after about 24 hours. We recommend allowing the epoxy to fully cure for another 2-3 days after that. After curing, you can choose to sand and/or polish the epoxy. You will find more information about this in chapter 6.

Epoxy is very sensitive to the environment temperature. In fact, at cold temperatures it takes a lot longer for epoxy to fully cure. At warm temperatures, on the other hand, curing is somewhat faster, so your processing time is also shorter. The ideal processing temperature of most epoxy resins is 20°C.

4. Working safely with epoxy

When working with epoxy, it is very important to work safely. Therefore, always wear nitrile gloves, work in a ventilated area and avoid epoxy coming into contact with the skin. While curing epoxy, some volatile substances are released. As a result, a debate often arises about whether or not to wear a fume mask. Wearing a fume mask is not mandatory but is recommended in certain cases. Our advice on wearing a mask is as follows: are you working in a well-ventilated area for a short period of time? Then a vapour mask is not necessary. However, are you working in a room that you cannot be ventilated or are you handling epoxy for hours on end? Then we strongly recommend wearing a fume mask.

We have written an extensive information article on how to handle epoxy resin safely: FAQ - Working with epoxy resin safely.

5. Tips for banishing resin bubbles

It is number one annoyance for many of us: resin bubbles. No matter how careful you are, the bubbles will continue to appear in epoxy resin. However, the good news is that you can easily remove the bubbles. Here are some tips for bubble-free casting:

  1. Mix calmly
    It has been written before, but please stir calmly. This prevents air bubbles from forming in the epoxy. After mixing, you can also leave the epoxy to stand for a while. This gives the air bubbles time to rise to the surface.

  2. Remove air bubbles with a mini gas burner or heatgun                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Heat it to pop bubbles. Move the gas burner in a circular motion over the epoxy/resin to ensure even heating. Be careful not to hold the burner too close to the epoxy or you will damage the epoxy.

  3. Bleed epoxy with isopropyl alcohol                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RESION Bubble Burst makes it easy to remove air bubbles from epoxy without damaging the mould or the epoxy! Simply spray a few times on the surface to make the bubbles disappear. For large surfaces (such as tables), use a butane gas burner

  4. Use a vacuum de-aeration kit                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The most effective method of freeing bubbles is to use a vacuum de-aeration kit. This set consists of a dome and a vacuum pump. The pump extracts all the air from the dome. The bubbles will rise on their own! Buying a ventilation kit requires an investment, as it's not a cheap product. But if you want to do more with Resin Art, it's well worth the investment!

6. Tips for polishing epoxy

Over time, epoxy will become dull and have a matt appearance. The epoxy may also come out of the mould dull, because the mould itself is or has become dull. Fortunately, epoxy can be polished very well. With the following tips, you can give your epoxy that beautiful shine again!

  1. Use a polisher or multi-tool (combination tool).
    Invest in a good polishing machine or combination tool to polish your epoxy instead of polishing by hand. These days, it doesn't have to be expensive and it's well worth the investment. It will save you a lot of time and effort.

  2. Use a good polishing paste.
    To get a clean result, it's important to use the right polishing paste. For example, use RESION High Gloss Polish and High Gloss Wax for a 2-step system. First polish the surface, then protect the shine with High Gloss Wax. 

  3. Watch this clear instruction video.
    Ivo Fokkema has produced a very good tutorial on polishing. In the video, he clearly shows the steps to follow. It's definitely worth watching the video.

7. Tips for Resin Art beginners

Below are some useful general tips for beginners in softwood art. Mistakes are easy to make, so be prepared. Even very experienced resin artists make these mistakes from time to time.

  1. Follow the epoxy preparation instructions carefully..
    We can't stress this enough, but always weigh the epoxy according to the mixing ratio indicated on the packaging. Always mix the epoxy well.

  2. Don't use too much pigment.
    Pigment is, of course, fantastic and indispensable in the world of resin art. But be careful not to use too much pigment. This can cause the epoxy to remain soft. Also pay attention to the type of pigment used. Epoxy doesn't work well with water-based pigments.

  3. Remove air bubbles with RESION Bubble Burst.
    Remove air bubbles easily with this isopropyl alcohol spray. One spray is often enough to leave a small area bubble-free.

  4. Patience is a virtue.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Epoxy needs time to cure properly. We understand that you are very curious, but epoxy does not harden in 30 minutes. If you remove the epoxy from the mould too soon, you run the risk of deforming it and/or getting indentations in the epoxy. Leave the epoxy to harden sufficiently and take the temperature into account. The colder the ambient temperature, the longer it will take to harden. The exact opposite happens at warm temperatures, when the epoxy is hardened in no time at all.

  5. Practice makes perfect.
    It may seem very complicated at times, but the art of resin is not a difficult hobby. It may not be perfect first time, but that's no problem at all. Don't be discouraged and try again - practice makes perfect!

More information about Resin Art?

We hope that this article has answered many of your questions, but we can imagine that you still have a lot of questions. For answers to these questions, don't hesitate to contact our customer service team! Our experts know our products inside out and will be delighted to answer any questions you may have.

Please  join our Facebook group: "I Love Resin Art"! Here you can ask all your questions, get inspiration and share your artwork with more than 10,000 Resin Art fans. In addition, you can take part in great contests and benefit from exclusive discounts. Become a member here!

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