ArtResin Troubleshooting Posted on 13 May 13:28 , 0 comments

How to avoid ArtResin problems

    As fun and gratifying as using resin can be, it can also be frustrating if you run into issues with it and don't know how to solve them. Here we discuss how to avoid and fix the five most common issues people run into.

    If you're looking for general tips and tutorials, have a look at our YouTube videos.  If you have specific questions, search our FAQ... there's a really good chance the answers you're looking for will be there!

     

    The 5 Most Common Art Resin Issues 

     

    1. Uncured, Sticky Resin
    This problem usually occurs in small spots, but it can happen to an entire piece too. It is caused by the resin and hardener not catalyzing properly, which means that the two parts were either not mixed thoroughly enough, or their mixing ratio was off.

    To avoid curing issues:

    • Use fresh resin and hardener.  When you purchase ArtResin online, we guarantee it to be fresh.  It has a shelf life of about 1 year unopened, or 6 months opened. 
    • Measure precisely equal amounts of the resin and hardener (ArtResin is a 1:1 ratio).
    • Mix the resin and hardener thoroughly, scraping the sides and bottom of the container as you go.  Stir for about 4 solid minutes. You may want to not scrape every last drip of resin out of the container, since those last bits can sometimes be improperly mixed.
    To fix curing issues:

    • Scrape off any sticky material as best as you can and discard. 
    • If you are left with a deep divot or crater, patch in some new thoroughly mixed resin just in that spot.
    • Next, lightly sand the entire piece (including the cured patch, if you needed a patch) and repour a second layer of resin on top. The sanding provides some tooth to the first coat so the second layer will adhere properly.  It will look a mess until you pour the second layer, and then it'll look great!  Obviously you need to wait until the first layer and patch are 100% cured before adding more resin on top.

     

    2. Bubbles 
    This an inevitable problem that is easily solved.  Bubbles occur as a result of mixing.

    To minimize bubbles:

    • Use fresh resin and hardener.
    • Make sure to use a quality resin product that contains a bubble release agent, such as ArtResin.  A bubble release agent allows for easy de-gassing so you don't have to really work at getting to bubbles to pop.  You should be able to see the bubbles disappear just by gently blowing on them.
    • Pour resin over non-porous substrates to avoid air coming into the resin from underneath. 
    • Blowing on bubbles will cause them to pop, but this method is not realistic if you are coating a large piece.  In this instance, use a heat gun or a butane or propane torch.  Applying heat from these tools by quickly running them over the surface of the resin will efficiently rid the resin of bubbles.  I have found a kitchen flambé torch to be best because it is easy to hold and manoeuvre, not cumbersome, and does a really good job at taking care of every last bubble.

     

    3. Surface Imperfections
    This problem can be caused by anything floating/falling into your resin while it cures, resulting in non-smooth flaws in the surface.  If you are experiencing imperfections that look more like domed bumps in the resin, skip down to #4.

    To avoid imperfections:

    • Resin in a designated resin area where your work can sit undisturbed while curing.

    • Cover your work with a half cardboard box, or build a tent if your piece is very large.  Prepare whatever you plan to cover with in advance so you can simply grab it and use it as soon as you're done resining.

    To fix imperfections:

    • Lightly sand the entire piece and repour a second layer of resin on top.  The sanding provides some tooth on the first coat so the second layer will adhere properly.  It will look a mess until you pour the second layer, and then it'll look great!  Obviously you need to wait until the first layer is 100% cured before adding more resin on top.

     

    4. Uneven or poorly spreading resin
    ArtResin is naturally self-leveling, so this problem happens when your work is not level or you have not used enough resin.

    To avoid imperfections:

    • Take the time to level your piece prior to resining.  Level from left to right, and top to bottom.  Use small pieces of scrap paper to even out either side to ensure levelness. 

    • Always mix a little more than you think you'll need to avoid running out.  It's easy to find extra things to resin if you have a little left over, but not easy to mix up more if you need it considering the cure times will be different.  Use our Resin Usage Calculator to determine how much you're likely to need, then add a bit more.
    • Always apply a generous amount of resin to the entire surface of your piece. Again, it's easier to do it right the first time than to have to troubleshoot a piece has cured.

    To fix imperfections:

    • Lightly sand the entire piece and repour a second layer of resin on top.  The sanding provides some tooth on the first coat so the second layer will adhere properly.  It will look a mess until you pour the second layer, and then it'll look great!  Obviously you need to wait until the first layer is 100% cured before adding more resin on top.


    5. Yellowing
    This issue has been greatly mitigated with our new ArtResin formula, which contains a UV stabilizer and Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer (HALS) for exceptional yellowing protection.  These additives prevent the epoxy resin from yellowing (something epoxy is prone to) at a chemistry level.  It is still not recommended for outside use however, as UV light creates undesirable conditions for resin.

     

    To avoid yellowing issues:

    • Use a quality resin product that contains both a UV and more importantly a HALS stabilizer.
    • Keep resined pieces out of UV light.

     

    Hope this helps!!  Remember, as with most things in life it takes some practice and experience before getting it right.  Experiment, play, learn, and enjoy the process!