You've seen us use blowtorches in all of our videos and you may be wondering ...
Do I REALLY have to use a blowtorch for surface bubbles in my resin?
In short, our opinion is YES and here's why ....
To get rid of bubbles, a blowtorch is the best tool for the job!
So when you've carefully measured equal amounts of resin and hardener ...
and you've mixed for 3 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides ...
and you've poured your resin and spread it out to the edges ...
You're going to notice something happening.
Bubbles will begin rising to the surface of the resin.
This is because the clever folks who formulated ArtResin included a bubble release agent. A bubble release agent allows for easy de-gassing - that is, it encourages the bubbles to rise to the surface immediately so you can torch them out ... before the resin starts to thicken and cure.
Some of these bubbles will pop on their own once hitting the surface, but to get a flawless, glass like surface, we'll need to get rid of the rest!!
So there are few different approaches floating around out there on how to get rid of bubbles. Let's go through a few of the more popular methods:
Method 1: popping bubbles with a pin
Bubbles will pop when you poke them with a pin or a toothpick, but WOW, this is a labor intensive way of going about it and is pretty much impossible to cover a large piece of artwork in 45 minutes ( ArtResin's working time )
VERDICT: Use a toothpick or pin for last minute touch ups instead :)
Method 2: blowing on bubbles or blowing through a straw
Blowing on bubbles can cause the bubbles to pop, yes, but it's also a super slow process. This method might work on very small pieces, but again, is not realistic for large artwork.
VERDICT: Not efficient
Method 2: using a hair dryer
While it's true that heat definitely helps in the fight against bubbles, the heat of a hair dryer just isn't intense enough. And just think of all that dust and hair in your hair dryer or floating around in the air that you're going to be blasting all over your vulnerable, wet artwork. That's just asking for trouble. No thanks!
VERDICT: Save the hair dryer for your blowout.
Method 3: a heat gun
Ok - things are looking up. The heat is significantly higher than you'd get from a hair dryer and a heat torch will get rid of bubbles more efficiently than blowing through a straw or poking with a toothpick. But yet again, you're blowing air onto your wet resin, which brings with it the chance of blowing dust all over it too.
VERDICT: a good start, young grasshopper, but we're not quite Samurai level yet
Method 4: a butane or propane torch
Okay, guys, now we're cooking with Crisco!
Nothing beats the heat and intensity of a torch and it's the only method we use here at the ArtResin studio. So whether you feel more comfortable with an easy-to-use kitchen flambé torch like our Artist Torch for small pieces, or a bigger propane torch like our Artist's Propane Torch Head ( a MUST for large pieces! ) a flame is your best bet to really zap out bubbles and get a flawless, crystal clear, ArtResin finish!
Oh, and hello bonus!! Not only will a flame torch help get rid of bubbles, but that naked flame actually incinerates surface dust in the process - win win!!
Once you've used a torch, you'll never want to go back to any other method!
VERDICT: If you want pro results, a flame torch is where it's at!
TIP: Please make sure you exercise caution & common sense when working with a naked flame. Never, ever leave a flame unattended. Work in a well ventilated area and keep the flame well away from flammable substances. And suffice it to say ... if you play with fire, you're going to get burnt.
TIP: Make sure you use an ironing like motion when you're torching your artwork.
That is, hold the flame far enough away from your piece so you don't scorch the resin and always, always keep it moving in a back and forth fashion. Do not hold it in one spot for too long or you may end up overtorching and damaging your piece.
For more information on why a torch is the best tool for the job, check out what Rebecca has to say!
And Patty teaches us about the perils of overtorching in this entertaining episode of Oh Sh*t!
You've heard us say that ArtResin is certified non-toxic and safe for home use when used as directed, but there are some common sense precautions every user should follow.
1. Wear Gloves
ArtResin in its liquid form is sticky stuff.
Your first line of defense should always be a pair of gloves.
Gloves will protect the user from a sticky mess as well as possible skin irritation. We like to use nitrile gloves here at the studio - they are similar to latex but a lot stronger and with none of the allergenic compounds commonly associated with latex.
If you do happen to get ArtResin on your skin, promptly wash it off with soap and water. You can use handsoap, but we find an exfoliant to be far more effective at cleaning sticky hands!
We either dry wash first with an orange handcleaner from the hardware store and then rinse ... or even better, we like to keep a small bowl of poppyseeds by the sink. Put some liquid handsoap in the palm of your hand, add a pinch of poppyseeds and rub well ( no water - rub it in dry ) Then rinse with water and your hands will be clean and resin-free!
NOTE: Don't use varsol, vinegar, alcohol or acetone to clean your hands.
These items are great at breaking down epoxy resin, yes - but that also enables your skin to absorb it -and you don't want that! Save that stuff for cleaning your tools, but keep it well away from your bare skin when working with resin.
Dave made a great video on how to clean your hands:
( and another great video here on how to clean your tools! )
2. If ArtResin somehow comes in contact with your eyes, flush with water repeatedly for 15 minutes and do not rub.
Promptly seek medical attention!
For detailed health information, please see the ArtResin SDS.
3. Always work in a well ventilated area.
Wear a respirator if ventilation is poor.
In developing ArtResin, one of our main goals was to develop a product that would not cause any health threats to the people using it.
ArtResin is recognized by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as meeting safety standard D-4236: Safe for Home Use. Every art material must be evaluated by the ASTM toxicologists for any potential threats, and warnings must be included on the label.
After being evaluated, no component of ArtResin's make-up was found to be harmful, toxic, hazardous, flammable or dangerous when used as directed!
ArtResin is a clean system, meaning everything in the formula reacts together, leaving no fumes or VOCs that can become airborne and be breathed in.
Comparatively, most epoxy resin products on the market are classified as a hazardous material. They are highly toxic and meant to be used in industrial applications with heavy duty respirators, protective eyewear and hazmat clothing. They can't be shipped by air for safety reasons, and in most cases are flammable.
Our customers will not find any warning labels, skull and crossbone icons or corrosive pictograms on ArtResin's packaging. Unlike with most other resins, you will not find these alarming images on our bottles - which means our customers can relax and focus on getting creative :)
NOTE: ArtResin produces a very low odor which, depending on the sensitivity of the user, may be barely noticeable or not noticeable at all. It's important to differentiate that what the user is smelling is simply that - a smell - and NOT fumes. If a scent is detected, feel free to use a respirator to make your user experience more comfortable.
So let the label be your guide: if the resin you're using doesn't say "conforms to ASTM D-4236", then chances are it poses some serious health risks. Please make sure you are taking appropriate safety precautions or even easier ... switch to a safe product like ArtResin :)
And this time they are going to transform a live edge piece of wood into a functioning mantle clock ... for those of us who can still tell time the traditional way :)
Dave picked up a beautiful piece of willow from Exotic Woods, one of ArtResin's favorite local stores. Inspired by a family heirloom, Dave thought the wood piece would make a one-of-a-kind, custom clock - that doubles as a beautiful piece of artwork!
Next he picked up the clock mechanism - called a clock movement kit.
There are lots of styles to choose from at good hobby and craft stores, and even more to choose from online! Dave went with an inexpensive, battery operated model with simple, clean lines to allow the natural beauty of the wood to shine.
With wood, tools, and clock movement set in hand, Dave and Joanne walk us step by step through the process in Episode One:
- The first step is to outline the clock face ( Joanne drew an outline using a small plate. )
- In the center of the clock face, Dave will drill a hole for the clock shaft to poke through. From there, he can drill a cavity in the back for the clock movement kit to sit in.
- Dave and Joanne decided to only mark the 12, 3, 6 and 9 points on the clock face to keep the look clean and simple. Their plan is to make 4 holes using a square chisel, and then to fill those holes with silver ResinTint!
- Finally, they will sand down the face of the clock, cover it in super glossy ArtResin epoxy resin, assemble and install the clock mechanism and hey presto .... the clock will be complete!
In last episode, Dave drilled a hole through the centre of the clock. Today, Dave and Joanne used that hole as a guide to drill out a cavity in the back of the clock for the clock movement set to sit in.
Once they were certain the clock movement set was sitting correctly, they trimmed down the hour, minute and second hands to size, as well as sanding them down to the raw metal for a more industrial look.
Finally, Dave and Joanne then marked out the 3, 6, 9, and 12 hour points on the clock face. They used a square chisel to carve out 4 holes which they are planning on filling with silver ResinTint!!!
Stay tuned next week when Dave and Joanne sand down the face of the clock and cover it in super glossy ArtResin epoxy resin ... and for lots of really bad clock puns along the way!
Bad Clock Puns Tally:
episode one - 11!
episdoe two - 23!!
Every month we like to spread the love by sending a 1 gallon kit to someone who has used the #artresin hashtag on Instagram ... and then we share their work with the world!
Congratulations to JoAnn Lazaro, our lucky winner for June!
JoAnn is a professional artist based in San Diego, CA.
JoAnn is clearly inspired by the natural beauty surrounding her in San Diego: the beach, water, crashing waves are recurring themes in her paintings. Gorgeous!!
Carefully selected embellishments of ArtResin create a beautiful 3D effect that brings her work to life!
Absolutely love this succulent inspired layered piece - shiny and gorgeous!
"Stellar" - mixed media on wood panel. Simply beautiful!!
Congratulations on your win, JoAnn!
Q: Can I use ArtResin epoxy resin to pour a really THICK layer on my artwork?
A: We're so glad you asked! The answer is YES. Yes, you can.
We totally understand that sometimes you might need a thicker layer if for instance, you're pouring into a mold, or if you're embedding objects into your resin, or maybe you just like the look of a thick coat!
You can do all of that with ArtResin, but for the best results you're going to need to follow a couple of steps.
It's important to note that because ArtResin was formulated to be a surface coating, it naturally self-levels to about 1/8". This thickness also allows bubbles to rise to the top so you can easily torch them out.
To get really thick coverage, you'll need to layer ArtResin in multiple coats.
You can layer multiple coats as high as you'd like, just as long as you pour in 1/8" increments.
Remember: don't pour ArtResin any thicker than 1/8" at a time, or the bubbles won't all be able to escape.
Meet our good friend, artist Josie Lewis:
Josie has mastered this layering technique to create what she calls the resin slab:
thick, multi-layered resin coats. Taking it one step further, she embeds paper clippings or Plasticine in between the layers to make collages with a super cool 3D effect!
Check out some of Josie's gorgeous work!
Take a look at this video for an up-close look at one of her pieces .... check out the incredible detail in her collage work and just how thick she got that ArtResin coat!! So impressive!!
I'll bet you wanna know how she did it?!
Well, guess what?
Josie was kind enough to create a video to show step-by-step just how she makes her thick, multilayered resin slabs!
Take a peek.
As you see in Josie's video, you have to create a barrier or dam along the edges of your piece, creating a reservoir in which to pour your resin layers. Tape works beautifully for this, especially a thick, wide, strong tape like the aluminum tape Josie uses in her video.
TIP: You can find aluminum tape in the ventilation section of any big hardware store.
Once you've applied the tape to each side of your artwork, you're ready to resin!
Remember: use an equal, one-to-one, carefully measured amount of resin and hardener and mix for at least 3 minutes, ensuring you scrape the bottom and sides of your mixing vessel :)
Pour the resin into your dammed in area, no thicker than 1/8" at a time to allow bubbles to escape. Torch out bubbles with a heat torch - Josie uses a propane torch very similar to this one here.
Now, cover and wait.
Okay. So you have a couple of choices at this point.
- let this layer of resin has set up to the jelly like stage (usually after about 3-5 hours)
- then go ahead and pour another 1/8" layer on top ( adding more artwork if you like before you pour. )
- torch out bubbles
- cover and wait 3-5 hrs
- repeat as many times as you like until you reach the height you desire
- wait 24 to 48 hrs until the layer has dried
- lightly sand the surface down ( to create a bit of tooth for your next layer to adhere to )
- wipe up all sanding debris, add more artwork, and then pour on your next 1/8" layer.
- torch out bubbles
- cover and let this layer dry
- repeat these steps as many times as you'd like
TIP: Keep in mind that ArtResin's recommendation of a full 72hr cure time is based on a 1/8" layer. The thicker your layers are, the longer the cure time will be. It could take up to a week for a full cure, depending on how thick the final coat is.
When the resin has fully cured, use a table saw to tidy the edges (cutting through the tape, thick resin, artwork and wooden panel). If you like, you can bevel down any sharp edges with sandpaper .... and for a pro looking finish, you can even polyurethane the raw resin edge and paint the raw wood, just like Josie does!
Thanks so much, Josie!!
Hope Josie's video inspires you to create a resin slab of your own!
Be sure to share your results with us - we'd love to see your work!
Check out more of Josie's art at:
"Because life is too short to live without kisses ... "
We guarantee that the super fun work of this next artist will make you smile!!
Introducing our next Featured Artist Alexis Fraser, known in the art circles as Lipstick Lex!
Artistic from a young age, Alexis had long been searching for a way to make her mark in the art world, in a fun and creative way.
She settled on a kiss.
In fact ... thousands of kisses!
Her innovative take on pointillism involves applying lipstick and literally smooching her artwork hundreds and thousands of times. With her kiss print technique, Alexis transforms her canvas into a giant paint by numbers of sorts - kissing, blending and brushing lipstick to canvas in every shade you can imagine, to create pop art with a twist. Her beautiful and unique works are undoubtedly conversation pieces in any space.
ArtResin recently spent time with Lipstick Lex at her Toronto studio to discuss lipstick, her multi-step kiss pointillism process and how her artwork is the very embodiment of love and respect.
Check out more of Alexis' art at:
OK, ArtResin ....
- we KNOW that your epoxy resin creates an incredible, glossy, crystal clear finish.
- we KNOW that ArtResin has the best non-yellowing properties on the market.
- we KNOW that ArtResin makes wood look gorgeous.
- we KNOW you've used ArtResin to make candy bowls, coasters, trivets and trays.
But can you actually USE the stuff you make?
Like, can you REALLY eat off of it?
In other words, is ArtResin safe for contact with food?!
We're so glad you asked :)
And the answer is yes, yes and yes!!!
Not only is ArtResin 1) BPA Free and 2) certified non-toxic and safe for home use WHILE you're creating with it, but fully cured and dried ArtResin has been designated SAFE for incidental contact with food!
And while you can check out our Safety Data Sheets, don't just take our word for it ...
the FDA says so too!
So go ahead ... have that party and use your ArtResin'd tableware!
... prepare that cheese board!
... serve that charcuterie platter!
... fill that candy bowl with sweets!
... place your coffee cup right on that coaster!
And do so with complete confidence, because not only will your ArtResin'd piece look gorgeous and take pride of place at your party table, but it is 100% food safe too.
And do you know what's even cooler?
After your party is over and it's time to clean up .... guess what??
ArtResin is waterproof and dishwasher safe!
Take a peek and Dave will explain ....
Here are a few of our favorite food projects .... enjoy!
DIY Wood Slice Serving Tray
Peppermint Candy Bowls
Candy Serving Tray
Glass Mosaic Trivet
A Live Edge Wood Board
How To Resin Live Edge Wood
Well, for one thing, all the other epoxy resin brands they had been using were turning their artwork YELLOW!!
So frustrating .... not to mention heartbreaking!
And then, because those epoxy resins were designed for industrial use, they were also highly toxic!
Dave and Rebecca firmly believed that an artist should never have to compromise their health for their artwork.
They knew there had to be a solution out there.
And so they experimented, problem-solved and collaborated for almost a decade to create an epoxy resin that met their exacting standards.
Their ideal resin had to be:
easy to use
And once they developed a resin perfect enough to use on their own artwork, they couldn't wait to share it with their fellow artists ...
And so, ArtResin was born :)
Since then, ArtResin has helped artists, photographers, woodworkers, crafters, moms, dads, and kids create both beautiful pieces of art and beautiful memories.
Here's a gorgeous piece of white artwork that Rebecca created for her daughter Zoe:
Dave and Rebecca believe that the limitations of an art material should never dictate the limits of your creativity.
ArtResin was designed for artists, for their artwork and it was designed to stay clear!
ArtResin was specifically formulated to offer the most efficient, non yellowing protection out of all the epoxy resins on the market! So go ahead .... use ArtResin epoxy resin over your white works of art with confidence!!
UPDATE: Almost 2 years later, Rebecca's white artwork is still white!!
Check it out!!
* we've got a beautiful, brand new location, with tons of space to work in!
We will now be able to process orders more efficiently, and we have a gorgeous, bright environment in which to make plans and create, plus loads of space to film brand new videos - all to make the ArtResin experience even better for YOU, our customers!
* Patty and Jeff are off to NYC to spend the day interviewing for our next Featured Artist series, NYC based artist Kira Lee, and are spending the afternoon of Thurs June 22nd between 2pm and 4pm at Blick on Bond St, doing live ArtResin demos with our artist friends Chris Tuorto and Anna Bida!
Stay tuned to ArtResin's IG page for live feeds if you can't make it in person!!
* and last, but certainly not least .... we have a super duper exciting announcement to make ...... something we've been working on for awhile and we're finally ready to share!!!
Stay tuned to find out what it is ..... !!!!
Any ideas, friends?
Would love to hear your guesses in the comments below!!
UPDATE HERE :)
Hey NYC - good news!!!
ArtResin's own Patty and Jeff are hitting up New York City on June 22nd!!
And if you can't make the demo in-store, no worries ... check out our Instagram page ( @art_resin ) for a live feed!
There may or may not be prizes ( ! ) but guaranteed with Jeff and Patty in the same room, there will be no shortage of jokes
Mark the date: June 22nd, 2-3pm, ArtResin at Blick on Bond!!
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