Which Epoxy Resin is Best for Artwork?

Posted on 17 Aug 21:44

When choosing an epoxy resin product to cover your painting, photo, wood project, print, or other kind of craft, you may be tempted to go with whatever is cheapest.  But be warned—what may at first seem relatively inexpensive could wind up costing you a ton over the long run!


How Resins Behave Over Time

Once cured, epoxy resins change with exposure to UV light.  Even fluorescent indoor light will cause it to change.  The most noticeable change is in respect to color.  When UV light hits a resin coating, it degrades the epoxy polymers, causing ambering (i.e. a noticeably yellow discoloration).  Even resin that may have started out crystal clear will soon turn a yucky yellow hue.  This process and outcome is inevitable, unless something is done to the chemical make-up of the resin formula to address this.

epoxy resin non yellowing uv light

What Is a UV Stabilizer and How Does It Work?

Many epoxy resins on the market include a UV stabilizer (aka UV inhibitor) to protect against yellowing, as well as other problems that epoxies are prone to (such as delamination, chalking, cracking and gloss loss).  In truth, a UV stabilizer is necessary and effective, except when it comes to the yellowing issue.  A UV stabilizer merely delays yellowing; it is not enough on its own to prevent it entirely.  Yellowing prevention requires a different additive altogether; something by the name of Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer (HALS).  Unlike UV light stabilization, Hindered Amine Light Stabilization (HALS) actually interrupts the yellowing process at the outset, making it incredibly difficult for the yellowing cycle to even begin. Therefore, any epoxy resin containing HALS is essentially a non-yellowing formula.  HALS has been demonstrated in numerous test cases over the years to be extraordinarily effective in preventing and protecting against yellowing—there is approximately 50 years worth of this evidence available.

uv hals non yellowing artresin

Which Brands of Epoxy Resin are Non-Yellowing?

There is only one epoxy resin formula available on the market that includes both UV and HALS stabilization; that product is Art Resin epoxy resin.  Art Resin was developed specifically for use over artwork and craft projects, meaning it has been formulated to keep artwork beautiful and as the artist intended, over time.  Any resin product that does not include both HALS and UV stabilization will, as a matter of scientific fact, amber and yellow over a period of a few months to a year (typically).  A low quality resin product applied over artwork will deteriorate the work and decrease its value, leaving both artists and patrons frustrated and disappointed.  In that sense, choosing to use a cheaper resin product is actually an extremely costly mistake. 

Art Resin epoxy resin has been certified as safe for home use by an ASTM board-certified toxicologist and contains no VOCs or fumes.  

uv hals astm d4236 non toxic resin epoxy