One of the most important factors to ensure your epoxy resin cures properly is temperature. The best temperature for both your ArtResin and your workspace is slightly warmer than room temperature: 75-85F or 24-30C. Resin won't harden properly if the temperature is too low, so some precautions need to be taken during the cold winter months.
Here are 3 simple tips to ensure your resin art cures perfectly during the cold winter months:
- The resin should be at room temperature: let it sit out for a few hours or give it a warm water bath.
- The workspace should be at room temperature: keep it no lower than 72F/22C and, ideally, above 75F/24C.
- The workspace should stay stable at room temperature for the first 24 hours of curing.
- Wondering why temperature is so important?
- What happens if you use cold resin?
- And what effect can a cold room have on your resin cure?
Let's find out ....
1. Ensure your resin is at room temperature.
Room temperature ArtResin epoxy resin is crystal clear with a honey-like consistency. On the other hand, cold resin is thick with a cloudy, milky appearance due to thousands of micro bubbles (that you'll never be able to torch out!)
Cold resin has a taffy like consistency, making it difficult to pour.
It will have a cloudy, milky appearance due to thousands of cold induced micro bubbles.
Cold resin is thick and difficult to spread.
It will not self-level as easily as room temperature resin and has a frothy looking appearance.
Tip: Even after torching, you will be left with frothy looking areas due to micro bubbles below the resin surface. You will not be able to torch these out.
How can I increase the temperature of my resin?
If your resin is cold, you need to bring it up to room temperature before you resin. You can do this by letting the resin bottles sit out to come up to temperature or you can try a warm water bath. Read our techniques below:
- always warm the bottles BEFORE you measure and mix.
- leave the caps on to prevent any water from getting mixed into your resin or hardener. Water in your resin mixtures means a cloudy cure.
- place your bottles of resin and hardener in a container of warm water: the water doesn't need to be very hot ... about what you'd use for a baby's bath is just fine.
- don't submerge the bottles.
- let the resin sit in the water bath for 15 minutes or so (depending on how cold your resin was to start with and how big your bottles are.)
To prevent any water from getting into your resin mixture, dry off the bottles thoroughly before you open them.
Resin that is at room temperature (or slightly warmer) is smooth, clear and with a beautiful honey-like consistency. It pours and spreads with ease.
💡TIP: If you are using a water bath to warm your ArtResin, be aware that heat promotes a faster cure: this means that ArtResin's 45 minute working time will be cut down by about 10 minutes. It also means that if you leave warmed resin sitting in the cup on your work surface, the resin may get increasingly hot, getting thicker and possibly curing right in the cup. Best practice is to get your artwork and supplies ready to go before you measure and mix the resin. Then, pour right away. Don't leave warm resin sitting in the mixing cup!
2. Ensure your resin room is at room temperature or above:
When working with ArtResin epoxy resin the 3 key guidelines for room temperature are:
- WARM: 75-85F or 24-30C is ideal, but don't go below 72F/22C
- DRY: 50% humidity is ideal, but anything below 85% relative humidity is fine
- STABLE: no fluctuation in temperature during the first 24hrs
During the cold winter months, the best case scenario is to plan ahead: use a space heater in the room that you're planning on resining in to increase the ambient room temperature. Leave your resin in the room so that it will come up to temperature as well.
What happens if the temperature of my room is too cold?
When your room temperature is too cold, the resin will take far longer to cure. If the temperature of your resin room is below 72F/22C, your resin may stay sticky for days or may not cure at all. If this happens, simply try moving your piece to a warmer area or increase the room temperature -- if temperature was the issue, the resin should cure dry to the touch after 24 hours.
💡TIP: If the resin has not cured, even after 24 hrs in a warmer environment, the sticky resin is likely due to a measuring or mixing issue. Check out our blog to learn how to fix a sticky epoxy resin.
3. Ensure the resin room stays stable at room temperature or above for the first 24 hours of curing.
The first 24 hours of a cure are critical ... and the resin room must remain warm, dry and stable, with no fluctuations or dips in temperature.
For example, placing your freshly resined piece to cure in a sunny window seems absolutely ideal, but when night falls and the temperature does too ... you may very well end up with what's known as the "orange peel" effect. This may look like dimples in your resin, waves and other strange surface imperfections.
This piece was done in winter and allowed to cure in a sunny window. When the sun went down, the temperature plummeted and the piece cured with dimples and other imperfections.
This piece was resined in November at the start of Canadian winter. It cured in the warm ArtResin studio at 75F/24C for 2 hours. It was then moved to the garage where the temperature was just above freezing during the day and below freezing at night. It was dry to the touch in the morning, but covered in imperfections.
This piece cured in the warm studio for about 5 hours and was moved to the cold garage to complete its cure: it also cured with surface imperfections.
This piece cured in the warm studio for 8 hours and then finished its overnight cure in the garage. It's in better shape than the first two boards but still has noticeable imperfections.
Clearly, you can see the results when the temperature drops partway through the curing process: wavy, streaky, dimpled, uneven surfaces.
Luckily, this is an easy fix!
Learn how to fix surface mistakes in our blog How To Apply A Second Coat.
So remember, when working with ArtResin epoxy resin:
- use room temperature resin
- ensure your resin room is at room temperature or above
- ensure your resin room stays stable at room temperature for the first 24 hours of curing.
Follow these simple points to help get a perfect, ArtResin cure, like this piece below:
What is the best temperature to store ArtResin epoxy resin?
Opened or unopened, store your ArtResin bottles in a dark spot, out of direct sunlight and in a spot where the temperature will stay stable at room temperature or just slightly below (70F or 20C).
Do you want to know more about ArtResin epoxy resin? Read our guides below:
- Does epoxy resin expire?
- What's the cure time of epoxy resin?
- Does epoxy resin shrink?
- What happens if epoxy resin freezes?
- How long does epoxy resin last?
- Does epoxy resin crack?
- Is epoxy resin self-leveling?
- What's the working time of artresin?
- What's the smell of epoxy resin?
- Is epoxy resin waterproof?
- Types Of Epoxy Resin & Their Uses
- How does moisture affect epoxy resin
- How does hot weather affect epoxy resin
Hope this was helpful.
Please leave any questions or comments below!
ArtResin: Made For Artists, By Artists.