Epoxy resin comes in two parts: a resin and a hardener. Mixing the resin and hardener together prompts a chemical reaction between the two, transforming them from a liquid into a solid. Measuring accurately and mixing thoroughly is essential to ensure your epoxy resin cures properly.
There are 3 simple steps when measuring and mixing epoxy resin and hardener to ensure a perfect pour:
- Determine how much epoxy resin you'll need
- Accurately measure both resin and hardener
- Mix thoroughly for 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom as you stir
ArtResin is a high-gloss epoxy resin specifically designed to give artwork and
creative projects a crystal clear finish. It's an easy-to-use 1:1 ratio epoxy resin, meaning it requires equal amounts of both resin and hardener, measured by volume.
Step 1: Determine How Much ArtResin You'll Need
ArtResin has a handy resin calculator on our website that figures it out for you.
- Measure your piece ... the calculator works in inches or centimetres.
- Head to ArtResin.com, scroll down to Quick Links at the bottom of the page and click on Resin Calculator.
- Enter your dimensions, and hit Calculate.
The Resin Calculator tells you how much ArtResin you'll need and even recommends which kit you should get.
💡TIP: Suggested amounts given on the Resin Calculator are based on a single layer. If you want a thicker coat, you will need more ArtResin to cover the same surface area, in order to do multiple pours.
Step 2: Measure Your ArtResin Accurately
ArtResin is a 1:1 epoxy resin, and requires equal amounts of both resin and hardener in order to catalyze and cure. After you've prepped your work surface and determined how much ArtResin you need, pour precisely equal amounts by volume of resin and hardener into a plastic mixing cup with well marked measurement lines.
Measure accurately! Adding too much of either resin or hardener will alter the chemical reaction and the mixture will not cure properly.
Example: Say you have a piece of artwork that is 2 feet x 3 feet. Entering 24" x 36" into the Resin Calculator gives you a result of 30 oz total resin required: this represents a combined volume of 15 oz of resin and 15 oz of hardener. Start by pouring 15 oz of resin into the measuring cup, followed by 15 oz of hardener, to give you 30 oz total. The 32 oz kit is the perfect amount for your project's needs.
Tips For Mixing Resin With Hardener:
- ArtResin is sticky so always wear disposable gloves to protect your hands from both a sticky mess and skin irritation. If your skin does come into contact with ArtResin, clean the affected area promptly with soap and water. Read more about safety precautions when working with ArtResin here.
- ArtResin doesn't stick to plastic, so use hard plastic mixing containers and tools for easy clean up. Click here to see our 2 favorite ways to clean plastic containers and tools.
- The ideal working temperature for working with ArtResin is 75-85F or 24-30C. Cold temperatures will cause ArtResin to become thick and full of micro-bubbles so precautions during the cold winter months include space heaters to increase room temperature and warm water baths for resin and hardener bottles (prior to measuring and mixing.) After about 15 mins sitting in warm water, dry your bottles thoroughly before opening them: even a single drop of water in your mixture can cause resin to cure cloudy. Be aware that warming ArtResin shortens its 45 minute working time by approximately 10 minutes.
- Mix up a little more than you think you’ll need ... you want to completely cover your work in one shot and not have to mix more last minute.
- Make sure you put the correct cap back on the bottles (black for resin and white for hardener). If you put the wrong caps back on, they will cure closed!
- Sometimes people think they can speed up the cure time by adding more hardener to the mixture. This won't work. In fact, it will throw off the delicate 1:1 mixing ratio and your resin will not cure. The best way to encourage curing is to increase the room temperature, since curing is accelerated by heat.
Watch And Review:
Step 3: Mix Your ArtResin For 3 Minutes
Once you've measured the correct amounts of resin and hardener, go ahead and mix them. You'll need to mix thoroughly, for at least 3 whole minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the container as you mix. Improperly mixed resin stuck to the sides and bottom won't catalyze and therefore won't cure, leaving sticky spots in your resin that just won’t harden.
If bubbles appear, don't worry ... you can easily and effectively eliminate these after you've poured and spread the resin by using a torch like our Artist's Torch.
After you’ve mixed, you’ll have about 45 minutes to spread the resin and torch bubbles before it starts to thicken and cure.
💡TIP: Although we recommend scraping the sides and bottom of your container when you're mixing, we DON'T recommend scraping when you pour your ArtResin onto your artwork (like you might if you were scraping cake batter out of a mixing bowl and into a cake pan.) If any unmixed resin or hardener stuck to the sides gets scraped out onto your artwork, you'll end up with soft wet spots in your cured resin.
So remember ... scrape when you stir, not when you pour!
Now that your resin is measured and mixed, you're ready for the fun part ... How To Pour And Spread ArtResin over your artwork!
Have a great tip of your own?
Let us know in the comments below?
Do you want to learn more about the mixing & pouring process of epoxy resin? Read our guides below:
ArtResin: Made For Artists, By Artists.