Shiny vs Matte Silicone Molds

Posted on 25 May 15:51

Looking for new ArtResin project ideas or new ways to use resin in your art?
How about trying a silicone mold?  
Silicone molds and epoxy resin are a perfect match 😊

Why silicone? 
It's simple, really. ArtResin will stick to almost anything with the exception of plastic, vinyl and - you guessed it - silicone. 

A silicone mold has the advantage over a plastic mold:
Unlike a plastic mold which is thin, stiff and could rip or warp while you're trying to unmold your work, a silicone mold is flexible, allowing you to peel back the silicone mold away from the resin cast and it will pop right back into shape, meaning you can use them over and over again. Plastic molds often require a mold release spray which can cause the exterior of your resin to turn cloudy.  
Silicone molds are a popular resin accessory for good reason:
They're 
perfect for making silicone petri dishes!
Check out Josie Lewis' ArtResin tutorial How To Make A Resin Petri Dish




You can make a beautiful keepsake by preserving petals in resin, just like artist Elle Dunn does.



Or make a fun craft by preserving fall leaves in resin, just like we did for our Resin Napkin Holders



Of course, one of the most popular uses for silicone molds is for embedding objects to make epoxy resin coasters.



You can easily pick up silicone molds at hobby stores and online too - there are lots to choose from!  When you're shopping around, however, make sure you keep an eye out for a very important feature ....

What does the interior of the mold look like?
Is it glossy?
Is it matte?
And does it even matter?

Heck yes, it matters and here's why ...
the finish on the interior of the mold will determine the finish on your cured resin! 

In other words, a matte interior will give a matte finish to your epoxy resin whereas a glossy interior will give your cured resin a glossy finish.

It's true! 
Look at these two examples, both from the same batch of ArtResin, tinted with purple ResinTint. The sample on the left was poured into a silicone mold with a shiny interior, and the sample on the right was poured into a similar mold, but with a matte interior.  

See the difference?
Pretty neat, huh?



Here's our Video Friday episode so you can see the molds ( and the results ) for yourself!




So remember ... if a matte finish is your thing, go for a silicone mold with a matte interior. But if you want the 
beautiful, high gloss, ArtResin finish we all know and love, a glossy interior is the way to go!

👉TIP: You can find silicone molds in the baking section at department stores and most hobby and craft stores. Baking molds work but be aware: they do have a shelf life and will eventually wear down.  You'll know this is happening when your resin starts to stick when you're unmolding, and will even cause your mold to rip if you pull too aggressively.  Instead, look for molds made specifically for casting ( you'll have more luck finding these online. )  Casting molds are better quality and more durable and won't break down at the same rate as baking molds. 

Next week, we're going to talk about what happens if your resin does get stuck in the silicon mold ... it can happen from time to time, but we have a little trick that may help, so stay tuned!