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Top 4 ArtResin Ideas! No. 2 - Coat An Acrylic Painting

Posted on 13 Feb 13:58

This is how it all began—using resin to coat my paintings!  Years ago, all I did was paint, paint, paint... and then I discovered resin, and then I resined, resined, resined all of my paintings!  The early ArtResin videos document all of this.  Then I discovered that ArtResin is great for coating all kinds of things, and so now my creativity has gone in all kinds of directions (...photography ...jewelry making ...collage ...etc.).  But in this video, I bring it back to where my passion for resin began: with painting. 

In this particular piece from this video, I wanted to paint a waterlily, so I found an image of one online and printed it off, then transferred the image on my panel.  Transferring the image is easy: just color over the back of the image completely and darkly with pencil.  Then flip it over and trace over the outline of the lily.  Where you trace, the pencil from the back of the paper will come off onto the panel underneath.  Voilà!  You have a transferred image ready to be painted in!  

 

 

To coat a painting, your piece must first be completely dry.  If you're using acrylics, no problem, your work will be dry in no time flat.  If you're using oils though, you will be waiting weeks, and even months, before your piece is dry!  

When you're ready to resin, pour equal parts from each bottle in the ArtResin kit into a mixing container.  Mix thoroughly for at least 3 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides as you mix, and then pour and spread over your piece.  I make sure to prop up and level the piece on some kind of stand so that when I pour the resin and it goes over the edge, it won't stick the painting to the table as it cures.  If you see bubbles in the resin and want to be über efficient at popping them, use an Artist's Torch and quickly run it over the surface.  

Next, just cover the entire piece with a box (open on one side, obviously) and leave it overnight to cure.  When you return in the morning, you will be pleased to see a perfect pour and a professional-looking result! 

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Why Do Some Brands of Epoxy Resin Turn Yellow?

Posted on 31 Aug 09:59

Click here to view third party yellowing test data featuring various popular epoxy resin brands.

 

Chances are if you've landed on this page, you've had a beautiful piece of art turn yellow after using a resin product that's not specifically formulated for use over creative projects.  Total bummer.  Here's why it happened and how to avoid it for next time.

aretresin epoxy resin non yellowing ex74

The Effects of UV Light on Epoxy Resin

If you aren't using ArtResin epoxy resin then your work is in real danger of discoloration from the natural environment. UV light is to blame for changes to cured epoxy resin over time. When UV light hits the resin—either directly or indirectly—it degrades the polymers. Although this degradation from UV light is a natural process (UV light is typically always harmful to everything on earth over time), it causes observable, undesirable, aesthetically displeasing characteristics, such as:

  • gloss loss
  • de-lamination
  • cracking
  • chalking
  • YELLOWING

A UV stabilizing agent can be added to epoxy resin formulas to mitigate these effects.  UV stabilizers are very effective at preventing gloss loss, de-lamination, cracking and chalking, but they merely delay discoloration. In other words, yellowing is still inevitable with a UV stabilizer alone. Yellowing first presents as a light tone all over, then progressively darkens until it reaches a dark brownish-yellow hue. Yellowing will be accelerated with exposure to UV light. A resined piece that is placed outside will generally reach its dark brown-yellow color within 24 hours. Artwork that is kept indoors will begin to discolor generally within 6 months to a year if it was coated in a resin product that contained only a UV stabilizer. If the resin did not contain a UV stabilizer at all, it will reach a dark yellowing much faster, within approximately 2-3 months. Discoloration has also been demonstrated in pieces that have been kept in complete darkness.

* It should be noted that yellowing can occur as a result of an undesirable interaction between Titanium Dioxide (found in white pigments) and ANY brand of epoxy resin.

 

All Epoxy Resins Are NOT Created Equal

There are many, many uses for epoxy resin, only one of which is as a clear coating for artwork and other creative applications. Many epoxy resin products on the market are sold as adhesives and most are intended for industrial use, not home/studio use. Many resins are made for the marine industry because epoxy is a durable, waterproof product. In most cases, epoxy resins are not formulated specifically to maintain clarity over the long term, as artists require. Further, most resins are considered a hazardous material due to their chemical composition; they are intended for use in industrial settings where hazmat suiting is readily available and required. Any resin that quickly yellows is not adequately formulated for use over artwork.  Any artist thinking of using resin over their artwork should certainly choose a product that has been formulated for creative purposes, namely that it is both UV and HALS stabilized, and deemed non-toxic when used as directed and safe for home use in a well ventilated area.  See our SDS for more information.

artresin epoxy resin uv stabilizeer hals astm d 4236

How To Protect Your Artwork Against Yellowing

UV stabilizers are not enough to prevent yellowing in epoxy resin. If you are coating pieces of art—or anything creative, special and important—then you need a product that contains an additive called 'HALS', in addition to a UV stabilizer. HALS stands for Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer. It's job in the formula is solely to address yellowing. How does it do this?  HALS scavenges radicals that are produced with UV light exposure, thus diminishing the degradation cycle that causes yellowing. It's protection abilities has been demonstrated time and again since it came into existence in the 1960s. A UV stabilizer is still necessary to protect against the other problems that result from UV light degradation, however HALS is the number one agent that works to address yellowing.

...So what epoxy resin product is specially formulated for creative projects? that contains both an HALS and a UV stabilizer? that has been deemed non-toxic when used as directed and safe for home use? that is an easy 1:1 mixing ratio, and that produces a gorgeous, glossy finish?  It's ArtResin.

 

Why Epoxy Hardener Sometimes Changes Color in the Bottle 

If you've found that your epoxy hardener has discolored in the bottle, this is caused by oxidation, not UV light. The hardener will yellow in its liquid state more quickly once the bottle has been opened because it has been exposed directly to oxygen, and this will always be more noticeable in larger containers (just as how the ocean looks blue but a cup of water looks clear). It can still yellow very slightly if unopened due to the fact that the HDPE plastic bottles it comes packaged in does breathe a little, allowing oxidation to occur. For this reason, epoxy resins will always have a shelf life. Once a product has begun to yellow in the bottle, it can still be used (i.e. it will still cure properly). It will always appear less yellow on a piece due to the fact it must be mixed with an equal part of resin thereby diluting it, and the product will be spread out in a thin layer making any observable discoloration much less observable.

epoxy resin hardener yellowing

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Which Epoxy Resin is Best for Artwork?

Posted on 17 Aug 21:44

When choosing an epoxy resin 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 in damaged artwork!

 

How Resins Behave Over Time

Once cured, epoxy resins change with exposure to UV light (as most things on earth do!). Even fluorescent indoor light can 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 noticeable yellow discoloration). Even resin that may have started out crystal clear will soon turn a yucky yellow hue. This process and outcome is inevitable, however there are things that can be done to the chemical make-up of the resin formula to mitigate 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 help protect against yellowing, as well as other problems that epoxies are prone to (such as de-lamination, 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 somewhat... another additive altogether is required to really combat yellowing— 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 much more difficult for yellowing to occur. HALS has been demonstrated in numerous test cases over the years to be extraordinarily effective in protecting against yellowing —there is approximately 50 years worth of this evidence available (Google it!).

uv hals non yellowing artresin

Which Brand of Epoxy Resin Has the Best Performance in Terms of Yellowing?

There is only one epoxy resin formula available on the market that includes both UV and HALS stabilization: that product is ArtResin epoxy resin. ArtResin 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. 

UPDATE: See empirical evidence from Atlas Labs on Testing Various Epoxy Resin Brands' Yellowing Performance

ArtResin epoxy resin has been certified as safe for home use by an ASTM board-certified toxicologist and contains no VOCs or fumes.  See our SDS for more information.

uv hals astm d4236 non toxic resin epoxy

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Top 4 ArtResin Ideas! No. 3 - Coating a Mounted Photo

Posted on 2 Jul 14:51

Here's how to mount and resin a photo!  Video tutorial included!

 

 

First, you need a wooden panel (as opposed to a canvas).  Clamp your print down on one side and lift up the other side so you can use spray adhesive on the panel.  Use PLENTY of spray adhesive!  Then let go of the print, letting it fall in place, and cover it with a clean sheet of paper.  This is to protect the print from having any glue transfer during the next step, which is rolling over the print to really stick it down.  I use a brayer (the thing that looks like a roller) to roll everything flat, get out any air bubbles, and stick the print down well.  Once that's done, unclamp the one end and repeat so everything is glued in place. 

Because the print is usually a tiny bit larger than the panel, you'll want to flip the piece over and cut off the extra bit with an X-acto knife.

Your piece is now mounted and you're ready to resin!

To use ArtResin's Epoxy Resin 16oz, simply pour equal parts from each bottle into a mixing container and mix well (i.e. at least 3 solid minutes).  Then pour it over your mounted photo and spread it out with a resin spreader.  ArtResin will self-level, but it's always good to spread by hand and help it out a bit.

Once everything is covered, use an Artist's Torch quickly over the surface to help eliminate any bubbles.  Then just let it sit overnight and your piece will cure to a firm finish by morning.  Its full cure takes approximately 72 hours.

There you go—an easy way to get a professional finish on a photo.  Give it a try!

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Advanced Anti-Yellowing Technology: Yes, It's Possible.

Posted on 7 Apr 22:29

We're making a big deal out of our new ArtResin formula because, unlike every other resin on the market, ours is chemically engineered to offer advanced protection against yellowing!  This product has the right mix of ingredients to keep your work significantly clearer. Let me explain how it works...

 

ArtResin another additive called HALS

You've likely seen resin formulas out there that have a UV stabilizer.  ArtResin has this, plus another additive called HALS which you won't find anywhere else.  The UV stabilizer in our formula is a high quality additive that protects against gloss loss, cracking, chalking, delamination, and to some extent, discoloration.  All alone, a UV stabilizer is not enough to effectively protect artwork, photography, woodworking and the like from the naturally occurring yellowing process of epoxy.  HALS on the other hand has the sole responsibility of diminishing yellowing to keep your work clear and gorgeous for the long term.  Basically, HALS diminishes the UV light-induced degradation of the polymer.  In plain English, it significantly slows down UV light's natural cycle that causes the material to break down (and therefore yellow).  HALS was discovered in 1959 and in the time since, its yellowing protection has been well documented.  So although our formula is new (and so are our test results), we have decades of evidence of how this material performs that enable us to be very confident in the the product we've recently brought to market. 

Please note, the above image is not an example of ArtResin specifically, but of HALS performance in general.

UPDATE:

ARTRESIN'S UV PROTECTION TEST RESULTS CAN BE VIEWED HERE.

 

ArtResin sample from Expoxy Resin Suppliers
ArtResin new formula is also safe for home use

 

On top of all this, our new formula is also safe for home use when used as directed ( that is, in a well ventilated area ), it's self-leveling, it has a bubble release agent, it's an easy-to-use 1:1 mixing ratio, and it's a lot of FUN!!  We worked with a chemist for 3 years to get this picky list of specs into one formula.  We're excited about it because it's the product we were searching for for our own art purposes that didn't yet exist.  ...Now it does! 

 

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How is our new ArtResin formula better in terms of yellowing?

Posted on 21 Mar 22:30

March 2015

It's been a week since our new epoxy resin formula launched, and we've been asked the same question A LOT (and rightly so): How is this new formula better in terms of yellowing, specifically? Glad you asked. We have a video in production explaining all of this, but I thought it would be helpful to jot down some points here on the blog so you won't have to wait.

____________________________________________________________________________

UPDATE June 2016

We have yellowing test data from Atlas Labs (AZ) demonstrating that ArtResin offers the best yellowing protection in accelerated UV weathering testing, compared to 16 other epoxy resins currently on the market.

Watch the video:

_________________________________________________________________________

For starters, new ArtResin contains new German-engineered (US sourced) technology—an additive called HALS (hindered-amine light stabilization) which is an extremely efficient light stabilizing agent for excellent yellowing protection. Google it! This is in addition to another standard UV light stabilizer. So effectively the new formula has 2 light stabilizers for double the yellowing protection.

In our very last trial before going to market, we made another small adjustment by cutting down on the accelerator (the agent that causes curing to happen quicker instead of taking days and days). Ironically, epoxy resin accelerators are optically YELLOW (*eye roll...), so by cutting down we gained about 10 extra minutes in the working time of the product (about 40 minutes total before it begins to cure) AND we wound up with an even clearer hardener than we had already. Great score. On the shelf it is absolutely the clearest hardener you will find--it's water clear, in fact. We were actually shocked at the clarity when we first saw it, because it's just soooo unusually clear!

You may have seen an old blog or two where we did a comparative test of a bunch of different resin formulas  by putting them out in the Texas sun for 6 months and monitoring the effects. This was prior to our discovery of HALS, and still ours outperformed the rest in terms of yellowing. I should say that ALL formulas in the test yellowed during that period of time—as we expected—due to being subjected to such undesirable conditions (NO epoxy resin is EVER recommended to be purposefully exposed to UV light). After this test we continued our research and development which led to our discovery of HALS for superior UV damage protection.

In all transparency, this new resin product is too new for us to have years worth of evidence available to share with you. We'll be conducting and recording new longevity tests and publishing the results so you can see for yourself what you can expect from our product. We are always careful not to say that it NEVER yellows, because no manufacturer of epoxy resin can legitimately make that guarantee—at least not without historical evidence. Like anything on earth, new things look new and older things tend to show age, but still we remain confident in our product performance because of what we know of the chemistry and the high quality of the ingredients involved. Our aim is to have unbeatable protection against yellowing in our formula for longterm clarity. How long is longterm? As long as possible.. time will tell!

In terms of safety, you can see in our Safety Data Sheet (or SDS)  (posted in the links at the bottom right of every page) that this resin is a clean system, meaning everything reacts and there is nothing loose, volatile or leftover that you could breathe in causing you harm. It's safe for home use when working in a well ventilated area for that reason, but common sense should still prevail; don't put your nose right up to the resin and breathe in deeply. We still recommend using gloves because it's sticky stuff! It would be a mess to get it off your skin, and you don't want that.

UPDATE May 2016: ArtResin has been certified non-toxic when used as directed by an ASTM designated toxicologist, and conforms to ASTM D4236 (safe for home use) when working in a well ventilated area.


Now then, if you have any further questions, please ask :) We are always transparent with our customers because we are artists too and we respect your work.

Peace!

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6 month UV yellowing test results

Posted on 8 Apr 21:09

September 2016

FYI we have an updated blog post with new yellowing information... here's the link:

YOU ASKED: How is our new ArtResin formula better in terms of yellowing?

Atlas Labs in Arizona conducted third party unbiased accelerated weathering testing of 17 epoxy resin samples on the market. The result was that ArtResin came out on top!

See the data here:

NOTE: The info in the old test results below reflects our BETA formula, NOT the formula we currently sell as of March 2015!  Our current formula has unparalleled protection against UV damage!

 

April 2013 

We are continuing our search for a safer, clearer, epoxy resin with longterm protection against yellowing (UPDATE March 2015: We did it! We currently sell our proprietary epoxy resin formula on ArtResin.com)!  It has been a long process so far, trying to find the perfect epoxy resin for art, but we are being patient and working hard! Thanks for all of your interest so far.

The photo below shows the ArtResin BETA epoxy resin formula that we are developing, in its current form (NO VOCs, 1:1 mixing ratio, with HALS UV stabilizers), compared with another popular epoxy resin manufacturer's products. 

As you can see, ArtResin epoxy resin is visibly less yellow! 

TO BE CLEAR to the readers of this blog post:  This test was done in extreme conditions (outdoors 24/7), and normal use should not result in such extreme discoloring.

6 month artresin ex-74 test yellowing epoxy resin

So how did we test it this time?
With 6 months of outside exposure in the hot Texas sun (including some hail, snow and 50 MPH winds!). All resins currently available on the market as of April 2013 will experience yellowing over time, so many products have a UV stabilizer added to them to minimize and delay this effect. We are testing alternative products because we think we can do MUCH better and we want to offer a better epoxy resin product with much better, longterm clarity! (Click here to view our non-toxic epoxy resin formula with exceptional protection against UV damage - available as of March 2015)In truth, an endeavour this large takes time, money and the motivation, not to mention first-hand knowledge of what artists want and need! So we're working diligently and trying to have patience.

We have an ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) number for our test so that our results can be reproduced by anyone, including you! A little info on the ASTM standards from their website: 

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence. ASTM’s leadership in international standards development is driven by the contributions of its members: more than 30,000 of the world’s top technical experts and business professionals representing 150 countries. Working in an open and transparent process and using ASTM’s advanced electronic infrastructure, ASTM members deliver the test methods, specifications, guides, and practices that support industries and governments worldwide.

Thanks for following along this journey. Send me an email or call to chat anytime.
dave@artresin.com 1-877-401-4001

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