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!
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!
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, unless something is done to the chemical make-up of the resin formula to address this.
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 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... 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!).
Which Brand of Epoxy Resin Has the Best Non-Yellowing Performance?
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' Non-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.
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, 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 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!
Introducing our Top 4 Ideas for using ArtResin!
This is the first video in the series, on embedding beer caps in ArtResin (or anything, for that matter).
To embed objects, first prep your platform. In this case, I'm using a wooden panel meant for painting on, but I've just turned it around so that I'm now working on the back. The edges create nice barriers for holding in the resin and the objects (in this case, beer caps).
I painted the background of the panel first with acrylic paint and waited for it to dry completely. Next, I mixed up a small amount of ArtResin—just enough to cover the surface and hold the beer caps in place. Next, with gloves on, I placed each beer cap in the wet resin in place where I wanted them. From the time you mix up the resin to the time it cures, there is about a 45 minute window, which is about 50% more time than other resins and very handy when you're working on larger projects! The tops of the beer caps were not covered at this point, so I let the resin dry overnight before returning to do my final coat. I always cover my curing resin with a box to prevent any dust from getting in it!
The next day, the resin had fully cured and I was able to do my final layer of resin. Normally when you do a second coat, you have to lightly sand the resin in between to provide some tooth so the resin adheres properly, but with this project you don't have to do that because the partially embedded beer caps provide enough to grab onto. I mixed up a bigger batch of ArtResin this time and poured it over my first layer. Everything was fully covered with the second coat. I used ArtResin's Artist Torch over the resin this time to get out any bubbles that had appeared - nothing gets bubbles out like a flame torch! Then once again, I left the resin to dry overnight and in the morning, I returned to find my beautiful project fully cured and ready to use as a decoration or tray (for serving beer on, clearly!).
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...
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 keeping your work clear and gorgeous for the long term. Basically, HALS inhibits 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 extreme 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.
ARTRESIN'S UV PROTECTION TEST RESULTS CAN BE VIEWED HERE.
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!