Why Use A Torch With Resin?

Posted on 19 Jul 17:58

So you've heard us talk about bubbles.
You've seen us use torches in all of our videos and you may be wondering ...

Do I REALLY have to use a torch for surface bubbles in my resin?

In short, our opinion is YES and here's why ....
To get rid of bubbles, a torch is the best tool for the job!

So when you've carefully measured equal amounts of resin and hardener ...
and you've mixed for 3 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides ...
and you've poured your resin and spread it out to the edges ...

You're going to notice something happening.
Bubbles will begin rising to the surface of the resin.  

This is because our clever chemist formulated ArtResin with a bubble release agent. A bubble release agent allows for easy de-gassing - that is, it encourages the bubbles to rise to the surface immediately so you can torch them out ... before the resin starts to thicken and cure. 

Some of these bubbles will pop on their own once hitting the surface, but to get a flawless, glass like surface, we'll need to get rid of the rest!!

So there are few different approaches floating around out there on how to get rid of bubbles. Let's go through a few of the more popular methods:

Method 1:  Popping bubbles with a pin
Bubbles will pop when you poke them with a pin or a toothpick, this is true ... but WOW, this is a labor intensive way of going about it and it's pretty much impossible to cover a large piece of artwork in 45 minutes ( ArtResin's working time )
VERDICT:  Use a toothpick or pin for last minute touch-ups only :)

Method 2:  Blowing on bubbles 
Blowing on bubbles can cause the bubbles to pop, yes, but it's also a super slow process. This method might work on very small pieces, but again it's not realistic for large artwork.
VERDICT:  Not efficient

Method 2:  Using a hair dryer
While it's true that heat definitely helps in the fight against bubbles, the heat of a hair dryer just isn't intense enough.  And just think of all that dust and hair in your hair dryer, or floating around in the air, that you're going to be blasting all over your vulnerable, wet artwork. That's just asking for trouble! Noooo thanks!
VERDICT:  Save the hair dryer for your blowout.

Method 3:  A heat gun
Ok - things are looking up. The heat from a heat gun is significantly hotter than you'd get from a hair dryer and it will certainly get rid of bubbles more efficiently than blowing through a straw or poking with a toothpick.  But again, here you're blowing a lot of air onto your wet resin, which brings with it the very good chance of blowing dust all over it too. 
VERDICT:  Good start young grasshopper, but we're not quite Samurai level yet

Method 4:  A butane or propane torch
Okay, guys, now we're cooking with Crisco!
There is simply no match for the heat and intensity of a torch - it's the only method we use here at the ArtResin studio. So whether you feel more comfortable with an easy-to-use handheld tool like our Artist Torch for small pieces, or a bigger propane version like our Artist's Propane Torch Head ( a MUST for large pieces! ) a flame is your best bet to really zap out bubbles and get a flawless, crystal clear, ArtResin finish!
Oh, and hello bonus!!  Not only will a torch help get rid of bubbles, but that flame actually incinerates surface dust in the process... win-win!!
Once you've used a torch, you'll never want to go back to any other method!
VERDICT:  If you want pro results, a torch is where it's at!

TIP:  Please make sure you exercise caution & common sense when working with a naked flame.  Never, ever leave a flame unattended.  Work in a well ventilated area and keep the flame well away from flammable substances.  
And suffice it to say ... if you play around with fire irresponsibly, you run the risk of getting burnt. 

TIP:  Make sure you use an ironing like motion when you're torching your artwork.  That is, hold the flame far enough away from your piece so you don't scorch the resin and always, always keep it moving in a back and forth fashion.  Do not hold it in one spot for too long or you may end up overtorching, which can cause yellowing, dimples and waves, and can even damage your artwork.

For more information on why a torch is the best tool for the job, check out what Rebecca has to say!

And Patty teaches us about the perils of overtorching in this entertaining episode of Oh Sh*t!