FAQ 3 - How To

How To

  1. How can I make my own wooden panel to use epoxy resin on?

    • Making Wooden Panels for ArtResin Epoxy Resin
    • 1. Cut masonite board (MDF board) to the dimensions you want
    • 2. Measure length of masonite and cut wooden edges to match that length. For small pieces, use 2 x 1″ wood. For larger pieces, use 2 x 2″ wood so it's stronger.
    • 3. Use wood glue/corrugated nails to attach the edges to the board.
    • 4. OPTIONAL: You can also use flat 'L' brackets to screw into the back to make the corners stay tight. If the piece is large, consider adding a diagonal cross-piece of wood from corner to corner for extra support.
    • 5. Sand corner outer edges. Fill in gaps with wood filler putty. Let dry and sand again.
    • 6. To prime the wood, use gesso from an art store or white ceiling paint from the hardware store
    • Check out our Wood Panels, made especially for ArtResin! 
  2. Where should I epoxy resin my piece?

    • Where Should I Epoxy Resin My Work?
    • ArtResin epoxy resin has no fumes or VOCs, however it makes sense to use it in a ventilated area. It should be kept and used at room temperature in an environment that is not too humid, otherwise surface film and other imperfections can occur in your resin as it cures. 
  3. How do I measure and stir properly?

    • How To Measure and Mix Resin And Hardener
    • Measure equally and accurately by volume, not weight. Adding too much of either the resin or the hardener will alter the chemical reaction and your resin will not cure properly.
    • Stir your equally measured amounts of resin and hardener together for at least 3 minutes. Not stirring properly will result in a sticky resin that will never cure. 
    • Scrape the bottom and sides of your mixing vessel as you stir to ensure the entire mixture catalyzes and that there is no remaining unmixed resin or hardener stuck to the sides that may prevent a proper cure.  
    • If bubbles appear, don’t worry—you can take care of them after pouring with an Artist's Torch
    • When you pour the resin out of the mixing vessel, avoid scraping the sides in case there is any unmixed resin or hardener stuck to the sides - if this gets mixed into your catalyzed resin, you may end up with soft sticky spots in your cured resin
  4. How do I properly spread ArtResin?

    • How To Pour And Spread Epoxy Resin
    • Once you mixed your resin and hardener for 3 minutes, you'll have approximately 40 minutes of working time to pour and spread your ArtResin before it starts to cure and gets too thick to work with.
    • If you've warmed your resin in a water bath, the working time will be reduced by about 10-15 minutes, so time yourself accordingly.
    • If you want to coat the entire piece, start by pouring in the centre of your work. To spread, use a flat semi-strong object (i.e. something that can stand up to the density and weight of the resin). You can also use a disposable foam brush if you only want to embellish specific areas of your piece.
    • Typically you will have to dispose of your spreading tool, unless you purchase reusable epoxy resin spreaders which can be used over and over again. Our reusable spreaders have different sized teeth along each side so you can drag the spreader across the surface of the artwork and in so doing, you will spread the ArtResin epoxy resin evenly and efficiently. 
    • You can resin the sides with a disposable foam brush or your gloved hand, or just let the resin dome neatly on top - doming means that you simply nudge the resin just to the edge of your piece without going over ... ArtResin's thick texture allows it to sit where you want it to!
    • Keep in mind that ArtResin will naturally self-level to a thickness of approximately 1/8".
  5. How do I prepare the surface of my piece for epoxy resin?

    • Surface Preparation Before Applying Epoxy Resin
    • Make sure the surface is dry and dust free. Check that the piece is level. You will want to set up a drop cloth underneath your work area. Prop your piece up on support blocks so you can resin the sides easily. You may also wish to tape off the underside of your piece to protect it from potential drips. 
  6. Why should I use stands/support blocks when resining?

    • Why Should I Use Support Blocks When Working With ArtResin?
    • It's a good idea to have your piece raised off the ground on support blocks (e.g. empty plastic containers) so you can allow the resin to spill down the edges without pooling at the base, which would cause the resin to adhere your piece to the table top.  
    • Since ArtResin doesn't stick to plastic, we like to use plastic support stands such as lego blocks, plastic shot glasses or painter's pyramids. If you end up with any drips on your support blocks, you can peel off the cured resin right off the blocks and use them again and again.
  7. Is ArtResin self-leveling?

    • Is ArtResin Epoxy Resin Self-Leveling?
    • Yes, ArtResin epoxy resin is self-leveling. This means you can leave it alone and it will spread itself out evenly, so long as you have a level surface. Its natural thickness is about 1/8". You will likely want to spread it around with a brush or a reusable spreader to guide the resin into place.
  8. What is the working time of ArtResin?

    • What Is The Working Time Of ArtResin?
    • The working time of ArtResin epoxy resin ( also called the pot life or open time ) is about 45 minutes. This is how long you have to work with the resin before curing sets in and it becomes too stiff to manipulate. You're best to apply the resin as soon as it has been thoroughly mixed for 3 minutes.  
    • TIP: the working time can be affected by heat: if you've put the resin in a warm water bath or if you're working in a warm environment, the working time will be decreased by about 10-15 minutes. The cure time may also be decreased.
  9. How long does ArtResin take to cure?

    • What's The Cure Time Of ArtResin Epoxy Resin?
    • Cure time refers to the amount of time it takes for the resin mixture to totally finish its chemical reaction and become its hardest state. The ArtResin epoxy resin cure time is 24 hours (hard cure), however you can touch the surface after about 8 hours without it feeling sticky. It  reaches its full cure at 72 hours. 
  10. Can I get a matte finish from ArtResin?

    • How To Make Epoxy Resin Matte
    • ArtResin epoxy resin is formulated to give a high gloss finish, however it can be wet sanded down with a series of fine grit sandpaper and then a matte medium ( such as a non-toxic wax ) can be applied and polished overtop. 
  11. How do I get ArtResin to dry faster?

    • How Can I Make Epoxy Resin Dry Faster?
    • Epoxy resin dries ( cures ) faster with more heat. You can increase the room temperature to 75-85ºF / 24-30ºC or use heat lamps to encourage a quicker cure ( ensure the temperature stays stable for the first 24 hrs. ) Adding more hardener to the mixture will not work.
  12. How can I thin out the ArtResin epoxy resin mixture?

    • How To Thin Out Epoxy Resin
    • ArtResin epoxy resin can be thinned by heating it up, thus altering its viscosity. This will cause it to cure faster. You can heat it up by placing it near a heater or in a hot water bath, so long as it's in a glass container. Plastics tend to breathe a bit which puts the resin at risk for getting water in it, causing cloudiness. Do not attempt to use solvents to thin.
  13. How do I get rid of bubbles?

    • How Do I Get Bubbles Out Of Epoxy Resin?
    • The most efficient way to remove bubbles from epoxy resin is with a torch. So whether you use a butane Artist's Torch or a propane torch, the flame from the torch heats the resin surface up instantly, thinning it out and allowing bubbles to escape very easily.
    • Some additional tips to help prevent bubbles are to seal your work ( especially in the case of wood or paper that might off-gas trapped air ), ensure your resin is room temperature or warmer, stir slowly rather than whipping your resin, pour slowly, and make sure you pour in 1/8" layers to allow the bubbles to escape to the surface.

    • Tips To Prevent Resin Bubbles
    • Why Use A Torch With Resin?
  14. How do I finish the edges of my epoxy resin piece?

    • 5 Ways To Finish The Edges Of Your ArtResin Artwork
    • Edges can be dealt with in different ways. Some artists like to mask off the edges entirely and aim to keep the ArtResin epoxy resin sitting on top of the piece, domed. Other artists only mask off the underside of the piece and allow the resin to drip over the sides, then spread it with a gloved hand. There are art panels available with a small ridge around the perimeter that creates a border for the resin and holds it all in neatly (as seen in this video: Using ArtResin Epoxy Resin on an Instagram Photo)
  15. How do I deal with drips?

    • How Can I Fix Drips After They've Dried?
    • The best way to deal with drips is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Use painter's tape to mask off your edges to collect drips as they're forming - by the 24hr mark you can remove the tape and the drips right along with it. You can also smooth away drips while they're still wet with a foam brush or your gloved hand. If you have cured drips on your artwork, you can remove them with an electric sander.
  16. How can I create a border to keep the resin dammed up?

    • Preparing A Resin Dam
    • Epoxy resin will not stick to plastic materials such as acetate, plexiglass and silicone. Another way to create a dam is to use a bead of silicone from a tube and applicator gun.
  17. How can I protect my resined piece from dust as it cures?

  18. How do I take photographs of my resined artwork without glare?

    • The key to photographing a high gloss finish like ArtResin is to light it without causing glare or hotspots. Hang your artwork up on a wall, position your camera on a tripod so that the lens is straight on and centred in the middle of your artwork and at a parallel angle. Control the lighting in the room by closing blinds and turning off room lights. Two copy lights set up at a 45 degree angle on either side of your artwork will create an even wash of light without creating reflections. Adjust the placement of the lights as necessary until you get a well lit shot without glare. Adjust your camera's aperture and white balance settings until you find a representation of your artwork that looks true to life. Make adjustments, take a few test shots and when you're happy with what you see, you're ready to shoot! If you know how, you can also adjust the light and color levels in Photoshop. 
  19. How long should I wait between applying each coat?

    • How Long Do I Need To Wait Between Resin Layers?
    • You can wait until the first coat of resin reaches a gel-like state, after about 3-5 hours, so that when you pour the second layer, it sits on top of the first layer. The two layers will bond together. On the other hand, if you wait until the first layer is dry to the touch, after about 24 hrs, scuff up the surface with 80 grit sandpaper before applying the second coat. This will provide some tooth for best adhesion.
  20. How do I know when ArtResin is mixed fully and ready to use?

    • How Do I Know When Resin Is Fully Mixed And Ready To Use?
    • How To Measure And Mix Resin And Hardener
    • Mix for at least 3 minutes, and then mix a bit more just to be sure! Remember to scrape the sides and bottom of the container as you stir to ensure everything is thoroughly combined. Improperly mixed resin will not be able to catalyze and will not cure properly. Don't scrape when you pour though - if there's going to be any unmixed resin or hardener, it will be on the sides and bottom and if it gets scraped out onto your artwork, it could cause soft, sticky spots in your resin.
  21. How can I clean up easily and effectively?

    • How Can I Easily Clean Up Epoxy Resin?
    • How Can I Clean Epoxy Resin Mixing Containers?
    • Use disposable gloves, line your work surface with a vinyl shower curtain and have drop sheets on the ground to keep clean up simple. Do not pour leftover epoxy resin down the drain! Instead, wipe out all containers and wipe down reusable plastic tools with paper towel. Wipe down once more with rubbing alcohol or acetone to remove any residue. Next, wash with hot soapy water if desired. Or, simply allow any remaining residue to simply cure right on plastic tools and peel it off the next day once it has dried.
  22. How can I clean cured resin?