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There’s nothing I love more than a good resin project, but I know it can be an intimidating medium. I’m far from an expert, but hopefully my tips can encourage you to give resin a try!
What resin should you use for your craft projects?
Most craft resins are fairly similar. I’ve recently moved to Amazing Clear Cast and have found it to be one of the best resins for my crafts. A common problem when it comes to mixing resin is getting the ratios just right. Many craft resins are mixed at a 1:1 ratio, and if you are off just a little bit in that ratio your resin can be sticky or soft after it cures. I’ve found Amazing Clear Cast cures well and it seems less prone to stickiness. I do most of my projects in small batches, and the two 8 oz bottles last me a really long time.
How do you measure your resin for mixing?
Many people will use the caps from the bottles or medicine cups to measure their resin. I’ve found measuring spoons work the best for me. I keep a set of measuring spoons that are set aside just for use with resin. After I use the spoon I clean it with a paper towel dipped in rubbing alcohol. That keeps the spoons ready for my next project.
How do you properly mix resin?
Getting everything properly mixed is one of the most important steps when it comes to working with resin. Whatever brand you chose, you will have two bottles. One bottle will be the actual resin, one bottle will be the hardener.
- Follow the instructions for the brand you are using, making sure to use the correct resin to hardener ratio.
- Wooden craft sticks work well for stirring since they’re disposable and can easily scrape the sides of your containers.
- Stir resin for the length of time recommended in the instructions for the brand you are using.
- Freshly poured resin with have a cloudy appearance, but as you stir it will turn clear.
- Scrape off the sides of the craft stick and your mixing cup to make sure everything has been fully combined.
- Once your resin is mixed it’s a good idea to pour it into a second cup. This ensures you haven’t missed anything.
- This set of small mixing cups is perfect for little batches. Each cup holds about two teaspoons.
How do you avoid bubbles in your resin?
Bubbles can ruin the look of your finished projects. There are a few steps you can follow to keep bubbles from popping up.
- Make sure you don’t use cold resin. You can gently warm your bottles by placing them in a bowl of hot water.
- Stir your resin slowly when mixing.
- Allow mixed resin to sit for a few minutes so that any bubbles can rise to the surface.
- Remove surface bubbles by carefully torching it with a long lighter. Only do this in cups or molds you know will not melt.
- You can gently blow on your resin through a straw. The CO2 can help pop smaller bubbles.
How do you clean up your resin supplies?
I always keep paper towels and a small spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol nearby when I’m working with resin. Water and resin do not mix, so rubbing alcohol is my go-to when there is a spill. I clean my measuring spoons as soon as I am finished, but I usually let the resin harden on my silicone tools. I can then just peel it off or wipe it off with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol.. Using a lint roller or a piece of packing tape can be helpful in removing little bits of dried resin.
How do you polish resin?
My go-to for polishing up resin is Flitz polish. It can also be used to help hide scratches in older pieces. Use an old rag or microfiber cloth and apply a lot of pressure when you’re polishing for the best results.
How do you color resin?
Remember what I said about water and resin not mixing? That is why an alcohol ink set is a great way to add color to your projects. I have used food color and acrylic paint, but the water content in both can throw things off. Alcohol inks are highly concentrated and mix beautifully. Be careful when you poke open the bottles for the first time. Gloves are recommended if you want to avoid staining your hands!
What tools should you use with resin?
If you plan to make a lot of projects, this silicone resin tools set might be a wise investment. As you discover what you do and don’t use, you can replace worn-out items individually. The silicone work mat is particularly helpful when it comes to protecting your work surface. Silicone is very resin-friendly, but it does break down over time. When you find a tool or mold that you love order a replacement before you actually need it!
What safety precautions should you take when working with resin?
Different resins will have different safety recommendations. Using gloves is always a good idea, as is working in a well-ventilated area. Some resins recommend using respirators, but in general you should be fine without one as long as air is circulating. Always follow the safety recommendations for the brand you are using. If you need to sand any part of your resin, wet sanding is best to avoid breathing in the dust. If you must dry sand, wear a mask.
What does doming your resin mean?
Doming is adding a layer of resin to the top of your projects. This adds extra shine and can give things a nice rounded effect. You dome by carefully applying resin to the top of your project with a wooden craft stick. Look carefully before calling a doming project finished, as it is very easy to miss a spot. Your resin will naturally form a convex layer on the top, and it will not run down the sides as long as the resin is sufficiently thick and carefully applied. If you notice things are a little too runny, allow the resin to sit for a bit. It will thicken up as it starts to cure.
What else should you know about resin?
As new ideas come to mind, or as I think of a technique I haven’t mentioned, I’ll update this post. Reach out on social media if there is anything in particular you want to know!
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