Art has always been a method for us to convey our instincts, desires, and abstract thoughts that words cannot describe. Painting and sculpting were formerly seen to be the pinnacle of creative expression, with every other media considered a novice’s attempt to imitate the greats’ work. Instead, we no longer pretend to discover mixed media art and installations made up of items that would never be seen together in any other context. Resin, which appears to be restricted only by your imagination, has grown popular practically overnight, but what is resin? What may it be used to create? Let us have a look.
What Exactly Is Epoxy Resin?
While the resin is becoming increasingly popular in the crafting world, you may be wondering what precisely it is. So, what is epoxy resin? Epoxy resin (the full name of the material) is a two-part solution made up of one part resin and one component hardener.
When these two ingredients are united, a chemical process occurs in which they chemically fuse together to form something that resembles plastic. When the now-fused resin has completely dried, you’re left with a highly durable material that’s also exceedingly adaptable, easy to use, can tolerate severe heat and cold, and can be sanded and drilled if necessary.
Resin Art: What Is It?
Resin art is one of the most versatile art materials available, both as a standalone art form and as a supplement to other disciplines such as installation art, painting, and even furniture design. For the purpose of simplicity, we’ll focus on the sort of art you can create using resin, but what precisely is resin art?
In general, resin art is anything manufactured by mixing some resin with hardener for solely aesthetic objectives. This solution is frequently put into a mold of your choosing and left to cure before opening the mold and extracting the casting, leaving you with a favorable image of the inside of the mold.
It essentially serves as a high-quality way of recreating a form, figure, toy, piece of jewelry, coasters, and a variety of other conceivable shapes. If the mood struck you, you might make your own molds by coating an object with mold putty and allowing it to harden.
You may then pour the resin into the mold and create a resin duplicate of the shape you’ve captured, adding color, items, glitter, and everything else you can think of. The wonderful thing about resin art is that the options for modification are limitless, not to mention how durable it is.
Resin art tends to last a lifetime and makes excellent gifts for friends and family, but they have the added benefit of being personalized to you or anybody else to whom you may choose to give them.
What Can Resin Art Create?
As previously stated, there are several resin art creations that you can build, but it would be worthless to tell you that without providing examples, so here are some resin art creations that you can produce. Resin art may be a simple medium, to begin with, but if you’re a newbie, we recommend starting small and increasing your confidence to avoid biting off more than you can chew.
|Resin Art Type||Recommended Skill Level|
|Resin Geode Art||Beginner|
|Wood Wall Art||Veteran|
|Poured Gold Leaf on Canvas||Veteran|
|3d Resin Box Art||Veteran|
|Epoxy Resin Cutting Board||Beginner|
|Epoxy Resin Keychain||Beginner|
The traditional resin artwork of coaster creation comes first. This is an excellent starting place for novices and an excellent all-arounder with limitless possibilities for professionals. Coasters are simple and effective, and you may modify your design in any manner you see suitable.
Molds for resin coasters are widely available, and they are one of the most effective kinds of resin art; no further labor is required; simply pour the resin into the molds and leave them to set and cure for the time period indicated by the maker.
Wood Wall Art
While this is not the easiest resin art to create, it is possibly the most beautiful. Resin wall art is a catch-all word for any resin art that can be pinned up, whether it’s a mixed media piece or a flat casting. As with most sorts of resin art, the possibilities are limitless.
Typically, a mold would be created with wood wall art, and a chunk of half-used wood would be inserted. After clamping the component down, you fill the leftover area with resin and allow it to set and cure.
The end product is a stunning blend of wood and resin that is one-of-a-kind and will last a lifetime. Color, pictures, magnets, and anything else you might think of to add value to your wood wall resin artwork are welcome.
Resin Geode Art
Geodes are coming next. Geodes are naturally occurring micro rock formations with stunning colors and jagged patterns. We all studied about them in middle school, but in case you forgot, geodes are naturally occurring miniature rock formations with gorgeous colors and jagged shapes. Many people collect them all throughout the world, but because they’re scarce in some areas, you can manufacture your own with some epoxy glue!
Simply obtain a geode resin mold, mix your resin, pour it into the mold, and allow it to cure. Break apart your mold to reveal your own geode! You may add different colors of resin, glitter, or genuine chunks of rock to your project to make it more interesting.
Poured Gold Leaf Canvas Resin Art
While wood wall art may be the most visually appealing, excellent leaf and resin on canvas are perhaps the most enjoyable and intriguing to look at once displayed in your living room or gallery. You’ll need a canvas, gold leaf, acrylic paint, and, of course, clear pour epoxy resin for this. Mix your resin and hardener on an elevated workplace that has been covered (always cover your workspace!). Fill small containers with resin about the size of large shot glasses.
Fill the little containers with different colors of acrylic paint, then pour them out onto the canvas.
Once the resin has been poured, tilt the canvas to ensure it has reached all corners, and use a stick to create the swirls and focus points you like. While the resin is curing, use a heat gun to remove any bubbles on the surface and let it completely cure. Once your resin has completely dried, use a paintbrush to apply a running adhesive to the surface and insert your gold flake anywhere you see fit. The resulting aesthetic is attractive, intriguing, and frequently evokes emotions of peace, but that’s the wonderful thing about abstract art!
Epoxy Resin Cutting Boards
Suppose you’ve ever wondered how to do resin art while admiring some of the incredible masterpieces on Instagram or Pinterest. In that case, you’ll be relieved to hear that not all resin art is overly difficult, like the turtle we discussed earlier. Some resin art pieces are simple to create and may even be utilized in daily life. Resin cutting boards are simple to make; all you need is a cutting board in the form of your choice, some resin, acrylic paint, and painter’s tape, and you’re ready to go.
Tape up the cutting board area that will not be coated; this stops the resin from seeping into the next section and ensures that no splatter lands on the board’s pristine surface. You could cover the entire board with resin, but we believe half resin and half wood looks better. After you’ve taped up your board, combine your resin and hardener in one container and pour it into some little ones.
Next, add paint colors to smaller containers, one dollop at a time, and mix them together. Now, place a tarp on the floor and a bucket that you will not be using again. Place the section of the cutting board you’ll be covering over the edge of your work table and pour the small tubs of resin and paint over it.
Spread over any places that haven’t received enough resin with a paintbrush, and once one side has set, flip the board over and continue the procedure until you’re satisfied with the colors, swirls, and coverage. Allow the resin to cure for the time frame indicated by the manufacturer after you’re pleased. Once set, the resin is absolutely food safe, so you’ll have a fully functioning piece of art!
3D Box Resin Art
This is not for the faint of heart. 3D resin art is absolutely gorgeous and produces the appearance of depth in the same manner that a 3D printer does but at a fraction of the cost. In theory, it’s quite simple; all you need is a little wooden box, acrylic paint, half an eggshell, paintbrushes, a heat gun, and resin. Pour some resin into the box to provide a basis for your turtle and set it aside to cure.
Once your resin has hardened, lay your half eggshell on top of it and draw an outline of your turtle with paint. Remove the shell and begin painting the small legs and “feet” of your turtle around the contour of the eggshell. Alternate between green and yellow to create the texture of a turtle’s skin, and then add whatever features you choose.
After that, pour some resin into the half eggshell that you used to draw the shape earlier and set it aside to cure. Once the paint has dried, apply another thin coating of resin to the box. Allow this coat of resin to set before painting over the turtle’s small limbs you made earlier to provide the illusion of depth you’re after.
With a blade or fine grit sanding paper, remove the rough edges from the eggshell that you filled with resin earlier. Add another small coating of resin into the box before placing the shell, then pour another thin layer of resin over the shell and let the leftover resin flow off into the box.
Next, use yellow paint to create depth to the shell by painting a yellow perimeter around it, which should (somewhat) cover the limbs you painted previously. Feel free to add some more dimension to your turtle’s head by painting something similar in size in that region and then adding whatever final touches you choose.
Epoxy Resin Keychain
One of the greatest and most adaptable epoxy resin art forms available is keychains (besides coasters). Not only are they simple to make, but they also make a great small present for almost any occasion.
To construct a successful keychain artwork, you don’t even need a mold particularly built for keychains; you could take any sort of suitably sized resin casting and add a keychain to the mold before the resin has had a chance to cure entirely.
You have two options here: either get your hands on a keychain mold, which comes in a variety of amusing shapes and sizes or take any resin casting and drill a hole in it.
You may adjust your resin casting both before and after it has completely set and cured; if you do it beforehand, you can add paint, resin color, glitter, or even pictures to your resin. If you desire to do so, you can sand, drill, etch, or engrave your workpiece.
Are There Various Resin Types?
On the surface, all resins appear to be the same, yet they are not. Deep pour resin and surface resin are the two forms of resin that may be used for different reasons. They are used for deep pour and surface coatings, as their names imply.
There are several distinctions between these two types of epoxy resins, so let’s look at what they are and how they work in their respective applications.
|Properties||Deep Pour Resin||Surface Pour Resin|
|The thickness of the Pour||2 inches 1||¼ inch|
|Curing Time||36 hours||24 hours|
|Best Use||Can be poured in large displacements||It Can be poured as a shallow surface covering|
Deep Pour Resin
The correct resin for your art creation is a key part of the solution to the question “how to produce resin art.” Deep pour resin is the resin to use when you need to fill a huge (or deep) space with epoxy resin. This sort of resin has been specifically designed for this application; it is intentionally thinner so that more may be poured into a given space without becoming too dense.
As a result, deep pour resin should not be used to cover outside surfaces since it will require substantially more of it (because of the difference in viscosity) and will take significantly longer to dry. This type of resin is best suited for tabletop pouring, resin box art, wooden wall art, jewelry, coasters, resin light bulbs, and a variety of other applications that require a huge volume of resin to fill a space.
Making art with resin utilizing the deep pour method may appear simple, but if you’ve never done it before, it may be difficult, especially when pouring tabletops. The challenge is getting the consistency and mixing ratios perfect in such big volumes and then factoring in the colors and effects you want to see once the resin has completely set and hardened, which may be difficult.
The best technique to lay a tabletop using deep pour resin is to pour it into layers.
Allowing one layer to cure, eliminating bubbles with a heat gun or blow torch, pouring the next layer, and continuing the procedure until the desired result is obtained. To be thorough, here’s a comprehensive list of amazing things you can construct with deep pour resin.
- Tabletops made of resin
- Coasters made of resin
- Resin ashtrays Resin Jewelry
- Decorated with ornate resin
- Art on canvas
- LED resin lighting
- Resin box artwork
- Geode reproductions made of resin
- Watch straps made of resin
- Flooring made of resin
- Mixed media and installation art
Surface Pour Resin
Making art with resin does not have to be an elaborate deep pour attempt; it may serve as a long-lasting, good-looking covering for a number of surfaces that is adaptable, simple to apply, easily accessible, and very resistant to a variety of external influences that may harm your prized workpieces. As seen in the picture above, surface resin varies from deep pour resin in several ways, but one of the most noticeable is that top-pour resin is substantially thicker than deep pour resin.
But why is it thicker? Because deep pour resin is intended to be dispensed in huge volumes in a single location, it must be thinner to limit the resin’s density in a specific space (it also makes it easier to pour, but that might just be a lucky by-product). Top-pour resins are thicker since only a limited amount is needed and distributed over the surface of a certain workpiece; thus, manufacturing a resin that’s too fluid will result in a material that’s difficult to control once put to a flat surface.
Surface pour resin dries much faster as well. This is partly owing to the fact that their formulations are often formulated in this manner and in part to their being applied very thinly across vast surfaces, which simply means that less resin needs to be set and cured. You’re excused if you’re having trouble figuring out how to produce resin art with top-pour resin. It’s tough to envision where you could go from all of the things you can produce with deep-pour resin, and to be fair; it does take a shift in perspective to see the potential of top-pour resin art projects.
That being said, if you’re still wondering how to produce resin art out of top-pour resin, here’s your solution. While top-pour resin cannot be used to construct full shapes from scratch, it can produce attractive surface coatings for your workpieces, books, furniture, dishes, bowls, and other surfaces.
This protects your surfaces from impact, abrasion, heat damage, moisture damage, cracking, and decay. Furthermore, it provides them with a bright, long-lasting appearance that significantly increases the visual effect of your item and the area it occupies. Here are a few ideas for you!
- Coating outside furniture
- Interior furniture coating
- Kitchen surface coating
- Cutting board coating
- ornate cutlery decoration
- Tablecloths for decoration
- Making book covers
- Doorknob Decoration
- Painting on canvas
- Decorating surfaces made of plastic or metal
How to Create Surface Pour and Deep Pour Resin Art
Knowing which type of resin may be used for a specific application is not only helpful information, but it can save you a lot of time and effort when correcting a workpiece manufactured with the incorrect type of resin. Furthermore, you should understand how to employ these resin types efficiently to create the greatest resin casting and/or surface coatings possible. Let’s go over the measures you should take while using each of these resin kinds.
Deep Pour Resin
Here are a few simple steps to take if you want to try your hand at some resin crafts for beginners. Especially if you want to use deep pour resin. Deep pour resin art is known as castings since you’ll often find yourself removing shapes “cast” from a mold of some sort.
Other times, you may wish to fill a room with resin, such as when creating resin wall hangings or resin tables.
Get your workplace ready.
Deep pouring does not usually provide the best resin creations for novices. This is because managing resin in this volume can be difficult if you don’t understand the material, but the better prepared you are, the less likely anything will go wrong.
Make sure your workplace is well-ventilated, that you have all of your resin containers, resin, paper towels, and mixing tools, and that you’ve placed down a tarp or other protective covers over any surfaces that you don’t want your resin to get on. Finally, make sure your workpiece or mold is large enough to hold the type and volume of resin you’ll be using and that you have your face mask and gloves available.
Make Your Workpiece
When utilizing deep-pour resin, it is also critical to prepare your workpiece. If you’re using a mold, make sure it’s clean before you start pouring your resin since particles of any type might end up in your casting or cause the resin to cling to the mold improperly.
If you’re going to use the resin to fill a void in your workpiece, make sure the region is clear of dust and wood particles.
Finally, ensure that the region of the workpiece you will be filling is isolated from other sections that are not intended to receive the resin. If you’re using a mold to make a form, use an anti-adhesive spray or powder to make the casting easier to remove once it’s set.
Get Your Resin Ready
When you’re certain that your workpiece and workstation are both ready, it’s time to stock up on resin. Mix the resin and hardener in the proportions indicated by the manufacturer, which is usually a 2:1 ratio for most deep pour resin products (never assume the ratio, always check the box!). While mixing them together, add any colors, glitter, or other components you want to the resin. Make sure to thoroughly mix the resin so that it cures as desired.
When dealing with resin, always use the required protective equipment. When working with smaller molds, always be sure you mix enough for the mold in question. Because the resin isn’t especially beneficial for the environment, you should never take more than is required.
Now comes the exciting part. Start pouring your resin into your mold or workpiece after your surfaces are clean, you’re protected, and your resin is ready. If you’re filling a mold, start gently because deep pour resin may be rather thin depending on the type, and it’s difficult to clean up spilled resin. Fill the mold only to the prescribed capacity and only as stated on the box.
After you’ve filled your mold, use a heat gun, pressure chamber, or vacuum chamber to eliminate any remaining air bubbles as the resin sets and cures.
If you’re covering a bigger surface, such as a resin tabletop, pour your resin in phases, allowing each layer to cure somewhat while you eliminate bubbles before pouring the next. Continue this procedure until the area is filled to your liking, and don’t forget that you may use a wooden stick to alter the “flow” of your resin table while it dries.
Allow time for your resin to cure.
When waiting for your resin to cure, always allow for the manufacturer’s specified time frame. Remember that ambient circumstances like heat and humidity will cause your resin to cure slowly, so keep an eye on the temperature in and around your work area to maintain it favorable to curing. Remove the resin from the mold if you are using a mold after the cure period.
The casting should come out easily; you should not have to battle with the mold to get your casting out. There is no need to remove resin while filling a void; simply wait the given time, sand away any rough edges, and do your best to ensure that the resin integrates with the structural material of your workpiece. Remember that deep pour and surface resin are fully inert and safe once cured. Learn how to harden sticky glue in a different post.
Surface Coating Resin
DIY resin art ideas don’t have to include pouring resin into a piece of furniture or little molds. DIY resin art ideas might simply mean adding a healthy sheen to old artwork or creating a protective covering with your resin. Surface coating resin is typically used on items like paintings, maintaining a puzzle, or surfaces of a mixed-media art creation that have gotten damaged or simply need a little gloss.
Make Your Workplace Ready
When painting with oil-based paint, ensure that all surfaces are sufficiently covered and that there is appropriate ventilation in the area. Next, make sure you have a paintbrush or roller (depending on the size of the workpiece you’ll be covering) and that the resin you’re using will not react negatively with the surface, you’ll be putting it to.
Finally, make sure you have your mask and gloves available since you may need to get up and personal when applying resin with a brush or roller, and the last thing you want is to get it on your hands or face.
Get Your Workpiece Ready
Surface coating resin is used for DIY resin art and is much less difficult than deep pour art. So is workpiece preparation; merely ensure that the surface that will receive the resin is clean of any foreign particles and that any parts that you don’t want the resin to go on have been sealed off using painter’s tape or a similar airtight adhesive sealer. You don’t have to use a paintbrush if you’re only putting a clear layer of resin to a resin painting; just make sure your workstation is covered if you’re going to use a roller because it tends to seep over the edges.
If you’re going to use your resin to seal a puzzle that you’re particularly pleased with, make sure there’s some support between the piece and the table to prevent drippage and that the surface is slightly raised. If you’re covering an unusual surface, find out if it has to be prepped before receiving the resin (these surfaces could be certain types of stone or paper).
Get Your Resin Ready
This step is really simple, and it is nowhere as complex as utilizing deep pour resin. Surface resin is thicker, so you use a lot less of it than deep pour, meaning you only need a few ounces to cover the surface in question.
Surface resin, unlike deep pour resin, just has to be combined in a 1:1 ratio to be effective; therefore, combine equal portions in a container and mix them together.
Once the mixture is ready, add any colors, paints, glitter, or anything else you want to make your artwork pop once the resin is added. Before proceeding to the next stage in the procedure, double-check that your workpiece is still clean.
Use your resin.
Surface resin application varies depending on the size of the surface; for example, if you’re applying it to a stone countertop, you’d use a huge roller, but if you’re putting it on a puzzle or over a resin painting, you’d use a brush and work from one end of the surface to the other. This resin sets and cures at around the same rate as dee pour resin, so you shouldn’t be concerned about being too rapid. The idea is to apply an equal coating of resin to the surface of your workpiece so that you don’t overapply it and destroy your resin painting, puzzle, or surface swirl.
This is why using a fine nap roller is preferable for individuals with less expertise since it decreases the amount of attention required for volume, coverage, and pressure. After you’ve applied your resin and are pleased with the thickness of your coating as well as the overall coverage, grab a heat gun. Although bubbles develop significantly less frequently when epoxy resin is put in thin layers, they are still conceivable, so keep your heat gun ready and go over the surface of your workpiece just in case.
Allow time for your resin to cure.
Have you eliminated all of your bubbles? Good. All that remains is to sit back and wait for your resin covering to dry. Most surface resins typically cure in a full 24 hours but verify the manufacturer’s suggested time period for curing timeframes dependent on circumstances and the volume of resin used. This also implies that if you have decided to apply resin on utensils, plate ware, or cutting boards, you cannot and should not use them in direct contact with food (or at all) until the resin has completely cured.
Once fully cured, you may sand, etch, or drill into your artwork as desired and add any finishing touches.
Is Epoxy Resin Hazardous to the Environment?
Aside from DIY resin art, the resin is utilized in a variety of industries. It’s commonly employed as a binding agent in paint, and there are numerous types of it for varied uses (as we’ve seen), but how does resin affect the environment in general?
Epoxy resins are often formed of epichlorohydrin and another chemical known as bisphenol-A, which aren’t environmentally friendly to begin with. These can be swapped by different compounds depending on the properties that the engineers desire the resin to have.
As previously said, the resin is a two-part tool that requires a resin and a hardener that react with one another to generate the material that we use today. When these compounds are separated and react during the curing process, they become volatile and emit many hazardous emissions that are detrimental to your skin and respiratory system and the environment.
These chemicals are known as volatile organic compounds, and they can only be manufactured and sold in limited quantities owing to their detrimental impact on the environment and the possible safety concern they pose. So, how safe are resins in food? Although they are reactive throughout the curing process, the final product is fully inert once the resin and hardener have dried completely (usually 24 hours after initial contact).
Epoxy resin is not a flawless substance and is not a one-size-fits-all answer to all of life’s artistic issues, but it provides a low-cost, effective, simple, and reasonably safe medium for art and crafts. Having said that, make sure your workstation is always well ventilated and that you always wear the right personal safety equipment when working with resin.
Now that you understand what resin is, the many types of resin available, what can be built with resin, and how to utilize the two main types of resin on the market, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. Make sure you choose the proper resin for your next creative project, and always let the resin cure completely before handling it!
Although resin contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs), it offers no major danger to your health if gloves and a face mask are used when handling it before it is cured or the two portions have been connected. When working with raw resin materials, always work in a well-ventilated location.
If you’ve never worked with resin before, it might be scary. However, epoxy resin is a basic medium that allows you to explore the depths of your imagination in ways that other materials just cannot. Start small and work your way up to larger casts and/or artwork if you’re scared.
This is dependent on the type and scale of resin art you wish to pursue. Starting out with resin artwork is quite inexpensive if you want to attempt casting forms. Still, when undertaking larger paintings or, for example, building a river table, the volume of resin required for such an activity might add up.
Feature image credit: Photo by Thirdman: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-person-pouring-resin-7256642/