If you are a newbie to epoxy resin, here is an epoxy resin guide for you to understand the top 10 mistakes to avoid as a beginner.
When I started working with resin I only had a few YouTube videos to look up. I wish someone had told me about these common mistakes to avoid back then. I have wasted a good amount of resin and money before I mastered the skill.
If you are standing in the place where I once was, this guide should help you kick start your journey as a resin artist. So first, let’s understand all about resin art and epoxy resin.
What is Resin Art?
Resin Art refers to all the things that can be made using resin. These include jewellery, paintings, table tops, etc. Art made using resin is generally glossy and resembles glass. However, it is easier to work with and way more durable than glass.
Check out my blog Top Resin Art Questions
What Is Epoxy Resin?
Broadly classified, there are two types of resins Casting resin and Coating or Laminating resin. Casting resin is commonly known as Epoxy resin.
Epoxy resin is created by an exothermic reaction when two components, resin and hardener, are mixed in a ratio of 1 part resin and 1 part hardener (1:1), 2 parts resin and 1 part hardener (2:1) or 3 parts resin and 1 part hardener (3:1). It depends on the configurations mentioned by the manufacturer on the resin bottle label.
Now that you are clear about what is art epoxy resin, you are ready to start your first resin DIY project. Let’s look at the top 10 resin mistakes to avoid as a beginner.
10 Epoxy Resin Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner – An Epoxy Guide
Listed below are the top 10 epoxy resin mistakes to avoid as a beginner.
- Choice of Resin
Before you begin any epoxy resin project decide on what you want to make. There are different types of resin available to accomplish different things. UV resin is good for making resin jewellery whereas a casting resin is good for mold casting, like a coaster, tray, pen holders, bookmarks etc. Do you need a fast curing resin or do you need the type of resin that has a longer pot life? Sometimes the wrong choice of resin can ruin your otherwise good project.
- Not Reading the Label Instructions
You have seen a lot of YouTube videos on resin art and you think it is an easy pour. Believe me, resin art is not that simple as it seems in the YouTube videos. There goes a lot of thinking and practice to get the right kind of curable mixture. Every resin brand has its specific instructions. So, a piece of advice, do read the label instructions before you jump to opening the bottles and start mixing resin and hardener.
- Inaccurate Measuring of Epoxy Resin
Some resins are measured by weight while some are measured by volume. So, knowing what type of epoxy resin are you using can save you from unnecessary wastage. If your epoxy brand label says ‘measure by weight’ and you measure resin by volume don’t be upset to find your epoxy project sticky, tacky or uncured. An accurate measurement is another factor that will decide the fate of your resin project. The measurement matters more in small projects like making resin jewellery. An ounce here or there can make a big difference.
- Not Mixing the Resin and Hardener Mixture Properly
I cannot emphasize this point enough. This is one of the most common mistake people make when working with resin. When you mix the resin and hardener in the disposable cup make sure to scrape the sides and the bottom of the cup too. If the mixture is not mixed thoroughly it can lead to an uncured resin piece.
- Adding a Lot of Pigment
It is a constant struggle to find the right colour tone sometimes. But adding too much of the pigment can also be the reason that your resin did not cure. As a thumb rule add only 6% or less pigment to the total resin volume as this can affect the balance needed for the exothermic reaction to occur properly.
- Not Working in a Ventilated Area
It is advisable to do any resin work in a ventilated area. Resin is a chemical. It emits fumes while mixing, pouring and for the next 24 hours, even after you have poured resin. You may not see the fumes, but inhaling fumes can have health hazards.
- Not Wearing Proper Gears When Working With Resin
If you think the DIY resin project you are doing is small, so it is okay to not wear your safety gears, like a mask and gloves, you are highly mistaken. Fix this one thing in your mind, the resin is a chemical. It emits harmful fumes and has a pungent smell. Avoiding wearing your safety gears can be damaging. It is not the kind of medium that one fine morning you wake up and say ‘ok, let’s resin’. Be careful when working with resin, however small the project you are working on is.
If resin comes in contact with your skin, it can cause various skin problems, like rashes, red spots, eczema.
- Not Understanding the Need of Maintaining Temperature Required to Work With Resin
It is recommended to work with resin in a room with a constant temperature maintained between 70 to 75 degree F. Working at a temperature above this may cure your resin too quickly, and under that may not cure the resin.
When working with resin in cold temperature areas, make sure to give your resin a warm water bath before you begin working with it.
Warm water bath: Take some warm water in a container. Let the resin and hardener bottle sit in warm water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes your resin is good to pour.
- Not Understanding that Resin Art Works in the Specified Time
It is important to understand that unlike other art forms resin art has a concept of time. Some epoxy resin has a work time of 20 minutes and some resin brands have a work time of 60 minutes. So, it is important to pre-plan your DIY resin project much in advance from choosing the project to decide the colour scheme. There are no chances of making any midway amendments when you start working with resin on a particular project.
- Not Covering Your Resin Art
Once you have poured resin make sure to cover your artwork from dust.
Working with epoxy resin is not that difficult once you understand the medium. It is all about controlling epoxy resin to make it work to your benefit. That will come with patience, time and practice.
Now that you are aware of the mistakes to avoid when working with epoxy resin, get started on your first resin project. Do share pictures of your beautiful creations in the comment section below.