‘Which resin is best for making coasters’ – If this question has daunted you for a while, it’s time to end your quest. There are a lot of resins available in the market.

And as a beginner, it can be confusing to decide which resin is good for your project. When I began working with resin art, I had to experiment my way through various types available for use.

I made a lot of mistakes initially. And I learnt that it is always good to begin your resin journey with a small project. In my current blog, I would like to offer some humble advice on the best types of resins for making coasters.

An Artist's Comparision of Resin Brands for Making Coasters

Which Resin is Best for Making Coasters for Beginners?

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 a chemical reaction when two components, resin and hardener, are mixed in a ratio of 1 part resin and 1 part hardener, 2 parts resin and 1 part hardener or 3 parts resin and 1 part hardener.

It depends on the configurations mentioned by the manufacturer on the resin bottle label.

2 Quality Epoxy Resins to Use For Making Coasters

I have been working on a lot of DIY Coaster projects in the past. And I almost always use two particular types of Epoxy resins. Let me compare them in the table below.

POINT WISE COMPARISON BETWEEN 2 POPULAR RESINS
COST

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy Art Resin             Haksons Ultra Clear Grade 1 Epoxy   

Rs. 1400/- (1200 gms)                                        Rs. 990/- (650 gms)                                                      

MIXING RATIO

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy Art Resin             Haksons Ultra Clear Grade 1 Epoxy   

 3:1 by Weight                                                     3:1 by Weight

POT LIFE

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy Art Resin             Haksons Ultra Clear Grade 1 Epoxy 

25 to 30 minutes                                                  25 to 30 minutes

WORKING TIME

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy Art Resin             Haksons Ultra Clear Grade 1 Epoxy 

30 minutes                                                           30 to 45 minutes

VISCOSITY

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy Art Resin             Haksons Ultra Clear Grade 1 Epoxy 

Thick                                                                   Thin 

FUMES

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy Art Resin             Haksons Ultra Clear Grade 1 Epoxy 

 No Fumes                                                          No Fumes

SMELL

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy Art Resin             Haksons Ultra Clear Grade 1 Epoxy 

No pungent smell                                                No pungent smell

CURING TIME

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy Art Resin             Haksons Ultra Clear Grade 1 Epoxy 

12 to 24 Hours                                                     12 to 24 Hours / 6 to 8 Hours

USAGE

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy Art Resin             Haksons Ultra Clear Grade 1 Epoxy 

Casting                                                                Casting / Coating  

I hope that the above table helps you gain more clarity on the two credible resin brands that can be used for making coasters. Let me now elaborate on each of these points separately.

Cost

Epoxy resin art is an expensive art. And as much clear the epoxy the price goes higher. So you should order small quantities for your first project. 

Always compare the cost per quantity. There are different brands available on Amazon at a competitive price.

Mixing Ratio

All brands of epoxy resin have the manufacturer’s label mixing instructions. As resin and hardener are chemicals, they should be mixed precisely by weight in the ratio mentioned on the packaging. Some epoxy resin is mixed in the ratio of 1 part resin and 1 part hardener. Some epoxy resins have to be mixed in the ratio of 2 parts resin and 1 part hardener or 3 parts resin and 1 part hardener. The thumb rule is to follow the label instructions.

Pot Life

Pot life, also known as the Processing Time is the time span within which the epoxy can be used after mixing the resin and the hardener. After which the epoxy resin starts getting thicker. I have worked with various types of epoxy resin available in the market. And almost all the good epoxy hsa a pot life that varies between 25 to 35 minutes. This gives you enough time to work on a project effectively.

Working Time

After correctly mixing resin and hardener in the appropriate ratio let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the bubbles set in. Also, the epoxy will start to warm. One thing that you should know is that you will have ample working time with epoxy resin, i.e. nearly 30 to 40 minutes. So don’t be in a haste to complete your creations.

You can comfortably work to beautify your coasters.

Fumes and Smell

Pure epoxy resin is generally considered non-toxic as it is not volatile. And the risk related to the ingestion of epoxy resin is very small. But when the skin comes in contact with the epoxy resin, it can be damaging. It can give skin allergy like rashes or eczema.

Epoxy resin is a chemical. Like every chemical, it also has some kind of odour. But the epoxy resins that I have mentioned earlier, which I have been using for my DIY projects barely give any pungent smell. Smelling epoxy is safe if used as directed in a fully ventilated area.

But I now prefer to wear a mask and a pair of gloves even if I am working on a small project.

My skin is very sensitive and once I got rashes when I thought of skipping wearing my gloves. It was hard to stay away from the resin for a week. As my dermatologist suggested I should let the rashes heal. So always be careful when working with any type of chemical, epoxy being one. 

Curing Time

For all types of epoxy resin, it usually takes 12 to 24 hours of curing time. Curing time is the time when the epoxy resin is completely cured and is good to be de-moulded.

Make sure the room temperature is neither too cold or moist. It can leave your coasters tacky in the mould for longer than expected. A warm room increases the curing time. 

Usage

Epoke Crystal Clear Epoxy art resin is good for personal use or small DIY home projects. As it is high on the pocket you will have to find a wholesale resin supplier in your area if you want to pursue resin art professionally.

A Native Resin Recommendation for Making Coasters

In addition to the above two brands suggested to you, I would like to share with you another one of my favourites. It isn’t very popular, but is highly recommended by me. The name of this Epoxy Resin brand is Epoxy Resin Art by Ritesh. It is available on Amazon in India – my home country.

Let me now evaluate this resin for exactly the same metrics as the previous two ones.

                                         INTRODUCING EPOXY RESIN ART BY RITESH
                                                  Epoxy ResinArtBy Ritesh Art Resin 
Cost                                                Rs. 1399/- (1.33 Kg)                   
Mixing Ratio                                  3:1 by Weight                                 
Pot Life                                         35 to 45 minutes                            
Working Time                              40 to 60 minutes                                     
Viscosity                                       Thick                                              
Fumes                                            No Fumes                                      
Smell                                              No pungent smell                          
Curing Time                                  12 to 24 Hours                              
Used For                                        Casting                      

Now that you have a good idea on the three kinds of epoxy resins that you can use for creating coasters yourself, let me share with you the differences between casting and coating resin below.

Difference between Casting Resin and Coating Resin?

As somebody wanting to make Resin Coasters, you should be aware of Casting and Coating Resins.

Casting resin is usually thick and is used to cast anything from bookmarks to big statues. Personally, I love to cast and create a new variety of coasters from silicon molds. As every pour gives a unique outcome that is a delight for my eyes.

Coating resin is thin in consistency so I love to use it as a sealant on my projects. It can be spread equally over the area using a paint brush. The final finish is smooth and glossy..

Casting Resin                        Coating Resin
 Thick Pour                              Thin Pour (water-like consistency)
Cure Time12 to 24 Hours        8 to 12 hours to cure

Epoxy Resin – The best resin for making coasters

As a beginner, it will take you a little time to get a hang of working with resin. Epoxy is a clear resin. It is durable and has a longer pot life that makes it easier to work with as it is self-levelling.

Epoxy is also easy to maintain. It is non-toxic and specially built for creative projects.

Epoxy resin is easily available at many DIY stores or it can be purchased online at a good price.

Always Opt to Buy Epoxy Resin from the Wholesale Resin Supplier 

Resin art is undoubtedly an expensive art to pursue as a hobby. But consider yourself lucky if you are able to find a wholesale manufacturer of resin in your area or nearby.

Also, if you are planning to make bigger projects you will eventually have to look for a wholesale vendor for your epoxy resin supply.

A few things to consider when buying the epoxy resin supply in wholesale. Make sure to check the quality of the resin. So buy a small quantity initially before you become a loyal customer to any local vendor. 

Importance of Viscosity in Resin Selection

Now that we know, epoxy resin is the best resin for making coasters, it’s time to understand the viscosity of the resin you will be using for making coasters. Viscosity is the flowability of the liquid.  A low-viscosity epoxy resin is usually sturdy and durable.  These are low odour and solvent-free and make the project easier to work with. It gives you a longer than usual pot life to work when making coasters and allows you to make changes in design if required.

Pointers of Quality Check of Epoxy Resin
I’m sharing a few checklist pointers that you should consider while buying Epoxy Resin.

High Gloss 

Make sure the epoxy you are buying is a clear resin.

Non-Yellowing

A clear epoxy resin cures without a yellow tinge.

No or Less Smell

Epoxy resin is a chemical and like any chemical, it has some odour. But the smell is not pungent or fowl. This is another way to know if your epoxy is pure or fake.

No Fumes

Always buy a small quantity first. When you mix the resin and hardener in the mentioned ratio, check if it produces fumes. Epoxy, by nature, is non-toxic if inhaled. But pure epoxy will give less to no fumes.

Types of DIY Coasters Created from Epoxy Resin

The epoxy resin is very versatile and is used for making different types of resin coasters. My first coaster making project was a trial. And believe me, even after doing everything right, I did not get the desired results. But at least, it cured well. However, now when I look back, I surely have learnt.

As easy epoxy resin is to maintain so much a task it is to learn to control its flow depending upon the design you choose to create. Keep up the trials and you are sure to succeed.

Listed below are a few types of resin coasters you can try once you befriend your choice of epoxy resin.

Geode resin coasters: You can embed crushed glass or crystals in your design.

Alcohol ink resin coasters: The use of alcohol inks creates lovely cells and awe-inspiring designs. 

Gold foil resin coasters: Try spreading gold foil on your still wet clear epoxy in the mould. It gives a rich and swanky look to the final outcome.

Pressed flower resin coasters: For this only use dried flowers. Fresh flowers can leave colour and spoil the whole concept.

Tips for Choosing Resin for Coasters

When I began my quest to choose the best resin for making coasters as a beginner, it left a hole in my pocket. I spent a lot of money trying to find the right epoxy resin for my project. 

There is a lot of options available online. Being clueless and new to the art one tends to go with different brands at the same time. A suggestion here, try one brand at a time. And start with a small quantity.

Research about the various types of epoxy resin available in the market.
Read customer reviews on Amazon.
Epoxy is expensive. Do not buy two or three brands together. Work with one type at a time.
Always have the design and concept ready. This will help you choose the right epoxy for your project.
Choosing the right epoxy resin is a work of patience. Do not rush yourself to make a haste decision.

I have made some silly decisions in the beginning that proved to be heavy on my pocket. I would not like to see anyone else going down that path. So be patient. You will eventually find your epoxy.

Keep trying to create small projects. And don’t give up. As there are no mistakes in art (one exception in resin being – mixing of resin and hardener in exact mentioned ratio), there’s only a different creation than expected. 

Best Epoxy Resin Used for Coasters in India

There are two specific brands of epoxy resin widely used in India for art and creative projects. Epoke art epoxy resin is a high gloss clear coat system specifically designed for all creative projects. It offers the most efficient non-yellowing protection and is non-toxic and safe for home use. You can buy it on Amazon

Epoxy Resin art by Ritesh Art Resin Kit ultra-clear, high gloss, non-yellowing resin. It has a longer pot life of nearly 40 to 60 minutes. It is non-toxic and safe for making DIY projects. You can buy it on Amazon

Best Epoxy Resin Used for Coasters in the USA

Commonly used epoxy resin brands for beginners and experts in the USA are Art Resin Epoxy Resin and DR. CRAFTY Clear Epoxy Resin Kit. Art Resin Epoxy Resin is available in a Starter’s Kit, Mini Kit or a Studio Kit. Depending upon the project you are working on you can order the supplies.

Advice on choosing a cheaper epoxy resin over the expensive brands

Epoxy resin is usually costly from wherever you choose to purchase, order online or buy it from the local vendor. 

As a beginner, you might get lured to buy from the vendor selling resin at a cheaper price. A word of caution here, resin art is an expensive art because of the superior quality of the epoxy resin. Buying an inferior quality resin for cost satisfaction may not get you the satisfactory results of working with epoxy resin.  Cheap resins give a yellowish tinge when the two components, resin and hardener, are mixed. They are toxic and give a foul smell making them difficult to work with. The chances are also high that it may not cure completely and leave a tacky coaster on the mould. 

So never compromise on the price of the resin if you are willing to create some beautiful and stunning coasters for your home or to gift to your friends and family 

What I Insist You Remember While Making Resin Coasters

You know your epoxy resin well by now. It’s time you got started making the best resin coasters.  A few things to keep in mind –

No compromise on price

Do not go for the cheap quality epoxy resin to compromise on price.

Be patient

Resin is an expensive art that needs time, dedication and patience to get beautiful results.

Read instructions

Read the resin bottle label for instructions. Each brand differs in the mixing ratio of the two components, resin and hardener.  

Be prepared

The processing time of resin is only 30 to 40 minutes. So be ready with the design, colour, theme and mould of the coaster you wish to make. You may not be able to make changes after the resin starts setting in.

I hope my blog, “Which is the Best Resin for Making Coasters” helps you gain a lot more clarity as aspiring artists. If you feel like it, scroll through other resin art blogs of mine as well.

So while I go back to making my next epoxy resin project, I wish that you find the best resin for making coasters. Do share pictures of your beautiful and stunning coasters with me in the comments. Looking forward to seeing some lovely creations from you all.