Advice for the resin beginner

Where resin crafting is more than a passion, it is an OBSESSION

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Top 10 tips for the resin beginner, shared byKate Ledum

When I asked my resin friends, experts and resinistas for their advice for resin success, (which I shared last week in the postSeven experts share their advice for crafting with resin) resinista Kate Ledum didnt stop with one tip.  Kate was kind enough to share her top ten list of tips for success for the resin beginner.

1. Never be afraid to try something new. If you think of what youre doing as an experiment, then if it doesnt turn out exactly as you planned, you might discover something new. (Its the way I deal with my perfectionist anxiety.)

2. Wear gloves. Nitrile ones are great. Theyre durable yet thin enough you can feel what youre doing (unlike a lot of plastic gloves like come in most of the resin kits or hair colouring kits).

3. Always cover your work surface, wax paper works wonderfully for this.

4. Always wear clothes that can be ruined.

5. If youre working over top of a nice carpet, put down a drop cloth wider than the area youre working in.

6. Mix SLOWLY and scrape the sides and bottom of your cup often.

7. Cure your resin in a location thats level.

8. Dont touch your project until its cured. (Look on the instructions that came with the resin to know when that will be.)

9. Relax, you can fix most boo-boos.

10. Always keep in mind a piece of great advice from Bob Ross: There are no mistakes, only happy little accidents.

All great advice, that deserved its own post.  🙂  If you are interested in some of Kates other posts, be sure to check out her latest tutorial onHow to make a resin coaster.

What other resin beginner advice has been helpful for you?

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What is most important thing to remember when putting resin on a 24 x 36 inch abstract painting

I would say be prepared with everything you need and act quickly once your resin is mixed. You dont want to be distracted in the middle of a pour only to find your resin is starting to cure and your painting isnt covered yet.

Make sure your WHOLE work area is covered with a drop cloth of some kind far bigger than the painting. Drips will happen.

Also make sure your painting is elevated on spikes or poles of some kind and the bottom edges of the sides do not touch anything. This will prevent it becoming one with your work surface as the resin cures.

Make sure your entire working area is cleaned off and is covered by a drop cloth, no gaps.

The place you pour will be the place you cure. Make sure your painting is level (use a bubble level not your eye).

If possible, cover your painting while it is curing but in a way that the cover does not touch any part of the painting (or any resin drips). Or, at least make sure it is in a place that nothing can disturb it and stray hair cant find its way on to it.

One more comment about Nitrile gloves: if you are, like me, sensitive or allergic to latex, Nitrile gloves have no latex whatsoever and so are ideal.

I may have put to much acrylic paint into the resin trying to tint it and now it wont cure. Its been a week and its still sticky and pliable. Is there a way to fix this or make it cure still?

Unfortunately, no. You can try applying heat to it with a heat gun, but Im not hopeful that will work.

You should only be putting about 10%-15% acrylic paint into your mixed resin. The water in the acrylic paint affects the curing of resin greatly. I would recommend using higher quality, fluid acrylics, like Golden high flows and/or fluid paints, Liquitex acrylic inks or soft body paint, Daler Rowney FW acrylic inks, or Amsterdam acrylic inks (Im sure theres more brands out there, Im just naming what I use). The higher quality acrylics have much more pigment in them than the cheaper acrylics. Also, if its just that you want to make a particular color more opaque, just add a drop or two of white and that should help. Adding more of a transparent color isnt going to make it opaque, its going to stay transparent, and youll end up with the problem you have now if you add too much.

As for the painting you already poured, you can try adding another layer of just clear resin over it- just make sure youre measuring it exactly right and mixing it extremely well. This has worked for me before. Good luck!

Im a newbie to resin, I live in the metal stamp and glass world, but I have tons of pressed flowers left by my mom and I want to use open frame pendants with resin for flower pendants

What should I buy..needless to say Im glad to buy from you or any affiliate you may be working with!

I have everything needed other than the actual resin. Thanks for any help

I would suggest starting with one of our beginner kits: should let you get started with making things with resin right away.

I want to start using resin. Do I have to buy a specific one? I live on an island so I dont have to much access of things. Here they sell resin to repair surfboards, can I use that one?

Surfboard resin is most likely polyester resin. Yes, you can use that kind, but I would suggest reading this article first:

Am a beginner what should l buy as a starter kit for making jewellery

This is where I recommend beginners start:

Does the quality or outcome of a dirty pour differ if I mix the paint with resin before I pour, or is it more practical (less wasteful) to just put a coat of resin on after the paintings done? Also, whats the best resin to use for a canvas painting, epoxy, fiberglass, or polyester?

Hi Maddie, as for your first question, I suppose it comes down to your personal preference. You will achieve a different look if you mix the resin with paint before pouring as opposed to painting, then pouring on the resin later. You will want to use an epoxy resin for resin painting. We have several here: resin (same thing) are not self leveling and will not work for resin art purposes.

I dont have torch to remove the bubble in the pouring technic can I use hairdryer instead please advise

Yes, but the force of the air may move the resin more than you want it to.

You could also try a heat gun/embosser, but youll have the same problem with the resin mixture moving from the force of the air.

I live in a country where theres no imported goods come in,..and i have some resine that i bought in my last trip,but now i need to know,..if i can use a silicone place mat used for baking cookies will the resine stick to it? if it works i wont be using it again for cooking purposes thanks.

Hi. I love your lesson about resin. I need to now more.

Hi Katherine. I have a question for you: I am new to resin, and Im using Castin Craft brand polyester resin in a thin layer to seal a project. When I did the pour, the surface looked smooth, glassy, and perfect. After about an hour, I noticed that the surface became pockmarked and rippled, which is how it hardened. I tried a second pour over that, with the same results: smooth and glassy first, then pockmark-y and rippled as it cured. Any thoughts on what Im doing wrong? Great website, by the way. Wish I found it before I started this project! Thanks!

Hi Tom, polyester casting resin isnt self-leveling. Can you tell me a little more about the project you are trying to seal? I am happy to make a recommendation.

Thank you for responding so quickly! This is the project: I filled the inside of a small 2.5 square porcelain box lid with resin to make a smooth surface to paint a personalization (for a nieces upcoming first communion). After applying an initial base layer of resin (about 1/4 in.) and allowing it to cure for 24 hours, I painted on my message in gold paint with a fine calligraphy brush. After allowing that to dry 24 hours, I poured a second thin layer of resin (about 1/8 in.) to cover the text. Im not worried about the resin shrinking and falling out because the lid has an indentation around all 4 sides, which the resin filled in I expect that will anchor it inside the lid.

In both the first and second pours, the resin started out as I expectedsmooth and glassybut as it hardened, the surface became pockmarked with ripply little indentations in a more or less regular pattern. (Its easier to explain in a picture, but I dont think there is a way for me to upload a photo to illustrate.) I would like the surface to be smooth, and there is room to do another 1/8 in. pour, but I want to be sure I do it right the third time and not end up with this ripple effect again. Otherwise I can just leave it as-is, though my perfectionist brain wants it to be glassy smooth and perfect. Any thoughts? I was thinking I might not have stirred the resin and hardener long enough that seems to be a common error with resin newbies from what Im seeing online. But thats just a guess. For the record, I stirred for about 60-90 seconds each time (using 1 oz of resin each time, so it was not much to work with).

The ripples and waves are from the polyester resin not self-leveling. For the next layer, I suggest the Alumilite Amazing Clear cast epoxy resin. It is a doming resin and should give you an even, glossy finish. You can find it in several sizes in our store here:

I am using resin to coat rocks so they shine as if in water. I placed them on a silicone mat to dry but they stuck a bit. Some sites recommend wax paper but I just cant see that being correct. I am using Alumilite Resin. Thanks.

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