Common Resin Art Mistakes for Beginners
Resin art has certainly grown in popularity within the Art World over the past few years. As artists and hobbyists have begun to hear about resin art, many have come to realise that it may not be as simple of a process drawing or painting. Not to mention, the countless techniques, resin types, possible issues and everything in between that can be learned when it comes to resin.
We have all been ‘beginners’ and taken the time to research, practice and learn all there is to the art of resin. So we have outlined some of the most common mistakes we see and hear about from beginners to help you learn from those and hopefully save you some time and money from making those same mistakes along your resin art journey.
Preparing for your pour:
– Make sure you have the correct resin type for the projects you are wanting to create. Not all resins are the same and all will offer different features. There is no real “one size fits all” with resins. Think about what you want to make first; river tables, jewellery, resin artworks, coasters, moulds, etc. whatever it may be and ensure you read the product descriptions carefully to see which project type it suits. If you are still unsure contact the manufacturer or supplier for more information on the best product for your project needs.
– Follow your instructions carefully. All good and trustworthy resin brands will come with safety and working instructions with each kit purchased. It is important that you follow these instructions when it comes to measuring, mixing and curing. There are many different resin brands out there will all varying measurements, most commonly you will find: 1:1, 2:1 and 3:1, however there are many other ratios with resin systems. Make sure you are measuring to the instructions; so if it says 1:1 by volume then you would measure out 100mls : 100mls, for example. However if it says 1:1 by weight, then you will need to ensure you have scales readily available and measure 100gms : 100gms.
When it comes to mixing, it is important to ensure both parts are well combined for a perfect finish once cured. Again all resins have a different mixing procedure, however regardless of the brand or recommended mixing time, it is important that you scrape along the sides, edges and bottom of your mixing container to well incorporate all product.
Curing will also differ with each different resin so make sure you know how long to let the resin sit before you can more or touch it. A general rule when working with any resin is to be able to work at a constant temperature, ideally between 20-25 degrees celsius with low-no humidity. If the resin and room temperature is warmer, you will find your resin will cure faster, whereas if it is colder then your resin will generally be thicker to work with and will take longer to cure.
– Make sure your working area is clean, dry and surface is flat. Resin loves to attract dust, dirt and even bugs so you want to work in an area that is as clean as possible, whilst still ensuring you have good ventilation for safety.
As resin will generally self level, you also want to make sure you are working on a flat and well levelled surface. You won’t want your art piece tilting off towards one side or having an uneven mould finish. You will also want to have your working surface and floors covered with plastic, because resin won’t wash off. Once it cures it will be stuck, so using drop sheets, or painters plastic will help protect your working surface from any spills.
– Don’t let your resin sit for too long before using it. Once you’ve mixed your two parts together, is when your working time begins. You want to have everything prepared and ready to go before you start mixing to ensure you have the longest amount of working time available to you. When you have mixed your resin, divide it into your smaller cups with your colours and leave a small amount of resin in your measuring cup as a “just in case”. This will help avoid an exothermic reaction which will heat up your resin and cure it faster. If the volume is too much and you let it sit for too long without using it, it may begin to smoke and get very thick and gluey, which means you wont be able to use it.
– Adding more colour wont create better effects. The more pigment you add to your resin the more the chemical reaction begins to change which can lead to pouring and curing issues. Ideally 2-5% colour is all you need. If you are trying to darken a colour, mix in a darker shade or a tiny bit of black, rather than adding excess pigment. Anything over 10% of colour in the resin can lead to the resin getting gluey and the resin being soft or impressionable when cured.
– Bubbles are not always a bad thing and can easily be removed. When you mix your resin, try to work in a slow-moderate pace, avoid whipping or beating the resin as this will pull more air into your mix and create more bubbles. Much like baking when you need to fold a cake mix to avoid overly aerating the batter. When you go to pour, pour slowly as this will help burst bubbles as it hits the surface. You can then use heat from a heat gun or butane torch to burst any surface bubbles.
Don’t be disheartened if something goes wrong. That is just part of the learning process with resin. In most cases, a project can easily be fixed whether it’s with another layer or sanding and polishing. The best thing to do is give it a go and learn from your mistakes (or happy accidents). Find heaps of helpful tips in our many other blog posts, youtube videos or FAQ’s or feel free to contact us for more information on an upcoming project.