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Everything You Need To Know About Resin Art

Everything You Need To Know About Resin Art

Published by Lauren O'Meara - Founder of The Fifth Design on 16th Mar 2021

Whether you are a seasoned artist or a newbie,  resin art is a fun and creative art medium to explore. To get started all you really need are a few materials and an understanding of how they will help you create unique art. Let your imagination go wild and dive deep into the new world of resin art with endless possibilities.

Resin art is a unique painting style where you do not use typical brushes or acrylic or oil paints. It is considered  advanced painting for the new age creative crowd. The unique materials involved in the creation of resin art differentiate ordinary artists from resin artists.

So, You Might Be Thinking, What Is Epoxy Resin?

Epoxy resin is made by combining two-components – resin and hardener. A chemical reaction occurs between these two components that make liquid resin harden to the equivalency of solid plastic, resulting in epoxy resin. Most people simply call it the result "resin" rather than "epoxy resin".

Materials Required for Resin Art

Here are the essential materials required to create resin art.

Canvas

You can use any standard canvas to make resin art, however, it is recommended that you use a wooden canvas made completely of pine, birch, or any hardwood

Resin

resin

Start with a good quality resin. It might be a little pricier, but the cheap resin is not crystal clear. Moreover, using cheaper resin can cause the painting to lose its colour brilliance. To create a masterpiece, you have to spend some bucks. Each resin will have different ratios of resin to harder, carefully follow the instructions stated on the bottle.

*A gentle reminder, do not mix too much resin at once because it hardens quickly, and once you mix it, it is only pliable for about 30 minutes.


Spray Paint (optional)

If you are working with wood, spray paint will help minimize the texture and give you more vibrant colour. This works especially well for bowls or boards.

Plastic Disposable Cups or Palate

disposable cup

Plastic disposables are used for mixing the resin and containing the resin during the painting process. If you do not wish to use plastic cups, you can go for any other palate used during usual painting. We highly recommend and love using reusable silicone cups

Popsicles Sticks And Resin Inks or Dyes

popsicles stick for resin artwork

Use popsicle sticks to mix the resin and the colours.

For colouring you can purchase inks and colours that have been designed especially for resin. As these are specifically designed pigments, they can be a little on the expensive side. If you are just beginning, we suggest purchasing a high quality white ink and then cheaper quality colours whilst you are still learning. Resin can be dyed with ink, paint, metallic powders, potent pigments or even household items, such as, turmeric or even paprika. 

When it comes to mixing your colours, be sure to only add a small amount of colour into your resin mix. Less that 6% of the overall volume can be introduced into the resin mix before it changes the chemical make up and the hardening reaction can not occur. 

Plastic Covering

Protect your work area, and other work areas, from the resin by using a plastic sheath. 

Gloves

Resin is incredibly sticky and will not come off your hands unless you use some really nasty chemicals. Gloves are a must, especially because you will be using your hands to move the resin around when painting. 

Safety Equipment

Each resin will have different safety guidelines, so be sure to check with the brand you are using as to what is the recommended safety practice whilst using that resin. As a blanket rule, we recommend you wear safety goggles and a respirator that is specifically designed for resin.

How Do You Clean Epoxy Resin Art?

Cleaning resin artwork and maintaining its shine is an essential part of working with resin. Over time, the resin can collect all sorts of dust and particles. These can be simply wiped off with a microfibre cloth, or alternatively, you can buff the surface with household oil. We use coconut and it works as a treat to bring back the original shine of the art piece

Types of Resins & Their Applications

There are many different types of resins that you can find on the market. Below are some of the resin types used most by resin artists.

Epoxy Resins:

Epoxy resin has strong adhesion properties, heat resistance, and excellent chemicals. This type of resin is most commonly used for resin art and design, it is also used for linings, propellers, floor tiles, and surface coatings.

Polyester Resins: 

The reaction of dibasic organic acids and polyhydric alcohols result in the formation of polyester resin. The advantage of using polyester resin is that it is cheap with high resistance to heat and chemicals. Polyester resin is used in the construction, seal, auto-repair of fillers, skis, fishing rods, plane & ship parts, varnishes, decorative accessories, and containers.

Phenolic Resins:

This is a thermosetting resin that has a high resistance to chemical weathering and moisture penetration. It is used for resin impregnation, laminate, bonded adhesives, brake linings, electrical components, molds, etc.

Alkyd Resins: 

Alkyd resin is a thermoplastic polyester resin formed by heating polyhydric alcohols with polybasic acids. It is known for its excellent electrical and thermal properties, with high-grade chemical resistance. Alkyd resin doesn't cost much and is used for electronic components, electrical insulation, paints, and putty fillers.

Silicone Resins: 

Flexible and water repellent, silicone resin has high thermal properties and oxidative stability. It is mostly used for laminate, rubber, water-resistant applications, and encapsulated resins.

In addition to the resins mentioned above, there are seven more types of resin: polycarbonate, polyamide, polyurethane, polyethylene, acrylic, polystyrene, and polypropylene resins. Whilst there are many different types of resin, we always recommend epoxy. It has developed over the years and is one of the safest and most versatile resins, perfect for the hobby artist or the expert.

For beginners, it would be useful to take a course just to get acquainted with how the materials are handled. Or alternatively, Youtube has a tons of tutorials and instructional videos to help you begin your wonderful resin journey! Once you know about how each material works, you are good to go with your imagination on your resin journey.

Even better, buy or create your own resin art to amplify the beauty of your home/office. It is also one of the  best gifts you can give, as it will last a lifetime. Be sure to check out our resin artwork or contact us to order a custom piece.

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