Getting Started With Resin Casting
The versatile art of resin casting is alluring for several reasons. One does not need to have outstanding artistic abilities to create a stunning product. The process requires patience and time, but it has proven to be incredibly therapeutic for most. It is perfect for people who want to indulge in a meticulous creation and have a charming keepsake to show for their efforts.
After seeing popular videos of people resin casting online, it can be tempting to rush to start your first project. However, you need to keep several things in mind before this to ensure the best results, as well as your safety. We hope this article can help you in your exciting journey ahead so you can make beautiful masterpieces to share with friends and family.
What is Resin Casting?
Resin casting is a process in which liquid synthetic resin is mixed with a curing agent, typically at or near room temperature. This mixture is poured into the mold and, due to the curing agent, it hardens into a solid.
Once this reaction is complete, the hardened casting is removed from the mold. The size and shape of the mold vary because this technique is used at a hobby level and a small-scale manufacturing level.
What Kind Of Projects Can Be Made By Resin Casting?
Like all crafting techniques, there is no limit to the possibilities of what can be made through resin casting. In modern times, jewelry and decorative ornaments, such as pendants, earrings, and combs, are popular end products for resin casting and have a high demand too. It can also be used to make small household items such as trays, coasters, or ashtrays. Other trinkets may include keychains or bookmarks.
You can customize your resin mixture to add a charming personal touch to your items. Some ways to do this are by preserving dry flowers in resin or adding glitter and dyes. Some people add in beads, tiny shells, or other tiny jewels. However, that requires a higher level of expertise.
How to Cast Resin?
- Desired casting resin or epoxy for jewelry.
- Safety equipment.
- Desired molds.
- Thick plastic sheets to cover your surface.
- Heat gun or blow torch.
- Measuring scales.
- Utensils for mixing like cups and spatulas or stirrers.
- Dyes, glitter, flowers, stones, or whatever you wish to personalize your resin with.
- Something to cover your resin with while it cures
First, you must decide what kind of resin you need for your project. Epoxy resin is a great option as it is less viscous than other kinds of resin, thus making it more forgiving for amateurs. Thicker resins are generally used for polishing surfaces, not casting. After selecting your resin, it is vital to keep some safety measures in mind before you begin.
1.Wearing nitrile gloves to protect your hands from toxic resin as you work.
2.Having a well-ventilated working space to ensure that you do not inhale any toxic. fumes.
3.Keeping on a respirator mask if you are working with large amounts for a larger project
4.Having on goggles while pouring the resin, so it doesn’t accidentally get into your eyes
Next, you need to focus on your workspace. You can do everything at home since resin casting doesn’t require any fancy apparatus or tools. You should start by covering your surface with a thick plastic sheet to avoid contamination by anything toxic. The surface you are working on must be completely leveled so that your resin sets evenly in the molds.
Resin Casting Process
After everything is set up, you can finally begin the process.
The casting process is very methodical, which is part of its charm. There’s a set quantification and procedure to everything that can be very calming. The process goes as follows:
Measuring the quantities of the resin and hardener is extremely crucial for obtaining the perfect consistency for your product. Each product has a different mixing ratio between epoxy resin and hardener, which helps it set properly. Unless you have a firm grasp of resin casting, we recommend you follow the package instructions for the best results.
Stir the mixture for at least three minutes to ensure complete incorporation. Add the embellishments of your choice at this step. Store correctly to make sure the mixture works and the consistency is right.
After the mixture is ready, pour it into your mold. Make sure to have goggles on and pour as slowly as you can. The slow pouring helps ensure none of it splashes and helps in setting it properly. Ensure the resin covers every corner of the mold so that the final result looks like you envisioned.
The resin will take around 24 hours to harden fully. Don't forget to cover the mixture while it rests. This is to ensure that no dust or other particles get inside, otherwise, it becomes part of the mold.
While working with resin, you are dealing with a lot of chemicals, which is why so many protective measures are needed. After you are done working, you need to thoroughly clean your workspace and all the surfaces used in addition to disinfecting for good measure. Furthermore, we recommend you don’t wash the utensils and molds you used in a kitchen sink, but in a different place, preferably under running water without a basin. However, a washbasin does the trick too.
Tips to Improve Your Casting
Your resin product is now done. To ensure your product a masterpiece, we have some great tips for you too:
Mixing and Instructions
Follow the product instructions as far as you can, especially if you’re a beginner. Usually, those instructions are case-specific and lead to the best results. This is especially true for mixing.
Try to be as precise as possible with the mixing ratio. If your project requires a different ratio than the one stated on the project, you can use online epoxy resin calculators. You should mix these components by volume rather than weight as the density of the resin and hardener differs. Use good quality measuring tools.
Taking Care of Temperature and Humidity
Epoxy resin is fairly temperature-sensitive, so temperature regulation is essential. Don't forget to keep the temperature and humidity of your resin mixture constant. You can put your resin package in a warm water bath to bring its temperature, down to 20 degrees, before you use it. If the temperature is below 20 degrees, the curing process slows down. When it is above 20 degrees, the curing speeds up so projects that require a longer setting time.
Humidity affects the hardener adversely, so make sure that the humidity remains below 70%. Use a primer on your work surface so that humidity does not interfere with your hardener and resin mixture’s curing.
Preventing bubbles while your resin sets is a problem many resin artists face. Unsightly bubbles in your creation can ruin the overall look of the end product.
Fortunately, they can be prevented. After pouring the resin mixture, lightly heat the sides of the mold to help the bubbles that may have formed rise to the surface and pop. This problem is more frequent in deeper molds, so make sure to pour into them as smoothly as possible. Another tip comes from professional resin artist, Kate Ede, from The Resin Reserve, who suggests the use of a blowtorch for smaller molds or a heat gun for larger molds.
Some bubbles can also be eliminated during mixing. Mixing gently with a spatula and leaving the mixture to rest for a while between stirring helps. After pouring the resin mixture, lightly heat the sides of the mold to allow the bubbles that may have formed to pop.
- Patience is key. In the initial stages, you are sure to get excited and try to speed up the process. Keep reminding yourself that good things take time. Otherwise, you will fall victim to novice mistakes. Some of them include not mixing well enough and taking things out of their molds too early.
- Some dyes may not be compatible with your brand of resin so make sure to check beforehand.
Tips and Tricks for Personalizing the Resin
Elements and How to Keep Them in the Middle
It is important to make sure to use compatible dyes, glitters, gold flakes, etc. When preserving a dried flower, create the piece in two layers. The flower may float to the top if you fill the mold in one go, so pour some resin around the flower or an item that can float to the surface and let it harden a bit. Then pour the rest of the resin to complete your piece. That way, it keeps in the middle, as well as maintains its shape.
Keeping Its Shape
Sealing things, like photographs, in resin is a pretty popular trend. However, the problem may sometimes occur in that they lose their shape in the process by becoming crumpled or disfigured. For that, make sure to seal them with vinyl resin glue and let them dry. Then pour over the rest of the resin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Resin Art Bad For the Environment?
Bad quality resin is harmful to the environment, and irresponsible usage by artists makes matters much worse. In addition, one of the constituents of resin is petroleum. The extraction of petroleum hurts the environment and leads to the emission of greenhouse gases, which are responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer.
It is important to make sure to reduce the consequences of what you do and prioritize preserving the safety of Earth while creating your art. This is why you should opt for more environmentally friendly brands as well as discard them properly while not wasting any.
Is Resin Casting Expensive?
Resin art is one of the most cost-effective mediums of art. While being easy on the pocket, the outcomes are infinite and eye-catching. You have control over your project, and get your money’s worth as your product is durable. Additionally, you only need to purchase a few items to start with. No expensive equipment required, and you can use everything at home.
Are The Supplies Easy To Find?
All the supplies are readily available online and at your local art stores, while the rest can be found at hardware stores.
Can I Do Resin Casting At Home?
Yes, you can. Resin Casting is a cost-effective hobby that doesn’t require you to relocate. As long as you adequately cover the surfaces you’re working on, you can do it at home with no issues at all. In fact, most popular resin artists create their products at home!
How Do I Clean Up After Resin Casting?
Make sure to remove and wash any protective coverings you put on the table as well as disinfect the workspace. As for brushes, run them under water and wash them out (with gloves on) while they’re still wet, since hardened resin is harder to clean. For any molds and containers, clean them out with a paper towel and then wipe them down with rubbing alcohol or acetone and let them sit. For extra care, clean them with hot soapy water.