Working with resin is not simply mixing 2-part compound and then getting the project you want . If you didn't take care of some details in the process of making resin, your project would always end up with the bad results that you don't expect. As a complete newbie, making some mistakes is definitely inevitable. In this guide, we will try to include as many as mistakes that beginners always make to help them save twists and turns.
Mistakes Before You Make Resin
Choose the wrong resin for your projects
Choosing the epoxy for your specific projects is tricky. Different projects like jewelry, river table, floor and etc should be applied with different epoxy. We would recommend epoxy for resin casting as beginners. Learn more if you want to know more about epoxy types.
Do not follow epoxy instructions
Each brand epoxy has specific instruction that you have to take care seriously. IntoResin epoxy mixing ratio is 1:1 by volume and needs to be mixed for about 5 minutes. After mixing them thoroughly, you've got 20~30 minutes to work with them and 8~12 hours to let it cure (at least 24 hours to get fully cure).
Molds are too big or deep
You're more likely to fail by casting these molds. Big or deep molds need more resin(huge batches of resin) than regular molds, which means you will need to mix too much resin in the cup, then your resin may start to release more heat and have more chance to result in flash cure with cracks or bubbles. If that happens, your resin must be a big waste becasue there is no way to fix. So it is not recommended for beginners to make huge batches of resin.
💡P.S. Also, your molds can't be too thin, at least 1/3 inch thick or it would be bendy.
Pay no attention to temperature
Different temperature would alter the resin curing time. The ideal temperature for mixing your resin is 75°-80°F (24°-26°C). If the weather is too cold, your resin is hard to get cured because it doesn't have enough warmth to facilitate the chemical reaction in resin. That's why you should pay more attention to keep your resin warm in the cold weather. Read more about why cold weather affect resin and how to fix it.
Mistakes When Making Resin
Strictly follow the epoxy instructions from your resin manufacturers and respect the ratios. If the label says measure 1:1 by volume, just follow what it says. Do not use different brand epoxy or hardener to replace because some epoxy mixing ratio is measured by weight.
💡P.S. Do not add more hardener to make the resin cure faster, it won't work and just end up with a mess.
In this process, you have to take care of 2 things, one is mixing time, another is stirring rate. To make sure resin and hardener can be mixed well enough (the chemical reaction can happen), you at least take 3-5 minutes to mix them thoroughly. Please note that scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing cup is necessary because it can make sure as much as resin and hardener is blended and avoid unmixed resin going into your mold and ending up with sticky resin finish.
Also, do not stir the resin too fast like whisk eggs, or it may create a lot of bubbles that you don't expect. Try to stir them at a constant speed in the same direction.
Add excessive colorant
As long as the colorant can be dissolved in the combined resin and hardener, no matter it's liquid or powder, it is recommended that no more than 6% of the total volume. If your project needs 100ml (50ml resin + 50ml hardener), then your colorant can't be added more than 6ml.
Exceed the epoxy working time
Take care of your epoxy working time, do not let your resin sit too long in your mixing cup, or it just cured in your mixing cup instead of your molds. Before mixing the resin, you would better figure out and prepare what material you need in advance so it can save some time when working with resin.
Mistakes When Resn Curing
Can hardly wait curing process
For all the resin lovers, I totally understand how anxious you are to see your finished piece you just did, but you need to give it more time to let it cure. If you just touch the resin while it's still curing and sticky, it would leave fingerprints and marks on the surface.
All of these mistakes would result in the unexpected resin finish when demolding, and that's exactly not what you expect. I hope this guide can help you reduce the chance of bad result on resin, and there you have it!