Epoxy Resin 101: A Must-read Beginner Guide

Epoxy resin is a chemically created versatile substance having diverse applications in various fields. In the past, epoxy in its liquid form was primarily used as structural and engineering adhesive in aircrafts, automobiles, ships/boats, bicycles, snowboards and skis. Also, it was used as a bonding agent in products made of wood, glass, stone, metal and plastic. But with the passage of time, the use of epoxy evolved from mere adhesive to a substance that can be used in a variety of art and craft projects. How come? Let's dive into the world of epoxy.

pouring out IntoResin epoxy resin


What is Epoxy Resin Made up of?

Epoxy resin is a combination of resin and hardening (curing) agent. It is thermosetting therefore it hardens when exposed to heat or radiation. After hardening, it becomes shiny and glossy. Once the epoxy is cured (hardened) it cannot be uncured.

Uses/Applications of Epoxy Resin in Art and Craft

Modern art and craft projects are incomplete without the word epoxy. Due to the development of video apps, the use of epoxy has increased manifolds in the past few years. However, there was a time when people were not familiar with epoxy because its use was limited to construction industry. And now, with the passage of time, it came out as a very versatile substance. For example, it works in a variety of ways not only for maintenance and repair works but also decorative and creative jobs. In various DIY art and craft projects you can use the resin creatively. Here are some of many uses of epoxy:

dried flower resin jewelry
  • Jewelry Making

You can make amazing resin jewelry pieces including necklaces, bracelets, rings etc. With incorporation of dry and artificial flowers, glitter and gold flakes, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces can be created.

epoxy resin furniture
  • Furniture

Whether it is an old center table or a boring work desk, you can transform these ordinary looking tables into jaw-dropping scenic masterpieces with the help of epoxy resin.

decorative resin trays
  • Decorative trays, plates, resin geode and petri dishes 

Epoxy resin is a great substance to create DIY decorative trays, petri dishes and plates. By incorporating glitter, crystals and decorative stones, you can create resin geodes.

resin art painting
  • Resin Art

Epoxy can be used to create enchanting wall art pieces. For instance, abstract resin wall canvas is very popular among artists and art enthusiasts. There are several techniques to create resin paintings with fascinating effects, such as dirty pour, air swipe and swipe.

epoxy resin stone carpets
  • Stone Carpets and Shower Trays

Being water-resistant, epoxy is perfect for fixing indoor and outdoor stone carpets and creating floors for shower trays. As a result, it not only looks beautiful but also completely seals the area and makes it water-proof.

What things to keep in mind while buying epoxy?

Epoxy resin is widely available online and in art and craft stores. Thus, there are many options of epoxy available. In this case, a beginner may get confused on where to start and what to buy. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while buying resin for your DIY projects.

  • Select the Right Type

We will mentioned in this article 4 types of epoxies and their differences. Certainly, when you buy them, you should not forget that not every type works for every project. Some projects need a thin coating layer whereas others require filling-in deep spaces. So you need to select the type of epoxy accordingly.

  • Pay Attention to the Quality

Epoxy resin is available in different price ranges. Usually low price products are of inferior quality. That is to say, you might end up with a project that either does not cure completely or turns yellow over time. To prevent this, it is better to buy good quality resin even if it cost more money. Before buying resin for your DIY project, remember to check the reviews. 

  • Health Hazards

Some resin may have solvents that when evaporated during curing can cause serious health issues. Before buying, you must check if it is safe or not. The packaging contains the information about probable hazards and you should never ignore.

Basic Supplies

If you are planning for a DIY resin art project, there are some basic supplies that can get you started. The supplies may vary depending upon the type and complexity of the project. However, there are some supplies that you must have for a basic resin art project.
  • Clear epoxy resin
  • Hardener (curing agent)
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing cups
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Gloves
  • Respirator/Mask
  • Silicone molds
  • Color pigments/inks
  • Embellishments (glitter, crystals, artificial/dry flowers, decorative stones, beads)
  • Heat gun

4 Types of Epoxy - Uncovering the Differences

After watching a few videos on YouTube, you will find resin art very fascinating. Everyone wants to create an amazing art piece all by themselves. But, if you are a beginner, you really need to know about types of epoxy resin and understand the differences to avoid any disaster. Different types of resins have varying consistency (whether the resin is runny or thick), pot-time (time during which the viscosity of the resin doubles), curing time (time taken by the resin to get hard) and hardness (how hard the surface of the resin is).
So, here are the 4 main types and how they differ from each other on 6 attributes; depth, cure time, air release, UV resistance, hardness and application. Let’s uncover the differences.

4 types of epoxy resin uncovering the differences

Epoxy Resin for Surface Coating

The first type is surface coating or laminating resin. It is highly viscous and its consistency is more or less like honey.

  • Depth

If you are selecting epoxy resin for surface coating, you should keep in mind that you can pour it up to 3/8” deep.

  • Cure Time

Epoxy resin for surface coating hardens in 24 hours. So if you are using it in any of your projects, you need 24 hours for it to cure. Sometimes it depends on surrounding temperature as well.

  • Air Release

Since all the attributes are interlinked, surface coating epoxy has great air release quality to remove the bubbles.

  • UV Resistance

Surface coating resins have good UV resistance. And it will not lose gloss or color easily if exposed to UV light.

  • Hardness

This epoxy resin cure to a very hard and strong finish to resist scratches.

  • Application

Surface coating epoxy resins are perfect for small castings, floor sealing, protecting pipelines, sealing and finishing countertops, and any product that needs protection from environmental damages.

UV Resistant Epoxy Resin

The second type is UV resistant epoxy resin.

  • Depth

Pour the UV resistant epoxy up to the depth of 3/8”.

  • Cure Time

Depending on surrounding temperature, it sets 90% in more or less 24 hours. The speed also depends on the type of project and temperature of the surrounding area.

  • Air Release

Bubbles releases quickly in UV resistant epoxy resins as well. And the surface will look clear and bubble-free.

  • UV Resistance

As the name suggests, UV resistant resins have the best UV resistance. They protect the products from yellowing caused by exposure to UV light for the longest time.

  • Hardness

UV resistant epoxy resin cures to a hard finish and the end product is durable.

  • Application

UV resistant resins are perfect for small castings, art coating, creating enameled look on jewelry, and sealing collages or photos.

Quick Curing Epoxy Resin

The third type is quick curing epoxy resin. 

  • Depth

You can pour the quick curing epoxy resin up to 1/8”. Otherwise it will generate a lot of heat.

  • Cure Time

It takes only 4-6 hours to cure. That is why people call it quick curing epoxy resin.

  • Air Release

Quicker bubble release in quick epoxy resin. The resin surface will have less bubbles as air releases fast.

  • UV Resistance

Most quick curing epoxy resins are UV resistant though not as good as the UV resistant epoxy.

  • Hardness

Quick curing epoxy resin cures to a hard finish.

  • Application

People use quick curing epoxy resin commonly where thin coat of resin is required. Since it is very thin, you can use it to seal cracks in electronics, wooden products, and repair antiques.

Deep Pour Epoxy

The fourth type is deep pour epoxy which is low viscosity resin. This resin is thin and flowable that cures very slowly.

  • Depth

As the name suggests, deep pour can be poured where depth is around 2”.

  • Cure Time

The more the depth, the longer it takes to cure so deep pour takes 24-72 hours to 90% cured.

  • Air Release

To look crystal clear, deep pour resin needs to release more bubbles than others since it is 2 inches thick. Therefore, most factories formulate it to have the best air release ability among all kinds of epoxy. To avoid air bubbles from the beginning, you can put a single coat of resin on the surface and then pour the deep pour resin.

  • UV Resistance

Deep pour epoxy also has good resistance to UV lights and protect the products from sunlight damages.

  • Hardness

Since deep pours are created for relatively bigger projects, their final finish is very hard and durable.

  • Application

Deep pour is perfect for bigger and more complex projects like river/ocean tables. You can also apply it for deep casting and molding of sculptures.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Epoxy Resin

Epoxy resin has diverse uses. Where on one hand it is used to create magnificent one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, you can use it to seal and repair broken pipes on the other hand. Nevertheless, you should always pay attention to its own sets of advantages and disadvantages so you can use it well.

epoxy resin pros and cons


  • Ideal for coating and laminating because of its great adhesiveness and relatively longer pot-life.
  • It is impact resistant and does not shatter so it is best for load-bearing forms
  • Water resistant
  • Products made out of epoxy resin are durable
  • Acts as a good insulator


  • The liquid raw material can cause skin allergies and eye infections.
  • Once the epoxy is cured, it becomes difficult to remove it from surfaces.
  • Not completely resistant to highly concentrated acids.
  • Some products may turn yellow over time when exposed to UV light and sometimes even if not exposed to UV light.

Epoxy Resin Calculator

Resin products have inspired many of us. The finish and the unique creative incorporation of various substances with resin to create an utterly amazing product is still trending. For a resin product to look perfect, the calculations must be accurate. You can use a digital scale for precise measurements. You can also use this Resin Calculator to calculate how much resin you need for your project (The amount is for a single coat of resin).

epoxy resin calculator

Simply put in the length, width and thickness of the project. Then you will get the proper amount of resin required for the particular project. Total amount that you get after calculation should be divided in two equal parts; 50% resin and 50% hardener. You can use a measuring cup to get the required amount of resin and hardener and mix it well to get started.


Epoxy resin is a great substance to work with. Sky is the limit for the products that you can make with it. Remember, before getting started you should get acquainted with the materials to avoid wastage, damage and health issues.

Sources and Further Reading

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