While epoxy resin is an easy material to work with, even for novices, there are a few pitfalls to avoid. There’s nothing worse than spending time and effort on creating a project only for it to fall below your expectations because of a common error.
To stop this from happening to you, we’re going to take a look at the six most common epoxy resin mistakes for beginners and how to avoid them in future.
Our guide will cover some of the most popular epoxy resin projects, but be aware that each project and its conditions are unique. However, if you follow our guidelines, you should be on track to making beautiful — and impressive — epoxy resin arts, crafts and more!
1. Not measuring properly
Number one in our list of epoxy resin faults is not measuring out your parts of resin and hardener properly. This can happen if you haven’t followed the manufacturer’s instructions or have guessed the amounts of each material to be added.
You can avoid this by using a mixing cup with properly marked lines that are easy to read. And make sure that you don’t mix brands of resin and hardener, as some are designed to be measured by volume, others by weight.
2. Not mixing properly
The next mistake on our list is not mixing properly. Blend your hardener and resin for the exact time specified on the packaging instructions. It’s important that you blend the ingredients adequately, scraping the sides and bottom of your mixing cup as you go. This is so that the chemical reaction to create the substance you recognise as epoxy resin can take place.
Don’t be tempted to scrape the mixing cup as you pour. This can result in unmixed ingredients being scraped out, making the finish of your project sticky.
3. Working at the wrong temperature
Working at the wrong temperature is one of the most common reasons for epoxy resin gone wrong. Your resin and hardener work best at just above room temperature. If it’s too cold, then it will be thick and challenging to work with and you’ll notice lots of air bubbles too.
To get your ingredients up to the desired temperature, sit the bottles in a bowl of warm water. Note that the warmer they are, the quicker the cure time, so be prepared to work quickly!
You should also know that it’s important not to work with too much resin at the same time as large amounts can get really hot and overheat. And make sure you pay attention to the maximum pour depth too.
Your room should be around 18 to 25 degrees Celsius while you work, and the temperature should stay constant during the 24 hours it takes for your epoxy resin to cure. If it’s too cold, then your resin may not set at all.
4. Not preparing your surface
If you don’t prep the surface that you’re applying resin to, then you won’t get the flawless result that epoxy resin can lend to your creative project.
For epoxy resin art, make sure your surface is dry and dust-free. Canvas should be strengthened with cardboard on the back so it can take the weight of the added epoxy resin. Mount photos or pictures onto their backing firmly with glue and smooth out any trapped air with a roller.
If you are using epoxy resin on artwork made with absorbent materials such as pastels or charcoal, use a sealant first.
Prop your artwork or craft project on plastic stands to stop it from adhering to your work surface once the epoxy resin has been poured, and use a spirit level to ensure that it’s completely flat and level.
5. Letting the resin rest too long before pouring
You’ll need to work quickly once you’ve made up your epoxy resin. Let it sit for just five minutes. If you let it rest too long in the mixing cup, it will start curing or hardening and will become difficult to work with.
The best way to avoid this is to have everything to hand before you start mixing up your epoxy resin. This means that you can pour straight away onto your target surface while the epoxy resin is still pliable and easy to work with.
6. Getting dust or bubbles in your resin
There’s nothing more infuriating than taking your time over a project only for bubbles or dust to ruin the look of the resin. Unfortunately, once this has happened and the resin has set, there is no going back.
To avoid dust or other unwanted materials getting into your resin as it dries out, put a lidless cardboard or plastic box over the top of your project. Have it to hand so you can cover your project immediately and don’t waste time searching for it.
To prevent air bubbles from settling into your cherished epoxy resin project, make sure that you work with your resin warm. This thins it out and makes it easier for air bubbles to escape. You should also ensure that you stir the mixture slowly at the preparation stage; otherwise, you’ll just create more air bubbles.
You can dissipate any air bubbles by heating with a hairdryer or artist’s torch the surface of your resin once poured. Take care not to overheat the resin when you’re doing this or you may get ripples on its surface or a yellowing effect. Hold the torch a few centimetres away from the surface and move it back and forth to reach all areas evenly.
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If you follow our guidelines, there’s really not much that can go wrong with your epoxy resin project. Just remember that each project has its own unique set of conditions. You’ll soon get the hang of working with epoxy resin with experience, and, in fact, you’ll find it’s one of the easiest materials to use if you’re a newcomer to DIY arts and crafts, producing stunning, glossy results with very little effort!
Take a look at our online shop for all the epoxy resin supplies you need. Buy resin and hardener individually, or try our popular Ultra Clear Epoxy Resin Kit with everything you need to get started. You can even add a splash of colour to your project with powdered pigments and alcohol inks.
With free shipping to most metro areas in Australia on orders over $99 and our 100% product quality guarantee, there’s nothing to lose!
Want to know more about versatile, reliable epoxy resin and accessories? For friendly advice on any of our products, contact our team.