Artistic expression has taken numerous forms over human history. People went from scribbles on cave walls to digital art. Tree resin has been a multipurpose ingredient, used to make numerous objects for human use.
During the 1930s and 1940s, scientists discovered epoxy resin, which was used to make dental fixtures. Afterward, when the epoxy resin was available for industrial use, people started using it for making art.
The world of resin art is limitless. From making designer tables to creating beautiful jewelry, there is so much you can do with this medium. However, each art item you make might require a different type of resin. To make sure your attempt is successful, it is crucial to know which kind of epoxy resin you need to use.
How Does Epoxy Resin Work?
Epoxy resin art is made by combining resin with hardener. Depending on the resin, the ratio of the two components will vary. You will find the ratio to use on the label. It is either 1 part resin with 1 part hardener or 2 part resin with 1 part hardener. Some epoxy resin comes premixed, however, those take a hotter external environment and longer drying time to cure.
Other elements like color pigments, glitter, etc., are added during the process to give character to the art. The end product can be aesthetically pleasing and visually dynamic, according to the artist’s vision. You can manipulate and guide resin to create numerous expressive pieces, which is what makes resin so versatile.
Types of Epoxy Resin You Can Use
People who are new to this form of art will need an epoxy resin guide to help them understand how it works. There are mainly two types of epoxy resin that you can use to make art. Epoxy resin is usually differentiated based on its consistency. Each serves a different purpose, so the kind you need will depend on your artwork.
Deep Pour or Low Viscosity Resin
Deep pour, or low viscosity resin is watery, that is used to make large art projects. Since the resin is of thin consistency, more of it can be used, or you can use it in multiple layers. This type of epoxy resin is also called casting resin.
There are two perks of using deep pour resin. For starters, it will reach every area of your project, easily going into difficult-to-reach places. Secondly, you use this for projects that require a lot of resin. However, since it is watery, it requires a longer curing time. It takes anywhere from 12 to 72 hours to dry.
Each type of resin has its thickness for each pour, so make sure you know that before pouring. Low viscosity resin can have ½ to 1 inch(2.54 cm) thickness of pours. Deep pour resins are great for making 3-dimensional artwork. It is easier to get rid of bubbles when you used this runny kind of resin.
Surface Pour or High Viscosity Resin
Surface pour or high viscosity resin is generally of thick consistency. They are also known as laminating resin. It is often used as a sealant on flat surfaces to create a glossy outer layer. Each pour can’t be more than ⅛ to ½ inches, as it is quite thick.
Surface pour resin is tough and can increase the durability of the surface it is applied to. It is also more weather resistant and can withstand wear and tear. You can apply it to paintings to make them durable.
It is very difficult to get rid of bubbles from surface pour resins, due to their thickness. This makes it complicated to use and to get rid of flaws like bubble pockets.
Which Type of Epoxy Resin to Choose For Your Artwork?
The kind of epoxy resin you choose will depend on the kind of artwork you make. Here are a few kinds of artwork and the type of epoxy resin to use to make it.
- Casting Molds for Decorative items: Epoxy resin can be used to cast molds to create decorative items you can display on shelves, mantles, etc. These molds are made of materials that are resistant to resin and tend not to stick on, such as plastic and silicone. You generally use deep pour epoxy resin for these art pieces.
- Casting Mold For Jewelry: This is similar to casting other types of molds. You can find DIY kits just for making epoxy jewelry. These come with molds and other tools you need for making jewelry. Deep pour resin is used for these. People use pigmented colors, dry flowers, beads, etc., to elevate the beauty of these jewelries.
- Casting Mold For Making Models: Model making is a hobby for some and a professional necessity for architects. Casting mold with epoxy resin for small architectural models is also quite common. You use deep pour resin for these as well.
- Fixing flaws On Wooden Items: Wooden furnishing, decoratives, fixtures, etc., tend to have flaws or get chipped. These flaws can be fixed using watery low viscosity epoxy resin, as its consistency enables it to reach deep crevices.
- Casting Furniture: This is a very popular use of epoxy resin. A popular option that seasoned epoxy resin artists try is making a river table. This kind of epoxy art requires deep pour resin, as you add multiple layers of colored resin to create the illusion of running water on the river table.
- Resurfacing of Most Floors: You can use epoxy resin to resurface floors made of any material it adheres to. People generally use surface pour resin to do this. It is also used as a sealant for wooden surfaces, for example, people might use it to maintain their outdoor deck.
- Creating Faux Marble Look on Surfaces: You can use deep pour epoxy resin to give a faux marble look to various surfaces. Metallic colors can be used to create a marble/stone effect. People use this technic to create cheap D.I.Y floors, countertops, etc.
- Creating Resin Artwork: People use surface pour resin to create artwork. They do so using a base like wood or even a canvas. You can also make your acrylic or oil paint artwork more durable (and glossy!) using a surface. Just make sure the paint is fully dry before pouring resin on the canvas.
- Creating Stone Carpet: Some people use small stones to create a stone carpet for outdoor areas of their houses. They use epoxy to seal the stone together to create the stone carpet.
- These are only a few examples of how you can use epoxy resin for your artwork and DIY craft. You can discover other ways you can use this yourself with a little research and creativity!
Bases to Use
Even though epoxy resin adheres to most surfaces, there are still some like plastics, polythene, silicone, etc., that it doesn’t stick. Using wood as the base is a great idea, which is why many artists paint on wooden boards and use surface pour resin to give it a nice finish.
You can also use fiberboards and tiles to make your art. Cheap white tiles can be used to work with, which will cut down your cost as well. Wood panels or any other woodwork such as wood slices, wood logs, etc., adhere well with epoxy resin.
You can apply surface pour resin to preserve most canvas artwork after the paint has dried. But, if you are pouring a thick layer, provide support under the canvas to ensure it doesn’t sag.
Precautions to Take
Always use epoxy resin in a well-ventilated room, as these chemicals release fumes that can cause respiratory problems. Try to use a respirator/mask while using these chemicals, colors, etc., and also while sanding the rough edges of your finished product. Remember to wear goggles to avoid getting resin into your eyes.
Protect your hands from the epoxy resin by wearing gloves while working. Nitrile rubber gloves are your best option. Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean your gloves if you come in contact with the epoxy resin mixture. You can also use it to keep the mixing tool of your drill or other such accessories clean. Even colors, glitters, etc. are a danger to your eyes and respiratory system, so practice caution while working with epoxy resin.
You can do a lot with epoxy resin, but the key lies in knowing what kind to use for different purposes. Now that you know which artwork you can create with deep pour or surface pour resin, let your creativity run wild and make your resin art masterpiece today!