What is Epoxy Resin?
Without getting too technical, Epoxy Resin is a polymer that is mixed with a hardener to create a fantastic, durable, high-gloss, clear varnish (and depending on how you use it, a very thick varnish). In fact, to create a similar look with ordinary varnish would take numerous coats. We have found Epoxy Resin to be a wonderful medium for many of our craft projects.
The following are important notes on using Epoxy Resin that we have discovered while researching and experimenting with our projects.
First: safety. We make sure we always use a well-ventilated area. We wear gloves, a mask and eye protection. We make sure we keep the resin locked away in a dark place to keep it from discoloring and also to prevent small children getting their hands on it.
We have always sourced our resin from a craft store, so we have been given great instructions to follow, e.g. how to mix and apply the resin, and what temperature you should use it at to achieve the best results - all most helpful tips.
But despite all the good advice, in reality there's nothing like actually doing a project yourself and discovering what works best. We found you need to have some clean mixing vessels that you don't mind throwing away afterwards. You also need plenty of disposable gloves and some large pieces of clean paper (not newspaper) to put under your projects, since working with resin can be messy.
Make sure you mix the resin really well and exactly to manufacturer's instructions - this is a must!
We discovered you need to be generous in the amount of resin you use. Although it is possible to apply another coat, it is preferable to get it right first time.
You will need a good supply of drinking straws, as this really is the only way to get rid of the air bubbles that arise when you are mixing the resin. When bubbles appear on your project, point your straw at the bubble and gently blow, which will disperse the bubble. It really is important that you stick with it until all bubbles have gone - this could take up to an hour because bubbles continue to form until the resin is completely dry. You need to change straws frequently, as moisture from your breath can build up and you might end up blowing it out onto your project. If you do end up missing a few bubbles, don't forget our motto: Craft is perfect in its imperfections!
Make sure you allow your project 3 weeks to cure if you are going to put hot things on it, e.g. coffee cups, hot plates, etc. Always wipe down your project: never put it in the dishwasher or microwave, as this is not recommended by most manufacturers.
We are thrilled with all the things we have made using resin as a medium and we hope you find these tips helpful!