I remember when I saw my first resin painting hanging in a high-end gallery up in Vail, Colorado. I instantly fell in love and wanted to learn how I could do something similar for my work. After watching a few tutorials on youtube I thought I had it down and decided to give it a try. Little did I know that I was in for a long and costly challenge that would take me many failed attempts to get right.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced with resin is my perfectionism. I see one little speck on the final piece and obsess over it. I've finally accepted that there is no such thing as perfect, there will always be that little fuzz or bubble in your finished piece. The goal is to learn how to minimize those imperfections for that gallery-ready glassy like finish.
Here are some tips and tricks I've learned through my many failed attempts of adding resin to my finished paintings. Im sharing this because I wish I had this information when I first started out with resin, my hope is that I'll help you avoid some of the mistakes I've made.
Prep your painting
Seal your artwork properly - This will provide protection to your artwork prior to adding resin. Depending on the materials you use, the resin could mix with your paint and ruin your painting. I also like to spray my artwork with a UV protectant coat to avoid yellowing in the future. Make sure you test any sealing products before applying to your finished work, you never know how products will react with your paint.
Tape the sides of your artwork - I like to keep the sides and bottom of my painting resin-free. To do this I tape the sides of my painting with blue scotch tape. I like to get the 1.4 width or wider to cover both the sides and bottom. I've tried other tapes in the past and my favorite is the blue brand. It is easy to peel off and doesn't stick to my painting.
Clean your space
Set the room to 73-78 F - Living in Colorado, I would get so concerned about my resin curing bumpy. It wasn't until months of practice that I learned that the temperature in which your resin cures makes a huge difference in the curing quality.
Vacuum: To minimize the amount of dust that lands on my paintings, I like to vacuum my space to I pick up any unwanted dust or dog hair that might be lying around.
Mist your space with water - Immediately after vacuuming, I mist water all around my space making sure to mist the floor all around my artwork. This helps all the dust particles flying around settle to the ground. I keep the spray bottle nearby and will occasionally mist the floor while I am reasoning my artwork. But be careful not to accidentally mist water on your wet resin, this could cause issues when curing.
Post resin check
After pouring the resin, here are a few steps I take to ensure I get as many of the bubbles, dust particles or hairs out that I can. If you want me to write a post or make a video on how I poor resin please let me know in the comments below!
Get rid of bubbles - After pouring the resin, more than likely there will be lots of bubbles. The easiest way I've found to get rid of bubbles is to apply heat. I use this little creme brulee torch and make sure to run it through the resin quickly and not too close so that the resin doesn't burn.
Get rid of dust - Once I feel like all the bubbles are gone I like to go through and inspect the resin for any dust particles, hairs, or any other imperfections. Any time I find something, I'll use tweezers or toothpicks to pick it out. Please note, the longer you spend picking at your painting the higher chances more dust particles will land on your artwork. I like to set a timer of 15 minutes and once that goes off I stop picking and cover my work.
Cover your artwork and let it dry - Covering your artwork prevents little dust particles flying around to land on your drying resin. For me, I've been working with a manufacturing company to build a custom art cover made of plexiglass. Its amazing but was pretty pricey. If you are looking for a quicker and more affordable route here are a few things you can do:
- Build a tent with to cover your work with painters plastic - this could get messy
- Cover your work with a cardboard box
- Cover your work with a larger canvas
As long as you cover your artwork completely, your artwork should be safe from unwanted dust, bugs or hairs. Yes bugs, I've once had a little fruit fly land right smack in the middle of my artwork while the resin was drying.
Materials I use:
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- Painting Seal: Krylon #1303 Crystal Clear and Krylon UV-Resistant Clear
- Creme brulee torch and Fuel - Please be careful using this, I've had a few close calls filling up the creme Brulee touch.
- Heat Gun- If you don't want to use a torch, I've heard that heat guns can also be used to eliminate bubbles.
- Blue scotch tape
- Glass spray bottle - I have one very similar to this one and its adorable and has lasted me years
- Vacuum - I have this heavy-duty vacuum because my dog sheds, A LOT. But any vacuum should do the trick.
- Painters Plastic
- Art Resin - I love using art resin, its nontoxic and does not yellow over time.
I really hope these little tips and tricks will help you on your resin journey.
I hope this post helps you on your resin journey! These tips have made a huge difference in the final result of my resin. If you have learned your own tips along the way please share them in the comments below! As I said, the resin is never perfect but the more tricks I learn along the way, the better it will look!
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- Janna Moreau