Working with resin only to find out that you’ve got stubborn resin bubbles? Learning how to make them literally disappear is one of those things that seems easy, but can actually be tricky unless you’ve got the right advice. Luckily, that’s what this topic is all about!
Bubbles in your resin can ruin an otherwise gorgeous creation that you’ve worked on tirelessly, so don’t skip over this just because you think “it won’t happen”. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. Don’t you want to be prepared just in case? It certainly will help keep your frustration down, not to mention save your creation!
Not sure why this article is going to make a difference? It’s coming from me, a 5-year resin creator, who wants to share my advice and support with all newbies out there that want to learn how to make resin projects the right way. It’s so much more fun, even if it doesn’t seem so when you've got all those tiresome bubbles!
What is causing air bubbles in my epoxy resin in the first place?
If you think that bubbles are actual air bubbles in epoxy resin, you’re correct! They’re tiny little trapped air bubbles in your resin that form when you are pouring, mixing and spreading your resin into your mold. The bubbles are designed to work their way up to the surface and pop (similar to when you’re told to slam a cake pan down on the counter before you put it in the oven for the same reasons).
Since air is a part of the creation process in epoxy resin, it’s natural for it to release as it is moved and poured, and then make its way to the surface. The key is just for you to know how to tackle it! Ready to learn how to get bubbles out of resin the right way? Here are the tips for finding your way to bubble freedom!
- Make sure you’re working with the right resin
- Slow and steady wins the race in mixing
- Wait for a few minutes after mixing
- Get your resin hot(ish)
- Keep your layers thin
- Move the resin around the mold around before you fill it up
- Demold as you go (carefully)
- Torch it!
- BONUS: What to do with cured resin that has bubbles?
Generally speaking, these tips are organized in the right order, too. That is, don’t start with a blow torch and then double back to what resin you're using. These are organized to help you start off on the right foot, for the least likelihood of resin bubbles, and then help you get those particularly stubborn ones out without damaging anything (including yourself)
Not all resin is made for all kinds of things, remember. For the best crafting experience, casting resin is going to be the best overall choice simply because it’s the best epoxy resin from which to remove the bubbles.
When you are mixing the resin, move slowly and carefully. You don’t need to whip the resin around like eggs when you’re baking. Just mix carefully, cautiously and slowly so that you can mix without having to create more bubbles in the process!
When you pour your resin in with your hardener, you’ll also want to wait a few minutes before you mix, to begin with. This gives the first bubbles time to escape. Just 5-6 minutes will do it!
Okay, so not “hot, hot” but warm. You can do this by turning up the temperature in the room, or putting the resin bottle in a dish of warm water. Resin needs to be at the right temperature in order to be the right consistency. This consistency is also going to impact the bubble situation, too!
On that same note, make sure that you warm your resin molds up too. Or, at the very least, make sure they’re not freezing cold!
One of the biggest problems that people make is to try to fill the entire mold and its layers in one go. Make sure you work in thin layers so that you can easily tease the bubbles up without having to slog through, say 6 inches of epoxy resin!
When you’ve poured your resin into the mold. Roll it around slowly in the mold as it sinks into the details of the mold itself. Slow, even movements, and only do one direction (rather than shaking it). Then, you can go ahead and pour the rest in (sowly).
If you’ve got a really tricky and intricate mold, use your finger to demold from the bottom in those tricky spots. It’ll tease the bubbles up and help you get them out of there without having to fine-tune those tricky spots. Remember: slow, even movements!
If you’ve read any of my posts before, you know I’m not a major fan of using heat on my molds. That’s because resin is flammable and I don’t want to put myself in harm’s way just for the sake of a few bubbles. Similarly, a torch also can weaken my molds and I really don’t want to have to keep buying new ones all over again. Lastly, resin that’s too hot won’t cure for, like, months!
So, all that aside, sometimes you just need to put a torch to it. Buy a small, preferably craft-designed torch and use it short, carefully-placed bursts. Think 3-5 seconds and hold it at least 6 inches away from the problem spots.
Be very careful with this, and make sure you do all of the steps above first. This torch should be your last-ditch attempt when learning how to get your resin project bubble-free.
Did you have an oopsie where you missed a bubble and now you’ve got it cured in your resin? IT’s okay! IT happens to everyone at least a few times and it’s not cause to throw it all out and start over. Odds are, you’ve noticed the bubble because it’s near the top (the finished bottom, that is) of the mold, right?
All you have to do is take a piece of fine sandpaper and gently sand your resin project down. Wipe it clean regularly with a damp paper towel to keep from going too far. When you’ve got it open, you can put a bit more epoxy resin in the bubble and then let it cure for several hours. Problem solved!
Is your bubble way down toward the bottom (the finished top) of your mold? You can hypothetically sand all the way down and backfill, but you’ll have to make sure that you get it all to cure properly and not create a line in the resin finished project. So, depending on the distance, you may want to start over! It’s all about picking your battles, right?
The good news is that finding bubbles in your epoxy resin is normal and totally workable when you know the right tips. So, the next time you see bubbles popping up -- literally -- don’t panic! Help is here after all!