Plastic vs silicone resin molds - Which is better for your resin projects

If you’re researching resin molds, you are probably finding yourself at the crossroads between determining whether plastic resin molds or silicone resin molds are better for resin crafts. Sound familiar? If so, you’re in the spot!

I’m about to use my 5 years’ worth of resin craft experience to help you understand the differences between plastic and silicone, and help you understand which one is better -- and why. I’ll also go over some of the common questions with silicone molds! Ready to get learning? Below, I’ll cover:

Ready to take on the wild west world of epoxy resin molds and figuring out which one is the right one for your crafts? Let’s go!

The pros and cons of plastic resin molds

These are often seen as starting places for people who want to take their time investing in equipment. They look like ice cube trays and come in a variety of clear shapes and sizes. The pros and cons are below for you.

Pros of plastic resin molds

  • They’re cost-effective
  • They’re easy to store
  • They can be easier for beginners as far as handling is concerned

Cons of plastic resin molds

  • They crack and snap easily making them useless for future projects
  • They can scratch easily, making marks in your resin
  • You’ll need to gloss your resin projects
  • Have to go with pre-built options

The pros and cons of silicone resin molds

These kinds of molds often get the reputation of being more for the high end resin artist. They are a bit more expensive and they come in a variety of colours and forms. Pros and cons for these ones are below.

Pros of silicone resin molds

  • They easy to free your resin from
  • You can make your very own ones for maximum customization
  • They’re more durable than plastic molds

Cons of silicone resin molds

  • They take a little more care for cleaning and drying
  • They’re pricey for beginners

Which is better? Plastic vs silicone

When you line them up side by side, as far as pros and cons are considered, both have some serious advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a stab at making a verdict for the best resin molds. Consideration factors include:

Price and quality: Plastic is, by far, cheaper than silicone resin molds. However, plastic ones don’t often last as long and need a lot of care in protecting against scratches. Silicone molds will cost you more upfront but they’re going to be a lot more forgiving on use and literal flexibility. The upfront cost can give you a better, longer lasting mold than the plastic one.

Experience level: If you are a total newbie, the silicone molds may make you think that they’re too “out of control” to work with, but this isn’t the case! Sure, teh plastic looks sturdier, but epoxy resin can take some time and experience to get out of the mold. The plastic mold won’t give you much room to work with. The silicone mold is designed to bend, twist, peel and whatever else you need in order to free your resin creation. For clumsy fingers still getting used to it, silicone might be a better fit!

Dedication to the craft: The bottom line with all of these factors is that you need to choose the mold that is going to be the most fulfilling for your experience and plan. If you want to really dedicate yourself to resin crafts, you’ll find that silicone gives you the best ROI and is going to keep you from having to replace your molds every couple of uses. The plastic molds, though, allow you to get up and running easier as far as the pocketbook is concerned. Keep your plans and ideas in mind when choosing between them.

At the end of the day, the silicone resin mold is going to give you the best value for money and a whole lot more enjoyable crafting process. But, many crafters do use plastic molds and never want for anything. It comes down to personal preference, really!

Common FAQ with silicone molds

So, now that silicone molds are considered to be winners when it comes to a quality purchase for your goals with resin crafts, you’ll want to make sure that you know all there is to know about the molds themselves. Here are some of the most common questions that people ask when honing in their research on silicone resin molds.

Where can I buy good molds?

You’ll want to start by looking at some research online for quality brands within the niche. Certain names will lead such as ResinsPal. When in doubt, though, take a look at what other resin artists and experts are saying, too!

The other thing (as I’ll discuss more below) is to take a look at the baking section of your baking and craft store, especially if you’re one of those people who refer to touch and feel their purchase beforehand.

Can I use silicone baking molds for resin?

Yes, you can use silicone making mods for working with resin. The size of these often makes them a little challenging, but they are safe for use with resin. Just make sure that you don’t ever use them for food again.

Keep in mind, though, that these are intended for food and baking. So, they're overall quality is going to be lower and you may find you have to replace them sooner. While baking molds can work in a pinch, you will find casting molds for resin are going to be better quality!

Yes but they have a shelf life and aren’t quite as durable. Casting molds are better and more durable.

What’s the difference between matte and glossy finish?

If you’ve done a bit of research, you may find shoppers to be debating over matte finish and glossy finish on silicone molds. Does it make a difference to the resin that you’re putting in, or is just an aesthetic thing?

There is a difference, actually, and it’s something to keep in mind when considering your project and your tools and materials that you have on hand. A matte inside is going to offer up a matte resin creation. A glossy finish will give you a -- you guessed it -- shiny finish. If you want to enjoy that quite matte look, matte mold is going to be a better choice. Of course, you can always put a glossy coat on your matte finish resin, too.

If, however, you are looking for a matte creation with no shine or gloss, make sure that you use the matte inside mold not the shiny one! You may be able to add shine after the fact, but taking it off can be a challenge that may destroy all of your hard work!

Picking the type of mold that you want to use may take extra effort and time at first, but it will certainly be important when it comes to enjoying the crafting process and, of course, the finished epoxy resin product that you want to make successfully on the other side!

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