It’d be nice if you could simply start resin art and instantly be an expert, right? However, there is a beginner/newbie stage in working with epoxy resin, just any like any other crafting adventure.
As an experienced resin artist with over 5 years to back me up, I’m looking forward to sharing my information with you to hopefully help make your first few months of resin crafts less bumpier than mine were!
The thing is, you don’t need to take this advice . You can simply read your instructions and get to work. But, there are a few tips to help you make fewer mistakes than the average newbie. Don’t you want to have less stress and more fun? I’ll touch on a little bit of everything when it comes to the reminders, including:
- Glancing over the instructions
- Working with the wrong kind of resin
- Not measuring your resin and hardener properly
- Mixing the wrong way
- Curing time problems
- Room temperature problems
- Mixing and matching different brands
- Moisture contamination
- Taking on too much at once
If you’re ready to enjoy a newbie-friendly guide on how to avoid the most common beginner mistakes, let’s get going! It’ll be fun, I promise.
I know, I know, no one wants to actually sit down and pay attention to the instructions on your resin and hardener, amongst other things. The thing is, you’re new to this! So, it’s going to take some time to get used to how to use both of these critical ingredients. And, as we’ll discuss in a bit, it’s going to be important to your level of success. Make sure you read them through thoroughly, and don’t be afraid to read them through multiple times!
Did you know that there is more than one type of epoxy resin out there? Using the wrong one for a particular mold or project could spell disaster. Some types harden more than others, and some are food safe, while others aren’t. You can’t simply swop out one for the other if you want to create something. When planning our project, make sure you know what kind of resin you need, and that you have, specifically, that kind of resin to make it!
The critical thing to ensuring your design cures properly? The mix between your resin and your hardener. This will be noted on your instructions for both, and you’ll want to make sure that you do it right? For instance, is it a number ratio such as 1:1? Or, is it some more related to actual measurements of each? Pay attention to this, as choosing wrong may end up in wasted time and supplies!
No one likes measuring and mixing at first, I totally get that. I’m guilty of adding a dash here, or a spoonful there. The thing is, until you get good at understanding what you need for what project, you don’t want to mix wrong. Again, wasted time and effort. So ,even though it’s a pain, use the measuring cups and make sure it’s all measured exactly to the instructions every single time. The smaller the project, the more important those tiny little details are.
Let’s be honest, curing takes forever, right? Especially when you’re a new resin artist and you want to see how it turned out. Some people try to add more hardener in order to help shorten that curing time. It’s a good thought, as a newbie, and pretty common. But, it’s actually a mistake. This will offset that ratio and those measurements I mentioned, and our project won’t come out the way that you want it to. Resist the urge (and read the next tip)!
The room temperature matters a lot when working with epoxy resin. Before working with it, you will need to work it up by keeping your room the right temperature or by warming it up in a bowl of warm water where the resin sits in it. If the room or resin is too cold during mixing and curing, it won’t set properly.
Know what's cool? IF you’re on a timeframe and you need to speed up the curing process, turning the temperature up a degree or two can help! While you’ll still need to wait pretty close to the 72-hour timeframe for best results, a few degrees’ increase is going to shave off some time.
You’re a little short on one kind of resin brand, so you get another brand of the same kind of resin to mix in with it. Sounds okay when you're talking about it generically, but remember that working with resin is really precise. Mixing brands is never a good idea even if they sound and look the exact same.
You know how it feels to eat an Oreo and then an off-brand Oreo? Exactly. It’s going to look and smell and feel the same, but it will not taste the same. Resin is the same way. Except, don’t try to taste it!!
Water is normal leftover “residue” when it comes to your mixing dishes and your molds, but even the tiniest bit of water that comes in contact with your resin and/or hardener can totally destroy the mix and you’ll end up with a bunch of useless goop. It’s frustrating to have to get every tiny little droplet out, sure, but it’s going to work in your favor when it comes to making sure that your project is successful!
This is a hard one, guys, but important. After all, resin art is supposed to be fun. If you are a total newbie, you aren’t going to want to immediately jump into the idea of creating multi-layered projects with sparkles, paper and other additives in them. Start on smaller, simpler projects and get used to how they work. Then, gradually start adding in elements until you are comfortable with every lament.
Similarly, you can go right ahead and read up on how to use different kidneys of resin, molds, project tips, and more! Researching and learning before you start something new is a sign of strength, not weakness!
If you take on too much, the project will inevitably fail and quite often, you’ll get discouraged when it comes to the idea of trying anything else ever again. So, take your time and keep the project enjoyable!
So, did any of these surprise you? Are you already guilty of committing a few of these mistakes? If so, it’s okay, your secret is safe with me. After all, I put this list together because I, too, am certainly guilty of making just about every beginner’s mistake in the book. And, you know what? I made some of them more than once, too.
In order to keep your experience fun and positive, make sure that you use these suggestions to help you understand how to use your resin, tips for keeping it safe, and how to make sure that every single creation you make comes out as successful as possible!