You want to get started with resin but you're not quite sure where to even begin? No worries, I got you!
You feel intimated just thinking about resin? No worries, I got you!
You want to purchase resin but it's so many options and you don't even know where to buy it or which resin to even purchase? No worries, I got you!
So I know you're probably thinking,
"First of all, what is resin?"
"What resin should I even buy?
"What resin supplies do I need?"
"What's the easiest and simplest project that I can start with as a beginner?
Don't worry! I will cover all of these questions in this series of Getting Started With Resin. And soon you'll be a resin master in whichever lane you choose to go in.What is Resin?
Resin is short for "Epoxy Resin". You'll hear people either saying "epoxy" or "resin" it's pretty much, basically the same thing. Resin is a clear liquid 2 part mixture of both: hardener and resin. When these 2 parts are mixed together it forms a chemical reaction that results in a shiny, solid material after it has cured. So it goes from a liquid to a solid.
Resin was previously mainly used for industrial applications. But, artists discovered resin and changed the art game for the better! Resin adds a nice finishing touch to art projects. Adding a top coat of resin on projects makes the color pop, and makes the texture nice and smooth. Some artist use it on paintings and photographs to add depth and a nice sleek and chic modern finishing touch.
Recently, resin has drastically increased in popularity and is now being used to create and design jewelry, coasters, charcuterie boards, trays, wall art, and more because let's be real, crafting with resin has no limits.
What Kind of Resin Should I Buy?
Okay so I'm going to be honest. When I first started out with resin I intentionally looked for the cheapest resin I could buy. You will probably be tempted to find the cheapest resin because resin is not the cheapest product in the world to buy. But I'm going to keep it real with you. Buying the cheapest resin you can find is a mistake! You know that saying, "you get what you pay for"? When it comes to resin it couldn't be more true. From my discovery, cheap resin is very toxic. It smells HORRIBLE. It gives off fumes that will make you gag and turn your nose up. They also have a yellow tint to them. Your product will not stay clear for long at all. It ill look as cheap as the resin you bought. I'm just keeping it real. It will save you and make you more money to just buy the high quality resin because you can charge its worth and make more on the backend if selling your resin projects is something you wish to do. If you don't want to sell your projects and want to just create your own crafts and projects with them and don't mind it looking cheap and discolored then cheap is the way to go for you. But no seriously, if you care about your health and the high quality outcome of your projects then buy the high quality resin. It will be worth it.
I recommend buying resin with a 1:1 ratio. It's simple, it doesn't take you having to do extra calculations and it's just simple and makes sense to do as a beginner. So what's 1:1? It pretty much means you mix an equal amount of both the resin and hardener. So if you have 8oz of hardener you will mix it equally with 8 oz of resin. There's no complicated weighing or measuring that comes with this option.
I prefer thicker resins. It makes it easier to control the pour. Resin is typically self-leveling but make sure the resin you purchase advertises that they are self leveling. Thicker consistency resins also helps you to achieve certain designs that we will go over in future blogs and tutorials.
Longer working time resins work well if you are working on a project where you want to be very very detailed in the design of it. It also works well if you are working on multiple projects at one time. You won't have to rush through your projects with resin that has long work times (40 minutes-1 hour+).
Shorter working time resin works well if you have a simple and small project that consists of maybe doing a simple top coat to a project or a one or 2 color smaller project.
Typically the longer the working time the longer the curing time and the shorter the working time the shorter the curing time.
Curing typically takes about 24 hours which is very reasonable.
What Resin Supplies Do I Need?
Regardless of what you're creating there's a few supplies that you will always need when working with resin. Here's a few:
- Silicone or Plastic Measuring Cups.
I recommend silicone because resin easily peels off of silicone. Resin sticks to pretty much everything but it doesn't stick to silicone or plastic.
- Stir Sticks
- Acrylic Paint/Resin Pigments
The more variety the better! You get more bang for your buck getting a set of colors vs. buying individual colors because it allows you to explore what really works for you.
- Silicone Molds
What's the Easiest and Simplest Resin Projects to Start With?
My answer is so simple and plain when it comes to this. My answer is COASTERS.
Coasters have helped many beginning resin artist, including myself, get their feet wet with resin. It's very simple and it only consists of you filling in a mold with the resin. It's very simple and easy. Working with coasters will help you to explore with designing techniques. It also helps you to create a bond with resin. It will allow you the space to learn and grow with resin.