Epoxy Resin is great for a lot of applications, and I use it often! I have been using resin for about 3 years now and have learned from trial and error, along with watching other artists on the web. In this blog post, I am going to share with you a rundown of my creative process on this Tye-Dye coaster project.
artresin & resintints • silicone rubber molds • wooden stir sticks • mixing cups • disposable rubber gloves • butane torch
ArtResin is my brand of choice. It is versatile and easy to use- just combine a 50/50 ratio of the Resin + Hardener, mixing for at least 3 minutes, making sure to scrape the edges and bottom of the mixing cup. Usually after mixing I will wait a few minutes before doing anything else, to allow the mixture to settle - while most of the air bubbles rise to the top. I use a torch on the surface of the resin, in the mixing cup before pouring, to further reduce the bubbles.
ArtResin brand also offers a variety of pigments, in a beautiful palette of colors. Even within “matching” sets the resin tints have a great, organic, natural flowing feel to them. I like to experiment and see which colors and methods look best together!I have used the Pearlized/Metallic tints, and more recently, the ResinTint original set of 10 colors. The new bottle shape (verses when the tints first came out) has a nice easy dispense dropper that doesn’t get clogged. You only need a few drops of color in the resin (make sure you shake the bottle of pigments, first!) you can make a more transparent color or opaque depending on how saturated/how many drops you use. Personally I wouldn’t use more than about 15% color : resin.
For the 4 hexagonal coasters, I mixed about 12 oz of resin total (6oz resin: 6oz harder by volume). This gave me enough epoxy to fill the rubber molds with a thin clear layer, before adding the mixed colors. I separately mix each color in its own cup, and use a popsicle stick to stir the colors.
The accompanying video documents my first time using the new ResinTints, and experimenting with different layering and the flow of adding color.
After I’ve finished adding the color, I top off the mold with clear epoxy.
Then, torch the surface of the epoxy to help diffuse any bubbles that may have formed, before covering the molds to protect from falling dust… and waiting at least 12 hours for the resin to cure. (the resin has not fully cured until 72 hours have passed- I like to remove the resin from the molds a little before then. The early removal is mostly due to the fact that I am eager and can’t wait to see what I’ve just created!) The resin still may be flexible until it has fully cured.
If your resin is still flexible after 72 hours, there could be a few reasons why. One reason is that the mixture was not mixed well enough. Another possible reason could be, the epoxy itself is not a thick enough layer. In my own experience, anything thinner than 1/4 inch, will not produce the results I’d like.
Many times the rough or sharp edges will need sanding, after the resin has been removed from the silicone mold.
After sanding, I coat the sanded area with a small topcoat of epoxy to restore the glossy look.
For the coasters, I add clear silicone pads to the bottoms as a finishing touch.
Thanks for reading and watching! If you’re curious to try resin for yourself, head over to artresin.com to learn more! There are many different size options so no big commitments if you’re not sure.
You can find silicone rubber molds on sites like amazon, where I get some of my molds, but I also hand make many of my molds.
Small (about 10mm) silicone rubber pads for the coasters can be found on eBay.