My adventures in resin have been mixed. So many things can go wrong if applied to an unprepped surface or not mixed properly… I also ruined the sleeve cuff of a favorite hoodie. This stuff doesn’t wash out, ever, so if you want to try it out please be careful.
We’ve been using resin primarily on Scrabble tile pendants, and more recently I’ve been using it on polymer pendants as well. Because I don’t like text-only posts on craft blogs I am including my latest experiments here. They turned out beautifully – even though several days later I discovered a cat hair in one of them. Ew. (I fixed it later, but that’s another post).
I use two-part Envirotex resin. If you are thinking about using this type of resin for any of your projects, here’s a few basics I had to determine by visiting a dozen friggin’ blogs:
Resin is a pain to deal with when cold. Keep it at room temperature – if it gets a little warm, that’s fine.
Mix resin a LOT. This means do more than just a few spins with a popsicle stick. Mix it thoroughly, like for a couple of minutes. It isn’t going to harden up right away so don’t race the clock on this point. If you don’t mix the shit out of it you will end up with a gloss that is a little tacky to the touch when fully cured, and you won’t be able to fix it. Period.
If you must color your resin don’t use a water-based pigment. Oil paint is good, but alcohol inks work better.
For tiny projects you will use an eye dropper or something similar. If you want to use it more than once make sure you clean it. My local craft store sells two eye droppers on a card for three bucks! For that kind of money, I wipe out my tools with paper towels and pipe cleaners. Three bucks… and to think some people just throw them away after the first use.
Bubbles are inevitable but can be removed while your resin is still goo. Remember how I said resin is a pain when cold? Well, a little heat is your friend here. Use your warm breath and a straw to get the ones too tiny to pop with a toothpick. A hair dryer on warm/low or a fancy embossing tool will make your resin like crystal as long as you’re careful.
Cover your pieces for the first few hours of curing. Remember that cat hair I mentioned earlier? I forgot this step. Use a dishtub or a box to keep the floaties off your hard work.
Got all that? Good. I’m no expert, but I’ve been using this long enough I think I know a thing or two.
Final Note: When I say “Resin Fixes Everything” I’m referring to the black pendants in the pictures here. The basic technique is to press a stamp into black clay that has been painted or embellished with PearlEx powder, bake, and then sand off the raised part. You can sand and sand that polymer until it’s super-smooth, but it will no longer be black — it will be more of a dull ashy somethingorother. A layer of resin filled up the tiny cracks in my sanding job and made the color dark and beautiful again. What else will it fix? I’m working on that.
That’s pretty much it. More fun stuff is always in the works at my house.