If you've ever worked with resin, you know it can be tricky to master. Here's some of my favorite tips for fixing common resin problems.
1. REMOVING THOSE PESKY DRIPS
Resin takes time to harden, so no matter how hard you try it's likely you'll end up with cured drips on the sides and bottom of your pieces. Without any prep work, this can turn into a huge mess and require extensive sanding. I know it took me a few tries to figure out what worked for me. To minimize the time and effort it takes for removing these and finishing your piece, you can do the following:
Prep your panel before pouring by using painters tape to cover the sides and back of your panel. Make sure you rub the painters tape into the board so there are no air pockets and resin can't slide under it during pouring. After your painting has cured, you can heat the tape slightly with your heat gun and the tape and drips will come off smoothly.
Practice doming your resin. Some brands work better than others for this technique. Doming is a technique that involves pouring your resin in the center of the panel and spreading it to the very edge of your surface without letting it go over the edge. Make sure your surface is 100% level with a level or level app for your phone. This step will prevent resin from pouring over the sides due to a tilted panel/canvas. Art Resin has a pretty straightforward blog post detailing the process.
If you do end up with some resin under the tape, you can always sand it off as a last resort. Be sure to wear a mask if you do any sending to avoid inhaling the resin particles.
2. CAMOUFLAGING MISTAKES WITH LAYERS
The best thing about working with resin is that layers enhance the piece. If you've poured a layer on your piece that you aren't satisfied with, it's easy to pour another or add embellishments to hide mistakes while still showing the areas you do like.
Pour clear resin over the sections that you do like, and use a combination of transparent and opaque colorants to hide the areas you don't like while allowing for depth and dimension in your piece. The parts you do like will show through, and the mistakes will not. This is really useful in the event your piece was not totally flat and the resin shifted because you can save the parts that cured right and cover up anything that poured off the edge.
- Adding embellishments such as crystals, stones, shell pieces, or fire glass can cover over the parts you aren't pleased with (like muddy colors, dust particles, etc.) and add extra detail to your work. People will think it's intentional and no one will know you were hiding something. You can use hot glue to place them and then seal with a flood coat, or you can pour your resin and place the accent elements directly into it so it cures with them in place.
3. ADDING LINE-WORK WITHOUT ANY RISK OF MESSING UP!
Have you ever poured a piece and had it just lack the "oomph" you're looking for? My favorite way to switch up the look of a resin painting is to add detail lines with paint pens.
I like the Posca paint pen brand because they dry down so they are pretty smudge proof but can still easily be removed with Windex and a paper towel. I have found that Sharpie pens and other brands can't be removed the same way, so these have become my favorite brand to use. You can draw on lines and if you hate it, it's easy to wipe off! Once you are satisfied with your detailing, you can pour a flood coat to really let the piece shine and seal those lines.
4. YOU MIXED TOO MUCH RESIN...NOW WHAT??
I am guilty of estimating the amount of resin I will need for a piece instead of using a calculator to figure it out. Math is not my strong suit, so oftentimes I will end up with more mixed resin than I need for my project.
I hate to waste resin (it is very expensive!), so I've taken to keeping silicone molds on hand. You can pour whatever excess resin you have into the mold at the end of the pouring session, and after a few sessions, you'll have a funky multi-colored resin casting.
If I think I mixed too much resin, I will leave a portion of the resin un-tinted so that if there is extra, I can use it for a flood coat on another piece. I would rather need to mix more of one color mid-pour than to have extra colored resin and no use for it.
5. ADDING SHINE TO A CASTING FROM A MATTE MOLD
When working with silicone molds, it is important to know this: a shiny mold will produce a shiny resin casting, and a matte mold will not. I learned this the hard way, and was pretty disappointed. Good thing there is an easy fix!
You can brush on another thin layer of resin or apply a glaze after removing your piece from the mold. This will help bring that "resin shine" back to the piece and give it a more polished look (unless you like the matte look, and then by all means stick with it!).
These are just a few quick tips on some easy fixes for common resin mistakes. Let me know in the comments if you have any to add!