FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For basic instructions on how to use resin, health & safety sheets and top tips please click here. We have put this list of frequently asked questions together to help you while working with resin. 
 
General Resin FAQs Setting and Curing 
Weighing and Measuring Casting Resin Into Moulds
Embedding, Soldering, Gluing Health and Safety
Cleaning and Care of Resin Jewellery Resin Art FAQs
 

GENERAL RESIN QUESTIONS  
  • Do your resin products smell?
  • No, they are very low odour. There is some smell from the Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Hardener, and the MasterCast hardener, but this is not a solvent smell as all our resins are solvent-free.

  • Is your resin safe to wear against skin?
  • Yes, once the resin mix has cured it is safe to wear against skin. Remember though that perfumes will affect the resin piece so should be applied before the resin jewellery is worn.

  • Can I mix the resins and colour pastes together?
  • We recommend that different brands of resin are kept separate when making resin mixes. Each resin and hardener has its own chemical composition. All the colour pigments and pastes can be added to any of the resin brands. The colour pigments and pastes can also be mixed, rather like paint, to get different colours.

  • What else can I use to colour resin?
  • We have experimented with mica powder, alcohol inks and oil paints. Mica powder gives the best results, alcohol inks are good but variable (some colours fade!) and oil paints must be best quality or they fade too. You can also add glow in the dark powder.

  • What is the difference between all the various resins?
  • Below is a summary table showing the differences between our resins. The full version can be downloaded here

  • Can I use resin on a domed surface?
  • Yes, if you use Resin8 Gel Resin (also known as thixotropic resin).  It is also possible to use Resin8 1 to 1 resin for this if you let the resin and hardener mix stand for 10 minutes or so to thicken up, once you have mixed them thoroughly. The other resins will 'slide' off a curved surface.

  • Can I use resin on wood, polymer clay, glass, stainless steel or precious metal clay?
  • Resin can be used on many things as long as they are dry. Wood needs to be absolutely bone dry as there is a danger that it might absorb moisture. Surfaces need to be grease free before applying resin to make sure it grips. We suggest you use an abrasive on things like polymer clay to give a 'key' for the resin to grip. Glass should be cleaned with an abrasive bathroom cleaner, rinsed and dried, with a soft lint free cloth, before resin is put on it.

  • When I have mixed the resin and hardener together in the mixing pot, how long do I have to work with the resin mix? Will it set quickly?
  • This will vary depending on the brand of resin you are using and it will depend on the temperature of the workplace-the warmer the room is, the more quickly it will set or 'cure'. We recommend that you work in an environment that is at least 18°C so that the chemical reaction can work properly.

  • What does ‘pot life’ mean?
  • Pot life is the amount of working time you have to use the resin once the resin and hardener are mixed together.

  • What is ‘shelf life’?
  • Shelf life is the recommended time that you keep containers of resin and hardener once they have been opened.

  • How much resin mix do I need to make a pendant?
  • If you are using Resin8 Standard or Low Viscosity resins, a 30mm x 40mm pendant will need 3gms of resin mix - that is 2gms of resin and 1 gm of hardener for the base layer. If you put a dome layer on, that will be another 2gms or so of mix - that is, 1.4gms resin and 0.7gms hardener.
  • If you are using Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin, 10ml of Resin8 resin and 10ml of Resin8 hardener will make at least one layer in 10 pendants.

  • How can I make a piece with see through resin?
  • This is a complex process and we suggest you attend one of Clare's classes. Alternatively please see our plique-a-jour projectWe recommend using STUK tape on the back of see-through pieces as this will peel off easily with very little residue. If you can't find STUK tape, Scotch Magic Tape works well too.

  • My resin seems to have formed lumps in the tin? What can I do?
  • The resin has got too cold and has crystallised (it crystallises below 7 degrees C). You need to put the container somewhere warm - on top of a radiator or in an airing cupboard. If the resin is in a plastic container, stand it in some hot water and wipe the resin container completely dry when the resin has warmed up. Then give the container a good shake to mix it all up. We advise keeping your tins and containers of resin in a place, which is above 7 degrees C on a permanent basis (i.e. not in the garden shed!).

  • Can I stop clear resin from yellowing with age?
  • The best resin to use to maintain good clarity over time is Resin8 Slowcure Epoxy Resin. Slowcure Epoxy has been specifically designed to stay as clear as possible. TotalCast and Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin have very good non-yellowing properties. Other resins will yellow to varying degrees over time.

  • What do you suggest for cleaning hands and tools?
  • Wipe excess resin off with kitchen towel, then use a baby wipe and finally wash hands with soap and water. It is a good idea to moisturise the hands regularly to avoid stripping the oils off your skin.

  • The Resin8 Standard and Low Viscosity Resins need to be measured by WEIGHT not volume. I'm struggling with the weight calculations for the Resin8 Standard and Low Viscosity resin….can you help?
  • Yes - take a look at our handy calculations sheet below.  
Resin Hardener FINISHED MIX
0.8g 0.4g 1.2g
1.0g 0.5g 1.5g
1.2g 0.6g 1.8g
1.4g 0.7g 2.1g
1.6g 0.8g 2.4g
1.8g 0.9g 2.7g
2.0g 1.0g 3.0g
3.0g 1.5g 4.5g
5.0g 2.5g 7.5g

Back to top


SETTING AND CURING RESIN
  • What is the difference between setting and curing?
  • There is no difference - they mean the same thing. We prefer using the word "curing" as we think it sounds better than setting. (really!)

  • Where is the best place to put resin to cure?
  • The best place is somewhere level, dry, warm, at least 18°C (but not more than 30 °C) and dust free. You could use your airing cupboard, but you need to put your resin pieces in a flat based box with a lid to prevent dust. If you are making on a large scale you might like to investigate making your own curing cabinet. We can provide advice on how to do this.

  • The resin is not setting properly - it is still tacky - what's gone wrong?
  • You probably haven't measured out the resin to the hardener accurately enough. See our table for the different types of resin and how to measure them accurately. Take note of whether the resin needs to be weighed using scales or poured into a cup by volume:
  • Alternatively, it may be too cold for the resin to start curing correctly - it needs to be at least 18 degrees C. Try putting it somewhere warm and dry to cure.

  • I have put a thumbprint in the resin before it was set - what can I do?
  • Coat the resin with another thin layer of resin and the thumbprint will disappear.

  • What can I do to prevent air bubbles in resin?
  • Pass a gentle flame over the surface of unset resin - the bubbles will rise to the top and pop. You can also try using a hot air gun to release bubbles. Watch out short video tutorial on how to remove bubbles using a BBQ lighter here.

  • I'm struggling with doming - the resin is too runny.
  • Resin needs to be thick in order to dome effectively. The warmer it is, the less viscous (thick) it will be and the more difficult it will be to create a dome. We suggest using our Resin8 Standard Epoxy Resin or Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin at room temperature (18 degrees C) for doming as they are nice, viscous resins. 

  • Can I get my pieces to cure more quickly?
  • Refer to the table below for curing times. However, if you work in a warm room, or leave the resin in a warm place (i.e. 30 degrees) it will cure more quickly. Do not warm above 30 degrees C.
Back to top
WEIGHING AND MEASURING
  • Do I really need digital scales?
  • We recommend them for Resin8 Standard and Low Viscosity Resins, so that you get an accurate measuring of 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener by weight (i.e. weigh in GRAMS). If you are using Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin, Resin8 Slowcure, TotalCast and MasterCast, pour into graduated measuring cups (i.e.measure in MILILITRES).

  • Why aren't my digital scales working?
  • Have you taken the little round silver tray off the top (of our older style round scales)? Are the batteries flat? Also they work best on a level and steady surface.

  • When I use the digital scales, why do they turn themselves off after a while?
  • They will turn themselves off, if you are working slowly as they have a battery saving mechanism. Try measuring out faster or gently tap the weighing plate to 'wake up' the scales.

  • My cup weighs 10g and then I have to add resin - how can I make this easier?
  • Put the empty cup on the scales and then press TARE - this will take the weight back down to 0 and allow you to add the correct amount of resin/hardener.

  • Which resin needs weighing and which needs measuring out?
  • See our table for the different types of resin and how to measure them accurately. Take note of whether the resin needs to be weighed using scales or poured into a cup by volume:

  • The Resin8 Standard and Low Viscosity Resins need to be measured by WEIGHT not volume. I'm struggling with the weight calculations for the Resin8 Standard and Low Viscosity resin….can you help?
  • Yes - take a look at our handy calculations sheet below.  
Resin Hardener FINISHED MIX
0.8g 0.4g 1.2g
1.0g 0.5g 1.5g
1.2g 0.6g 1.8g
1.4g 0.7g 2.1g
1.6g 0.8g 2.4g
1.8g 0.9g 2.7g
2.0g 1.0g 3.0g
3.0g 1.5g 4.5g
5.0g 2.5g 7.5g
Back to top
CASTING RESIN INTO MOULDS
  • Can I use Siligum to make moulds for resin?
  • Our resins are brilliant in silicone moulds buts not very good in Siligum moulds. We use a liquid silicone material to make moulds not a silicone putty. There is obviously a chemical difference between the 2 types. We have tried two types of silicone putty and neither gives a great result.

  • Can I use ready-made moulds for resin?
  • Flexible silicone moulds for chocolate and cooking are really good with our resin - make sure they have a shiny interior surface to avoid your finished piece coming out with a cloudy finish. Also, silicone moulds for sugarcraft work well.

  • Can I use plastic moulds for resin?
  • Inflexible plastic moulds are not good because our resin doesn’t shrink at all so it makes it very difficult to get the castings out of the moulds.

  • Do I need to use a release agent such as Badger Balm with moulds?
  • I would not use Badger Balm as a release agent because it will probably affect the surface of the resin casting. Good silicone moulds do not need a release agent. Follow the instructions sent about keeping the mould clean and you won't need a release agent. Keep greasy materials like Vaseline and Badger Balm away from moulds as the resin will set with a dull surface and the mould will be damaged.

  • Why has my casting come out of the mould with a dull surface?
  • If your mould has a shiny surface, your casting will have a shiny surface. If it has a dull surface, your casting will be dull. 
Check out this super helpful guide from Resin Obsession as to how to ensure your next resin casting is a disaster!
 
  • Do I need to prepare paper before embedding it in resin? What about fabric?
  • It is best to print out images and text on good quality photo paper and then seal both sides with hairspray. Make sure that the hairspray does not have a tint to it, which will alter the colour of your picture. Or use PVA glue and make sure it dries thoroughly. Fabric does not need sealing. Both fabric and paper will need to be glued down before resin is put over it otherwise they will float to the surface. Use a 2 part epoxy glue (such as Araldite). Keep superglue away from epoxy resin as they react together and you will have horrible stains on your picture and it will come unstuck!

  • What can I put into resin?
  • You can put almost anything in resin as long as it is dry. Try beads, sequins, dried flowers, fabric, lace, threads, glass, charms, glitter, eye make up powder, accent beads, chatons etc. If you are going to use fabric, choose a printed design. A woven design fabric will soak up the resin and the design will be lost.

  • I want to embed a large object in a block of resin - what is the best way?
  • Let a layer of resin set and then add the object. Build up the resin in layers. When resin and hardener are mixed together there is a heat build up. By mixing in smaller quantities you avoid this heat build up and also by uing smaller mix quantites your resin will cure more quickly.

  • Can I solder something after I have put resin in it?
  • No, because resin will burn away with heat. Resin must be the last technique, after all soldering is done.
 
  • Do I need to wear gloves or a barrier cream when I work with resin?
  • We recommend following proper published safety guidelines for the brand of resin you are working with. Nitrile gloves or a barrier cream are essential to protect your skin. 

  • I'm allergic to lanolin - do you have an alternative barrier cream?
  • Yes, you can buy our Lindesa barrier cream, which doesn't contain Lanolin.

  • Do I need to wear a mask when I work with resin?
  • We recommend following proper published safety guidelines for the brand of resin you are working with. Wear a mask when using large quantities of resin and hardener and protect your eyes from splashing.
  • If you use an abrasive paper or drill resin, wear a respiratory mask to avoid breathing resin dust.

  • Where can I download data sheets (MSDS) for your resins?
  • Please see full Health and Safety guidelines for each resin here. Select the resin you are using and you will then be able to download specific data sheets of information.

  • What do you suggest for cleaning hands and tools?
  • Wipe excess resin off with kitchen towel, then use a baby wipe and finally wash hands with soap and water. It is a good idea to moisturise the hands regularly to avoid stripping the oils off your skin.
 
  • How do I clean unwanted resin out of a piece?
  • If it is a spill on the side of a metal piece, it can be peeled off carefully. If you want to remove all the resin, soak it in paint stripper overnight VERY CAREFULLY. Paint stripper is a dangerous acid- so BEWARE. You can also clean the back of pieces with acetone. You can also soften set resin with a hot air gun and then it can be scraped out of the piece. Make sure you put your piece on something heatproof when you do this.

  • The surface of my resin jewellery has been scratched or become dull - why? How do I avoid this?
  • Make sure that perfume or hairspray are used BEFORE you put resin jewellery on. Chemicals such as hairspray or perfume can attack the finish of resin.
  • To restore the original shine, add another thin layer of clear resin over the top.

  • Why has the clear resin piece I made turned yellow?
  • Possible reasons include:
    • The hardener bottle has not been sealed correctly. Make sure the lid is cleaned after use.
    • The hardener has been kept in daylight. We recommend all hardener is kept in a dark place. 
    • The resin has been cured at too high a temperature. Try and work at 18 degrees C
    • The resin and hardener haven't been measured/weighed out accurately. Follow our guidelines above.
  • The best resin for clear pieces is Resin8 Slowcure.

  • What advice should I give people about wearing resin jewellery?
  •  Things that will damage resin are:
    • Hairspray
    • Perfume
    • Nail varnish remover
  • I advise people to put all their creams, makeup etc on first and then the resin jewellery.

  • What do you suggest for cleaning hands and tools?
  • Wipe excess resin off with kitchen towel, then use a baby wipe and finally wash hands with soap and water. It is a good idea to moisturise the hands regularly to avoid stripping the oils off your skin.
  • Are your art resins safe to use without a mask or breathing apparatus?
  • Our Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin and totalCAST are safe to use at ambient temperatures without a mask as they are VOC free, low odour, on-flammable and contain no solvents. However, if you are sanding resin we always advise wearing a mask.

  • What is the coverage rate of your art resins: Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin and totalCAST?
  • Both of these resins will cover 1sqm (1 square metre) per 500g of mixed resin (10.7 foot per 18oz).

  • How much mixed resin will I need?
  • Check out our handy table below for both Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin and totalCAST:
  • Canvas Size (cm) Canvas Size (inches) RESIN QTY per layer
    10x15 4x6 75g (2.6oz)
    20x25 8x10 250g (8oz)
    30x40 12x16 600g (21oz)
    45x60 18x24 1.3kg (45oz)
    50x60 20x24 1.5kg (52oz)
    60x80 24x31 2.4kg (84oz)
    91x120 36x48 5.4kg (190oz)
  • How long will your art resins last in unopened and opened containers?
  • Our resins will last for 12 months.

  • Do I need to wear safety clothing/equipment when working with resin?
  • Whilst both Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin and totalCAST are safe and user-friendly please be aware that are still INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS and therefore we always advise that you observe good industrial hygiene. Wear gloves, long-sleeved clothing, don't eat/drink/smoke near the resin.

  • How do I measure and mix your resins?
  • The ratio of both Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin and totalCAST is 1:1 by volume. Mix by stirring for 2-3 minutes until the mixture has a uniform texture and consistency. Use a spatula or mixing stick to scrape inside the mixing container whilst stirring to free up any material which could be sticking to the inside walls with static. Once mixed, do not leave the resin in the mixing cup for more than 4-5 minutes as it will produce heat quite quickly in a small volumetric space, which builds heat and cures rapidly.

  • How do air bubbles occur and how do I get rid of them?
  • Both Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin and totalCAST are de-gassed before they are filled so any air that enters the mixture is caused when hand-stirring. The vortex caused by stirring pulls air into the blend. Once poured into a bezel or onto a canvas, immediately pass hot air from a blowtorch/heatgun/lighter to dissipate bubbles. Both resins also have a special Air Release Agent in their formulations which help to expel micro-bubbles automatically.

  • How do I add colours and unique effects to your art resins?
  • You can use the resi-TINT range of polymer pigments, or Resin8 transparent and opaque pigments, as these will add colour without affecting the resins curing process and end properties. Once you have pigmented the resin why not try resi-BLAST dispersion medium to create bubbles, lacing and other visual effects. You can also colour resin with Mica Powder.

  • If I add more Hardener will the resin cure faster?
  • NO! In fact the resin won't cure at all. The speed of the cure is not regulated by the hardener. It is controlled by the amount of accelerator which is added into both the resin and hardener during the production stage. Do not deviate from the specific mixing ratio! If you really need to accelerate the curing process you can warm the resin and hardener and mix them while warm.

  • Why are the levels of Resin and Hardener different inside the bottles?
  • This is normal. All resin kits are filled by weight but because the density of resin and hardener is different it means they occupy a slightly different volumetric space. So for example, 1kg of resin is around 950ml in volume but 1kg of hardener is 1l in volume; that's why the levels differ marginally. The hardener content will always have a slightly higher level in the bottle as it is less dense than the resin component.
  • If you measure 1:1 by weight then you will finish both components at the same time. If you mix 1:1 by volume it will still work but you may end up with some spare hardener. Either way, a 15% margin of error is built in so that you can make mistakes to this tolerance and the resin will still cure normally.
 

If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us