A beginners guide to Resin Art - What is Epoxy Resin? How to choose the right Resin?

Hello my lovelies, I am so excited to be launching my own blog! I've thought about this for a really long time and my main goal here is to give you my unfiltered opinion and for it to be a resource for all of you out there, whether you're a beginner or you've been a small business owner or an artist who's been working with these mediums for a long time.

I want this to be a space where you can ask questions and get valuable information that'll help you grow. So feel free to comment below with your thoughts and questions along with anything you'd like to add about the topic.

Let's start with the basics to get you more familiar with the mediums and what's better than to talk about my first love as an artist, Resin. Let's go! 


What are the different types of Resin and which Resin is used for Art and Craft?

wood and epoxy resin artwork

Before you start dreaming about beautiful, golden tree goop I need to stop you right there that's not the Resin we're talking about today. The Resin used in art and craft is totally different and synthetically derived.

But first things first now that you know me and are reading my blog I don't want to be a sour grape but it's not "Raisin" as much as I love raisins and it was the only dried fruit I'd ever eat as a kid when you talk about the art medium it's Resin - Reh·Zn.

There are heaps of different types of Resins out there and their applications vary across a whole bunch of industries from coating cooling towers ( I know this because a friend of mine does it!) to dentistry, as sealants, primers, paints adhesives the list is endless but when it comes to arts and crafts projects the Resin used is always either Epoxy Resin or UV Resin.

To keep things simple every time I mention Resin I'm referring to Epoxy Resin unless mentioned otherwise and I always mean the mixture of the two parts not just part A.

What is Epoxy Resin?

Epoxy Resin is a two-part liquid system, where one part, part A is the Resin and the second part, part B is the hardener. Now it's time for a little lesson in Chemistry, the subject which I barely managed to pass back in School but when it comes to Resin you can take my word for it. Epoxy Resin is a thermosetting polymer .... WHAT?

It's a type of plastic that is irreversibly hardened by curing (in more common terms setting) from a liquid state to a solid-state. The process of curing in thermosetting polymers can either occur due to the introduction of heat, this can either be external like in case of UV Resin where it's exposed to UV light or it can occur by mixing in a catalyst which is essentially the hardener when it comes to Epoxy.

Once you've mixed the two parts in the correct ratio either by weight or volume (I'll talk more about this in blog post next week) the chemical reaction begins and it sets off an exothermic reaction. Your mixture starts giving out heat while it's setting from the liquid to the solid-state, so if you've ever noticed the cup becoming super hot after you've mixed your Resin well this is why.

Depending on the brand you use and chemical formulation of the Resin, you will mix it in a specific ratio either by weight or volume it will begin to thicken and have a pot life of a certain amount of time and will fully cure within a certain amount of time.

You need to follow the guidelines mentioned by the brand you're using because no two Resins even within the same brand are formulated the same way and messing with the ratio, proportion and method of mixing can lead to disasters trust me.

Common Resin Jargons 

Curing time is the amount of time it will take for the Resin to completely turn from it's liquid state to the solid-state.

Mixing ratio is the exact ratio in which part A and part B must be mixed.

Pot life of Resin refers to the amount of time that you have to work with the Resin till it thickens to a point where you cannot pour it anymore.

Epoxy Resin vs UV Resin?

So you've seen a whole bunch of 5-minute craft videos and you're like UV Resin is so easy, you just need to squeeze it out in a cute little cup, mix in some mica powder or pigment, spread it, lay it under the UV lamp and BAM! It's ready. Well, I'm here to tell you the truth is far from it, and if you've tried any of those viral DIY's you know they're an absolute lie.

UV Resin is ideal for small projects like fixing jewellery eye pins or smaller parts of certain crafting project but it's nowhere close to as durable as Epoxy. Its many limitations include the limited range of pigments that can be mixed in with it, the specific thickness to which it can be layered, difficulty in getting rid of bubbles and the scale of the projects you can work on.

Which Epoxy Resin is the best for your project

resin art coating on wooden coasters

So there are heaps and by heaps, I mean literally endless brands and even within brands so many options to pick from. With super confusing names and adjectives in each of their names which Resin should you be picking? No matter which Resin you choose here are some characteristics it must have - 

  • No VOC's 
  • Non-Toxic (although this is mentioned on your bottle you must still follow the safety precautions mentioned below)
  • UV Stable
  • Low Odour

When it comes to picking the right Resin, it's important to have your end goal in mind. Do you want to cast beautiful river tables, coasters, statues or coat your artwork, pour on a flat surface? 

Depending on what you are looking for you need to pick either a Casting Resin or a Coating Resin. Generally, the ones that have a higher ratio of Resin to hardener are used as a Casting Resins and those that have an equal ratio are used as Coating Resins. Check with the brand you're ordering from to know the applications.

Cheap Epoxy Resin options

Did you think you were going to find an awesome deal here that I haven't told anyone about yet? I'm all for a good deal but I'm going to give it to you straight, Resin is expensive. I do have some tricks up my sleeve though to make your bottle last longer and how to be smart about how you work with the medium if you want me to write a blog about that just leave a comment below.

But if I had a penny for every time someone's come to one of my workshops and asked me if they could use Industrial Grade Resin or something they randomly stumbled across at a hardware store, I'd have a couple more bottles of Resin in my inventory. I know it's tempting, but here's the deal, those Resins are created mostly with certain additives and aren't the right kind for Resin Art, I know some people who have had terrible experiences trying even inexpensive Resin even at craft stores it's just money that's gone down the drain. When it comes to Art I truly believe whether you're a hobbyist or thinking of doing it full-time investing in great quality materials leads is the base for making great products.

Is Epoxy Resin safe for everyone to use?

No, Epoxy Resin is a chemical and it's essential to know and follow the safety measures -

  • Resin cannot be used by pregnant women or women that are feeding
  • Children under the age of 16 should not be using Resin or exposed to it
  • Pets and your furry friends should always be away from your workspace

If you get any allergic reaction to the Resin you're using please stop working with it immediately.

Safety measures 

mask face respirator apron gloves for resin art safety

Now while unfortunately, this has become a way of life for the rest of the World we Resin Artists have been getting our glasses fogged up and noses marked with the metal band for years now.

I've taught many workshops and especially when people open the Resin bottle for the first time they feel like there's nothing they can smell, no odour at all and while the bottles do say non-toxic you have to take certain safety measures so you don't become sensitive to Resin over time and repeated exposure.

For my lovely rebels who are reading this and going like I just use a couple of grams at a time, I don't think it'll matter if I wear a mask or not, well it will. Here's your safety checklist for Resin Art -

  • Work in a well-ventilated area
  • Work in a space away from where you sleep and eat 
  • All the instruments or materials you use for Resin Art should not be used for anything else
  • Cover your work surface with any type of plastic material
  • Wear an apron or your painting clothes (which is basically 80% of my wardrobe now because you cannot get Resin off anything)
  • Always wear gloves and a face-respirator 

I use the one from 3M that can be found under my Resin Art supplies here https://www.amazon.in/shop/krishnatolia 

Now that you know the basics of the medium, look out for Part 2 next week where I'll give you a checklist of all the materials you need to get started and we will dive further into the pigments and what's best to use with Resin.

Got any questions? Or have something you want me to write about specifically well my lovely what are you waiting for? Just type on in the comments below also if you found this useful don't forget to leave a comment!


  • Olivia Smart

    Thank you for explaining some common jargon like curing time and mixing ratio. My daughter wants to start making dice sets for her and her friends and so I’ve been looking to find out what kind of things she will need to start out. It helps to understand a few of the words that she’s been using and the rest of this article has helped me to understand a bit more about the materials she will need to use. https://www.amcsupplies.com.au/product-category/resin-and-casting

  • Vernon

    Thanks what can I use to make clear epoxy look like coffee as in a dark river

  • HobbyStation

    Have you tried Epoxy Resin Art yet? Join HobbyStation at their Resin Painting workshops to create beautiful masterpieces. Resin Art Beginners and people aware of this art can enjoy a fun session and take their Resin Artwork home! All guidance and material provided, use this skill to sell artwork or even for a relaxing time!
    Website: https://hobbystation.in/listings/resin-art-worksop

  • Pooja

    Amazing blog love the content


  • Value Market Research

    According to Value Market Research, the latest technology trends and global market opportunity analysis in the Impregnating Resins Market industry growing with a high CAGR in the upcoming year. Our report has categorized the market based on technology, service, development, vertical and region. https://www.valuemarketresearch.com/report/impregnating-resins-market

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