How to Get Started in Resin Art
So you’re thinking of entering the world of resin art but not sure where to start? You’re in the right place! This how to guide will walk you through the process of resin art from start to finish.
I was never too interested in water color painting or any other type of art. I always felt that I lacked the skillset (and, ah-hem, patience) I assumed was required.
Then, one day while browsing on my phone, I saw a post about resin art and how anyone can do it. The idea that you can mix different ingredients to get a variety of colors as well as use mixed media to create anything from sculptures to canvases caught my interest.
That made me want to try it out for myself and see if this is something that might keep my interest for longer than two months before moving on to the next venture.
The first time I tried making resin art , it was a disaster. I tried to make resin art without following the instructions and ended up with a mess of sticky, hard resin that didn’t look anything like my goal picture.
After doing much research, I tried again. Making a simple jewelry pendant, along side the expertise of a friend who was well versed in the process.
It was honestly so satisfying seeing a blob form in the mold before it hardened into something I could hold onto.
Before we dive in…
Resin art is a process that takes some time and patience. if you want to be successful at it. So before I get ahead of myself, here are some things you need to know about getting started in resin art:
- Start by taking the time to read all the resin art tutorials that are out there on the internet (including the full length of this one!).
- Mix small batches of resin (just a few colors) until you’re comfortable with the process and then go for something more involved as your confidence builds up.
- Always follow safety guidelines and keep the materials away from young children and pets.
The best thing about resin art is just how easy it can be to make any idea come alive!
**This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using one of these links. However, I only recommend items I personally love. Thank you for your support of my creative business!**
What is Resin Art?
Resin is an incredibly versatile material. It’s known to be used in art, jewelry making, on countertops, tables and even floors. It’s starts out as a liquid then hardens to a crystal clear mold in whatever shape you choose. Mix it with a few of your favorite colors and you can create a masterpiece that you’ll love for years to come!
How do you use Resin Step by Step?
- Decide what you want to make
- Plan your design
- Buy required product
- Prep your workspace
- Practice safety
- Mix and pour the resin
- Let the resin cure
- Finish your work
- Marvel at the beautiful art you created!
Decide what you want to make
The possibilities are endless in the world of resin art! You can make jewelry, wall art, a keychain, coasters, ornaments, and more.
Once you know what kind of result you want to create, you can start to make a list of materials needed for the project.
For example, if you want to make earrings, you may want to check out popular resin earring molds and find a design you love.
Plan your resin art design
Planning ahead of time will save time and money in the long run. Think through things like what size your resin art will be and what colors you want to use.
For example, if you’re making resin earrings and want a gold finish to the resin art, plan on buying some gold pigment before mixing it into your resin.
Also think about what is in your design that might cause an issue later down the line while curing or wearing. For instance, if you are using seashells that are not resin safe, you should make sure to spray them with a sealer first.
If you are creating resin art that will have an exposed edge (ie: like a resin art pour technique), have an idea of how you want to finish the edges.
You may need different resin art finishing tools, depending on how you want the edges to look.
There is no right or wrong way when it comes to planning your design. Let your imagination be your guide!
Buy required product
The first time buying resin art products will likely be the most expensive. This is where you will be buying supplies that you will use time after time.
Doing this step early will also save time and money in the long run. You might want to buy more resin than what is needed for your project because it’s more cost effective if you make more resin art down the road.
And, having a little extra allows for practice or correcting any mistakes that may happen the first go around.
For easy reference, a list of commonly used resin art materials are listed in the “What is Needed for Resin Art” section below.
Prep your workspace
Begin by preparing your work area. Most of the time, all you need are your supplies, an old cardboard box and wax (or freezer) paper – simple enough?
Always start with a dust (and pet hair!) free surface. Resin will not stick to wax paper, so be sure to cover your workspace with a layer of wax paper.
Select a cardboard box that is big enough to be placed over your resin art work. This will be placed on top of your work as it is curing and will help keep out unwanted dust particles or debris.
Before starting your resin project, make sure to do all of the necessary steps for a safe workspace.
Keep any young children or pets away from the area and be mindful about exposure to resin fumes without proper ventilation. Resin fumes can irritate eyes and skin if exposed.
The three most important things you need are: gloves, ventilation and eye protection.
Gloves are important because resin can stick to your skin if not handled properly which will lead to some nasty burns (or worse if resin gets in your eyes).
Ventilation is also important because resin emits harsh fumes. It’s best to work with resin art outdoors or next to an open window. Avoid breathing in the fumes by using a mask.
Safety glasses are important for the same reason. Resin can get into your eyes during pouring and curing times which will cause irritation. Burns and blindness if not properly protected against.
Mix and pour the resin
It’s important to always follow the manufactures instructions when mixing resin.
You will first notice that there are two parts. One part is the resin, the other part is the hardener.
Typically, the mixing ratio is 1:1 or 2 between resin and hardener.
It is wildly important to follow the instructions exactly as they are written or you take the risk of the resin not curing properly (ie: not hardening/drying all the way).
Most resin sets up quickly so be sure to work in small batches of resin at a time when you are first getting started. Pour the mixed resin into your molds and let it cure for 24 hours or more.
Let the resin cure
This is where your cardboard box comes in You may place it over your resin art and it will help protect against dust or debris getting on it or curing in it.
Curing resin art takes time and patience but this is where the true beauty of resin comes through.
Be sure to leave resin in molds as long as possible (usually 24+). Again, you will want to follow the manufactures curing instructions as there may be some variation to cure time.
Finish your work
Once resin has cured, it can be removed from the mold and finished in any way you wish.
A common way to finish resin art is to sand all around the surface.
Once resin is finished it can be sealed with resin sealant such as Mod Podge or a clear varnish.
Finished resin art will last for years without ever losing its brilliance and shine!
Marvel at the beautiful art you created
You did it! You created resin art!
Now, enjoy the moment and marvel at your finished resin art project.
It’s a beautiful piece of artwork that you made all on your own. Now, go out there and do more resin projects!
Once you know what to expect in resin-making process, it will be easier to create resin art that is amazing.
Is Resin Art Easy?
Sort of. If you’re looking for an art project that will give your brain a workout, resin is not the answer. It’s much easier than most types of mediums to get started with.
Most people have never dabbled in resin art before, so this article is here to help you dive your toes in the water.
The most difficult part is waiting for the resin to cure before you can do anything with it. That means if you want a resin sculpture, you’ll need patience because an hour or two isn’t long enough!
How Much Does Resin Cost?
The resin that you use will depend on the type, brand and size. Prices can vary from $40-$200 per gallon for epoxy resin (a popular starter resin). Obviously the higher price point would be for resin with a high quality resin.
The start up costs can be pricey. I recommend buying resin kits with everything you need included for a lower price but the resin will cost more than other types of mediums to start out with.
Once you get going, it’s get cheaper because resin can last up to one year if stored correctly. This means every time you make something new, it saves you having to buy more product and money.
What do you Need for Resin Art?
Resin is a beautiful medium that can be used for resin sculptures, resin jewelry or anything in between!
It’s also quite forgiving when it comes to mistakes because you will just have to sand the surface and try again until you get it perfect.
Listed below are common materials required when creating resin art.
General Must Have Resin Art Supplies
- Epoxy Resin
- Resin Color: Alcohol Ink or Pigments
- Resin inclusions like: glitter and flakes
- Mixing containers: glass jar with lid, spoon and measuring cup/spoon, latex
Safety Supplies for Making Resin Art
Helpful Tools for Making Resin Art
Tips for Avoiding Bubbles in Your Resin Art
There’s nothing more annoying than spending hours prepping, mixing and pouring only to find tiny bubbles popping up in your resin art.
Common reason for bubbles in resin art are: not following manufactures instructions, pouring it too thick and trapped air trying to be released.
To avoid bubbles in resin art, follow these 7 best practices:
- Make sure resin is mixed well and stirred before pouring resin into mold. Stir slowly and purposefully.
- Pour resin slowly and steadily.
- Avoid stirring resin once it’s already been poured into the mold to avoid bubbles from forming in your resin art.
- When working with natural materials like flowers, leaves and wood, pre-seal them with a sealant.
- Use a torch or heat gun. A torch is more effective but it will likely melt a silicone mold. So if you are using a mold, use a heat gun instead.
- Place the resin inclusions evenly throughout the resin to avoid bubbles from forming on one spot of your resin art.
- Work in appropriate temperatures (75-85F). Also make sure your resin is stored in appropriate temperatures. If it’s too cold, bubbles may form in your resin art.
It is also possible to fix bubbles after the resin art is dry. Follow these steps to remove the bubble:
Step One: Using a lower grit sandpaper (like 60 or 80), sand the entire surface while putting more emphasis on he bubble.
Step Two: Wipe off all sanding debris and make sure you have wipe away any sanding marks. If needed, use a less abrasive sandpaper (like 220) to smooth away any marks.
Step Three: Pour a fresh batch of resin on the piece and use a torch (or heat gun if it’s in a silicone mold) to erase any bubbling.
Do I Have to Use a Mold with Resin Art?
Nope! You do not need to use a mold with resin art.
Pouring resin is another popular way to use resin (think art for your wall).
Just make sure that your wood base/canvas is propped on top of something so the resin can drip off the edges. And, be sure to properly prep the entire area so you don’t have an incredible mess to clean up later.
Common Resin Art Techniques
There are several popular resin art techniques that you can try. I’ll review three of the most popular methods below. All of them are great for beginner resin artists!
Each technique has its pros and cons so it is important for you to find the right one for what type of resin artwork you want to make.
Puddle Pour Technique
This technique is just as it sounds! You will achieve this look by pouring your resin onto a flat surface, forming a puddle.
Once the resin is poured, you move the surface around or can just let it sit and naturally spread around.
This technique is good for resin art that has a large or small surface area alike. You can pour just one color or pour several colors. The design is totally up to you!
You can also pour all the colors in the same area (one by one) or pour them onto different areas of the surface.
Decorative resin art is incredibly popular in the resin world. It can be easy to make and you don’t need a mold!
Pouring resin on top of another surface (like canvas) with paint will create an interesting decorative look while adding depth to your piece. You can also use this method on wood, metal and other hard surfaces.
Dirty Pour Technique
With the dirty pour technique, you can explore your creativity and experiment with various resin art designs.
The puddle pour method is similar to the dirty pour method except that instead of pouring resin into different cups for each color, all of them are poured in one cup at once! You should not mix the colors; only pour them into each other prior to pouring on the surface.
This technique is often used to create those gorgeous marble patterns you see on a cutting board or the intricate swirl designs often found on larger surfaces such as countertops or tables.
By using this simple technique there’s no need to worry about mixing up any colors because they will be poured together before being added onto whatever surface you choose.
The Swipe Technique is a technique used by artists to create interesting patterns and transitions in their resin art.
To follow this technique, you typically use a spatula or plastic scraper to swipe the resin across the surface.
If you need some texture to your painting, try applying one layer of color at a time.
This resin art technique is great for resin artwork that desires a lot of texture. Plus, it’s another perfect option for resin artists who don’t want the hassle of using a mold!
If you’re looking for an easy approach to making resin art, this may be your best bet.
Can I Mix Acrylic Paint with Resin?
Yes, you can mix acrylic paint with resin. However, it is not the recommended route. Some of the ingredients in acrylic paint don’t always mix well with the ingredients in resin. Some people have mixed acrylic paint with resin successfully. Others experienced a poor result.
A more popular and common color mixer for resin is alcohol ink. Simply squeeze a few drops of color in your mold until you are happy with how it looks.
The amount of color used will depending on the size of what you are working on. For smaller mold, like these, just a few drops of color will do.
Can You Put Fresh Greenery/Flowers in Resin?
Short answer, no, you should not put fresh flowers or greenery in resin. If you add fresh flowers/greenery to resin, they will eventually rot and you’ll have rotted brown colored ugliness. It is best to dry out the flowers prior to placing them in resin.
The easiest way to dry out greenery and flowers is to hang them upside-down. When I was a kid, I used to press them in a book until they were dry.
A more modern day technique is to use a microwave flower press. While I’ve never tried this method, I’ve read many positive reviews.
It’s also recommend to spray greenery/flowers with a spray sealer, prior to placing them in the resin, to prevent discoloration.
What is the Most Popular Resin for Beginners?
If you’re just getting started in resin art, the best resin to start with is epoxy resin. Epoxy is by far the easiest to work with and, unlike more advanced resins, it’s usually not as sensitive when working in different weather conditions.
When first working with epoxy resin, you may notice that it doesn’t seem to get quite as hard as you would think. While it is still my number one recommendation for beginners, this is one of the downsides to epoxy resin.
For the ultimate clear glass-like hardness, a polyester or polyurethane resin is the answer. However, these types of resins can be much more difficult to work with and are absolutely brutal to your nostrils. In fact, a using a respirator is required when working with these types of resin.
I personally am not to this level yet. I’ve only heard of the pros using these types of resin and am in awe over the time, prep work and process they go through.
Tips on How to Succeed in Resin Art
To recap everything covered so far, lets review a few resin art tips.
-Resin art is an easy technique to learn and can be done on nearly any surface.
-Always use gloves and safety glasses when working with resin.
-Resin is not waterproof. After it has cured, sealing is recommend.
-If you’re just getting started, start with epoxy resin. It’s the easiest resin to work with as a beginner.
-Resin will react to temperature, so be sure to work in a room that is within the manufacture’s recommended temperatures.
-When working with resin, it’s best to keep your work area well ventilated and use a respirator if you’re using polyester resin.
-Mix colors in your resin before pouring it together to avoid any color mishaps.
-If you’re looking for an easy approach, consider the Puddle Pour, Dirty Pour or Swipe technique (they are all great for beginners).
-Resin is not always 100% clear. It may have either a slight brown or yellow tint. This may vary by brand.
-If you’re looking for a resin that is more clear and glass-like, try polyester or polyurethane resin. These types of resins are much harder to use but they give your resin art an amazing finish.
-Resin needs time to cure before being handled. If the resin is fresh and still sticky, resin will come off of your hands.
-Resin can be mixed with a variety colors and inclusions(ie: glitter and flakes)
Can You Make Money from Resin Art?
Yes, some resin art enthusiasts are actually making a living off of their art and earning six figures in the process. It ranges from $0 to hundreds-of-thousands of dollars depending on how much time you put into your craft and what level you’re working at.
The resin market is expected to grow from $5.9 billion in 2019 to $10.3 billion by 2027, according to Allied Market Research. As resin art continues to grow in popularity, it is becoming a more legitimate way of earning money.
It’s not uncommon for resin artists to sell their work on websites like Etsy or sell their work at local markets.
However, resin art is more than just a way of making money. It can also be used as an artistic outlet and hobby. For many resin artists, resin has become much more than a fun project that they do in their spare time.
What Resin Art Items Sell Well?
There are a number of resin art items that can be sold for relatively high prices. These resin pieces make great additions to any artist’s portfolio and will help them stand out from the crowd.
Resin jewelry is an outlet that you may want to consider. This type of resin art sells well on websites like Etsy or at local markets because resin jewelry is trendy and people are always looking for new pieces to add to their collection.
Resin trays and cutting boards are also very popular and sell well on Etsy or at local markets. The process isn’t difficult, but it does take some time before the product is complete. They make an excellent project for resin fans who have some free time to get started in resin art.
Resin clocks are another idea to consider because they are often sold at higher prices. The design possibilist are endless and can be catered to a variety of home styles. This means they could sell well in different markets.
How do You Price Resin Art Products?
This is a difficult (and loaded) question. If you want to get started resin, I recommend heading over to Etsy and searching for resin art.
If you have a particular style of resin art you want to sell (ie: coasters, jewelry, etc…), search specifically for those items.
There are many talented resin artists on the site with an enormous variety of products available.
Checking out these resin artists listing will be able to give you a better idea about pricing your product.
At a base level you will need to consider how much time it takes you to create the resin art and what materials cost you have into the piece.
Many pricing suggestions online are horrifically low. Some suggest charging $8-$10/hour plus the cost of material. That wage is lower than many state minimum wages.
Don’t undersell your work. Especially for an artform like resin art. Not just anyone can do it and it takes time to learn. That is worth something.
That said, here are some general ways to determine the price of you work.
Option 1: materials cost + your set hourly rate x number of hours spent creating the item = retail price
Option 2: materials cost x 4 to 10 = retail price (the number you use will depend on where you live. Higher cost of living = higher number to multiply by)
If you decide to sell wholesale, generally speaking wholesale cost is often 50% of retail. So keep that in mind if you decide to go that route.
Resources for More Information about Resin Art
There are a number of resin art resources available to artists. There are resin artist merchants, Facebook groups, and online forums where you can ask questions about resin art or find inspiration for new projects.
Udemy is another excellent resource for resin art lovers. They have instructors that offer classes on how to do everything. From beginner resin art to advanced techniques, they’ve got you covered.
Click here to be taken to their website, then search for “Resin Art”.
There’s no better way to get started resin than to learn from a professional. Sign up for some classes and get started in resin art today!
Resin Art Conclusion
I may be a “resin art amateur,” but I absolutely loved learning the process and exploring new things. I hope this guide has helped you get started in the beautiful world of resin art. Always remember…
– Resin art is a process that takes time and patience if you want to be successful at it
– Start by reading all resin tutorials online (including the full length of this post)
– Once you’re comfortable with resin, try something more involved as confidence builds up. resin is one technique that can be used to make creative, imaginative projects a reality.
-Always practice safety when making resin art. The fumes can be very dangerous if not handled properly.
-If you decide to sell your work, get a business strategy in place and sell for what your resin art is worth!
Please feel free to leave any of your tips in the comments section below so we can learn from each other!
Until next time,
Have a question or want to leave a resin art tip? Drop it in the comments section below!