Do you have a passion for creating art and crafts? Have you tried working with epoxy resin? It adds a new dimension to your masterpieces.
Before you begin, it’s important to learn the proper technique for pouring epoxy resin. One of the biggest challenges involves preventing unwanted bubbles in your project. Keep reading to learn some tips for pouring epoxy resin without bubbles.
Artwork With Epoxy Resin
Epoxy resins contain more than one three-membered ring in the polymeric material. These epoxides are thermosetting polymers. They have two parts: the resin and the hardener.
When the two components mix together a chemical reaction occurs. It changes the liquid resin into hard, solid plastic. While this is often used in industry and on boats, it’s now also an art medium.
Artists create pictures, sculptures, jewelry, and tables using epoxy resin. It adds depth and brilliance with its clarity and luminosity. Colored pigments also provide mesmerizing effects to your work.
Follow Safety Precautions
When preparing to use epoxy resin, review the manufacturer’s instructions and precautions. You’ll need to have the materials on hand to follow safe cleaning and waste material disposal procedures. Safety measures may be needed such as rubber gloves, eye protection, and a respirator.
Pouring Epoxy Resin
Make sure you’re working in a clean, dust-free environment to ensure your desired outcome. Begin by slowly pouring a small amount of resin on the center of your work. Using a small cup often gives you more control.
When pouring epoxy resin for art projects, you'll see it self-levels to about one-eighth of an inch. You can use a disposable sponge brush or plastic spreader to move it around as desired.
Most of the time, you have about 45 minutes to work with the resin before it begins thickening. The resin, materials, and room temperature affect this timeline. Leave a small amount of resin in your pour cup to check for curing without disturbing the project.
If you want to coat the sides of a piece, you can cover the work surface and let the resin drip over the side. You can also apply it or smooth it with a gloved finger.
Preventing Resin Bubbles
Several factors can contribute to bubbles appearing in the resin. In some instances, the object that you’re coating may contain air the causes pockets. If the surface dries too fast, the air underneath expands and pushes up. If the solvents evaporate too fast, this can cause areas to mostly or fully cure into a bubble.
The following gives several tips on how to reduce bubbles when deep pouring epoxy resin.
1. Choose the Proper Epoxy Resin
Spend some time researching the type of epoxy resin you need for your project. For example, if you’re casting into a mold, you’ll want a thinner viscosity resin to reduce bubbling. Thicker resins are used for doming projects but tend to hold bubbles.
2. Regulate the Temperature of Your Workspace
Resin projects cure best in a room with an ambient temperature of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You may wish to use a space heater in a bathroom or closet to create this environment. Resin hot boxes provide a constant temperature during the curing process.
3. Take Care When Mixing
Begin by placing the bottles of resin and hardener in separate, sealed plastic bags. Put them in buckets of warm water for about five to ten minutes.
Warming the components before mixing helps reduce bubbles. It’s key to note that this practice may decrease the working time from 45 to 30 minutes.
Now, mix the resin and hardener slowly by pouring it down the side of the measuring cup. Use a gentle but deliberate stirring motion around the sides and up from the bottom of the cup. This brings bubbles to the surface to dissipate before pouring.
Allow yourself a full three to five minutes to mix the two components. Depending on the resin, you may allow it to rest for three to six minutes to allow de-gassing. You can also blow on the surface or use a toothpick to pop any bubbles you see.
4. Warm Your Project Surface or Mold
Differences in temperatures generate surface tension that causes bubbling. By warming your project surface or the casting top, mold, and/or bezel, you avoid this issue. If you’re using an oven-safe mold, heat it to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dusting the surface of the project or mold with baby powder also reduces surface tension. If you’re working with a colored resin, you may want to select a powder color that matches. Use a soft paintbrush to apply the powder and tap off the excess.
When using a mold or bezel, pour a little resin in and roll it around to break the surface tension. Then slowly fill the vessel. This makes it easier for the bubbles to rise to the surface and be popped.
5. Use Heat to Remove Bubbles
After following a careful resin pouring technique, you’ll need to check it over the next one to two hours. If bubbles appear, you can use heat to bring them to the surface before the resin hardens.
You may use a heat gun, butane torch, or barbecue lighter. Be careful and have a fire extinguisher at hand. Also, be aware that excess heat may cause plastic molds to warp.
6. Other Methods to Remove Bubbles
A toothpick is a great tool for moving bubbles to a location where you can pop them. Sometimes, you can catch the bubble on the toothpick and remove it that way. Another method is to blow on the surface to pop them.
7. How to Place Objects and Not Make Bubbles
Some artists like to add objects such as dried flowers or pieces of glass into deep pour epoxy resin. Start by dipping the item into the resin to coat it. This reduces the surface tension.
Avoid placing the object flat on the surface because this can trap air underneath it. Instead, slide it in at an angle and then move it into place.
Are You Eager to Try Some New Crafts?
Did this article pique your interest in pouring epoxy resin to create or enhance your art? Hippie Crafters provides easy, user-friendly crafting products made for you.
We provide epoxy resin, mica powder, acrylic paint, stretched canvases, and watercolor paper. You’ll also find supplies for paint pouring, sketching, and other crafts. Join our movement to get Hippie Crafter into every home.
Contact us today to ask questions, give feedback, or share some love.