The global market of epoxy resin hit a total of just below $8 billion in 2015. This total is made up of sales from construction, electronics, and even wind turbines.
Yet, the most artistic use of epoxy resin is through using molds to create beautiful products. These molds can come in a plethora of shapes and sizes. The best bit is, no two models will look the same.
Using silicone molds for epoxy resin models is not as easy as some people make it look. If you are beginning your resin mold journey, keep reading for some great hints and tips.
What Is Epoxy Resin?
Epoxy resin is a material that people have begun using in new and exciting ways. They do this by mixing two separate substances. A creating a chemical reaction is produced, which leads to the solid product.
Using a liquid resin alone will fill your molds but remain liquid, defeating the point. To achieve the final solidified product, you will need to mix in a hardener with your resin.
When mixed with a ratio of 1-1, you will be creating a chemical reaction that will harder over the space of a few hours. This reaction will produce heat, so be sure to take safety into account.
Why Use Silicone Molds for Epoxy Resin?
When beginning your epoxy resin journey, the ideal mold material is silicone. This is because silicone is flexible for ease of release of the finalized product.
Once your resin has hardened, you may find difficulty releasing it from the mold. Due to silicones characteristics, you can peel the mold away from the hardened resin.
When looking for epoxy resin molds DIY for beginners, you will want to find your simple, basic designs. Once you have the hang of using these molds, you can progress to your more complicated designs.
How to Use Silicone Molds
Before beginning your first resin mold, you need to prepare your workspace. Resin can become extremely messy, and you do not want to get it on your furniture unless that's your project.
Prepping Your Mold
Now that your workstation is prepared, you will want to cover the inside of your mold with mold release. This is a must-use product as it will help you peel away the silicone mold at the end. Leave this to sit and soak into the mold for half an hour at least.
Making Your Product
Now that you have prepared, it is time for the epoxy resin mold making to begin. Measure out your resin and hardener to the exact ratio that your instructions will tell you.
If you are making a clear resin product, you can start pouring your resin into the mold. If not, then now would be the time you add your personalization to your resin. This personalization can be such things as color or glitter.
You can even add such items to your mold before you add your resin. This will give you the ability to control where your additions will be placed. This is ideal for those designs using words.
Finalizing Your Product
Once you have poured your final drop of resin, you now need to wait for the chemical reaction to complete. During this last stage, you will want to cover your mold with a plastic dome. This will keep away any dust or other unwanted additions.
The length of time for the drying can vary depending on the product you use. Most epoxy resins will take between 12 and 72 hours to complete the process. This part should not be rushed as it may ruin your final product.
Carefully peel away the silicone mold from the resin product. Due to using the mold release, this part should be easy. If not, you can use some soapy water to help release the product.
Hints and Tips for Beginners
We now know the basics of making an epoxy resin mold. But, as I mentioned above, there is a lot more to using this product than you may think. Let's look at a few hints and tips to help you on your way.
Using silicone molds for epoxy resin could give your final product a cloudy look. This is due to air bubbles that may have gotten trapped in the epoxy during curing.
You can counteract this by either using a heat gun during curing and by using resin gloss sealer spray. Add a few light layers to this product, and you will gain the shine you desire.
You may have seen resin molds with an outer layer involved. This effect can be created by adding a layer of powder, such as Mica Powder, to the mold before adding the resin. If you choose to use this effect, tap the mold before adding the resin to remove any loos dusting.
Every epoxy resin mold can be created differently to look however you choose. When your still a beginner, you will find a lot of products available on the market. But, for the basic epoxy resin mold, we have described, you will only need:
- Epoxy resin
- Silicone mold
- Mold release
- Resin coloring
- Plastic dome (for final stage)
- Resin gloss sealer spray
Make Your Molds
The main thing to remember when using silicone molds for epoxy resin is the mold release spray. You have taken your time to create the perfect product. You won't want to struggle to release the mold.
Everything else is all about personalization. Create your unique and creative resin molds in a way to truly show your personality. Your imagination only limits the possibilities.
If you enjoyed this article and wish to get hands-on with your arts and crafts, check out our catalog for your supplies. We offer supplies for a whole range of art projects.