Monday, November 24, 2008

Resin tips and a fabulous link

First i'd like to put out a thanks to the lovely Carmi. She really came through for me last post, when I asked about what to do when your resin does not cure propperly.

I thought I'd throw out there what I have learned myself so far about working with resin, as I didn't really find a sastisfactory answer on the internet before Carmi came along.

1)The humidity of the air affects the curing of the resin. I had done work with resin before, but it dried outside on a hot, dry summer day. This time, it cured in my basement. I found large differences with results between the two (the dry air being the better result).

2)In order to remove the bubbles forming in the resin, use a bbq lighter and wave the flame back and forth over the surface. The heat causes the bubbles to go away.

3)The amount of hardening agent in relation to the amount of resin is very important. If there is not enough hardening agent, the resin will not cure propperly.

4)Be very careful when working with resin. It is extreemely difficult (impossible?) to clean off if your resin drips on your a) table, b) hands, c) jeans, d) mistaken parts of your project. (Unfortunately, resin dripped on all four for me. Luckily, the jeans were old and already ruined when dripped India Ink).

5)Resin makes a really neat coating on top of paper. I used the leftover resin from remaking my charm and coated two backgrounds for ATCs that i'd made... it dried really neat and shiny, as if the piece was made from plastic. Well worth trying :).

6)Sometimes, after you mix resin, it goes CLOUDY! I don't know why this happened. Any commenters out there that can answer this, i will edit the answer in here.

7)Don't glue resin charms onto the main piece until you are CERTAIN that they have cured properly.

8)If there are small scratches on the surface of your resin, you can sand it or add another coat of resin to smooth it out. ( I haven't tried this one myself yet, but this is what i read on a blog)

So, as you can see, I definately learned some positive things and some negative things about working with resin. I decided to follow Carmi's advice with the previous embelishment i had been working on, and just add another layer of resin that would hopefully cure propperly. It was clear when i mixed it, but when i looked at it again about 5 minutes later, it had gone quite cloudy! I tried washing it out, hoping it would get out the resin (where i learned lesson #4 lol). This did not work at all. I had to pull off the charm, which wrecked the paint. I therefor had to re-prime, re-paint and make a new charm for the piece. I have created a new charm now that I think I like even better, and all that remains is for me to screw it onto the main piece. I'll post this once it's finished. Good think Erin isn't around to pick it up yet!

I'd like to mention a fabulous project that I was linked to at Amber Dawn's blog. They are selling this beautiful necklace, done as a collaborative project, to raise funds for breast cancer. WAY TO GO, LADIES! Not only is the necklace absolutely stunning, I love how the money goes to such a great cause.

Edited afterwards:

Thank you so much to Amber Dawn for her fabulous comment she left! She left a comment on the post two previous to this one, with her tips about working with resin. Her advice here is fabulous, and I just had to add it to the post here so everyone could else noticed it too! It was too good to just sit in the comment section...

Here it is:

"Always mix the resin and hardener 1:1
or 2:2
Always the same of each not more hardener.
As for the cloudiness, your image could be bleeding into the resin.
A way to prevent this is to seal the print outs and art work with package tape. Place package tape on BOTH sides of your paper burnish it.
OR you can seal it with clear sealer stuff.
I personally find that rubbing alcohol works VERY well at getting resin off of my hands and work surfaces.
Just work on wax paper over more paper, like old newspapers and you are good to go!
When mixing your resin, stir slowly. Don't use a paint brush or painted stick.
You can use wooden or plastic swizzel sticks.
I use a flat surface to mix my resin and scrape the resin back and forth to mix it. Credit card offers or old credit cards snipped into smaller sections are PERFECT for doing this!

Doing it fast causes cloudiness or big bubbles.
ALWAYS use good ventilation.
I damaged my organs/kidneys years back because I didn't know that an open window wasn't good enough. I also got a lot on my skin!
Now I use a fan which pulls the air out of the window, and I have another window open to create cross ventilation. ALWAYS ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES!
Dale, I am sorry your project didn't work out.
But the learnig process is FUN!
Best wishes!
Amber Dawn (Think Pink) "

What gems of information! Thanks Amber for all of that. I know for myself, I think it answered the question of why my resin went cloudy. While i did use a clean bamboo skewer for stirring, i stirred it quite quickly, and in a 'stirring' motion, definately not a pushing motion. I think that was my problem. Good to know... i'd have done that the next time too!


Beth Quinn said...

this necklace is amazing !!! its a wonderful project ! thanks so much for stopping in my blog and your sweet comment - Love the Resin tips as I have just began to play a little more with it too!!!

Susan Williamson said...

Thanks so much for all the info on resin. I've only done it once before, and all the tips you posted have given me the confidence to try it again.