Using resin can be very daunting when you have never used it before or maybe you did and had a failed attempt. It’s much like baking, the proper measurements and steps are essential for successful resin coating. I prefer to use epoxy resin with UV protection so it doesn’t yellow over time. I love sealing my hand painted surfaces with epoxy resin because it protects it better than any other product and enhances the colors, giving it a glossy wow factor. It looks high end and the extra effort is well worth it, in my opinion. Don’t be intimidated by the seemingly complicated process. Here’s my step by step guide for resin coating.
Resin comes in two parts: the gloss coating and the hardener solution. It takes the chemical reaction of combining the two for the resin to harden with a clear surface. It’s stays viscous when unmixed. You measure in equal parts for both solutions. I use two equally sized plastic cups to measure my solutions as it’s cheap and disposable. You won’t want to wash what you measure it with later, trust me. It’s sticky and very difficult to remove.
What you will need:
- Epoxy Resin
- Disposable measuring cups
- Disposable container for mixing and combining
- Large mixing stick
- Drop cloth
- Culinary flame torch
You’ll want to protect your floors with a drop cloth even if it’s in your garage, The resin will drip onto the floor and create a sticky mess. First I prepare my surfaces being coated by resin by cleaning them and making sure no stray particles floating in the air are on it. Your surface must be dry. I let painted surfaces dry for at least 24 hours prior to coating. If it is a stained surface, make sure it is dry as per the instructions given by the company. I tape off the underside of my surface along the edges. If you are wanting the sides to not be coated by the resin, tape them so that the resin can still drip over without forming a lip later. The resin will form droplets underneath and it’s much easier to tape off to remove the droplets cleanly once it has dried. Make sure your tape is on securely by burnishing with fine grit sand paper or a burnish block. You don’t want the resin to seep under the tape. Elevate your surface. If it’s the top of a piece of furniture, make sure the sides are protected with plastic wrap or some other covering. In this case, my doors were removed from my piece so I had to elevate it with some large containers. This is to allow the resin to drip over and not pool around the surface.
Wearing gloves and a mask in a well ventilated area, measure the parts so they are equal. I have seen some people use a small scale to weigh the containers to make sure they are equal. Pour the parts into a larger container in small parts at a time. It doesn’t have to be poured exactly in even parts because when you have it all mixed it will be in equal parts. Using your mixing stick, stir in the large container for a minute. Make sure you scrape the sides and bottom of the container. Mixing thoroughly is one of the most important aspects of successful resin coating or your resin will not harden completely and the surface will be sticky. Add more from your measuring cups into the large container about 1/4 of a time depending on how much resin you are mixing. The gloss coating solution is thicker than the hardener solution so at the final pouring I pour the hardener part into the cup with the gloss coating solution and mix it in there before pouring it all into the large container so every bit of resin gets into the mixing container.
After you have thoroughly mixed your resin, you will notice that there are air bubbles in it but don’t worry, it won’t affect the surface because the torch will remove any air bubbles. Pour your resin over the surface evenly across the entire area as you can. You can use your mixing stick to smooth it over the entire surface or use a plastic putty knife to spread it across. Having more resin than you need is better than having too little. You want it to drip over the surface as it levels to get an even and smooth coating. Smooth it over the sides of the edges if you are wanting it to coat over the sides as well. When you have spread it over all of the surface area, use your torch and holding it over your surface a few inches away, quickly torch the resin surface in a waving motion. Don’t hover or it will burn the resin. This pops all of the air bubbles and helps your resin level. When you no longer see anymore air bubbles popping, you are done with torching. You’ve reached the finish line of the resin coating. All you have to do now is let the surface harden which will take 24 hours or more. Make sure no floaties will get on the surface somehow by floating in the air, so no fans going. It would be a shame to have the little particles stuck on your surface by accident.
When your resin has hardened you can remove the tape. You can use a box cutter to help remove the tape if it’s stuck by going underneath the tape. It take resin a month to fully cure and harden completely. During the curing process, don’t place anything on the surface as it can scratch the resin and do not expose it to extreme heat. Enjoy your beautiful finish and the glass like effect on your surface.