I've seen many great projects using epoxy resin on this site and elsewhere. Inspiration struck me and I wanted to try it myself to add a special touch to my paintings. And from what I've seen it seemed that you can just buy epoxy in every corner shop.
Well, apparently not so in Switzerland!
After a long search through all the hardware stores and artist supply shops around (and many "Epox..., what?"s) I found some polyester casting resin and tired it: It looked fine in the beginning, but it just wouldn't dry. Not after the mentioned 4 hours and not after 2 weeks. All this while the whole appartment stunk of it for weeks. Try to explain to your guests why it smells like a chemical bomb went off and you still don't have anything worthwhile to show them. So it was an overall failure.
Then I started searching again in the world wide web and finally found a resin retailer in Germany and ordered it. And I love it.
My main idea was to cover paintings totaly or just parts of one with epoxy resin to get a special effect to make them stand out more.
So I quickly painted 3 pictures of sliced citrus fruits to cover them fully and took two pictures printed on canvas I've once bought to try the partial covering with resin. You don't have to start with a masterpiece right away, don't you?
So that's how I did it.
Step 1: Apply the Resin on the Whole Picture
After mixing the resin as recommended I poured a part of it on the painting and started with spreading it evenly and let some run over the edges.
You'll see right away that the colors are getting brighter and it gets a kind of 3D effect.
Step 2: Cover the Sides
Just run your (gloved) fingers over the sides to spread the resin. To avoid drops on the back just run your fingers over it to spread them and repeat this a few minutes later when the resin gets more viscous.
Step 3: Apply the Resin on a Part of the Picture
Its more like pushing the resin to the places you want them than like painting with a bruch. Add the resin bit by bit so it wont start running over the outlines.
Step 4: Get Rid of the Bubbles
The mixing of the epoxy caused some bubbles to appear in the resin. To get rid of them I used a small blowtorch I normally use for crème brûlée. I just went quickly over the whole resin and all the bubbles came up and popped on the surface.
Avoid to have a too hot flame (better yellow than blue) or staying too long on the same spot, else the resin may start to burn.
After that the resin is perfectly clear and even.
Step 5: Everyone Makes Little Mistakes
The canvas of the picture was not really taut and made a bit of a hollow. After the flower was covered the resin started running a bit over my outlines. Maybe I also put a bit too much of resin on it to begin with.
So we learn: The surface really has to be flat and as so often "less is more"
Step 6: Let It Dry
For that time I covered them with a boxes so no dust will fall on the resin and stick to it.
Step 7: Ta-dah!
The glaze is cristal clear, solid and will protect the pictures from almost everything.
It looks best when you move past it and see the reflections, but it was a bit difficult to catch that here in a single photo.
The whole thing worked much better than I thought and I think it looks great. I will definitely try it again with one of my oil paintings or with photographs. My friends and family already ordered some. ☺ We'll see.
So if you can get a hand on some epoxy try it yourself. It's really fun.
And maybe then vote for me in the "Beyond the comfort zone" competition.