This instructable will give you a step by step process of creating your own resin art. Along with the step by step a couple of tips on how to get certain effects is provided at the end.
Step 1: Step 1: Buying Materials
The basic materials required for this project are:
- Which can be usual painting canvases, but in my case, I use 1/2" baltic birch plywood since it is cheaper than individual canvases and baltic birch tends to be straighter than other plywoods.
- Now this is a little pricier, most other sources online recommend using ArtResin($$$), but any resin that is a 1:1 ratio between clear epoxy resin and hardener works just fine. I use Pro Marine Supplies since larger volumes can be purchased for less than the ArtResin.
- Acrylic paint 2 oz. bottles will provide enough paint for you to make multiple pieces. I have made over 13 sq.ft. of pieces and I still have more paint left over. The spray paint is for priming the wood just so the texture of the wood does not show through the piece.
Plastic Disposable Cups
- I don't use a cup more than once, so buying some cheap plastic party cups work best.
Large Popsicle Sticks
- These are for mixing the resin and also mixing the paint into the resin, for this, I use one per cup since I don't like to be constantly mixing colors.
- I use 55-gallon trash bags, but buying those would probably cost more than buying some plastic sheeting to make a nice work area that won't ruin your countertops.
- For protecting your hands from the resin. If you get some on your hand, no big deal, just wipe it off and wash your hands.
PVC Pipe (optional)
- This is to build a protective cover frame, combined with a plastic sheath to place around/above to keep dust from landing and ruining your masterpiece. I think a cardboard box would also work well, but it has to be larger than your piece.
There is only one tool needed for this project which is a heat gun, but a torch will work just as well. Its purpose is to pop the bubbles that are in your resin.
Step 2: Step 2: Cut Wood
For this step, cut the wood to the desired size, then sand down the edges so they are smooth and slightly rounded. If the wood has a slight warp to it, try finding a piece that has less of a warp since the resin will fill the lower areas and leave white edges on your work.
Step 3: Step 3: Priming the Wood
Spray painting the wood has one purpose. The wood without the primer will have a wood texture behind it, with the primer the colors come out better.
Step 4: Step 4: Planning Colors
All up to you, choose your favorite colors, look up color combinations, try recreating a landscape, follow colors found in nature. Purely in the eye of the beholder.
Step 5: Step 5: Prepare Canvas and Cups
Preparing the cups is just placing one cup per every color you are using. Prepping the canvas includes placing on top of something that elevates it, so it does not sit in the resin that pours off the sides. Also, when prepping the canvas, make sure it is level.
Step 6: Step 6: Mixing Resin
Mixing resin is pretty simple, just follow the directions on the bottle. The most common way of mixing epoxy resin is to mix at a 1:1 ratio. When mixing, mix it all in 1 cup and make sure it is mixed for around 7 minutes. Scrape the sides of the cup and the bottom to get a fully even mix, otherwise, the resin won't set as it should.
Step 7: Step 7: Pour Resin Into Cups
With the prepared cups, pour resin into them. Tip, if you want more of one color, add more resin. Once the resin is poured, add the acrylic paint to each cup. Add a little bit at a time, until the color is solid rather than slightly transparent. Don't just add a ton to start with, since if you add too much, the reaction will happen faster and your resin will start setting in the cups. If too much is added, work quickly.
Step 8: Step 8: Pouring Resin Onto the Wood
This is all about how you imagined your piece. Pour your resin exactly how you imagined, but don't get too attached to the finished product before it sets since there will be changes. Just make sure to use the heat gun a lot.
Step 9: Step 9: Heat Gun
I know it has been mentioned already, but HEAT GUN! You do not want to end with bubbles in your piece, especially a lot of them.
Step 10: Step 10: Cover Your Piece
With a pre-made cover, whether it is a PVC and plastic one, or a cardboard box, just make sure it doesn't touch your piece. Rest the cover above it, and let it sit for at least 8 hours. To make sure it is set, do not touch the piece, instead, touch the resin that had dripped off the board.
Step 11: Step 11: the Reveal
Taking off the cover is a very fun part of it because this is the moment you get to finally inspect the details of your masterpiece. Now it is ready to hang up.
Step 12: Extra Tips
- I like to get "cells" in my pieces and to do so I perform swipes of one resin on top of the other before I use the heat gun. This allows for air bubbles to come up and create little voids in the surface resin to reveal what color is underneath.
- Another method for cells is to buy ResiBlast, which is a solution that helps disperse the resin giving larger cells.
- Dirty pours are one of the more interesting looks since you are pouring multiple colors into one cup then quickly flipping that cup onto the board. Once on the board, lift up to release the resin and watch the colors ooze apart.