A Guide For Mixing Epoxy Resin With Hardener
Just Resin Step-by-Step Guide on the Appropriate Ratio for Resin and Hardener
Mixing epoxy resin and hardener is an important step in any resin project, from casting to coating. The ratio of the two components will determine the performance of your final product. Too much of either component can cause issues like an uneven cure or a weakened surface layer. It’s critical that you get this ratio right if you want to ensure success with your resin art project! This guide provides simple steps for mixing epoxy resin and hardener at the right ratio so you can be sure that your projects turn out just as planned.
The two-part epoxy system that completes the basic epoxy resin kit, there is the resin and the hardener. So why do you mix resin and hardener together? When combined, they prompt a chemical reaction that transforms the liquid mixture into a solid product. Of course, you only want the best results for your epoxy resin projects, right? Hence, it’s important to make sure that you explicitly follow the instructions on how to mix epoxy resin and hardener.
Practising accuracy and safety in all parts of the process is key to curing epoxies properly.
Measuring and mixing the resin and hardener are your main determiners of success in the whole process. So, if you want to achieve the best output, follow these five simple steps in mixing epoxy resin and hardener.
5 steps of how to mix epoxy resin and hardener
Step 1: Choose the right resin for your project
Not all projects are the same. So, before you start measuring and mixing your epoxy system, identify first which type of resin is suitable for what you want to achieve.
For a Tinted or opaque finish.
To achieve a Tinted or opaque finish, you might want to use epoxy pigment paste, pigment powder or ink. Which can be mixed in to achieve the right tone or hue.
For a moulded project
For projects where you plan to pour the epoxy resin into something or have it set around objects, a casting resin maybe required, such as our ArtCast Epoxy Systems. It’s applicable when you plan to pour it into a mould or run it into a river table. Typically, casting resins are lower in viscosity, therefore have an easier time releasing bubbles, making them suitable for thick layer applications.
However, their lower viscosity means they tend to run off the side or may produce a sub optimal surface finish. This is the reason why casting resin is not really suitable for artwork and countertops.
For a glossy finish.
A high viscosity resin typically gives a beautiful gloss finish. Some of it might run over the sides of a flat surface, but it will still have a shiny finish and a better hold to the surface.
As high viscosity resins are thick by nature, it might be harder than usual to remove bubbles. You can still keep it in check by preparing a heat gun that you can use to pop bubbles over the surface.
Step 2: Prepare your safety equipment and proper tools
(Refer to the safety data sheet before use)
Now that you have your epoxy resin and hardener ready, it’s time to prepare for the project-making.
Before diving into your resin art, please make sure that you practice proper safety precautions. Prepare your resin art supplies, ingredients, and tools for safe usage and handling of the materials.
Protect your hands by wearing nitrile gloves. These materials will keep you free from sticky resin and hardener liquids. We recommend the use of nitrile gloves, as they provide greater protection to your skin than latex would.
If your skin accidentally makes contact with resin, use baby wipes or wash it off with soap and water. Please avoid alcohol or acetone.
Cover your face with safety goggles.
Ensure proper ventilation for your work area. You can leave a window open or use a ceiling fan or other fans to maintain air movement.
For unavoidable situations of poor ventilation, at a minimum wear a respirator.
Make sure that you’re using clean mixing cups to avoid any unwanted materials mixing with your new batch. It’s also an excellent precaution for thoroughly mixing your epoxy resin and hardener.
Prepare the appropriate measuring cups to get the accurate resin and hardener mixing ratio. We recommend the use of calibrated measuring cups. Getting this right is one of the keys to ensuring that your epoxy resin will cure properly.
Step 3: How to determine resin and hardener mixing ratio?
Another thing you must learn before you mix resin and hardener together is how each product requires a different mixing ratio. The most usual proportion is 1:1 or 2:1, but it can also be 3:1 or 5:1 depending on the products you use. To be safe, you can usually refer to the details on the packaging of your epoxy resin supplies.
It’s crucial to be very precise on your mixing ratio, or else the epoxy resin will not harden or cure optimally.
So, what will happen if you fail to observe the proper mixing ratio?
Adding more hardener than specified will result in a cured material with poor properties. For one, it might be less rigid and resistant than you want it to be, and malleable. Meanwhile, too much resin might stop the hardening completely and produce a sticky uncured surface.
Step 4: You can measure the epoxy resin by volume or by weight
How to measure epoxy resin by volume?
It is important to check if the product is to be measured by weight or by volume, as it can vary from product to product. Refer to the product labels.
To measure by volume, you want to ensure you have correctly calibrated measuring cups. Then proceed to:
Estimate the approximate amount of epoxy resin needed for your project.
Pour the Hardener into the mixing cup. Make sure that you allow for the hardener to settle and lay flat. Take this into consideration when pouring to a specific volume or level. We’d recommend pouring bit by bit into the mixing cup before leaving to settle.
Proceed to then pour in the Resin, using the general rule of thumb of two parts epoxy to one-part hardener. That said, this is not always the required ratio. Before mixing, be sure to review directions from the manufacturer for the specific materials you’re using.
Mixing epoxy resin and hardener together is easy with these simple rules. While mixing make sure to scrape the sides and bottom and even the mixing stick, also try not to mix too fast as this will introduce unwanted air bubbles. While mixing the mixture will become hazy, this is normal when the product is correctly mixed the resin and hardener will become clear without any hazy streaks or patches, we recommend once clear and uniform to scrap the sides and bottom one last time to confirm if any unmixed resin is present, this can be repeated until no hazy streaks are visible.
Important: We recommend mixing epoxy resin and hardener by volume with a measuring cup over measuring by weight due to the discrepancies that may result from having different weights from batch to batch. It is important to follow the product label for measuring directions.
Step 5: Begin mixing epoxy resin and hardener
Do you mix resin and hardener together?
By now, you should be able to easily answer this question. It’s vital to follow these steps to achieve your ideal results.
Pour the resin and hardener together and stir thoroughly for 3-5 minutes until clear throughout.
Scrape the cup walls and base of the mixing vessel as you mix. Remember that a lot of material often sticks to the sides of the mixing container and even the mixing stick.
When your resin is measured correctly and mixed, you can now use your epoxy resin.
Use the next 35-45 minutes (note – work time depends on the specific epoxy resin you are working with) to spread the resin on your chosen surface or into a mould and remove the bubbles. This timeframe is your working allowance before the mixture starts to cure and thicken.
A few more reminders for your epoxy resin mixture:
Refrain from mixing in tiny amounts to avoid inaccurate ratio and to have enough material available at all times.
Failing to mix your resin properly will leave sticky spots on your project, and it might not harden and cure properly.
Slowly stirring your resin is a great way to prevent bubbles from forming. Mixing in larger volumes, however, will make it inevitable.
You can still remove bubbles by using a heat torch after thoroughly pouring and spreading the resin.
Always remember to follow instructions religiously, monitor technical datasheets, and adhere to safety guidelines throughout the process.
Pro tips to get the perfect resin mix
Refrain from using lid caps, plastic drinking cups, or kitchen utensils in measuring resin to avoid inaccurate measurements and failure to cure. Calibrated measuring cups are best.
Use hard plastic containers as mixing materials for easy clean-up. Clean them with alcohol and a cloth, tip them upside down, after use, or alternatively leave a pop-stick in the cup and remove the following day.
Adding more hardener than advised will not speed up the curing of your epoxy resin. It will only lead to excessive blushing, and potentially malleable projects. Instead, try increasing the room temperature.
Scrape as you stir and not as you pour.
Using compatible colourants and epoxy resin
We highly recommend using compatible colourants with your epoxy resin as not all dyes are adaptable. When you mix products from different manufacturers, unplanned chemical reactions may occur. That’s why a trusted resin art supplier strives to provide all your needs in one place, so you don’t have to experience these problems.
Just Resin colourants are specifically formulated for our Epoxy Resin. Ensure the success of your projects with quality and consistent materials. If you need more information, contact our experienced team for more focused assistance today.