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A Guide To Coat Paintings With Resin

A glossy, clean finish is achieved by adding epoxy resin to a painting or art piece. In addition to improving the colours, a clear coat of resin provides additional protection against scratches and general wear. The process requires patience, preparation, and care, but the results are worth it.

Here, we've outlined how to coat a painting with epoxy resin, including the materials you'll need, tips, and precautions.

We take an in depth look at the below coating process, sharing hints and tips to get best results.

Coating A Painting With Resin

  • Make sure your workspace is ready

  • Make sure your painting is prepared

  • Caution is advised

  • Resin should be mixed

  • Spread Your Pour

  • Bubbles should be removed

  • Edges finished

  • Cover Once Cured

  • Clean For Storage

Required Resin Art Materials

  • Coating a painting or art

  • Epoxy resin for coating

  • Disposable cups for mixing

  • Stirring sticks

  • Disposable gloves

  • Eye protection

  • Level

  • A heat gun or hair dryer

  • Cover your resin with a box or something similar as it cures

Set Up Your Workspace

It is important to prepare your workspace before you begin. When using epoxy resin, ensure that your workspace is well-ventilated. During the curing process, these particles will find their way into your resin, so you also want to find a clean and dust-free space.

Ideally, your workspace should be between 22°C and 28°C. For best results, the temperature should be closer to 25-28°C. Wipe down surfaces and lay down a protective covering on the table or floor. A plastic drop cloth or large garbage bag is best for protecting the table and the floor when applying resin to a large painting or project. The resin cannot pass through these bags.

  • Workspaces for epoxy resin should include:

  • Free of dust and dirt

  • Temperatures between 22°C and 28°C

  • A well-ventilated environment

  • Protected with plastic

Prepare Artwork Painting 

For resin to spread evenly, your painting or project must be balanced and levelled perfectly. If your artwork is off balance, it will tilt, and resin will leak off the edge. Resin is expensive, so do not waste it.

You should wipe the surface of your painting with a damp cloth dipped in solvent (such as rubbing alcohol or acetone) to ensure that there is no dust or hair on it before you begin. If the surface you are applying resin to is porous or highly absorbent, you need to seal it first. Paper and cardboard are examples of materials that must be sealed before applying resin. To seal the surface, apply a thin layer of resin and let it cure before you move on to the Pour and Spread step.

Make a barrier (dam) around the edges of the project using masking tape or painters tape. Press the tape around the entire project. The tape should stick up at least half an inch or 15mm.

For the least hassle, remove the tape after 24 hours when damming or taping your edges.

Mix Even Parts Of Resin

The amount of resin you will need to cover your entire painting should be determined before you begin mixing. Put equal parts of resin and hardener into two separate cups, then mix them together in a third cup. To prevent microbubbles from forming, do not pour the mixture over the measuring cup. Mix the resin thoroughly and hardener thoroughly, scraping the sides and bottom as you go. Mix for 3-5 minutes, or until there is no 'streaking' of the resin.

If your resin is too cold, the consistency will be too thick to pour and spread. Additionally, it will appear milky and cloudy instead of clear.

To save time during clean up, use a plastic spoon, knife, or popsicle stick to stir your resin.

Spread After Pouring

Wear gloves and spread the resin evenly over the surface. You can also use a plastic spreader, brush, or disposable item like a popsicle stick to spread the resin around edges and corners. You should spread out the resin manually, even if it is self-levelling.

Spread the resin evenly using a paper card such as a business card or playing card. The flexibility of the card will help.

Bubbles Must Be Removed

When you spread the resin on your project, you will see bubbles rise to the surface. To remove them, use a butane or propane torch on a low flame.

Whenever you use a torch, keep it moving and keep it about eight inches or 20cm away from your project's surface. Gently sweep the flame across the surface until all the bubbles are gone. If the bubbles do not disappear before your eyes, move the flame closer to the surface. Don't hold the torch in one place for too long, as this can result in yellowing and permanent damage to the coating and surface. You can also repeat this step allowing 2-3 mins in between to allow the resin to cool.

Look closely at your project after you have applied the torch. Dust particles or hair can still be removed at this stage.

A small pin or toothpick can be used to pop any persistent bubbles.

Be sure to check the surface for 30 - 60 mins after spreading to ensure there are no new bubbles.

Check out our Steps to a Bubble Free and Flawless Cure.

Coverage And Cure

Ensure that you cover your project as it cures so that dust, dirt, or hair won't get into the resin. Cover the project with a large box to keep particles away.

Depending on the size and thickness of the project, you may want to let the resin cure for longer. We recommend that you let your project cure and harden for a minimum of five days before placing objects on it.

The epoxy resin will eventually yellow after prolonged exposure to the sun, so if you plan to use it outdoors, spray it with a UV resistant acrylic (after it has cured) for added protection.

Edges Must Be Finished

If you used a tape barrier around your painting or drew your resin exactly to the edge, you won't have to worry about finishing your edges.

The only way to achieve an edge that looks professional is to use a belt sander (not for canvas projects). With a belt sander, you can achieve a clean cut through the resin and your artwork. Powered orbital sander can also produce a great finish. After trimming or sanding your edges, you can paint them if you wish.

Final Clean Before Storing Accessories

When the resin has cured (is solid), you can dispose of it as normal. In order to prevent uncured resin from entering the soil, ditches, sewers, waterways, and/or groundwater, do not wash stir sticks or mixing bowls that have not cured immediately after application.

Dispose of any unmixed resin or hardener properly.

Just Try Our Resin!

If you're using glow in the dark pigments or other pigments, our Resin Kits are a great option! All of our pigments have been rigorously tested with this resin to ensure perfect compatibility. In addition to being self-levelling, self-degassing, curing crystal clear and resistant to yellowing from UV exposure, our resin is Australian made as well!


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