6/4/13

Resin Troubleshooting

Casting resin has a tendency to be well... a bit persnickety to say the least.

If your having trouble maybe we can help you get to the bottom of it.

Cloudy or Discolored Cast:

There are several reasons for this.

  • Your resin may be old. Resin only has a certain shelf life. And if your castings are cloudy or discolored it may be that you resin is past its due date.
           Make sure you check the box and/ or bottle for expiration date information.
  • Your resin may be cold. Temperature makes a HUGE difference when it comes to casting resin! If the resin is to cold when  you are mixing you can end up with a cloudy or discolored cast.

This can also be the cause for all of those little tiny bubbles you can't get rid of.

  • You may not have sealed your embedments properly. If you don't seal your embedments and allow them to dry you can end up with a foggy cast. 
The reason is because  the glue or elements from the paper might have mixed with your casting resin.

It might also be from water mixing with the resin. If your working with flowers or something containing water make sure you seal it. And NEVER use water based dyes with resin.

Resin does not like water!

Sticky or uncured cast:

Again this could be because of a few resins.

  • You may not have mixed the resin properly. It is so important to make sure you get the resin mixed right.
If it's a volume ratio of equal parts A to B you can also go by weight. With epoxy resins you need a 100 to 90 weight ratio. The heavier part is usually part B, and that's what you want to make the 90. [The heavier one]
  • To much dye. Just like it sounds if you add to much dye/color to the resin it may cause the resin to not set properly. Glitter or other inserts do not affect it though.
  • The room may be to hot or to cold.
Again temperature plays a HUGE role with casting resin. This is because it is actually the heat generated by the chemical reaction that causes it to cure.

The optimum temperature for casting resin is about 70-75 degrees. A little over or under wont hurt to much but will definitely affect curing time.

Sometimes when it's really hot and humid my pieces can take DAYS to cure! And that's no joke.

To combat this I made a resin curing box. It's basically like a terrarium or vivarium for reptiles but for resin. It has a nice little heat lamp on top to keep the resin at the right heat.

I can't do much to help you with the heat just try turning up the air conditioner or getting a dehumidifier. If you use a fan to cool down the room just make sure to cover your resin so little dust particles and other things don't get in. You still want to give it air though.



IMPORTANT: Give your cast a couple of extra days. If it is still tacky to the touch there may not be anything you can do for your casting resin.

Remember to give it time. There are a lot of variables that go into making a casting piece. If it is soft it may just need a few more days to sit.

Good news is resin is pretty cheap [you can make a lot with a single bottle]! If you are using embedments in your piece I'm afraid they may be gone forever unless you can remove the resin with denatured alcohol.

You can also trim the soft or tacky resin of.

If you are working with a setting and want something a little more stable, I recommend diamond glaze or mod podge dimensional magic. It is pre-mixed and a lot easier to work with.

Again just always read your packages instructions.

Bubbles in the cast, intricate molds:

You just bought that great delicate rose mold you saw on etsy, and you can't get it to cast right. Now what?

When your pouring resin into a mold it's all about surface tension.

Try pouring VERY slowly and only fill it half way. Then tap and/or manipulate the mold so the resin flows into those tight places. Wait for it to de-gass [the bubbles to rise to the surface], and then fill in the mold the rest of the way.

I have had some really great results with coating my molds in BABY POWDER. Just make sure you tap out all the excess. That helps break up the surface tension so the resin can flow into all those tight little spots.

I recommend this for all of your molds. It will help get rid of the large bubbles.

My mom also recommended wiping the mold with alcohol first and then allowing it to dry. But I haven't tried this yet, let me know if it works for you!



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