Epoxy Resin Art and How to Apply Resin

One of the most asked questions I get is always about epoxy resin and how to apply it on paintings or other art.  I thought I’d make a post here and share what I’ve learned during my time spent using epoxy resin and how I apply it to paintings.  For those not familiar, epoxy resin is a two part mixture of an epoxy and a resin that can be poured onto any flat surface.  Commonly used on boats, countertops, epoxy resin has been gaining a lot of popularity in the art world over the past ten years or so.  If you’ve been to an art show or seen a painting on the wall that look like it had liquid glass poured onto it then chances are you spotted a painting with epoxy resin applied to it.  Below I also recommend the best epoxy resin that I’ve found.

What I’ve learned Using Epoxy Resin on Art

Experiment and test then retest before ever applying it to something you value.  It’s amazing how fast you can ruin a painting with epoxy resin so make sure you know what you’re doing with it before ever applying it to a painting you want to sell or exhibit.  Also, realize that once the epoxy resin cures(which is under 24 hours) that whatever it comes into contact with will be ruined.  This is because it will become as hard as concrete, I’m talking about real solid.  I still have spots of epoxy resin that are permanent members of my studio floor and tables, there is no getting it off.  So take that to heart and be sure to have a safe, clean area to work in, and clean up any spills immediately.

Since epoxy resin is a two part mixture you will need to accurately measure out the necessary measurements.  Using epoxy resin containers that come with hand pumps is the best way to accurately measure the two parts, see below for some of my recommendations.  I started off using plastic measuring cups from Home Depot but after a couple of mixtures I couldn’t completely clean out the cups and then would give me inaccurate measurements.

Epoxy Resin Bubbles

Anyone who has used Epoxy resin on their art or paintings will know this subject all too well.  The dreaded epoxy resin bubbles.  The bubbles originate from when you mix the epoxy with the resin.  The tendency is to quickly stir it up but you should pay careful attention to slowly mix the 2 together to reduce the amount of bubbles you create.  You will not eliminate all of the bubbles however so don’t be too hard on yourself because you can drive yourself crazy over it.  Once the epoxy resin is poured onto your painting you can blow on the bubbles or use a hairdryer to get rid of the rest of the bubbles.  I’ve also heard of artists using a propane blow torch to get rid of the epoxy resin bubbles.

Applying Epoxy Resin

Lay your artwork flat and feel free to slowly pour the resin onto the piece.  I usually do so in the middle as I like to spread it around once it’s poured.  To spread the epoxy resin around I usually just use an art exhibit postcard of mine that I have laying around because again whatever you use will be thrown in the trash after you use it.  Spread slowly as you do not want to add any more bubbles than necessary.  Once you have it spread like you want it let it rest for about 24 hours.  Be sure that you are in a clean environment as anything that lands on the epoxy resin while it’s curing will be stuck on it such as dust, hair, or animal fur.

What I recommend

What I use is AeroMarine Epoxy Resin.  This is the good stuff.  It’s non-blushing which is key, meaning it stays clear after it cures.  It also comes with the hand pumps which makes everything so much more simple and you don’t waste anything while getting the perfect ratio every time.  The 1.5 gallon kit is the perfect size to get going.  It comes in smaller sizes but if you’re new to using epoxy resin you will need to test it and you will go through the smaller sizes quicker.  Also, what I found was that using epoxy resin is extremely addictive!  Once you get going you just want to pour it on everything!  If you have any other questions just send me a comment below.


2 Comments

  1. Jennifer Paul

    I have a trouble shooting question for you, if the epoxy/resin bubbles dry, can you sand the resin down a centimeter or two and then re-flood coat with the epoxy/resin?

    Thanks.

    • Diehl Art Gallery

      Hi Jennifer, you can sand down the epoxy resin but it can be a little tricky. You want to start with a medium grit sandpaper and work your way down to fine grit sandpaper. You are essentially putting thousands of tiny scratches onto your resin finish so you want to buff out the scratches before you reapply any epoxy resin. They even make products specifically made to polish epoxy resin. Sanding down will take care of the bubbles and refilling the top coat will improve the look. You might still be able to see where the bubbles were but barely, probably only you would notice under close inspection. As I always say when it comes to epoxy resin you should definitely test this out before trying it on your finished piece. Best of luck, let me know how it comes out, John

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