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Must have supplies for resin crafting

If you are a beginner to resin casting you might be wondering what supplies you require to start out. There are various tools and supplies which can be used, however, the must-have basic supplies that are needed to start out are as follows:

  • Resin
  • Mixing cups
  • Stir sticks
  • Measuring cups or syringes
  • Gloves
  • Protective eye wear
  • Face mask
  • Silicone molds or plastic molds
  • Pigments, dyes, or other colorants (optional)
  • UV light source or resin that cures with sunlight (for UV-cured resin)
  • Release agent (optional but recommended for ease in removing cured resin from molds)

Resin

There are two types of resin which are commonly used for resin crafting: epoxy resin and UV resin. Epoxy resin comes in two parts: resin and hardener and the curing process starts when the two parts are mixed together. On the other hand, UV resin is made up of only 1 part and is ready to use straight away without any mixing required. The curing process for UV resin starts as soon as the resin is exposed to UV light.

To learn more about the difference between epoxy resin and UV resin, or if you are unsure on which one to use, check out this article

 

Mixing cups

When it comes to mixing cups for resin, it's best to use cups made of plastic or silicone cups. When choosing a mixing cup it's important to keep in mind that resin can react with some materials and can become difficult to remove from them. The worst case scenario is where the resin will melt the mixing cup when the resin starts to heat during the curing process.

Both plastic and silicone cups are affordable, lightweight, easy to clean, and can be used multiple times. It is important to make sure that the cups used for mixing resin are clearly marked and dedicated for resin use only, to prevent contamination with other materials.

Be aware that not all plastic is suitable for use with resin. Some types of plastic can react with the resin and cause it to degrade or discolor, or the plastic can absorb the resin and become brittle over time. The best type of plastic to use for mixing resin is polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) as they are chemically stable and do not react with the resin. Cups made of these materials are commonly used in resin crafting and are often labeled as such.

 

Stir sticks

For stirring resin, you can use stir sticks made of plastic, bamboo, or silicone.

Plastic stir sticks are a popular option as they are affordable, lightweight, and easy to clean. They can also be used multiple times.

Bamboo stir sticks are a more environmentally friendly option and can be used multiple times as well.

Silicone stir sticks are very easy to clean and a great tool to scrape off the last remains of the resin.

 

Measuring tools

To measure the resin and hardener components of a resin mixture, it's best to use either plastic or silicone measuring cups or measuring syringes.

Plastic and silicone measuring cups are a popular choice for resin crafting as they are affordable, lightweight, and easy to clean. They can also be used multiple times. 

Measuring syringes are a precise and convenient option, especially when working with small quantities of resin. They are available in a range of sizes and can be used multiple times with proper cleaning.

Regardless of the type of measuring device used, it's important to make sure it is dedicated for resin use only and clearly marked to prevent contamination with other materials. Additionally, make sure to measure the resin and hardener components accurately, following the manufacturer's instructions, as improper ratios can affect the curing and final quality of the resin.

 

Gloves

It's important to wear gloves during the entire resin crafting process, from measuring and mixing the resin components to pouring and curing the resin, to prevent skin contact for safety purposes.

Not all gloves are suitable for use with resin. The ideal gloves for resin crafting are disposable nitrile gloves as they provide protection against the chemicals in the resin and prevent skin contact. Nitrile gloves are a popular choice as they provide excellent chemical resistance, are durable, and are available in a range of sizes.

Avoid using gloves made of vinyl or cloth, as they do not provide adequate protection against the chemicals in the resin and may allow the resin to penetrate and come into contact with the skin.

Latex gloves are also a good option, but some people may have an allergy to latex and may need to use an alternative material. Latex gloves do not typically melt when in contact with resin, but they can become weakened and tear or break more easily. Additionally, some resins can dissolve latex over time, especially if left in contact for an extended period. This is why disposable nitrile gloves are a popular choice for resin crafting, as they provide better chemical resistance and durability compared to latex gloves. If you are using latex gloves, it's important to monitor them for any signs of wear or damage, and to replace them as necessary to ensure adequate protection against the chemicals in the resin.

 

Protective eye wear

It's important to wear protective eye wear at all times when working with resin, even when working in a well-ventilated area, to ensure maximum protection and safety. Wearing protective eye wear will help you to guard against any splashes or spills that could come into contact with the eyes. Clear safety goggles or protective glasses with side shields are suitable for resin crafting. For full protection, these should fit snugly and securely to ensure they do not come off during use.

Avoid wearing regular eyeglasses or contact lenses, as they do not provide adequate protection against splashes and flying debris, and could even magnify the effects if resin comes into contact with the eyes.

 

Face Mask

Wearing a face mask when crafting with resin is important because resin can emit fumes that can be harmful and dangerous. By wearing a face mask or respirator, you can effectively protect yourself against the fumes and particulates emitted by resin and minimize your exposure to harmful substances.

A face mask or respirator specifically designed for protection against fumes or particulates can provide effective protection against the fumes emitted by resin. When working with resin, it's recommended to use a N95 respirator or a P100 respirator mask. These types of masks provide effective protection against fumes and particulates and are designed for use in dusty or particulate-filled environments. It's important to choose a mask that fits properly, with a snug and secure seal around the nose and mouth to ensure that the mask does not come off during use.

It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for the specific type of resin and face mask being used and to ensure that the mask fits properly and is worn correctly at all times during the resin crafting process. Regular breaks and fresh air exposure is also important.

In addition to wearing a face mask, it's also recommended to work in a well-ventilated area or to use an exhaust fan to remove fumes from the workspace. 

 

Molds

Both plastic and silicone resin molds are widely available and easy to use. Mainly plastic molds are relatively cheaper compared to silicone molds, however silicone molds are much more flexible. For a better understanding of the differences between plastic and silicone resin molds, visit this article.  

Are silicone resin molds better than plastic resin molds for casting resin? Personally I use both type of molds interchangeably and don't have a particular preference, however I find that some crafters may have a preference to one type over the other. For example, although plastic molds are very easy to use, some crafters prefer silicone molds because they are much more flexible making the de-molding process of the resin easier. If you are interested in using plastic molds make sure to check out my super easy de-molding technique and my care tips. Feel free to try out both mold materials for yourself to see which one works best for you. 

Finally, an important thing to keep in mind is that not all molds are suitable to use with UV resinWhen you use the incorrect type of molds for UV resin, your resin will not cure well

 

Dyes, pigments and other colorants

Not all pigments are suitable for use in resin. Some pigments may not be compatible with the resin and can cause discoloration, cloudiness, or other issues with the curing process.

The best type of pigments to use in resin are those specifically designed for use in resin and are labeled as "resin-safe" or "UV-resistant." These pigments are formulated to be compatible with the resin and will not affect its curing or stability.

Additionally, it's important to avoid using pigments that contain heavy metals, such as lead or cadmium, as they can be harmful to humans and the environment.

To ensure the best results, it's recommended to follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for the specific type of resin and pigments being used, and to test a small sample before using the pigment in a larger project.

There are several options for adding color to resin, including:

  1. Resin dyes: These are specifically formulated to be used in resin and come in a wide range of colors. They are highly concentrated and a little goes a long way.

  2. Pigments: These are fine particles that can be added to the resin to achieve a desired color. Some pigments are specifically designed for use in resin and are labeled as "resin-safe" or "UV-resistant."

  3. Mica powders: These are fine, shimmery powders that can be added to resin to create a metallic or pearlescent effect.

  4. Glitter: Fine glitter or chunky glitter can be added to resin to create a sparkly effect.

  5. Alcohol inks: These are highly pigmented, fast-drying inks that can be added to resin to create unique and vibrant colors.

When adding color to resin, it's important to start with small amounts and gradually add more until the desired color is achieved. It's also recommended to test the color on a small sample before using it in a larger project to ensure the desired result is achieved.

 

UV light source

If you opt to use UV resin for your projects, a UV lamp is required to cure the resin. The stronger wattage the lamp has, the better results you'll have. You can find UV lamps widely available online. Even UV nail lamps are suitable to use.

 

Release agent

Using a release agent is not always necessary when crafting with resin, but it can be helpful in certain circumstances. For example, if you are using a complex, deep or intricate mold, a release agent can help ensure that the resin does not stick to the mold and makes it easier to remove the cured resin from the mold.

If you are pouring resin into a flat surface or onto a surface that is not porous, a release agent may not be necessary. In these cases, the cured resin should release easily from the surface without the use of a release agent.

Whether or not to use a release agent will depend on the specific project and the materials being used. If you are unsure whether or not to use a release agent, it is best to consult the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for the specific type of resin and mold being used.

The purpose of using a release agent in resin crafting is to prevent the resin from sticking to the mold or surface being used. There are several types of release agents that can be used, including:

  1. Mold release spray: This is a specialized spray that is specifically designed for use with resin molds. It creates a barrier between the resin and the mold, making it easy to remove the cured resin from the mold.

  2. Petroleum jelly: This can be used as a simple and inexpensive release agent for resin. It should be applied thinly and evenly to the mold surface before pouring the resin.

  3. Cooking spray: This can also be used as a release agent for resin. It should be applied thinly and evenly to the mold surface before pouring the resin.

  4. Silicone spray: This is a specialized spray that is designed to create a non-stick surface. It can be used as a release agent for resin, but care should be taken to follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines.

It's important to choose a release agent that is compatible with the specific type of resin being used and to follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for the best results. Using the wrong type of release agent or using too much can affect the quality and appearance of the final resin product.

 

Free Tutorials

If you are unsure of where to start or if you need step by step guidance for your first projects, feel free to visit my Blog where you will find various projects and free resin tutorials which are beginner friendly. I also share my tutorials on my YouTube channel

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