Resin is a transparent epoxy used for several different types of art and construction projects. There are many varieties of art resin on the market for all uses. Choosing between similar products can be difficult, so we’ve prepared this buyer’s guide for the discerning artist. Below, we’ll go over the pros and cons of individual resins to help you choose the best art resin for your project.
Which epoxy resin is best for art projects?
|Brand||Size||Working Time||Curing Time|
|ArtResin||1 gallon (0.5 gallon of Resin and 0.5 gallon of Hardener)||40-45 minutes||48-72 hours|
|Art N’ Glow||16 ounce (two 8 ounce bottles)||30-45 minutes||Demold after 24 hours and full cure in 2 to 3 days.|
|Puduo||16 ounce (two 8 ounce bottles)||40-45 minutes||Remove from mold after 8 hours and full cure in 24 to 48 hours.|
|Dr. Crafty||1 gallon (0.5 gallon of Resin and 0.5 gallon of Hardener)||30-45 minutes||24 hours and full cure in 2 to 3 days.|
|Unicone Art||32 oz (two 16 oz bottles)||30 minutes||full cure in 24 hours|
1. ArtResin – Best Epoxy Resin for Art
Safety FeaturesArtResin Epoxy is BPA-free and non-toxic when used as directed. It’s food-safe and can be used for projects that involve cooking or baking – including, for example, reusable cupcake sleeves.
ArtResin is dedicated to manufacturing a completely non-toxic resin that can be used for many different projects. This is a high-end resin that’s best for experienced artists or builders.
ArtResin epoxy takes less time to mix than other popular resins and consistently produces attractive products.
It’s important to note that ArtResin emphasizes its product’s safety, but users still have to wear safety equipment when working with the resin in its liquid form. ArtResin’s instructions are not very clear about this. The product is only completely safe and harmless once it’s dried – artists should still use a respirator and protective clothing when working with the liquid product.
ArtResin epoxy is better suited for experienced resin users. Beginners may struggle to use this product correctly.
2. Art N’ Glow – Best Pouring Art Resin
This product comes in two different colored bottles so that the buyer can distinguish the resin from the hardener. It mixes well with other pigments, so it’s a good choice for artists who plan to work with several colors. Art N’ Glow Epoxy Resin comes in a 16 oz. kit.
Art N’ Glow Epoxy Resin is a clear, odor-free resin. It’s especially suited to work with colorful or glow-in-the-dark pigments, and the formula is resistant to yellowing from UV exposure. Art N’ Glow Epoxy Resin is made in the U.S.A. and is BPA-free and non-toxic when used as instructed.
This resin works for several different casting and coating applications. It’s self-leveling and degassing, which means that the user doesn’t have to create perfect conditions for the resin to settle properly. Once the resin and hardener are mixed, the user has 40 minutes to cast or coat their project before the resin begins to dry.
This resin is tolerant of different temperatures and moisture levels – a balance that’s hard to get right with other resins. This makes it especially suitable for beginners who are using resin for the first time.
Art N’ Glow Epoxy Resin doesn’t mix well with other resins and shouldn’t be used in conjuncture with similar products. It does tolerate color additives, but make sure not to use it with other resin/hardener combos. Many users also note that a large number of bubbles remain in the final product.
3. Puduo – Best Art Resin
The kit comes with two bottles, graduated cups, stirring sticks, and gloves. The resin and hardener bottles are well labeled and come in different colors – the bottles clearly state the appropriate ratios for resin and hardener.
FunctionalityPuduo’s Epoxy Resin dries completely within eight hours. Comparable resins often take up to 24 hours to cure completely, but Puduo’s short cure time is the most unique aspect of its product.
This product balances its fast 8-hour cure time with generous 40-minute work time. Though the resin cures quickly, it doesn’t sacrifice work time that might be especially valuable for beginners.
The kit also comes with handy resin-mixing tools. Comparable kits don’t include these items, so customers who purchase other resins will have to source them themselves.
This resin is not specifically labeled as food-safe, so buyers should look to other brands for food-related projects.
It’s best to use fresh batches of this resin for projects that are more than a few weeks apart. The resin loses some of its properties over time, especially if it’s not stored correctly.
4. Dr. Crafty – Best Resin for Clarity
Budget BenefitsAt just over 60 cents per ounce, this is the most economical resin on our list. Buying resin in bulk reduces costs-per-ounce, making this a good choice for large projects that require lots of resin.
The low price of Dr. Crafty’s resin may cause some buyers to doubt its quality. However, many customers speak to its transparency and high-gloss finish. Though the resin is much cheaper than competitor products, it functions much like the other resins on this list and comes out looking very similar.
This resin also has a long work time – 45 minutes – which gives users a bit more leeway when working on their projects.
ConsDr. Crafty’s epoxy resin takes 24 hours to dry to the touch and 2-3 days to cure fully. This makes it a slower-working alternative to other fast-dry resins listed here.
The resin may require some temperature alterations to work correctly. For example, the user might need to warm the resin and hardener in water before combining them. In addition, using a heat gun could help cure the resin more quickly.
5. Unicone Art – Best Resin for Beginners
Focus on Art
Unicone largely markets its product towards artists working on smaller projects, like jewelry or glassware. This resin is most suitable for people working with smaller detail pieces rather than large tabletops or flooring.
This is the only product on our list that comes in a 32 oz. size, so it’s suitable for customers who need more than 16 oz. but less than a gallon of resin.The retailer offers a 100% money-back guarantee for unsatisfied buyers. The kit also comes with a free bubble level.
At $1.25/oz., this resin kit is twice as expensive per unit as Dr. Crafty’s bulk resin. Unicone Art’s resin is certainly an investment, so customers must weigh whether they value branding or low cost.
You May Also Need
Most resin projects will require multiple materials. Are you looking to add color, patterns, or sparkle? Consider purchasing some of these products to help you create the art of your dreams!
Now that you’re familiar with some of the products out on the market, we’ll go over key suggestions for first-time and experienced resin buyers alike. Whether you’re looking to buy resin for a large or small project, you’ll be able to choose a product that’s right for you!
Which of these products fits best in your art budget? To decide, you’ll have to consider the size of your project as well as how much resin you need. For large projects, buying resin in bulk is the least expensive option. The price-per-ounce ratio is much more reasonable for 1 gal. resin kits than it is for 16 or 32 oz. kits. The least-expensive bulk resin is Dr. Crafty’s epoxy resin, which costs only 60 cents per ounce.
For minor projects, it’s okay to buy resin in smaller batches. The best-value 16 oz. resin on our list is Puduo’s Epoxy resin, which retails at $1.38/oz. Even more budget-friendly is Unicone’s Art Crystal resin, which sells at $1.25/oz for 32 ounces.
Generally speaking, past buyers recommend that resin users purchase more resin than they think they will need. This is especially true for extra-large projects, like finishing a countertop or a table.
Another important aspect of your resin project is quality. Every resin we’ve mentioned averages above a 4-star review. Out of all the resins listed here, Art N’ Glow’s casting & coating epoxy resin has the highest rating, at 4.6/5. It also has the largest amount of reviews.
When buying resin, you’ll want to focus on a few main factors, including transparency, leveling, de-gassing, and solid curing. These are the hallmarks of quality resin. The best resin cures within a reasonable time while still achieving clarity and a level surface. Quality resins don’t dry with bubbles, and they should de-gas themselves without any intervention from you.
The most expensive resins might not always be the highest-quality products. For example, some resin retailers raise their prices because their resin dries more quickly than competitor recipes, or perhaps because their kit comes with extra tools. Extra money isn’t always buying you better quality – it might just be buying you time or add-ons.
To really assess the quality of any given resin, look for reviews about clarity and self-leveling and degassing. It’s also important to gauge how well a resin will blend with color add-ins, especially if you’re planning to use colors in your artwork. A quality resin product will advertise all of these features. Look for them before you buy!
Ease of use
Art resin can be difficult to use, especially for first-timers. Therefore, it’s important for resin products to come with detailed, streamlined instructions.
One of the trickiest parts of using resin is mixing it with the hardener. All of the resins listed here have 1-to-1 ratios for their resins and hardener, which makes mixing easy and intuitive, even for first-time users.
Mixtures have to be adequately labeled so that artists can use the resin correctly. Though Art N’ Glow and Unicone’s mixtures come in different-colored bottles, they aren’t labeled. ArtResin, Puduo, and Dr. Crafty all label their resins and hardeners accordingly.
Time is another important aspect of resin projects. Puduo’s Epoxy Resin claims to dry the fastest of all the products we’ve listed here. If your goal is to finish a smaller-scale project as fast as possible, this might be the best choice for you. However, if you’re a first-time resin user looking for easier mixing and a longer work window, consider investing in Dr. Crafty’s resin instead. This product has the longest viable work window – 45 minutes – between mixing the two products together and letting them settle in your mold.
Epoxy resin can be a hazardous material if artists use it the wrong way. It’s always important to wear protective gear, such as masks and gloves when dealing with resin. Make sure to circulate the air in your workspace with a fan.
Even resins that advertise non-toxic and low-odor ingredients can be dangerous in their liquid forms. Don’t come into direct contact with resin, and use proper tools for any spreading, molding, or shaping.
To wrap things up, we’ll go over some of the most common questions asked by first-time resin users. If you’re just starting out in the world of resin and you’re not sure where to start, read on below for some basic info.
What is a resin used for art?
Resin can be used for several types of art and construction projects. Many artists use it as a less expensive alternative to glass. For example, the resin can be made into jewelry, cups and glasses, tumblers, and other similar items.
Resin also plays a part in a variety of larger projects. Use it to coat a tabletop, a floor, or another surface. It works as a clear coating for almost any type of woodcraft.
If you need a clear epoxy for sealing, molding, or shaping, resin might be a good option for you. Its 1:1 mixing ratios make it easy to mix, and it’s more manageable to work with than glass.
What items do I need for resin art?
Depending on your product, you may need a few different items for your project. Some resin kits come complete with measuring cups, stir sticks, pipettes, and similar tools. If you don’t purchase an all-inclusive kit, you’ll need to source some of the materials yourself.
Almost every resin project needs some cups for measuring and storing mixed resin. You can use special graduated cups for artists, or you could even make use of old baking equipment. Resin needs to be stirred before it’s used, so you’ll need some kind of stir stick. Silicone and wood make for good stir stick materials.
Depending on the size and scope of your project, your tools may vary a bit. Larger projects like floors and tabletops will require some spreading tools. You can purchase spatulas of several different sizes for distributing resin. It might also be helpful to buy a resin brush, which is a special tool for smoothing lots of resin over wide surfaces.
Plenty of artists use resin as the main ingredient in their projects. These artists would benefit from purchasing molds for jewelry, cups and glasses, or other small, specially shaped pieces. Pipettes allow the artist to inject colors and dyes into the molds for added effect. Both these tools are crucial for artists looking to make small-scale, highly detailed resin projects.
How long does it take for art epoxy resin to dry?
Different resins have different curing times. Some brands market a drying time as low as eight hours, and others stress that their resin will need two to three days to cure completely. The cure rate can vary based on the size of the project as well as the brand.
To be safe, assume it will take at least 24 hours to fully cure a small resin project. Give yourself up to three days for larger undertakings.
It’s also important to note that resin isn’t necessarily cured once it’s dry to the touch. Some resins will give two drying times for their products – the time at which the resin is dry to the touch, and the time at which the resin is fully cured. Full curing often takes far longer than the initial drying phase.
Resin is a versatile material that works for several different types of art projects. You can use it as the body of your work or as a finisher for other materials. There are several similar resin products on the market that can help you achieve your project goals. Depending on your needs and preferences, any one of them might suit you best. Refer to this guide to choose the resin for your next piece of artwork!