Advice on what resin to use

Where resin crafting is more than a passion, it is an OBSESSION

Enter your email address to subscribe to blog posts by email.

originally published August 2014.  Updated April 2018.

Lots of you have asked me what resin to use for resin jewelry and crafts.  Part of the fun of learning resin is experimenting with different items and finding what works for your specific situation.  I do understand, though, that it can be confusing and sometimes frustrating not knowing which product to use or using the wrong product for a project.  Today, Im going to walk you through the resin products I use WHEN and WHY.

Note:  These are my experiences.  Please use this article as a guide and feel free to share your experiences in the comment box below if something different has worked well for you.

If Im working with molds, and I need a clear casting, I like to use theResin Obsession super clear resin.  The super clear resin is designed for molds and also casts very clear.  The super clear resin also has its own line ofresin colorants, so its easy for me to color and cast the resin as well.

See how I used the super clear resin in thisresin petri earrings tutorial.

For doming resin projects, like using it in a bezel, I will use theAlumilite Amazing Clear cast epoxy resinorEnvirotex jewelry resin.  Both can be colored and have their owncolorantsas well.  The Alumilite Amazing clear cast also comes in handy for the times I need a food safe resin.

See how you can use a doming resin tomake resin rings.

If I am making something that can be a solid, opaque color, theAlumilite Amazing Casting resinworks well.  It is a quick cure polyurethane resin that cures opaque white, but can be colored with coordinatingliquid colorants also by Alumilitethat are specifically made for coloring polyurethane (and epoxy) resin.  It  also cures hard, making it a good choice for high impact items like rings.

You can see how I used it to make resin dice:

For the projects that need to have the brightest, shiniest surface possible, thats when I pull out theCastin Craft polyester resin.  This resin is hard enough when cured that it can be polished on a buffing wheel with compound.  I have found that is the best way to get a very glossy surface.  If you want to try polyester resin, read this article first:polyester resin facts.

I used polyester resin to make thisdoll parts bangle bracelet.

For the projects where I need a glossy surface on something,TotalCastorAlumilite Amazing Clear Cast resinworks well for this.  Both work well for creating a glossy surface no more than 1/8 inch thick.

You can see how I used Alumilite Amazing clear castresin to coat the surface of a tile.

If I only need to mold a small item, say 1 1/2 inches in diameter or less and not very thick, I will use theAlumilite Amazing mold putty.  Because you only have a limited amount of time to mix and form the putty around the model, I only like to use it for small items.  I will also use this if I want to cast a food item, as the mold putty is FDA designated food safe.  For larger items that you need to make a silicone mold from, any of the Alumilite silicones will work fine for flat items.

In the cases of casting larger items with lots of twists and turns (and subsequent undercuts), thehigh strength 3is the best choice.  Thehigh strength 2is the better choice if youre making a two part mold because the cured silicone will be stiffer.

If you are new to moldmaking altogether, theComposimold reusable molding materialis a great choice.  You can use the mold a couple of times, then remelt and pour again to make a new mold.  Great for those times when you make a mistake!  (and its food contact safe as well)

For plastic molds, theCastin Craft mold releasewill do just fine.  TheUltra 4 parafilm mold releaseis better suited to silicone molds.  ThePetrolease universal mold releaseworks on both, and for me, is my go to mold release all the time.  It may be overkill on the majority of plastic molds, but for deep molds, like the bangle bracelets and domes, I have found it makes demolding so much easier.

If youre making a two part silicone mold, or will be casting silicone into a silicone mold, theAlumilite rubber to rubber moldrelease is a good choice.

I preferliquid colorantsoverpowder colorantsif everything else is equal.  I find Im challenged with creating lumps with the powder sometimes, although this technique shown in a video on the Resin Obsession youtube channel works well to keep that from happening.How to mix powder pigments into resin.

For the times I want to get a glossy finish on a small surface, I will coat with another layer of the same resin I used to create the piece.  If its a large item, I will use theresin gloss sealer spray.  I like the wet to the look finish another layer of resin gives, but find it can be tedious to accomplish on a large surface, especially if it has multiple sides.  When I dont need a super glossy finish, but just need to shine it up a bit, I will use theNovus polishing compounds.  You can see the difference between all of them in this video on the Resin Obsession youtube channel.A comparison of different polishing options for resin charms and jewelry.

What else do you want to know on what resin to use?  What has worked for you?

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2018 Resin Obsession, LLC

Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)

Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)

Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)

Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)

Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)

filed under:Resin Frequently Asked Questions

Tags:beginnermold makingpolishingresin castingtypes of resin

I just completed my first ever resin casts. I embedded plastic buttons into some of my moulds, the buttons have faded. Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?

@Amanda, glad to hear the super clear resin works so well for you!

@Sam, Ive never had that problem before with buttons in resin. I would suggest trying a different brand of buttons.

Great article, I have worked with both Super clear resin and Easy cast for the plastic molds. Hands down my first choice for a clear and quicker work time is Super Clear resin, with Easy cast I have to heat it up 8-10 minutes before use and some times has a yellow hue. As a working mom, I dont have much time, but its fun just sit down for a few seconds to pour your next great creation.

I LOVE working with resin. Still learning though. I poured a few pieces last night, and have a couple issues with one piece. I forgot to cover it while it hardened, and it looks like a small piece of link floated in 🙁 also, same piece, I put a little piece of dried lilac in the piece and part of it is still sticking out. Im not sure I can add more resin to cover it. My thought was to file or sand the resin and then pour another very thin coat of resin to fix it. Would that work? What should I use to file/sand the resin?? I used Ice Resin Thx!

@Joyce, this video on our you tube channel will show you hand to sand your piece down for another application of resin:

I have been working on some coasters for quite some time now. Im having problems finishing them after sanding them down. I currently have a smooth, but cloudy surface. I have tried using the resin gloss sealing spray, and also tried a thin layer of resin. The resin gloss spray was not very smooth feeling or glossy. The resin was too sticky for coaster use. Any suggestions on finishing coasters?

@Erin, were you using polyester resin by chance?

Unfortunately, I used the EasyCast epoxy. Which apparently is harder to polish??

@Erin, the Easy Cast epoxy is relatively soft resin and can be hard to polish. What is the finest grit sandpaper you finished with on the surface?

Clearly, I am new to the resin game :/ I used 400 grit and it made it smooth, but left the surface cloudy.

@Erin, 400 grit is still too coarse to get a shiny finish. Go over it again with 600, 800 and finish with at least 1000. You can get 1000 grit and higher sandpapers at automotive supply stores.

Thank you sooo much! I will definitely try that.

@Susan, will the resin surface be exposed to the elements?

I am very keen to make a resin screen with green leaves embedded in it to fit onto a window looking out onto an unattractive outdoor scene could you you advise me what resin to use? I saw this many years ago and have always remembered it.

Hi, I was wondering if you were aware of a way when casting a tarantula to avoid or minimize color loss. I plan on using easy craft resin.

@Shane, you should try sealing the tarantula with a layer of our resin gloss sealer spray first. You can find it here:

Hey, Katherine thank you for the quick response. I checked out the link and that sounds like it might just work. Im also going to cast in multiple thin layers to minimize heat so hopefully my beloved pet of ten years will stay as natural looking as possible. Thanks again for the quick response

I am hoping you will be able to answer my question. Ive searched on the Net and found nothing!

We have a glass patio table that we glued colored gems too and are going to apply resin for a clear finish. This table will be going outside so we need to know if it will need a sealer to protect it and which kind.

Thank you so much for your time and I really like your website and product lines!

@jane, I would suggest using a resin that can coat the table and is suitable for outdoor use.

Hi Katherine, thanks for being so dedicated to helping others. I have a few questions that I hope you can help me with.

Im in college and making a 2ftx8ft beer pong table topped with beer caps, but in order to ensure that the beer caps (each is .25 of an inch in height) are fully submerged, I plan to use 3 gallons of resin (the amount of resin per square footage calculates out to a height of about .30 of an inch). I was very fixed on buying 3 gallons of envirotex lite, but after reading some posts on your website Im having some reservations.

1.) Is the depth of resin Im shooting for too deep for envirotex lite? Should I be looking into a different brand or product perhaps?

2.) The table will have ping pong balls bouncing on it at times and will be exposed to wet conditions much of the time as well people that may scratch it with everyday objects. This makes me think that a poly resin may be the way to go, but Im not sure where that would put me price wise if Im looking for 3 gallons.

3.) If you still feel that envirotex lite is the avenue I should be exploring then where can I get the best price for the amount Im buying? The cheapest I can find ANYWHERE is a wholesale website online that sells a gallon at about $65 each and with shipping my total comes out to around $220 Im from Wisconsin and even with 50% coupons, craft stores cant come close to that. Thats a lot for a broke college kid though still.

Well thanks for any help you can offer me, I would GREATLY appreciate a response to any or all of my questions if you have time.

A total depth of 0.3 inches for the resin will be fine, you will simply need to pour it in two to three layers. The Envirotex Lite should be fine for the surface of the table and all you plan to do with it. By poly resin, do you mean polyester resin? If so, I would not recommend that for your table. It will be difficult to pour a surface that large and get bubbles out of polyester resin before it starts to cure. As for a better price, I dont know of another source for you. Sounds like you have done some intense price comparisons, and the prices you quote are what I would expect for a quantity that large.

I need a resin to use in rings that is scratch resistant, very clear, wont yellow over time, shiny and is doming. What do you recommend? Thank you, TK

HI Tara, I would recommend the Resin Obsession super clear resin.

I think it does well under normal wear.

I paint hard plastic phone cases and have been experimenting with getting the best varnish. Someone recommended resin to me and Ive been using Easy Cast. Ive followed the instructions to the letter but the end product is slightly tacky to the touch and does scratch a bit. Do you have any tips? Should I sand it? Or use different resin?

Hi Ruth, I would recommend reviewing these troubleshooting articles:

Hello, I am beginning a project of making shell rings for Christmas gifts. I am planning to use a bit of resin to fill the inside of scallop shell, then place a gold filled ring in the resin to keep the shell attached to it. I am just wondering if gold filled metal is appropriate to be using with resin and if there is anything I should be worried about using these materials together? Thank you, Tawny

Hi Tawny, gold filled rings will work well with resin.

Im not familiar with paperclay. Is it similar to polymer clay?

Hello, I have some dried pressed flowers from a funeral arrangement that I would like to embed in a flat circular mold with resin and make into a sun catcher. Im having trouble finding a circle resin mold that is big enough (Im thinking 8 in diameter). Can a regular silicone baking mold be used or any plastic? Ideally, I was hoping to find a thi. Bezel type of frame for it, but havent so having the edges be open resin is a compromise. I was thinking of trying the Castin Craft easy resin and using some test flowers since this will be my first resin project. Do you think Ill need the resin gloss sealer spray for this type of project? I am hoping to get everything I need beforehand. Thank you

Hi Jessica, you can use a silicone baking mold for this project, but the surface may come out frosted. You will likely either need to coat with another layer of resin or the resin gloss sealer spray to get a shiny finish.

Hi Katherine, I want to coat an antler carving of a dragonfly wing in resin. It is a curved surface and I am a relative newcomer to resins. Can it be done/ how would you suggest I proceed? I can send photos if it would be helpful (and if you tell me how). Thanks, Jim

Hi Jim, I would suggest using the techniques I talk about in this forum post: dont need to use a food safe resin, but a clear doming resin will be fine. This chart on our blog tells you which ones are doming resins:

Thanks, Katherine, Ill give it a try.

Where can get a supplier for plastic resins such as the polyethylene to use in DIY homemade rotomolding?

I am unaware of a supplier for that type of resin.

Katherine, is there a resin that can stand heat? I want to make coasters, but I know the people I give them to will put hot things on them, like coffee cups and possibly use them for trivets.

I would suggest a polyester resin. They can hold up to heat pretty well.

Hi Katherine, do you have suggestions/videos for ideas of how to create a kitchen counter surface using resin? This would be in a 1975 home with a laminate kitchen countertop. Id like to totally cover the laminate with a resin-based design. Is this possible without disassembling the counter?

Yes, you can do this. Two suggestions: 1. Make sure your counter is completely clean. After going over it with soap and water, I would go over it with rubbing alcohol to make sure there are no oil residues. 2. Create a tape dam around your counter edges before pouring. Once the resin has cured, you can peel the tape away.

Thank you! Im excited to do this! Is one type of resin recommended?

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all resin. There is a PDF article link on this page that details all the resins we sell. should help you make a decision on the right resin for your project.

can you use any kind of paint with resin, either mixed into it or underneath or on top?

No. Sometimes oil paints do not work well.

So glad I found this thread. My granddaughter and I are drying Queen Annes lace and plan to make resin Christmas ornaments for gifts. Can you suggest links which might guide us in the right direction? Well need molds 3-4 in diameter. Although I make jewelry, Ive never worked with resin. Looking forward:)

Hi Barbara, First you will need to dry the flowers. There are some articles on that here: for molds, there should some good options at this link:

Thank you so much. I have been reading many posts here and its getting time to start experimentingmust search around to find the right size mold for these Queen Annes lace flowers.

Perfect. We are here to help if you need us.

Hi, Im working with broken china pieces to create jewelry. I noticed as I was smoothing the edges with a dremel tool, that the front of my piece of China got scratched. Id like to use something to seal or protect the surface if the China piece to prevent the design being scratched off. Would a resin work for that, and if so what kind would you recommend?

Yes, resin would work, but it will pool. You might find it thicker in your curved areas of the plate. The Alumilite Amazing Clear cast resin would work well for your project:

Hi. I make broken china mosaics. I have used resin on some of them and had good results. If I chose to leave the finish (sealed grout and china) without poured resin could I use the resin gloss sealing spray just to make the piece very shiney?

Hi.i am designing a table top of resin. I wana know which type of resin is best for it. I am using crushed glass in resin and also guide me with selecting the depth of the tabletop.

Hi Annie, the Alumilite Amazing clear cast epoxy would work well for this. You can find it here: will self-level to a depth of 1/8 inch. If you want a pour deeper than that, you will need to cast additional layers. There is a discussion in our forum about something similar that may be helpful to you as well:

This will be my first time using resin. What would be a good and easy resin to make clear (no yellow tint) coasters with embedded artificial flowers? The coasters will

be used for mostly cold drinks. Im using a silicone baking mold, and the coasters will have the dimensions of 3.5 x3.5 x 0.875.

The Resin Obsession super clear resin works great in molds. You can find it in several sizes here:

Im making jewelry with flowers in resin, but I made 2 that cracked, I made it in 2 parts the first day, I poured a small amount and added the flowers, so since the flowers rise to the top, I left it dry and the next day I poured more resin on top to cover completely but I noticed it cracked. I dont know why

What kind/brand of resin did you use? It sounds like it got too hot.

I made a bottle captable with a2 part epoxy came out fine but I had to mask it for some table painting and I couldnt get the tape residue off so I wet sanded it and now cant remove the cloudy finish. Ive tried auto polishing compound and furniture no avail. Please Help what can I use.?

It sounds like you ended with a coarse grit sandpaper. Continue sanding until you finish with a 1000 grit or higher.

Im trying to remove the cloudy finish on my epoxy resin table top left after wet sanding.please help.

It sounds like you ended with a coarse grit sandpaper. Continue sanding until you finish with a 1000 grit or higher.

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked*

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Notify me of follow-up comments by email.