What is this weird concoction known as Epoxy Resin?

Welcome to my first blog! 

I thought it was about time that I started to write about what I love doing, how it comes about, and what the materials are that I use. When trying to decide what to write about, I thought ... why not talk about the main product that I use ... Epoxy Resin.

To keep the science to a minimum, I never was any good in that class, I will be very basic in the explanation of what epoxy resin actually is. So, it is essentially a synthetic resin which can be used for several purposes. It comes in 2 parts - the resin and the hardener - which when mixed together, causes a chemical reaction to create the hard finish. The parts are generally mixed in a 1:1 or a 2:1 ratio.

This chemical reaction causes heat to be generated which aids in the solidification process. Depending on the brand that you select, your working time can be very short or up to 45 minutes. Because of the heat generation, some epoxy products allow for only a thin pour - if you pour a thick amount, the reaction causes the resin to overheat and basically overcooks. I have had this happen and the end result is a giant blob of stuff! There are products that allow for deeper pours, so if you want to go that route, be sure to check the information before using it.

What can this stuff be used for?

WARNING: Using epoxy resin can become very addictive! 

In my opinion, epoxy resin uses are only limited by your imagination. Here are some examples:

  • Cut-resistant sealing of worktops in the kitchen (specific resin)
  • Jewellery creation and design
  • Art such as resin paintings
  • Casting of moulds and figures
  • Decorative items such as paperweights, resin geodes, resin petri dishes
  • Trays
  • Waterproof sealant for floors
  • Bowls, vases, coasters
  • And the list goes on 

Where does one purchase epoxy resin?

Depending on where you live, epoxy resin could be as close as your local hardware store. If you are just beginning in this hobby, be aware that the products are quite expensive, so choose your brand carefully. Having said that, the brands that are generally sold at the local hardware store are great for just starting out. There is no point in buying 3 gallons if you find that you don't fancy this type of project.

So, where else can you purchase it? Because I am in Canada, I try to purchase Canadian products. A quick search through Google will bring a list of suppliers in your particular region. Be sure to read their website and check out the reviews. Some resins create more air bubbles than others, some have more VOC's (volatile organic compound) and some have nearly zero VOC ratings. Another consideration is the viscosity - the flowability of liquids. Low viscosity is thin and free-flowing - especially useful when creating river tables. Back to sourcing the resin. Amazon is a good source for buying larger quantities of epoxy resin. Before you start spending a lot of money on a product that may not be correct for your purpose, take a look at some of the resin groups on Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets. These groups are honest and are extremely helpful to beginners.

Thanks so much for reading this! My next blog will continue with how to use epoxy resin and some of the things to keep in mind before you even get started!

Take care and see you soon!!