Answers to a few of the most common questions about working with resin. If you've got a question that isn't on here let me know - I'll add it to the list! :)
I can't get my cured jewelry out of the mold! Help!
- I highly recommend using a silicone mold - then you'll never have this problem again! But, if you've already made a piece of jewelry using a plastic mold and would like to get it out, I've had the most luck with putting the mold in the freezer for a bit - the jewelry should shrink a little which will help it come out. You can also wiggle it a little like an old-fashioned ice cube tray - but not too aggressively or you'll break the jewelry.
- Once again, the easiest way to avoid this problem altogether is to use a high quality silicone mold. But, if you're staring down at a piece of dull jewelry that you otherwise love, you can polish it, it will just take some elbow grease. (BTW, I'm going to publish an ebook with step-by-step instructions on how to do this - but here are the basics.)
- If you just need to add a little shine - I recommend using the buffing side of a manicure block.
- If you need more - then I use a plastic polish such as Novus. Depending on how much polishing the jewelry needs I might use all three steps of their polishing system. And if I have a really dull piece of jewelry I may sand with very fine grit sandpaper (such as 600 and 800) before polishing.
My resin is fully cured, but it has a lot of little bubbles in it!
- Oh yes, bubbles. The bane of any resin artist. A multi-pronged approach to avoiding bubbles is necessary:
- Make sure your resin isn't warmer than 72 degrees. You can use a candy thermometer if you want to be absolutely certain. (Also not colder than 68 degrees or you may have tiny little micro-bubbles.)
- When you stir your resin make sure you're using a folding motion, not whipping air into it
- Make sure your room isn't warmer than 72 degrees - the air temp can be a bit cooler, down to about 65, and it will be ok. The warmer it is the faster the resin will cure, and if it cures too quickly the bubbles don't have time to degas and escape.
- Don't mix more resin at one time than recommended by the resin instructions. The more resin in the cup, the faster the chemical reaction takes place, again making it cure too quickly for the bubbles to escape.
- There will be some bubbles in the resin when you pour into the mold - hopefully not too many if you followed the instructions above. They should rise to the surface and disappear, but if you notice a few hanging around when the resin is starting to cure you can pop them with a toothpick.
- You can also use a hair dryer to gently blow warm (not hot) air across the surface of your mold to aid the bubbles in popping. Don't go crazy though or you'll start to cure the top of the resin with the heat from the hair dryer. Not good.
My resin is fully cured but it's not hard/kind of sticky/a little tacky.
- This has two probable causes:
- You didn't have the pour ratio *exactly* right. Be extremely careful when measuring your resin components, it's not forgiving if you're off, and it won't cure to a hard finish.
- Or, your room was too humid when the resin was curing. Humidity lower than 50% should be sufficient. I live in a very humid part of the world, so in the summer I run a dehumidifier in my studio. If you're wondering how on earth to know the humidity of your room - buy a hygrometer. It's just like a thermometer, but measures humidity instead of temperature. You can get a cheap desktop one on Amazon.