Wednesday, June 11, 2014

To Resin or Not to Resin?



Recently I have found myself using a hi-shine acrylic spray on several pieces of my art work.  Most of my artwork is happy and colorful and I love the brilliance the acrylic spray gave the colors.

I have seen resin used on art, but I have been a little hesitant to dive in myself.

Until this week...

I bought some self-leveling resin and mixed it up and poured it on a couple "itty bitty" (4x4" and smaller) pieces of art I used as my guinea pigs.



You can use torches, industrial heat guns to dry and get the bubbles out.  Since mine were small and I was "testing" the waters, I just used a stick to move the resin around and eliminate bubbles.

Here are my thoughts on resin after this experiment.

7 Take Aways on Resin

(1) Easy to Mix.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use.  I literally poured a 1:1 ratio, mixed it up and poured.  I actually mixed up too much and had quite a bit leftover.

(2) Dries quicker than I thought. ~ easy to waste.  I finished up another "itty bitty" and decided to pour resin on it about an hour after I poured the others. I went to pick up my container of unused resin with NO LUCK.  The resin was hard as a rock inside the cup.

(3) Must pour exact amount ~ excess resin can cause messes. The instructions say to let the resin cure for 48 hours, but as I went to bed, it was dry enough to pick up and was not tacky.  I had poured with wax paper underneath my art.  The resin had created a clear pool around each art piece I then had to cut off with an exacto knife.  In the process I cut the sides of two canvases. :( UGH



(4) Fumes = Yuck.  The smell was not so overpowering at first, it was like a slow burn.  By the time I had poured resin on my last piece, my lungs felt like they were burning.  I was working in a ventilated space and had doors and windows open.  I moved the pieces to another part of the basement so I didn't have to breathe it any more. But I didn't like that I felt that way after using it.  Can't be good, right?

(5) Great Protection.  When the resin dries it is hard. I mean, like teflon hard.  It really truly protects the painting underneath.



(6) Loss of texture.  I paint with lots of texture, often using molding paste in my work.  After coating the resin on these pieces, I definitely lost some texture. These flowers were completely popping off the canvas prior to the resin.  After the resin, you can see little peaks, but not the eye-popping texture before the resin.


 

(7) I {heart} the look of resin on my art.  It just really makes all my layers of goodness and texture look beautiful.  I really like the look of my art under resin.





Overall, I felt there were enough cons for me that it won't be something I use on a regular basis.  But being a visual person, I really do love the different look I get when I use it and I won't kick it out of my studio for good!

Hope this was helpful ~ what are your thoughts?


10 comments:

  1. This is a great review Kirsten. I've never used it and this is great information. I think it makes your already gorgeous artwork "shine"!

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  2. Kirsten.. I took a resin class in the past. It had good results, but messy. Anything that spilled over, had to be sanded off with a machine. I did not like that part. It was smelly and I had to set up the area with plastic bags. So, this class was pouring resin. My lungs were also sensitive to the order. Then we had to cover the art so no dust would settle on it. However, the effect is gorgeous. I love how your art is just popping off of the canvas. I think Golden's Tar Gel may be another good option and there is also a product called "Triple Thick" that I have used over clay. Hard as rock, but have not tried it on canvas. This is a great review, so thanks for sharing.

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    1. The effect IS gorgeous, but I think I might be a little too lazy to do this all the time! Or I would have to hire help as the sanding thing would definitely be time consuming.

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  3. Resin has a super cool look, but you are spot on about the downside. I have a friend (on the art fair circuit) who puts resin on her pieces and they sell like wild. If that makes a difference (uh, yeah....). But finding the right place to do it is difficult. I am wondering if it would help if you wore a mask or respirator. The pieces are fabulous by the way :)

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    1. Thanks MaryBeth! I really do love the look of it and if helped sell more pieces...then I can understand the effort! I really felt horrible after, I think it made me a little sick. Thanks for the compliments! Hope to see you soon!

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  4. Kirsten , thanks so much for the great review, and well, kinda being the guinea pig yourself :(
    Your art is fabulous as is- these pieces are stunning! But I get what you are saying about liking the way they look afterward- and as MaryBeth says- helping in sales! Not so sure if my lungs are up to such a challenge-so I might check into some of Judy's suggestions. I was wondering, if the canvas was raised up above the wax paper? Would that help with the overspill? My poor paws could not handle the sanding part!
    Again- thank you for the awesome trial work and review!

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    1. I know...the burning in my lungs was kind of the thing that made me decide I won't do this often!

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  5. Thank you for an honest review! It does have a nice look, but nothing is worth damaging your lungs. I just think if your lungs were burning, then it is just too much. And if the fumes were that bad, it had to be getting in your eyes and sinuses also. Maybe a heavy coat of glossy medium brushed on would provide the same shine. Your itty bitty canvases are beautiful!

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    1. I agree Caroline! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the compliments!

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