Updated: Aug 2, 2018
If you’re a painter who wants a seriously high gloss but doesn’t want to breathe in the toxic fumes of a traditional two-part epoxy resin, then I’ve got to turn you on to the product that changed my life: ArtResin.
Before discovering this phenomenal product, I could only kind of achieve my desired level of shine by hand applying dozens — yes, dozens — of coats of gloss varnish. It wasn’t a great solution, but my garage studio space has no windows and very limited ventilation. And then… ArtResin to the rescue. No brutal toxic odors. And it’s just the tool I needed to finish the mixed media pieces I create using acrylic paints, inks, and mediums, as well as the foils and tissues and papers and panels I tend to throw together.
Click through this short slideshow to see examples from three current series; all pieces have all been finished with Art Resin:
Art Resin’s website and YouTube channel are full of great tutorials (and inspiration!), but here are a couple of key tips:
Tape off the underside edges of your canvas with painter's tape. Trust me on this. Just do it.
Raise your canvas over your work surface, because if it spills over the edges you’ll find it pretty hard to separate your canvas from the work surface once dry!
Make sure your canvas is level, level, level. Yes, use a level.
Mix the parts thoroughly at a true 1-to-1 ratio, and if you’re not sure how much resin you need, use their online calculator.
Stir for a solid three minutes. Don’t cut corners here.
Pour your resin from the center of the canvas outward in a circular pattern, then spread out to the edges. Expect the resin to spill over, and use your (gloved!) hands to run that excess resin across the undersides of the canvas. (This, btw, is why you want to tape off the underside of your canvas!)
As with other resins, use something like a heat torch to pop the bubbles. If the idea of an open flame makes you uncomfortable, I get it. I felt the same way. But you don’t need a flame thrower—just a simple butane torch does a great job, and it’s my favorite part of the process! It’s so satisfying to see those bubbles disappear! (FYI, I bought my torch directly from ArtResin’s online store.)
Finally, cover the canvas. Use a box or rig up something that can keep out dust while the resin dries. Give it 24 hours, and your piece is beautifully finished.
Resin might seem like a lot of work. I get it. But if you want the ultimate in gloss finish there’s no better way to go, and if you want it without toxic fumes, Art Resin is absolutely, positively the way to go.