uv resin supplies

UV RESIN or EPOXY? Which is right for me?

I know the feeling, you see all these cool resin pours on the web and you think I want to try that! I went through the exact same thing. It was intimidating if I’m being honest. You see different types of resin and have no idea what’s the difference between the two. Believe it or not, that’s a pathway to how Craft Tree NJ began, but I will save that for another day.

So you are going to see 2 main types of resin on the market.

UV Resin = ultraviolet resin, cures with the sunlight or a UV light (9 watt at minimum, flashlight, nail dryer)

Epoxy resin = 2 part resin, mix parts A & B together, cures overnight in about 24-72 hours

More about each resin:

UV resin is handy to have for smaller projects, charms, pendants, clear silicone molds. The important thing to know about UV resin is that you can work in small sections only about 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick and then you have to cure the resin, repeat until your project is complete. The UV light has to be able to see all of the resin in order to cure it. This means that it isn’t likely to cure if you use a SOLID color thru the entire piece. Remember, that UV light needs to be able to see whatever it is curing. If you can’t see it, it won’t cure! For this reason you may find that it limits you on what type of coloring you can use and how much glitter or mix ins you can use. Also the size of your project will be limited.

Epoxy resin comes in 2 bottles, Part A Resin, Part B hardener. You have to measure each of the 2 parts precisely or your resin will not cure. It has to be accurate. After you measure your 2 parts, you pour them both into 1 cup and slowly mix them together, go around in a circle with a popsicle stick, without removing the stick from the resin. This eliminates air bubbles. Stirring slowly and in the same direction eliminates air from getting into the mix, thus eliminating air bubbles. Mix this for 5 minutes AND until you don’t see any white streaks going through the mix as you are stirring. Next, to ensure that you have thoroughly mixed the resin, pour this into yet another cup, (this is called “double potting”), and do a final mix for about 30 seconds. You will be happy you did this as it is a saftey measure to make certain you have mixed thoroughly. This resin can handle mix ins much better than the UV resin. If you are the type to throw lots of glitter into a project this may be your go- to resin. After you are ready to pour, you can pour this into a mold of your choice, or use for coating of table tops or other projects. This opens up a world of possibilities. With epoxy resin you have the ability to work in larger sections, which is one of its benefits. What i have discovered is that both UV Resin and Epoxy Resin bring unique advantages to the crafting table and ive had success with both!

Pros & cons:

UV resin pros:
*Cures quickly
*Great for smaller projects like charms, pendants, open bezels
*Removes easily from silicone molds
*1 bottle, easy to pour directly into molds without having to mix anything
*More family craft friendly than the epoxy, plus the near instant results are a big hit with the kids..

*Unlimited working time once it’s poured out (keeping away from sunlight of course)

*Quick and easy to use. Can make a pendant in 5 minutes or less.

UV resin cons:
*You are limited in size of the project you can do
*You have to control your urge to throw a pound of glitter into a small pendant as it will cause the resin to not cure
*Limited with color options, too dark and it will not cure, translucent is best if using liquid pigment
*With a lot of sun, the UV may eventually start to turn yellow
*Shrinks a bit when curing, can affect larger pendants by pulling in on itself slightly

Epoxy resin pros:
*Works great for larger projects
*Use with molds, tabletops, river tables, coating & casting large areas
*Ability to use glitter & mica powder with limited discretion.

Epoxy resin cons:
*24-72 hours until fully cured
*40 minute work time once the 2 parts are mixed
*Can get messy with all the mixing cups needed
*It can be tricky to predict the amount of resin you need for a project, so you may mix too much or run short
*Limited window before it starts to set up
*Need mold release spray for some mold applications
*Time investment with all the mixing, remixing, etc.

I hope this post is helpful in setting you on your journey! Go ahead and make something today!

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