How does one get started with UV resin? There are so many products out there, it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on what to look for to make sure you are setting yourself up for success when getting started.
1. Choosing a High-quality UV Resin. This is the the most important part of your journey. If you choose a resin before doing the research, you are not setting yourself up for success. There are a lot of UV resins out there that either do not cure properly or do not cure at all. Some can also bubble or yellow. Choose one that you have seen someone using in action by watching a video on TikTok, YouTube, etc and ask the creator what they use and if they are happy with it. There is nothing more frustrating than working hard on a project, only for it to fail due to something you had no control over.
2. Choose a UV resin that has instructions. So many brands of UV resin out there do not come with any instructions. They just expect you to be able to figure it out on your own. This certainly will not set you up for success. Look for good instructions that make sense to you.
3. Make sure you have the supplies and safety equipment. A silicone mat, mixing cup, and miniature stir sticks, are very helpful when working with UV resin. More importantly, the proper safety equipment is critical. Each person’s skin reacts differently so it is smart to protect your skin with nitrile gloves and you should always wear a respiratory mask when working with any kind of resin, even if it is VOC-free. We also highly recommend you work in a well-ventilated area. It is always better to be safe. All UV Resin can emit fumes, especially if you are curing with a higher wattage UV lamp.
4. Purchase from a company that makes themselves available to answer any questions you may have about the product. It is much better to get your answers straight from the source. After all, the company who sells the resin should know how the product will function better than anyone else. They should have all the tips and tricks and be ready and willing to share them.
5. Purchase from a supplier that has consistent product quality. So many times customers have come to us and said their UV resin supplier has changed the formula and now it is not functioning like it used to, or it smells really bad because they changed the formula. It is important to note, all UV Resin has an odor to it, but some are much stronger than others. Stick with a supplier you know produces high-quality resin always and is good about communicating when a change has been made. Don’t be afraid to ask why they made the change, and how it affects the outcome of your project.
6. Educate yourself on what works well and what does not work well with UV resin. It is very different from epoxy all together. Depending on the brand and version, it can be much more viscous, making it easier to work in your inclusions like flowers, memorabilia, etc., however some liquid and powdered pigments will not cure well. You must choose wisely and make sure what you are putting in your resin will work with UV. It is important that the company you order from can answer these questions for you.
7. Know your UV wattage and how it reacts with the UV resin. Different wattages can produce different results. The higher the UV lamp wattage, of course, the faster the cure. This may work ok on a thin, flat piece but on thicker pieces, it can come with repercussions. Depending on the type of UV resin you are working with, a higher wattage can leave your piece with ripples or bubbles, or sometimes even warp your piece as it cures. Read the bottle and see what wattage works best for what you are trying to do. If it is not in the instructions, reach out to the seller and ask.
8. Layers layers layers! Always pour in thin layers, remove bubbles, cure, cool, and then pour again. UV resin needs the UV light to penetrate fully in order to cure properly. It is better to work in layers when at all possible.
9. Let your piece cool / rest before handling. It is important to follow this step for a couple reasons. One, your piece will be hot, especially if you are working with a metal bezel or adding metallic flakes. Two, if your piece is not fully cured when you go to pick it up, you will leave a mark where you touched it, and you will have to re-coat it and cure it again. When you are done with the UV lamp, that does not mean your piece is cured. It still needs a resting period in order to fully cure, and that means the cooling period.
10. Last but not least, go into with a CAN DO attitude. Know that your first few projects may not turn out the way you planned, but don’t give up and keep creating. You will only get better and better over time. I had a customer recently who cast their loved one’s ashes into a pendant and it turned out absolutely stunning. The possibilities are endless with UV resin. You just have to be patient.
Feel free to share your creations with us on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. We would love to see them!