Epoxy resin is a type of plastic that is easy to work with, strong, and incredibly versatile. It can be used to make ornaments, jewelry, art pieces, furniture, and home décor items. However, one of the most common problems with epoxy resin is that it won’t dry.
There are various reasons why epoxy resin may not cure correctly. The most common causes are incorrect measurements of the two parts (the resin and hardener), impurities in the mixture, or using a product past its shelf life.
How do you fix sticky epoxy resin?
- You can fix the surface of soft and sticky epoxy by adding a thin layer of resin to it. Allow the new layer to cure for 24 hours.
- In cases where there’s a single spot on your project that is sticky, you can add a fresh layer of clear coating to the surface and allow it to cure for 24 hours.
Table of Contents
Why is my epoxy resin still soft?
If you have encountered this issue, the first thing to know is that your epoxy resin is not fully dry. If it were, it would be hard and fully cured.
The most likely cause of soft, sticky epoxy resin is that it’s still in the gel stage. Epoxy resin will go through two stages: a sticky phase where it can stick to your fingers and get on your tools or other surfaces and a gel stage where the resin is soft but no longer sticky.
Can you dry epoxy with a hair dryer?
Unfortunately, you can not dry epoxy with a hair dryer. Epoxy needs to be dried out of direct heat or UV light and needs oxygen to cure properly.
Hair driers contain both of those elements, so it would actually make the epoxy harder to cure if you tried drying it with one.
One of the best ways to dry epoxy is air drying. Epoxy should be dried at an exact temperature which will vary from resin brand to resin brand but is usually somewhere between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your room does not reach this temperature naturally, then use a space heater or heating pad on a low setting underneath your piece until it reaches that temperature.
Once your piece has reached that temperature and the required time for curing (usually 24-72 hours depending on brand), then remove any heat sources and allow it to continue curing until done.
This will result in a nice even finish on your project without creating any bubbles or globs in the cured material.
If you absolutely must use heat when trying to get your epoxy resin to set faster, I recommend using a space heater pointed at your project while making sure not to overheat it (which could melt any plastic pieces) or using an infrared thermometer gun aimed at the project surface area that reads exactly when it hits 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which will give you an idea of how far away from the object you need keep
Why is my epoxy resin not drying?
You can try using a heat lamp, a UV lamp, or a UV lightbulb to help cure your resin using two or three bulbs for about thirty minutes on each side of the object.
Another option is to use a UV flashlight, sanitizer, nail dryer, curing lamp, or curing light for about five minutes per side.
Why is my resin still bendy?
This is because your epoxy resin didn’t get the right amount of hardener.
How do you fix soft resin?
- If your resin is not hardening and is soft, you may need to add more of the hardener. You may have used too much hardener.
- If your resin has hardened but the center of your piece is soft or gummy, or if you notice soft spots after a few days, that means you did not mix the two parts together well enough before pouring and curing.
- If you didn’t mix the two parts long enough, your resin may end up being soft as well. Remember to mix thoroughly and for at least three minutes with a stainless steel stir stick!
- If your piece was curing in a cold room, it might not cure properly! Keep it warm for best results.
How do you make epoxy harden faster?
- Here are some common solutions to making epoxy resin harden faster:
- Shorten the mixing time.
- Use heat.
- Apply UV light.
- Use paint thinner to get rid of bubbles faster.
- Use talcum powder on your project before applying resin.
How do you speed up resin Drying?
If you’re frustrated by slow-drying epoxy resin, there are a few tricks that may help speed up the process:
- Make sure your resin is in a warm room (the warmer the better)
- Turn on a dehumidifier, if possible
- Add heat. If it’s safe, use a hairdryer or heat lamp to gently warm up your resin. Or place an electric heating pad underneath your resin pour. These “warm cures” don’t work for every type of epoxy but can be worth trying for some projects. Just make sure not to get anything too hot! This could cause yellowing later on down the road.
- Use a UV light to cure your resin more quickly (just make sure you’re using an appropriate UV-resistant clear coat).
You’ll want to give the resin at least 24 hours of dry time, but when you need your resin project complete in a hurry, there are a few tricks to speed up the process:
- Raise the temperature. Before putting your resin project into the UV lamp, try warming up the resin beforehand—either by running it under hot water or using a hairdryer on low heat. This will kick-start the curing process and help get it going faster. Just make sure you don’t overheat it!
- Do multiple passes with your UV light. If one pass doesn’t seem to be curing your resin enough, do another pass and then reexamine.
- Don’t use too much resin. It’s easy for epoxy resin beginners to have an accident with their mix ratio measurements, especially since there can be differences in size between brand names’ parts A and B containers. Once you’ve gotten used to working with these materials, you can eyeball them more easily.