Unless you’re a pro in the field of materials science, you might be wondering what resin is. Basically, it is a form of plastic that begins in a liquid form and hardens—kind of like super glue. It’s used for all kinds of things, including creating molds for jewelry or sculptures and as an adhesive for wood joints.
And if you’re not careful when handling resin, you run the risk that it will stick to your mold or your fingers!
As with most adhesives, the key factor behind sticky resin is surface area. The bigger the surface area exposed to air and other substances, the more likely it is that the resin will stick to those surfaces. So when handling resin, make sure not to leave your tools covered in excess liquid—that’s just asking for trouble!
Will Vaseline keep resin from sticking?
No, Vaseline will not prevent resin from sticking to the mold. It will also not prevent resin from sticking to itself.
So why do some people think that it works? The short answer is that they are confusing two different types of resin: polyester and epoxy.
Vaseline is a fantastic mold release for polyester resin, but epoxy resins do not appreciate it. If you have ever used Vaseline on an epoxy project, you know exactly what I am talking about!
Table of Contents
- Will Vaseline keep resin from sticking?
- How do you get resin to unstick?
- What causes resin to stick to mold?
- What to use to keep epoxy from sticking?
- Do you have to use mold release for resin?
- Does Vaseline work as a mold release?
- Can you use a hair dryer to remove bubbles from resin?
- What kind of tape does epoxy resin not stick to?
How do you get resin to unstick?
If you find yourself in a situation where the resin is stuck to your surface, here are some suggestions for removing it:
• Warm the resin. Heat will soften the resin and make it easier to remove. You may need to apply heat more than once if it has hardened.
• Scrape away material. Use a non-metallic tool, such as a wooden popsicle stick or a plastic putty knife, to scrape away as much of the material as you can. Again, be sure not to use anything metallic that could scratch your surface!
• Use a heat gun (or another heating source). If you notice that your resin is starting to harden again after scraping off the excess, reheat it with a heat gun or other heating source until warm and pliable enough for removal again. As long as you’re careful not to overheat (and therefore soften) what remains on your project, this should work great!
• Repeat as necessary until all residue is removed from your surface and project.
What causes resin to stick to mold?
Now that we know how to avoid sticking, it’s good to learn why resin might stick in the first place. The following are the main culprits of sticking resin:
- Improper curing. If you’ve poured your resin but it feels too soft and flexible, that means it hasn’t cured properly. It will stick to whatever you pour it into, so make sure you’re mixing correctly and checking the hardening time before trying to de-mold a piece.
- Too thick of a layer or poor mixing. If you pour a thick layer into your mold, especially if you don’t mix well and have lots of bubbles, it can be difficult for the heat from curing to escape from all areas at once . This can cause uneven curing—the top will start solidifying while the bottom is still sticky liquid resin. When this happens, a different kind of sticking occurs: the solid part sticks to itself rather than the mold! In this case, any air bubbles trapped in your piece will expand during curing and push outwards against their surroundings like little balloons (you may have noticed this with bath bombs). Your work will buckle under its own weight unless there’s something else holding it together—like an inner wall of your mold that is sturdy enough not to yield under pressure!
What to use to keep epoxy from sticking?
Epoxy resin has a tendency to stick to what you pour it into. So, if you’re pouring resin into a mold, the answer to how you keep resin from sticking is using mold release.
What is mold release exactly? It’s a substance that reduces the friction between two surfaces.
Vaseline works great as a simple and effective way to coat your molds with mold release. Keep in mind that petroleum jelly has an oily residue so it may not be ideal as an all-purpose product if you plan on reusing your molds for other things. Wax also makes a good DIY alternative, as does making your own homemade soap or using PAM spray! The possibilities are endless!
If bubbles start appearing in your resin after pouring it into the mold, use a hair dryer (not a hot air gun) to remove them for smooth results!
Do you have to use mold release for resin?
If you’re new to resin casting and you’re wondering what mold release is and whether or not you need to use it, I recommend using mold release every time you cast a piece in a mold. It will make your life so much easier!
Does Vaseline work as a mold release?
Vaseline can be used as a mold release agent, but it’s not the best choice. While it is safe to use with resin, and usually available at home, Vaseline is almost too thick to use as a mold release. It’s nearly impossible to rub it on thin enough. Because of that, it just sits on the surface instead of penetrating into the mold as you want it to.
You’ll still get some silicone stuck in your mold if you decide to use Vaseline. So while Vaseline will reduce the amount of resin that gets stuck in your mold slightly, you’ll still waste a lot unless you’re very careful about how much you put on and how thin you apply it to your molds.
Can you use a hair dryer to remove bubbles from resin?
One of the most common problems people have with resin projects is bubbles. As the resin begins to cure, air pockets can form throughout the resin and be very difficult to remove. One method that some individuals use is a hair dryer because it will blow away any visible bubbles in your resin. However, there are several things you need to consider before deciding if this is a good option for you.
First, heating the resin too much can cause heat distortion which will change the shape of your piece (especially when using molds). It’s also important to not apply too much heat as well as to use a diffused setting on your hair dryer because direct air can cause your piece to shift or move while curing. If it moves too much, it can warp and distort in appearance or even pour out over the edge of its surface if you are pouring it into molds.
I personally don’t use my hair dryer but many people do with great success!
What kind of tape does epoxy resin not stick to?
On the other hand, there are certain kinds of tape that you can use to get good results: packing tape, painter’s tape, masking tape, low-tack painter’s tape, and duct tape. Non-sticky packing tape and non-sticky masking tapes are also available.
Resin is a construction product that’s used to seal surfaces such as pipes and concrete. It comes in two parts: resin and hardener.
When these two parts are combined together with a catalyst, the mixture begins to cure (dry). The result is a solid material that’s impervious to water and other liquids. It’s sometimes called polyester or epoxy because it contains polyethylene glycol (PEG), which has been shown to help with curing times as well as durability over time.
So long as you make sure to use the right kind of mold and keep it clean and dry, your resin will turn out like clockwork! This tutorial should help you get comfortable with the basics of using resin—don’t forget to check out our other tutorials for even more great information.