If you’re just starting out in resin-casting (or if you’ve been at it for a while and still have a few questions), you probably have some questions about the process. How long do I wait between layers? What happens if it’s too dry? What happens if it’s too wet? Is one brand better than another? Will my creation ever is finished?!
Luckily, we’re here to answer all of those questions, and more! Below, we’ll cover everything from the basics of resin-casting to working with your own molds and creating original designs.
How long do I have to wait between layers of resin?
The answer to this question depends on which resin you’re using.
Each brand of resin has a different set of cure times. Some brands will get hard within a few hours and only need to be lightly tacky before you can apply your next layer of resin. Other brands could take up to 24 hours to reach this point.
It’s important that you wait for each layer of epoxy resin to be enhanced by the next layer so that it is tacky (but not wet) before adding another layer on top of it.
Otherwise, the layers won’t bond together properly, and the finished product could easily crack or peel apart later on.
I always recommend doing a sample test on a piece of paper to see how your specific brand works before doing anything else with resin!
How long do you let resin dry between layers?
When people ask how long they should wait between layers of resin, it’s usually a question about how long to let the first layer cure before pouring the second.
It’s an understandable concern: we’ve all been there, staring at our half-finished resin project and wanting to get it done as soon as humanly possible.
If you’re wondering whether you can pour the second layer of resin right away, or if you should give the first layer some time to cure before proceeding, I’ll be glad to fill you in on everything you need to know about waiting for epoxy resin layers to dry.
I’ll also go over what you need to know about waiting between subsequent layers, up through layer three; and then we’ll cover what happens after that last layer cures.
How soon can you pour a second layer of resin?
You can pour a second layer of resin after the first layer is completely cured, which typically takes about 24 hours. But don’t rush it and throw another layer of resin on top before the first coat is fully cured.
This will create problems with the finished product, including cloudy areas where bubbles have been trapped between layers.
If you’re worried about your art or project looking flat from just one coat of resin, consider adding a background color or some textured elements to the back or sides.
Adding dimension in other ways is always better than trying to rush your way through multiple coats of resin.
What happens if you don’t sand between coats of epoxy?
When you pour your first layer of resin, you’re only thinking about how pretty it’s going to look when it dries. But once the first coat is dry, a second coat isn’t going to stick without some help.
You need to sand in between coats of epoxy for the next layers to properly adhere. Follow these steps:
- Sand your cured resin piece with 320 grit sandpaper or with a palm sander or hand sander.
- Wipe away any dust with a paper towel and acetone/alcohol mixture.
- Allow time for the piece to air dry (a few hours will be fine).
- Pour your next coat!
How do you apply the second layer of epoxy?
Now that you’ve applied the first coat of resin, it’s time to add a second layer! Just as with the first application, you can use a brush or roller to apply the epoxy.
The next step is sanding. Use extra fine grit sandpaper and carefully smooth down the surface of your piece until it is totally even.
When do you apply a second coat? Apply a second coat of epoxy when the first layer is tacky to the touch—this means when it’s not wet but also not fully dry.
This usually takes 1-2 hours after application, depending on temperature and humidity in your workspace. Continue brushing until you have achieved a level of smoothness that makes you happy!
Remember: be sure to have good ventilation (open windows or use fans) during this process, as working with resin can release harmful fumes. Also remember to clean up any spills immediately with acetone and a disposable towel!
Can I run resin over resin?
You can pour resin over resin if:
- You are using the same type of resin. Remember that epoxy and polyester resin cure differently, and some types (for example polyurethane) have a reaction to each other.
- The first layer is completely cured. If you try to pour another layer before the first layer has properly set up, it could cause your piece to turn out sticky or gummy in spots. There are exceptions for thin layers, but read on for more about that!
- The second layer is very thin. Epoxy should be poured in layers no thicker than one quarter inch (6mm), and polyester should be even thinner — think 1/8 inch (3mm)! Resin doesn’t like being thick — it takes too long to cure all the way through, which means you’re likely to end up with soft spots if you make a pendant or earrings out of several thick layers of resin.
How long does it take for ArtResin to fully cure?
- ArtResin cures to the touch in 72 hours.
- After that time, it’ll be dry on the surface, but it still has some curing to do underneath.
- ArtResin will fully cure in 7 days (with proper ventilation).
- Lower temperatures slow down the curing process and higher temperatures speed up the curing process.
If you pour a piece of resin art at a cool 75 degrees Fahrenheit, ArtResin will take longer than 72 hours to cure completely. If you pour at 95 degrees Fahrenheit, ArtResin will be cured faster than 72 hours. Remember that if you pour too thick of a layer, curing can take longer – ideally, an even coat is 1/8″ (3mm) thick!
When can I add a second coat of epoxy?
The key to getting great results with your epoxy is patience. The best way to prevent a catastrophic failure of your project is to wait until the first layer has completely cured (dried) before adding another layer.
While you may be eager to get the project finished, rushing things will cause problems. If the first layer isn’t fully cured and you add another coat over it, the second coat won’t adhere well and could separate from the first coat, leading to a ruined piece of work.
If you are using two part epoxy (aka clear epoxy resin), follow the directions on how much hardener to mix in with your resin. Too little hardener will result in a slow cure time, too much hardener and you risk yellowing.
You can test if your resin has fully cured by placing a small drop in an inconspicuous spot on your piece and letting it dry for 24 hours. If it still feels tacky, give it some more time before applying another layer or topcoat of epoxy resin.
Can you layer epoxy without sanding?
You can add another layer of resin without sanding if the previous layer has cured. You will need to make sure the previous layer is fully cured and that you are using a clean brush for each new layer. You should use a torch to speed up the curing process and make sure your brush is washed out between layers.
To answer your question, you can add as many layers as you want without sanding in between them. However, it is important that each coat of resin is thin and that you allow ample time for it to cure before adding another layer on top
In reviewing these questions, we can conclude that the time required to cure depends on factors including the type of resin used, the thickness of the layer applied, and environmental conditions.
For example, an artist using EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy in a humid environment could expect a curing time of as little as six hours for a thin application (1/8”) but up to three days for a thick application (1”).
It is important to check product information and follow recommended curing times before proceeding with additional layers or finishing steps.
If you have further questions about this topic or any other resin-related subject, please do not hesitate to reach out—we are happy to help! We sincerely hope that our article was able to provide insight into your project; if it did, please share it with your friends so they can benefit from the wealth of information we offer on our blog.