Resin layer painting

Resin layer painting DEFAULT


Painting on canvas and painting on resin are completely different. You will notice an immediate difference in surface texture, the resin surface is smooth, so the paint won’t adhere as well as it does to a canvas surface. This being the case, can you paint resin? Read on to discover how you can paint resin and tips to help you along the way.





Challenge with Painting on Resin

As mentioned, the resin surface is smooth, which makes it challenging to create an opaque effect on a single stroke of the brush. However, this does help to create semi-transparent effects. There isn’t a problem adding more solid or opaque color effects, you only need to apply a first layer and then wait for this to dry. You can then paint another color over your first layer for a more solid look.


how to paint resin




Pros of Painting Resin

When you paint resin, you can simply wipe off the paint as long as it is wet. Even if it dries, you can try and scrape it off. So, even if you make a mistake with the paint, it can easily be removed. Since you paint in layers, if you do scrape the resin by accident, it should smooth out when the next resin layer is added. You can also add perfect straight edges by using masking tape.


ebook epoxy resin



What Kind of Paint to use on Resin

The best paint to use on the resin is acrylic paint. First, make sure to prime the surface, then paint with acrylic paint. The paint for resin will adhere to the surface, you can also spray a finish to make your project last longer.


can you paint resin




Painting on Resin Tutorial


Step 1: Making sure the Surface is clean

Take some warm soapy water and wipe off the resin surface. To reach any difficult places, such as a scratch where dirt can get into, use a toothbrush. Cleaning the surface also removes anything left behind by the casting process. This will help the paint bind more successfully to the surface.


Step 2: Sand the Resin down

If you find any residual flash, make sure to remove this with a knife. This happens when casting, the resin runs into the join that is found between two mold halves. Sometimes, you won’t notice this even after it has set. You will see it when you paint the resin, it will form a noticeable ridge. To smooth the surface out, use 800-grit sandpaper and sand the resin surface.

painting resin


Step 3: Filling Holes

Check the resin to see if there are any bubbles or other surface problems which could affect the smooth finish after painting. If you find any holes, you will need to fill them with epoxy putty. Allow the putty to dry and then using 600-grit sandpaper smooth the surface over.


Step 4: Use Gesso or other Spray Primer

Use spry primer on the resin and let dry. Using 400-grit sandpaper smooth the surface lightly and then spay on another layer of primer. Repeat this process and allow the primer to dry. Gesso can also prepare the surface, but it is not as good as a spray primer. We normally use the Krylon Colormaster Spray Primer in white.


Step 5: How to paint Resin using Acrylic Paint

Simply use the acrylic paint and apply to the resin with a paintbrush. Several layers of paint are required, and you should wait for each coat to dry before doing the next one. This does require a bit of patience, but you will be rewarded with a smooth expert finish.

paint resin


Step 6: Protect your finished piece with a Varnish Spray

Finally, spray over a layer of lacquer sealant and let this dry completely. This will help to stop any chipping from happening and will also protect the acrylic paint from UV light. We made very good experience with the Krylon Varnish.

KRYLON Triple Thick Clear Glaze Aerosol Spray

KRYLON Triple Thick Clear Glaze Aerosol Spray

View on Amazon




Painting on Resin Tips


Making use of Primer

Primers usually can be purchased in three colors, the white and black you can find easily, while grey is harder to find. When choosing a primer color, it depends on what color you want to paint over it. When using darker paint, you would then use the black primer. Otherwise, if you use lighter paints, you will use the white primer. If you decide to mix your colors, then the white or grey primer can be used.

Specifically using spray primer helps to keep the resin the way you want it to look. Sometimes too much primer can be used, which then changes the look of the resin. There are also paint-on primers you can use, but many prefer the spray primer.


Tips for primers:

  • Use a primer in a well-ventilated space.
  • Wear protective gear
  • If you use spray cans, use them outside
  • Shield the area you are going to spray and allow each coat to dry before the next coat.
  • You will need about several coats of primer


What Paintbrush should you use for Resin Painting?

The correct brushes are synthetic, even the smaller brushes are effective in applying those more delicate strokes.


Resin Painting requires Patience

You cannot rush when it comes to painting resin, it requires patience if you want your project to come out the way you want it to. Begin with your central color you are going to be using and paint your first layer.

Tip: For this layer dab on the paint, as applying strokes with a brush leaves behind streaks. You want an opaque color and dabbing will provide this. Also, do not pile the paint on in one move to try and get an opaque look. A proper finish will require several coats or layers of paint.

Allow the acrylic paint to dry completely, you can then add finer details to your art piece.

what kind of paint to use on resin


Removing Paint that is still wet

Find yourself making a mistake but the paint is still wet. No worries, you can simply take a dampened towel and wipe the paint off.


Painting and layering Resin

When you are painting resin, you will need to make sure the paint is dry before adding another layer of resin. Wait about 20 minutes, but to make sure it is dry, lightly touch the paint to see if it is dry. Try not to smear the paint in the process. If it is still a bit sticky, wait another few minutes.

You can use this sticky stage to your advantage, as it is the best time to add effects like glitter or other materials that will stick to the paint. Again, wait for it to dry thoroughly before adding another resin layer.

paint for resin


Create amazing Effects with empty Spaces

In-between your images, these free spaces can be used to create more depth to the piece. Even though it is only layers of even paint, it will create a distinctive deep appearance. This technique is especially useful for those creating more abstract pieces of resin art.


How to paint Resin Models

Do you wish to paint resin models? Resin models can be quite detailed in appearance and require a bit of planning before going ahead and painting them. Most resin model kits do come with instructions, so make sure to read these. Then follow the next basic steps on how to paint resin models:

paint resin models

Step 1: Remove any residual flash and fix any cracks or holes with some modelling putty.

Step 2: Clean your resin model with some warm soapy water

Step 3: Set out the paints you are going to use. Choose a white or grey primer color for lighter and bright colors, as this will affect your model’s final look. Choose a darker or black primer for darker colors.

Step 4: Spray an even coat of your primer over the resin model. You can spray in sections for larger models. Always keep the spray moving and only spray a maximum of two seconds each time, as you want an even spray.

Step 5: Allow the primer to dry thoroughly

Step 6: You can now paint your resin model using various size brushes and techniques.

Step 7: Place in a well-ventilated area to thoroughly dry.

Step 8: Use a paint lacquer or topcoat to help protect the final piece.



How to Layer Resin

Hey y'all,

Once you’ve started making resin projects you’ll never want to stop… it’s kind of addicting! If you’re here you’ve likely attempted a project or two (maybe you’ve followed my how to mix resin for beginners tutorial) and now you’re ready for the next step.

Layering resin!

Resin projects can be as simple as one layer of resin or as complicated as a 7 layer cake… with lots of layers! Since resin is clear the concept of layering is truly amazing… since you can trap items between the layers and they can still be seen from above!

Luckily layering resin is very simple… if you’ve learned to pour one layer of resin you’ve pretty much got the concept. The art of layering is really all about timing. Add the layers too close together and they’ll mix… wait to aaaaaannnnnnnd you’ve waited a long time.

There really isn’t a downside to waiting too long other than there are only so many hours in a day to spend waiting.

Let’s get to it.


Step 1: Pour Layer 1

Whether you’re pouring a piece with 2 layers, 3 or 12 the first layer is always the first step. Take note of which side of your mold is the front: sometimes (like with these little coaster molds) the front is actually the inside of the mold… so you’ll want to add your embellishments (or inclusions) so that they’re facing the bottom of the mold.

That’s why our little butterfly is face down with the back exposed.

Other molds (like the mold I used for this little tray) are designed so that the front of the piece are at the top (what you see).

All of this just goes to say be aware of which side the front of the mold is and which side is the back.

Regardless of whether your piece is a mixture of clear or solid you want the top layer to be clear enough to see bottom layers… otherwise you won’t be able to see all the layers!

Typically I leave the top layer clear or with just a bit of glitter.

Either way go ahead and pour your first layer of resin and decorate it with a few inclusions. Check out my master list of 25 budget friendly resin inclusions if you need a few ideas.

Once you have the first layer the way you want it leave it to dry. You don’t have to wait for the full cure but you want the first layer to be solid before pouring a second layer… typically that’s 4-5 hours of waiting before you move on to the second step.

Step 2: Pour Layer 2

Alright now that layer one is dry we can pour our second layer! This is the perfect time to add a little dimension. Typically in a 3 layer piece I’ll do a solid bottom layer, inclusions like tiny rocks, glitter or rose gold leaf in the second layer and a clear layer in the third and top layer.

Although you can mix it up if you like… go crazy!

Once you’ve added everything you like then it’s back to the waiting game. Either 4-5 hours for another layer or 24 hours to cure!

Once your piece is perfect and it’s been curing for an entire day it’s time to demold. You can pop that bad boy out and see all of your pretty layers!

I just love the floating element multiple layers add to a piece… they make it a bit more dimensional. Just take a look at all that pretty rose gold leaf… the different layers are so pretty!

Ready to tackle a bigger project? This rose gold and blush inspired geode tray looks fancy but it’s really just 3 layers of resin in a DIY silicone mold. I’ll walk you through making one of your own in this step by step tutorial! Use your own colors to personalize it and make it fit your own decor style.

Looking for more resin projects? I’ve got you covered!

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Image: “Let’s Do The Twist” by Keng Lye under CC 2.0

The discovery and invention of new materials has always benefited society for the advancement in architecture, engineering and science. But artists benefit too, if they are to explore and incorporate them in their creative endeavors. When the great masters painted, there was no epoxy resin. They did extraordinary things with very limited materials that today we would cry in frustration with if they were our only options. I wonder what would they have done with all we have today.

All this leads to a material that is not new to us, but today is being used and discovered by many artists as an interesting way of expression: resin. Various techniques have been developed with the use of resin, but today I'm focusing on one that uses it in a way that painters are somehow used to: layering. But unlike glazing and other layering techniques, resin offers some amazing qualities like pure transparency, which lead to this particular branch of painting.

Let's take a look.

From what I've been gathering, this might be the guy that started it. Riusuke Fukahori is a Japanese artist known for his singular focus on goldfish as subject matter. He paints the fish from bottom to top. One layer of resin, then paint, then another, and so on. Doing these steps creates a wonderful three-dimensional illusion that makes the viewer perceive form in an impressive life-like way. Of course, with a little help of painting mastery. 


When others picked it up, they started adding real elements, like little rocks and other additaments that make the whole look even more credible. Because of the water-like feel of the resin looks, fish remain one of the preferred subjects. Taking advantage of the perfect transparency, fins and other translucent elements have the chance to be so perfectly depicted.  


But then, some started deviating from fish and created other water animals, like a sea turtle, in this case. Also mixing real 3D elements as part of the body, they were able to create the illusion of the body getting partly out of the water.  

As far as I could see, most artists use acrylic as the medium, which is mostly opaque and looks pretty flat, if not for the beautiful gloss that the next resin layer will provide. Modeling some parts, there are even more possibilities to create not only lovely, peaceful animals but also more complex and scary creatures like the scorpion in this example.  


Scary is not for everyone, so we can come back to one of the most loving, cute living things in this last example: a seahorse. Look at how the artist not only layers the paint but also the rocks, to give the piece more depth. He even tints the rocks to create a deeper water atmosphere.

These were just a few examples of pieces made with this beautiful technique. There are many more! Make sure to keep searching and watching related content if you're as mesmerized as I am.

See you next time! Until then, here you have some more Art Candy:

Art Candy: Dragons

Art Candy: Colorful Liquids

Art Candy: Digital Mandalas

Paintings Made With No Paint

Captivating Live Painting Performances

Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina. Learn more about Barbara and her work at the following links:
Barbara Din Patreon page
Barbara Din YouTube Channel

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#917 How To Make An Incredible 3D Resin Flower With Layered Petals

Introduction: 3D Painting: Layered Resin and Acrylic Paint

Painting! Three-dimensionally! This is a guide to making your own layered resin painting. Disclaimer: making a three dimensional painting will also require a good chunk of the 4th dimension. This medium demands patience, but the final result makes it all worthwhile.

Pictured above is my first attempt at this technique. I posted this picture on Reddit, and tons of people were asking about my methods. Given the interest and the overwhelmingly positive reception of the piece, I was inspired to share what I have learned.

Step 1: Materials

First and foremost, let's cover safety.

It is important to take precautions when working with resin. Make sure to read and follow the warnings from the manufacturer. For the sake of brevity, I won't repeat them here. That said, when working with resin, you want to avoid getting it on your skin, and avoid breathing the fumes when mixing and curing.

My safety equipment includes:

  • Eye protection
  • Latex gloves
  • Respirator
  • A closed off room in which to leave curing resin

Ok, with safety covered, here's what you'll need:

  • Resin: Parks Super Glaze. Available at Home Depot and on Amazon
  • Graduated disposable measuring cups, 8 oz.
  • Popsicle sticks, for mixing
  • The container that will be the outside of your piece
  • Heat gun
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic paint

Step 2: Measuring and Mixing

If you want to be accurate about how thick your layer will be, you should first calculate how much resin you should prepare per layer.

  1. Think about how many layers you would like in your piece, and divide your container's depth by that number to get your desired thickness. I usually do around 1/8" thick layers at most.
  2. Take that desired thickness number and multiply by the area of your piece to get the total volume needed per layer. 1 fluid ounce is 1.8in^3 (~29.6 cm^3 for those of you not using Freedom Units).
  3. Divide that total number of ounces in half, and that'll be how much you measure out of both Part A and B of the resin.

Don your safety equipment. Pour an equal amount of Part A and Part B into your graduated measuring cup-- the ratio of Part A to Part B is 1:1 with this particular brand of resin. Mix for at least two minutes. Since it's pretty viscous, make sure to scrape the sides and reach all the places where unmixed resin could hide. Your solution should look fairly homogenous after mixing (there will be a lot of bubbles in it at this point). Now, you're ready to pour!

Step 3: Pouring Resin and Popping Bubbles

You'll want to do these next steps in a relatively dust and hair free environment. Dust will get in your piece, but we'll cover how to deal with that in the next step.


Pour the resin into your container. Tilt your piece from side to side until the bottom of the surface is covered completely. You can tilt the piece so the resin coats the walls of the interior if you want-- this will make it easy to scrape any errant paint off the sides that might get there by accident, while paint would be harder to remove from uncoated wood.

Bubble Popping

Use your heat gun on the low setting and move it over your piece. Do not linger on one area too long, because you risk burning or scarring the resin. (Pro-tip: flush the dust out of your heat gun by turning it on and blowing it elsewhere before you use it on your piece.)

Most of the big bubbles will pop pretty quick (which is pretty satisfying to watch), but look out for those little guys. Shine a light over your piece and see if there bubbles casting shadows.

Step 4: Dealing With Dust

While shining a light over your piece to look for bubbles, you might notice some flecks and fibers on the surface of your piece already. Dust, hair, and fibers are SO annoying in this process, and aside from some sort of lab environment, it's pretty much impossible to keep them out of the resin entirely. However, with proper methods (and some luck) the dust will remain virtually invisible in your piece. Sidenote: It's really quite amazing how much dust and hair is everywhere. It's floating in the air, we're breathing it all the time... Working with resin will give you a renewed sense of wonder about how much is going on at the micro level all around us.

Finding Dust and Hair

While shining a light over your piece, look directly at the glare on the surface. Debris on top will be visible due to the surface tension of the resin disrupting the glare. Track back and forth over your piece to find those pesky floating buggers. Focus on the bigger ones. The super tiny ones will mostly disappear after your next layer, but make sure to get hairs and larger fibers because they will be visible.


You can use torn off pieces of paper as "lures" to fish them out. Corners of paper are particularly good because they hook onto the fibers nicely. Be careful about re-using the same lure to get out subsequent debris, because you risk putting previously fished dust/hair back into the resin.

Keeping Them Out

After your resin is sufficiently dust free, cover the whole piece with something to keep more dust from falling onto it while it cures. I often use tinfoil or place a wood board on top. Tin foil is advantageous in that you can wrap it around the edges. Dust is pretty magical in that it can sneak through the tiniest of holes...

Dealing with Sneaky Ones

Gasp! Large dust flecks, or even worse, a hair, made it into your piece after the layer already cured. Dang, you might have to adapt your piece to cover it. On multiple occasions I've had to add sections to my design to cover hair/dust. However, I usually end up really liking the additions that the initial imperfection necessitated. One of the most engaging elements of art and design is problem-solving. Don't cry over spilled milk and find a clever solution! That said, if you really want to get something out, you can sand through the resin to remove the imperfection, which is a lot of work... but we'll cover that later.

Step 5: Curing

Keep the curing piece in a place that you're not breathing in the fumes. The curing process is driven by heat, not by exposure to air and evaporation. As such, don't keep the piece anywhere cold while it's curing because this will significantly slow the process. On the flip side, you can heat the piece to speed up curing, but don't get it too hot-- refer to manufacturers' recommendations. I left a piece in the oven too hot for too long once, and it went... poorly (see picture above). The layer should take around 8 hours to cure at room temperature, at which point you can start painting on it!

Step 6: Painting

Woot! You poured a layer of resin! Now the fun part.

Painting on resin is different than painting on canvas. It's extremely smooth, so the paint doesn't grab onto the surface. This makes it difficult to paint opaque elements in one stroke, but it allows for the awesome ability to add semi-transparent elements! Pictured above is a brush stroke. Cool, transparency! If you want to make it opaque, you'll have to wait for the paint to dry and paint another coat on top.

Another great aspect of painting on resin is the ability to wipe off paint easily if it is still wet, and you can even scrape off paint that is dry. This means that you can prototype and experiment with your paintbrush, because you can always just wipe or scrape it away. If some small scratches appear while you are scraping away, for the most part, these will disappear after you pour the next layer.

Sometimes I use masking tape as illustrated in the pictures to get some nice crisp, straight edges, as shown in the second picture. The next photos show the first 4 layers.

Prepping for the next layer

After you finish painting a layer, you'll want to clean off the surface to keep the piece crystal clear. I use a damp paper towel, and finish with a microfiber cloth– use the same trick of looking at the glare on the surface to find smudges and removable gunk. Again, don't worry about tiny scratches that might show up from cleaning.

After you've cleaned the surface, return to the previous step and pour the next layer. Repeat the process of pouring and painting until your container is full!

Step 7: Fixing Large Imperfections

Bad stuff can happen to your piece, and you might need to take dramatic action. In the picture above, the top layer of resin touched the dust cover that I placed on top while it was curing, leaving a large raised imperfection in the bottom right of the piece. With an imperfection this big, I had to fix it somehow...


If there are imperfections in the resin that you just cant live with, you can sand down the piece and re-pour the layer, ideally returning it to total clarity. Be sure to wear a respirator if you are sanding, and take measures to make sure you don't breathe the dust or expose others to it. You really don't want that particulate matter in your lungs, it's essentially very small particles of plastic.

If your imperfection is deep, you can use a dremel or rotary tool to get rid of material faster. Afterwards, start with a low grit sand paper and work your way up to 600 grit. Wet sanding helps minimize particulate matter. After you've gotten up to 600 grit, you should be able to pour the next layer and have it return to completely clear. I'm actually still in the midst of this process with the piece pictured above, but the manufacturer assured me this should work.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

To preserve your piece, put a UV protective layer in front of it to keep the resin from yellowing. Resin gets pretty heavy when it is a thick piece, so make sure the materials you use can handle the weight. I made my housing for my first piece with laser cut white acrylic, which holds a layer of UV protective plastic, but does not actually hold the weight of the piece. To hang the piece, I put some eye screws into the wooden frame that is the container, and wrapped wire between them.

Step 9: Make More!

Here's some pictures of a few more of my pieces, I hope they resinate with you... heh heh. I've started experimenting with using glass containers, which is quite neat because you can see the layers through the side. Also, the top layer reflects the inside of the piece, which looks pretty cool too-- you can see this effect in the second picture. If you're interested, you can check out more of my art on my Instagram, Facebook, or Behance.

I'm excited to see what other people can create with this method. May your bubbles all pop, and your dust be invisible! Good luck!

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