How to Cure Epoxy Resin

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Epoxy resin adds a hard, plastic coating to anything it is poured onto. It can also be poured into molds to form plastic shapes, such as drawer pulls or jewelry. Epoxy resin is readily available at craft stores and some hardware stores. It starts off as a liquid, usually sold in two parts that must be mixed together. Once the resin piece is cast, it is left to cure, or dry. Curing the epoxy resin correctly prevents stickiness, air bubbles or discoloration to the finished piece.

Things You'll Need

  • Epoxy resin
  • Mold
  • Box
  • Toothpick
  • Wax paper
  • Mix the resin and the hardener together following the ratio recommended on the resin package. For most brands, mix one part hardener to one part resin. Stir slowly to prevent air bubbles from entering the resin. Using too much or too little hardener prevents the resin from curing properly.

  • Pour the resin onto the surface or into the mold you are working with immediately after mixing. Set the mold in a warm room, about 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and away from direct sunlight, air vents and moisture.

  • Set an upturned box over the resin piece as it cures. This prevents dust and dirt from settling on the surface and marring the finished piece or slowing the curing process.

  • Check the resin piece after 48 hours. Touch it lightly with a toothpick. If it doesn't leave an indentation, the piece is ready to remove from the mold. If it does show an indentation, leave to cure for an additional 1 to 2 days.

  • Turn the mold upside down and lightly tap the back until the the resin piece emerges. Spread the resin pieces out on a sheet of wax paper and leave them to finish curing for an additional 12 to 24 hours before buffing or mounting.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an epoxy resin spray on cured pieces to cover indents or other imperfections. You can also buff out imperfections with plastic polish and a buffing stick.
  • If air bubbles form in the mold, blow gently on them to pop them.
  • Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated room. The fumes from uncured epoxy resin are strong.

References

  • Photo Credit cardboard box image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com
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