How to Use Clear Polyester Casting Resin

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Polyester casting resin is commonly used in craft projects to embed an object in a clear, hard piece of plastic. Crafters can create beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry, beads, coasters and other home decorating items. Sentimental items can be preserved forever in plastic.

Things You'll Need

  • Disposable gloves
  • Apron
  • Acetone
  • Clean rag
  • Polyester clear casting resin
  • Safety glasses
  • Plastic measuring cup
  • Flexible mold
  • Surface curing agent
  • Catalyst (methyl ethyl ketone peroxide)
  • Wooden stir sticks
  • Paper tablecloth
  • Item to embed
  • Liquid mold release
  • Find a work area that has a consistent temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The area should be well-ventilated and away from direct sunlight. The work surface should be level and protected with a paper tablecloth.

  • Put on disposable gloves, apron and safety glasses.

  • Apply liquid mold release to the surface of the flexible mold. You can either pour the mold release into the mold or use a brush to coat the surface. Pour extra mold release out of the mold and allow it to dry for 45 minutes. The mold must be completely dry before it can be used.

  • Mix the polyester casting resin and catalyst as directed on the product directions in a plastic measuring cup with a wooden stir stick. The size of the mold will dictate the amount of polyester casting resin that is required, and the amount of polyester casting resin used will dictate the amount of catalyst needed. Only mix enough resin to fill the mold half full.

  • Pour the polyester casting resin mixture into the mold until it is half full.

  • Wait for the polyester casting resin mixture to become gel-like (around 20 to 30 minutes). Place the object to embed on the resin mixture and press down gently to set the object in place.

  • Mix the second batch of polyester casting resin and catalyst together to fill the remaining half of the mold.

  • Pour the mixture into the mold over the top of the embedded object. Do not overfill the mold.

  • Spray the top surface of the casting resin with the surface curing agent. This will help to cure the resin exposed to the air and maintain a clear surface.

  • Wait for the casting to harden before attempting to remove. It will usually take 24 hours to completely cure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store the casting resin in a cool, dark area and use within 6 months.
  • Clean spills or skin exposure immediately with acetone and a clean rag.
  • Practice several embeddings before trying to embed your chosen object.
  • Objects that have high water content, such as flowers and leaves, need to be dried before embedding.
  • Polyester casting resins have very strong vapors when curing and should only be used in a well-ventilated area.
  • Once the item is embedded in plastic, it cannot be removed.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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