Hello my fellow artists! So you’ve created a beautiful painting that you are absolutely in love with and now you want to protect it with a top coat. Adding a Resin top coat to your painting will truly make the colors *POP* and bring the ultimate shine to your painting! Not only will it enhance your painting it will also protect the painting because resin dries into a super hard durable plastic surface that can repel water or debris and is super easy to clean by just wiping it and then buffing it with a towel.
You might be thinking well I’ve never tried resin and it’s super intimidating!! I know it may seem daunting but resin has come a long way from the old days when people used to use it to coat their wooden bar tops. Many of the new resins on the market today are much safer and can be applied indoors easily.
Now before mixing or adding any resin a good practice and one that I do is to clean off the painting surface so there is no silicone left on it. Even cleaning off any of your fingerprint marks which can leave an oil on the surface is good practice. I use a little bit of Isopropyl Alcohol on some paper towel and wipe the painting surface going over it once and making sure I do not go over the area I just wiped again until all the alcohol has evaporated. *Very Important* Do not wipe twice over an area on your painting with the alcohol. Wait until it has fully evaporated and then wipe again to get all the oil off your painting.
The next step after the painting is clean is to add a couple layers of Liquitex Gloss Varnish. I do this because if there is any silicone or oil left on the painting that I did not see I want to find it with the cheaper varnish than having the expensive resin get rejected. You simply brush on a layer of gloss varnish and let it dry. Check if there were any areas that did not get covered or perhaps were rejected. If so clean that area and apply another coat of the gloss varnish. Don’t worry about brush marks as they all disappear after you apply the resin. After a couple layers of gloss varnish your painting should be ready for resin.
Now you will need to support the back of your canvas before you can add the resin. There are two ways to do this;
- Cut Foam Board or cardboard to fit inside the wooden stretcher on the back of your canvas and then secure it to the back with tape or wooden pieces.
- Flip your painting so the back is facing up and pour a layer of resin over the back of the canvas inside the stretcher area. Add some sparkles in there or color to make it pretty and let it fully cure for a couple days. This will create a hard and solid surface that will support the front of the canvas but it does add extra weight and cost to your painting just an FYI. You can watch me use both these techniques in my CraftyJenn YouTube video at the bottom of this post.
Once you have secured a hard flat surface on the back side of your painting which will support the heavy resin you want to apply to the front it’s time to use some painter’s tape and tape off the underneath edges of your painting. This will make it so much easier to remove the dried resin drips later. In this photo you can see where to apply the painter’s tape and you will also see the resin I applied to the back of the canvas with sparkles in it.
Now flip it over and prep your working area. Make sure to protect your table top with some plastic or a silicone mat (resin does not stick to silicone). I use these painter’s triangles to prop my painting up off the table surface so that when the resin drips off the edges it will not pool and create an even bigger headache when dries stuck to the bottom side.
I use Art Resin for top coating my paintings and it’s super safe. It’s non-toxic, no fumes, no VOCs, no solvents and non-flammable. It dries crystal clear so my paintings shine through! Art Resin is also very easy to mix with a 1:1 ratio. That means you mix one part resin to one part hardener. Art Resin also has a wonderful calculator on their website so you just enter the dimensions of your painting and it will tell you how much resin you need to coat the top of it. Here’s a link to the calculator: https://www.artresin.com/pages/calculator
Once you have the total amount of resin you divide the number by two and that is how much you will need of each the resin and the hardener. Then to measure out the amounts you can either use a graduated cup or a scale. This painting is a 10×20 inch canvas so I needed 7 ounces of resin. Divide that by two and I need 3.5 ounces of resin and 3.5 ounces of hardener. Now to make things easier I just mixed up 8 ounces and used 4 ounces of resin and 4 ounces of hardener which was easier to measure out in the cup. Mixing one ounce more of resin will not hurt your painting. Better to mix more than not enough. When mixing make sure to wear gloves and I use a Popsicle stick and stir slowly until the cloudiness of the mixing process turns clear. You have a fairly long working time with Art Resin, like 45 minutes to an hour, so don’t rush.
Once you have fully mixed your resin it’s time to pour it onto your artwork! Don’t be afraid it’s going to be amazing!! Pour all your clear shinny resin onto your painting and move it all over the surface with either the Popsicle stick or your gloves. There are special spreaders but if you don’t have one these will work fine. Make sure to cover the surface and even the sides. You will find that lots of the resin drips off the sides but this is okay and always happens. Now get your craft torch and holding it above the surface so that the flame does not touch the resin but rather use the heat of the flame to pop any bubbles that have formed. You might have to do this a few times as the bubbles will make their way to the surface of the resin. After coating the resin I will go back and check on the piece a few times until I no longer see any bubbles.
You will need to cover your newly coated painting with a dust protector which can be a box that is larger that your painting. Just place it over the whole work area and let everything cure. The next day after the curing time is up take the dust protector off and Voila!!! A beautifully resin coated painting!!
You can watch me go through the entire process in my CraftyJenn YouTube video here;
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