USING RESIN OVER PAINTINGS
You have probably seen paintings that have been finished with resin. It creates a glass-like finish on paintings that is absolutely beautiful and gives a wonderful depth to paintings. If you haven't seen it you may have heard about using resin, possibly on Youtube. Well, I tried it for the first time recently and I am now hooked!
I am using the resin on my glass paintings to create a specific look. I want my glass paintings to look like glass, pardon the pun. But seriously, once you paint on glass, the sheen is gone until the resin coat brings it back. There is a multiple step process to my work but the finished product is well worth all the effort I put into it. After the paintings are done, I must mount them so they can be hung on the wall. I finally came up with a mounting system that I liked after thinking about it for a while. (See my post on doing more glass pours)
There are keys to using resin some of which are very important in order to be successful. BE SURE ALL OIL IS REMOVED FROM PAINTING BEFORE YOU USE ANY VARNSH OR RESIN. Sorry for using all caps, but if you don't clean your painting well before the finish is applied, you WILL ruin a nice painting! What happens is that the oil pushes away or resists the varnish or resin leaving an unvarnished spot which looks terrible! I know this from experience. Use Dawn soap in water & a soft sponge, Windex on paper towel, or makeup remover sheets to clean canvas and wipe dry. A small amount of paint may come off on cloth, but not a lot. Rub lightly but thoroughly!
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
1. You absolutely MUST use EXACTLY the same amounts of the two parts (unless yours is a brand that has a 1-to-2 mix rate) and then mix thoroughly. For my large painting I set the timer on my phone for 5 minutes. It was just the right amount of time for the half gallon (64 oz) mix I needed. When the mix is ready it will be completely clear with NO streaks at all, however there may be small bubbles in it which will be removed when you torch after pouring. If you don't use the EXACT same amount of resin and epoxy you will get soft spots in your resin coat or it will never completely dry which means you will have to scrape it off and start again. Ugh!
2. Be sure to protect your floor from any drips. Resin is very difficult to remove from any surface! I got it on my shoes, the cleanup was not pretty, but it did come off finally. I let it dry and peeled it off the leather. Oh well, they needed polishing anyway.
3. Be prepared to torch the newly poured surface for a while to remove bubbles. It is not difficult, but it does take some time. My painting was 30" x 56" and I torched for about 30 minutes and used two torches instead of stopping to refill. (You do have time to stop and fill a torch but I was new to it so I wasn't sure). You usually have about 30 minutes before resin hardens. Be careful, do not get the torch too close to the surface as IT WILL BURN!
4. Have a tool ready to spread the resin smoothly across the surface. It is self-leveling to a point, but you need to spread it on the surface and make sure all of the painting is covered. Use your finger to spread it on the sides. (WEAR GLOVES as resin is REALLY hard to get off your hands! ) Be sure to keep scraping drips from the bottom edges! If the painting dries with drips still there you must sand them off as resin is rock hard once it's dry.
5. Don't leave tools sitting in your bucket of resin! I left my spreader and now it is incased forever in the bottom of my bucket as a show-and-tell of what not to do, LOL!!
6. Cover the painting by suspending a larger canvas over it a few inches above it to protect it from dust and bugs until it is dry. You can set tall cups etc at each corner and lay the larger canvas on them. My canvas was too large so I just closed the doors and turned off the heat vent and it worked well. The resin MUST dry for 72 hours to full hardness. But, it is still vulnerable to scratching for another week or so. Just be careful with it.
7. If you want a thick coating like you see on restaurant tables, then you must pour multiple coats! Each coat should be only 1/8" thick and allowed to dry before adding another coat.
Another way you can achieve similar shine to resin is to use LIQUITEX High Gloss Varnish. It is actually more expensive than resin, but it is easier to use. Resin runs about $50 - $75 per gal (2 half gallon bottles) vs Liquitex Varnish at $42 per quart. You use multiple coats of Liquitex (4-8) to achieve the same shine, but again it is easier to use because it takes less preparation and isn't as messy. Apparently, to get this high smooth shine however, you must lay your brush flat on it's side to prevent brush strokes and work on a diagonal, or use a silicone cosmetic applicator. For my purposes however, I will continue to use resin. I might use this varnish for my regular paintings if I can get it on sale!
(Watch Carl Mazur's brush technique or Gina DeLuca's silicone cosmetic applicator on Youtube to see how they do it)
If you live anywhere close to St. Augustine, FL, be sure to stop by the OLD TOWN ART SHOW this weekend. I will be there showing my artwork and greeting people. I'd love to visit with you and you might even find something to take home! Look for the teal and gold DARA DODSON ART sign!