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Make a painting using resin

Updated on July 30, 2012

Making a resin painting

I've always been interested in experimenting with different mediums to create something different, something that hasn't been done a million times before. This has always been a challenge for me, but one I enjoy facing. Last year I started experimenting with polymer resin. I now realize that others are interested in this medium as well. Check out Stephen Filla's paintings at

One day last summer I went down to the local Home Depot and picked up a .25" thick piece of MDF board (Medium Density Board) that was 24x24" (I like square format) and a gallon of epoxy resin. I then hurried home to start my new painting.

First, I took out my oil paints and put a layer of color directly on the MDF board. I decided to let that first layer of color dry (this first layer was an abstract painting made up of two colors). After that first layer was dry, I started a painting on top of it using acrylic and oil paints. This is when I decided that I would pour the epoxy resin directly on top of the 2nd layer while it was still wet.

I took my painting outside and propped it up on some 2x4's (I also put some cardboard down underneath). I then poured about 20 oz. of epoxy resin into a plastic container and added the hardner (this usually comes w/ the resin) then mixed it up using a paint stick. *Note, Resin is very toxic! Wear gloves and a respirator when around this stuff. Now comes the fun! I poured the resin on top of the painting, covering every inch of her. Cool things start to happen at this point. The wet paint mixes with resin which creates a look of depth. The paint/resin mixture swirls and drips off the sides of your board creating a beautiful mess. At this point you can just let 'er dry (you must let this dry in a super-well ventilated area). I recommend letting it dry in the garage as long as you don't have pets that hang out there for extended periods of time.

My advice is to get creative in this process and have fun! Please post comments if you have any other interesting ideas...I'm always interested in new techniques.


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    • profile image

      Big Hat 3 years ago

      Hi Gail, can I ask do you paint first and then add the resin or mix the two first?

      Oh and is it oils or acrylic paint you use?

      Thanks so much for your help.

    • profile image

      sarah 3 years ago

      Hi there have you any photos of your finished pieces? I am looking at doing some of these using wet acrylic paint and resin for a nice abstract finish

    • Resin Art Gallery profile image

      Resin Art Gallery 5 years ago

      I hope I'm not tooo late to join in? I would like to show what can be achieved with the use of this amazing material....

      Please take a look at

      I am also on YouTube.


    • profile image

      Phil 6 years ago

      I know this post is old, but what brand epoxy resin do you get from Home depot?

    • profile image

      duhpants 6 years ago

      just a friendly artist reminder: you aren't ever supposed to mix oil and acrylic together - and on top of that, resin and oil do not mix well together either. over time the resin on top of the oil will crack. ALWAYS USE WATER BASED PAINTS when working with resin.

    • profile image

      alexis 6 years ago

      I want put the paint on first then transfer a photo will then resin ruin the photo if I pour it over once it's dired or do you think it will be ok?

    • profile image

      gloria 6 years ago

      Thank you, great tutorial. Can I pour resin on a paper & photo and paint collage that has been glued w/ white glue to "Foam Board"?

    • profile image

      chris 7 years ago

      hi yesterday i used resin on a canvas painting i made a few months ago but some of the colours run out do u know why?

    • profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago

      Ok, so.. I randomly stumbled upon this while searching for tips, since I have been thinking about ways to encase my pieces in resin. I have been working on small pieces of canson and stonehenge black paper with acrylics, ink, and powdered pigments, and since the materials are very fragile I wanted to maybe pour resin on the top and bottom to form resin blocks with the paper inside. (or just pour a layer on the front and a layer on the back. Any tips on pouring resin on paper without mounting it? will it curl? will the weight of the resin help flatten pieces out if they are not quite flat anymore from applying water? or any tips on how i could make a block mold to pour resin, then lay my piece down, and pour another layer? Here is my flickr with some of my work, if that helps at all. Thank you!

    • coreyd profile image

      coreyd 7 years ago from Seattle

      Hi Thea,

      You can use stretched canvas. Just don't use a ton of the resin. A thin layer (1/16" or 1/8") will be fine.

      You can't thin the epoxy but you can control how much you put down. You can do several thin layers if you'd like.

      Yes, you can paint on top of a layer, let it dry and then pour another layer of resin. You can achieve pretty cool 3-d effects by doing this.

      I haven't tried Pour On but have seen some artwork that was coated with Ultra Glo (aslo made by envirotex) and it was crystal clear. I talked with someone at Tap Plastics who also recommended using Ultra Glo. I wish this stuff was cheaper!

      One other tip you may want to employ. If you don't want the resin to bead up on the back of the canvas, rub a thin layer of Vaseline around the edges on the back and then put tape over that. This will prevent the resin from adhering to the back. Simply pull the tape off after it has dried. Note, I haven't done the Vaseline method but was told this would work well.

    • profile image

      thea 7 years ago

      a few questions:

      1. can you us this on a stretched canvas or will it make the canvas sag???

      2. Can you thin the epoxy more so that you can use a couple of layers instead of just one?

      3. can you paint on TOP of a layer let it dry and then layer again?

      4. have you tried P:our On by Envirotex and if so does it work the same way?


      Liked you presentation.

    • profile image

      Toby Graser 7 years ago

      I would like this video a lot better if it didn't have that music in the background so I could really hear what you're saying.

    • profile image

      Amber  7 years ago

      Hi shelly I usually pour the resin on and then with a small blow torch get rid of the air bubbles . you can get one form b&q for £20.00 you need to hold it a slight distance away , too close will burn the art work !! so be very careful , this heat also evens out the resin and i usually apply with a paint brush ! im gonna try this pour on one as it sounds a lot cheaper than the epoxy !! goodluck x

    • profile image

      Corey 7 years ago

      Hi Shelly,

      When the resin is still liquid, mist the resin with denatured alcohol using a spray bottle. You may have to do this a couple times. I seem to remember seeing this done in a video. Hope this helps!


    • profile image

      Shelly 7 years ago

      I tried using resin on my art work as a sealer.....I have tons of bubbles and it is uneven. I know I need to put more on to even out...but what can I do about the bubbles? I've tried blow dryer and scraping.....didn't work!


      Thank you!!!

    • profile image

      Ta Ta Me 7 years ago

      what a great idea !

    • coreyd profile image

      coreyd 7 years ago from Seattle

      Hi Donna,

      You might try spraying the inside of your form with some kind of wax coating then pour the resin into the form and let dry for around a week. Once it has dried for a week or maybe longer, remove the forms and you should have a usable resin table top. I must warn you that I haven't done this before but it seems like it should work just fine. Also note, that you can by colors to add to the resin to. I've used opaque and iridescent colors and both work great. Maybe try a small table top first to see how it goes so you minimize your cost if it doesn't work the first time around. Best of luck and let me know how it goes. I would love to see a hub on your process w/ pics!



    • profile image

      donna 7 years ago

      i want to make a table top with resin. if i make a wood form, would i let it dry to a point of not fully being dry or spray my form with something so it willl not stick

    • coreyd profile image

      coreyd 8 years ago from Seattle

      You're gonna love working with Pour-on resin and wet oils! Best of luck and let me know how it went!

    • profile image

      Kandinsky's Wife 8 years ago

      WOW... this is so cool. I actually just picked up the Pour-on resin and wasn't sure if I could use it on wet oils. Sweet, so ready to give this little experiment a go... Wish me luck!

    • coreyd profile image

      coreyd 8 years ago from Seattle

      Thanks so much for the info. Monica! I will absolutely give POUR ON a try. No more ventilation masks, yay!

    • profile image

      monica.s 8 years ago

      THERE IS A MUCH LESS TOXIC VERSION OF EPOXY RESIN AVAILABLE!!! It also doesn't smell and won't leave a lingering "chemical" smell on your artwork (although I heard that that smell fades over time). Anyhow, it's called "POUR ON" by the brand ENVIROTEX. It comes in a sample size, too, in case you are just interested in small-scale experimentation. Epoxy is a fairly pricey medium in general--a gallon runs around at least $100.00. I bought the quart size for $27.99 and it covers 8 square feet. I would strongly recommend this brand over the highly-toxic brands! :)

    • profile image

      Mary Apple 8 years ago

      Corey, thank you so much. I was considering mounting on foamcore but was afraid that would not be a strong enuff support. I am now ready to start.

    • profile image

      Corey Dwinnell 8 years ago

      Hi Mary,

      You could use a spray adhesive such as Super 77 which is a 3M product. Here's a link to 3M so you can read about it.

      I would mount your painting to a .5" thick piece of MDF board (you can get this at Home Depot in the lumber section).

      Once mount your print to the board, you'll be ready to pour the resin on.

      Have fun!


    • profile image

      Mary Apple 8 years ago

      Great ideas! Have a few paintings on paper that would look great 'resined'. How do you suggest that I mount the paper on what support? Thanks

    • profile image

      Albert Roos 9 years ago

      I ve painted on acrylic glass and put it in resin.

      ( see : "Clear Resin" on my site )

    • profile image

      nate 9 years ago

      Fun!! I totally tried this with my wife the other night. She hasn't been the same ever since.

    • profile image

      coreyd 10 years ago

      Hi Gail,

      You can use any paint you want. I prefer to use oil paint myself but acrylics would work great too. I buy the epoxy resin + hardener (mix the hardener in with the epoxy) at Home Depot. If you have any questions about the epoxy itself, i'm sure someone working at Home Depot could answer your questions. Remember to use a mask and do this outside on a dry day or in a well ventilated garage (pretty toxic stuff). It will need a few days to harden and probably a good 2 weeks or more to totally cure. I hope I answered your questions. Have a great time with this Gail!

    • profile image

      Gail 10 years ago

      I want to give this a go, can you tell me do you use oil paint out of a tube or household paint, and where can I buy the epoxy resin from?

    • coreyd profile image

      coreyd 10 years ago from Seattle

      Yeah, there are a few artists out there who have created really cool paintings using polymer resin. Check out Stephen Filla when you get a chance.

    • profile image

      reggie 10 years ago

      Already, been done my friend! Check out Nick Mirandon!

    • profile image

      Larry 10 years ago

      cool idea, i'll try it out soon and let you know, thx for sharing!


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