Experimenting with Resin – Part 2: Resin and Gold

2 of 3 ➡ See the Whole Series

Time for the resin!

Before I poured, I ran some masking tape along the edge with about 1/8" of the tape peeking over the edge. I didn't have the recommended ducting tape or sheathing tape, but I hoped it would keep the paper in place and stop the resin from running down the edge.

As I poured the resin, right away I could see that I had guessed right about how the paper would act under the resin. The hard geometric edges of the paper almost faded away, leaving a subtle layer of flat color and making the texture of the natural leaves and particles in the paper much more apparent.

Look at the paper under the resin and outside of the resin, completely different effect! Even the washi tape - which had "natural" colored areas - melded into the background nicely.

However, right away I also had issues with the paper.

As I said, I tacked it into place using washi tape, dots of adhesive, and tape on the edges. But, I didn't think about what would happen as the resin started to move around above and under the tissue-weight papers.

In some cases, it lifted the paper to the surface of the resin. In other cases, the paper stayed down, but large bubbles formed under the paper. I had to work all over my piece with an xacto knife and a silicone tool, cutting tiny holes in the paper to let bubbles out and trying to push/burnish the paper back down.

One of my favorite new tools, a silicone spreader/burnisher/brush! (Link in my Kit at the bottom of the page)

Finally though it was good enough to let cure...

...and when I peeked in the morning it was so gorgeous!

As you can see in the video, there were some issues with the paper and tape breaking the surface of the resin, but overall I was so happy with the colors and the look!

After it completely cured, I sanded down the resin as much as possible, trying to eliminate the rough edges around the tape as well as the "lip" that formed where I'd taped it.

Sanding it makes the resin look a bit matte and opaque, but this will go away as soon as you apply a second coat. You can also see the guide lines for my next step (in yellow).
Up close you can see where the tape broke the resin surface. I didn't want to sand down the tape, just smooth everything enough for the next step.

Now, at this point I could have just poured a final gloss layer on the cured resin to even out the floaty paper and tape, but I felt like it needed another layer of design.

I had liked the abstract grid patterns of the collage, and while a lot of it was still visible, it became much more subtle than when I was laying it out dry. I photographed this mule deer buck in gorgeous golden hour light, so I decided that a layer of vertical gold stripes would finish off the design and emphasize that warm, glowy light.

Using different widths of tape - some hand cut drafting tape, and some thin chart tape - I could create an abstract design that wasn't too "pattern-y."

I used a stabilo pencil (water soluble and easy to wipe off when you're done) to mark out the general shape for the gold stripes to follow, and masked them off with tape.

The bronze medium dries quickly, so you can do a double coat in about 20 minutes if you think it needs it.

Next I painted on used Schminke's Oleo Bronze powder. This a pigment powder that you have to mix with a special medium, and if you use it the right way it looks like gold leaf but gives you a lot more control.

Peeling the tape is the best part! Once the tape was gone I used water to wipe away the yellow guide lines.

As a final step, I gave a light sand to the gold stripes to make them look a little more aged and integrated. I love the versatility that resin layers give, letting me sand one element without affecting any others!

Finally I added a few drawing accents around the face and antlers, again with stabilo pencils.

Now, it's time for the final pour!

Next post, the final image!

Things I've Learned So Far:

  • Secure collage items better! If I had used more leafing adhesive, had poured a thin layer of resin and then used acrylic medium to adhere to the dry resin, or had poured a layer of resin and embedded the collage items into the resin once it slightly set but still sticky, the collage process would have been easier.
  • A small palm or mouse sander will save you a lot of time and elbow grease if you need to sand between layers!
  • A level working space and a box to protect curing resin from dust/insects/pet hair is a must! I used a small level to find best spot on my studio countertop (you'd think the whole thing would be level, but you'd be wrong), and cut one side off of a computer monitor box to put over my pieces while they cure. Check on them every 30 minutes or so in the first 2 hours of curing to heat out any new bubbles and pick out surprise hairs (use a toothpick).
  • If you use all plastic and/or silicone tools - surface mat, stirrers, mixing cups, spreaders, etc - cleanup is a breeze! Let the resin harden, then just peel it off. (Check my Kit below for some cool tools I found!)
  • In the first pour I used an embossing heat gun to pop bubbles, but by the second pour I had bought a small torch. I for sure recommend the torch! The embossing gun did the job, but also blew resin all over the place if I wasn't careful.

Try It Yourself: Check out my Kit for a list of some of the materials I used in this project. I'll continue to update the kit for the materials from each blog!

Link/Affiliation Disclosures:

I may earn affiliate income through sales from product links, at no additional charge to you. I only link to products that I use and love!

After I sent them an email with about 50 complicated technical questions, Art Resin gifted me with a resin kit in return for posting a project with it (they also answered my questions in amazing detail, they're awesome).

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