Ever been curious about the types of resin and when to use them? I get it! There are many different types of resin out there and it can be a bit confusing on which one you should buy.  It just depends on your project; Don’t let it intimidate you! Learning how to use resin opens up a world of creative possibilities, whether it’s top-coating a painting for a beautiful, glass looking finish or decorating a surface with unique mould castings.  I can’t wait to share with you the types of resin I love and use to make beautiful art.

Art like this:

What is Resin?

Resin is my go-to product when I want to take my creative endeavors to the next level.  But, before we dive into the nitty-gritty of working with it, let’s get acquainted with this magical substance.  I don’t want to bore you with a bunch of Chemistry, so here’s what you need to know: Resin, in its simplest form, is a type of polymer that can transform from a liquid to a solid state through a chemical process called curing. It’s available in various forms, but for purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on two different types of resin that are used often by DIY enthusiasts.

I have an easy Resin Checklist to have at your fingertips.  Sign up below and I’ll send it right over!

Types of Resin and the Differences:

I use two different types of resin when creating art and it varies between the two depending on the project I’m doing; Epoxy resin and Urethane (Fast Casting) Resin.

So What’s the Difference in Epoxy Resin and a Fast-Cast Resin?

The most obvious difference would be in its transparency.  A Fast Cast (Urethane) resin is white in color and can only be used for mould castings.  An Epoxy Resin is clear and is used mostly for top coating surfaces, but can be used for mould castings as well.

Both products, when purchased, come in two parts, Part A and Part B.  One is the resin and one is the hardener.  When these two parts are mixed together, in a 1:1 ratio, a reaction starts which causes the liquid to harden or cure.  The epoxy  takes about 24 hours to cure while the fast-cast  cures in 5-10 minutes.  Both can be used in silicone moulds for casting objects, but the epoxy is the only one used to coat your project giving it a clear, glossy finish.

Examples of Types of Resin:

Epoxy Resin:

I normally use epoxy resin to top-coat a piece of art. This type of top coating is really durable and gives your art a glass like finish.  Below is a project that is coated with Epoxy.  There are glass chips in the center of the sunflower and the epoxy resin holds it all in place. See how pretty and glassy it is?

The workshop for this project is available HERE!

image of 2 acrylic sunflowers with resin and glass

You can purchase this brand HERE.

Amy Howard epoxy resin

Whenever I have epoxy left over, after top-coating a piece of art, I will pour it into a silicone mould.  I never want to waste my resin! That stuff’s not cheap!  Here are mould castings made with Epoxy.  See how they’re translucent? The Sunflower silicone mould is from Iron Orchid Designs.

Shop IOD Moulds HERE.

Image of Sunflower castings made using epoxy resin.

Here’s an example of a  Fast-Cast Resin.  This is probably the one I use most for making mould castings.  It’s quick setting and I can color it right in the mould! For more details on coloring resin castings, check out HOW TO COLOR RESIN.

You can purchase this brand HERE.

Image showing example of a fast casting resin.


Image of different mediums to use in silicone moulds.

Here are examples of mould castings using epoxy as well as a Fast-Cast resin. You can see how the Fast Cast castings are white and opaque while again, the epoxy castings are translucent.

For a tutorial on how to create unique home decor with these castings (the book and the pumpkin art seen above), check out How to Upcycle Old Books and The Art of Resin Casting.

Choosing the Correct Type of Resin for your Project:

Choosing the appropriate resin for your project can significantly impact the outcome of your creative endeavor.  The first thing you want to do is ask yourself a few questions before starting your project.  Are you making decorative castings by filling a silicone mould?  Do you need them quickly? Do you want to color them? Are you top coating a project for a clear, glass-like appearance?  Let’s break it down:

Making castings from silicone moulds? If yes, either epoxy or a fast-cast resin will work.

Do you need it quickly? If yes, you need a Fast-Cast Resin.

Do you have a painting, table top, or any other surface that you want to top coat? If yes, then you would need an Epoxy.

Want more help on when to use the many types of Resin?

Sign up below and grab my free Beginner’s Resin Guidebook.  It contains a simple flowchart to help you choose the correct resin for your project as well as all my tips for a properly cured surface.

So I hope you’ve seen how the world of resin crafting is a realm of endless possibilities, limited only by your imagination. We’ve walked through the differences in epoxy vs. a fast-cast resin and discussed how to select the right type for your project.  Whether you’re top-coating unique art pieces, creating home decor, or embellishing furniture, resin allows  you to turn ordinary projects into stunning pieces of art.  Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged by any initial challenges. You will always learn something through the challenges which will only help you master the skill.  So, gather your supplies, trust your inner artist, and let resin enhance your unique style and creativity.

Happy Resining! ~ Joanie

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