Resin art is probably one of the most magical methods of creating a masterpiece thanks to its process and possibilities.
We understand how it can sometimes be challenging to choose the best resin for art, even with the multitude of types and brands available.
Hence, we reviewed five resins, prepared a buyer’s guide, and answered FAQs to help you make a more informed purchase decision.
Best Resin for Art: A Review
1.Crystal Resin and Hardener by Unicone Art
Unicone Art is a brand that epitomizes the magic and charm of resin, as they specialize in manufacturing resin art supplies.
Aside from resin and hardeners, they also offer mica powders, alcohol inks, silicone oils, and other high-end materials.
Their resin formulas are available in different volumes: 16oz, 32oz, and one gallon, perfect for those who create resin art for selling.
Since they have premium quality, they are available at a price higher than others.
At the time of writing this article, though, they are currently offering a free bubble level for every purchase of their 32-ounce product.
Each kit comes in a pair of separated bottles of epoxy resin and hardener that equally make up the total volume.
Hence, expect to get two 16-ounce bottles, a pink and a blue one, for your 32-ounce order.
When mixed properly, the product is crystal clear and self-leveling, producing stunning high-gloss results.
We love the brand’s value for health and the environment.
The product’s formula is non-toxic, with no fumes and a gentler odor compared to those of other brands. It is also free from BPA and VOC.
Additionally, it is effortless to prepare, requiring only a 1:1 mixing ratio, and it doesn’t bubble a lot.
The only thing we can complain about the Crystal Resin and Hardener Kit is the high price tag.
- Easy to mix
- Stunning results
2. Casting & Coating Epoxy Resin Kit by HXDZFX
There’s minimal information about the brand HXDZFX, but their Casting & Coating Epoxy Resin Kit is a joy to work with and comes with a lot of freebies.
The company also offers other resin materials like powdered pigments and a variety of other art supplies.
Their resin formula is available in two volumes: 520ml and 940ml, again divided into two bottles of epoxy resin and hardener.
They are both priced mid-ranged, perfect for beginner resin artists who don’t want to spend a lot on their initial projects and experiments.
Both Casting & Coating Epoxy Resin Kits come with different freebies, but we will focus on the 940-milliliter variety.
It comes with two 470-milliliter bottles of product, a pair of rubber gloves, four droppers, two 100ml measuring cups, and two wooden mixing sticks.
When mixed properly, the final product is crystal clear, self-leveling, and non-yellowing that give high-gloss, scratch-resistant results.
In our experience, you can also use it with hand-made pigments or colorants that don’t usually work well with formulas from other brands.
Like Unicone Art’s formula, this epoxy resin is non-toxic, BPA-free, and VOC-free. It is also effortless to prepare with a 1:1 mixing ratio.
What we do appreciate most, though, are the freebies and the non-yellowing and scratch-resistant features.
It is quite disappointing that we don’t know much about the manufacturer.
That is because we usually stay away from unknown brands, especially when purchasing possibly toxic substances like resin.
- Non-yellowing formula
- Scratch-resistant high-gloss results
- Freebies included
- Limited company information
3. The Artist’s Resin by Naked Fusion
If there’s a company that excels in resin formulas, that would be Naked Fusion; in fact, they don’t offer anything else.
They are pioneers that have been developing their unique formula since the 1970s.
Their two lines of products include The Artist’s Resin and Deep Pour Resin.
The latter is for bigger projects like river tables, other pieces of furniture, and large silicone molds.
The Artist’s Resin, though, is what you should get if you intend to work on smaller projects, albeit coming at a higher price.
The “naked” in Naked Fusion stands for being non-toxic, odor-free, fume-free, BPA-free, and VOC-free. It even has a food-safe label.
Like Unicone Art, the The Artist’s Resin is available in three volumes: 16oz, 32oz, and one gallon.
They all come in bottles of two: resin and hardener.
When mixed properly, their UV-resistant, self-leveling formula is not just crystal clear, but it’s diamond clear, resulting in a mirror-like shine.
With an easy-to-prepare 1:1 mixing ratio, we really appreciate that the The Artist’s Resin has stood the test of time as one of the go-to formulas by resin artists for the past 40 years.
What we love best about it, though, is the 45-minute working time it provides before the mixture starts setting. Other brands only go up to 30 minutes.
The only downside of the The Artist’s Resin is its price.
- Well-known brand
- Very safe to use
- Impressive clarity
- Longer working time
4. Epoxy Resin Starter Kit by Craft Resin
Craft Resin is one of the most trusted brands by resin artists, especially those from Europe. After all, it hails from Lincoln, UK.
Like Naked Fusion, this brand specializes in resin but focused on perfecting a single formula that they offer in four volumes: 1L, 2L, 4L, and 8L.
The company calls the one-liter set the starter kit, while the four- and eight-liter variants are labeled as pro kits.
Its high-end formula comes at a price, though, so it’s definitely not something you want to waste on experimentation unless you have the extra funds.
Since it is a starter kit, you will receive a pair of gloves and a reusable mixing stick with the two 500ml bottles of epoxy resin and hardener.
When mixed properly, this UV-resistant self-leveling formula results in a high-gloss, glass-like finish.
What we love best about this epoxy resin starter kit are its health and safety features.
Craft Resin’s formula is non-toxic, odor-free, solvent-free, and something that we haven’t seen in other products.
It is also non-flammable, making it one of the most non-hazardous mixtures in the market.
Another unique thing about the formula is its low viscosity, perfect for making those marble effects.
Other things to like about this product are the extended working time (45 minutes) and an easy, 1:1 mixing ratio.
There are two downsides to this product. First, it doesn’t come in lower volumes, so anyone who wants to try it out has no choice but to get the one-liter starter kit.
Second, it is more expensive compared to the other products we have featured so far.
- Well-known brand
- One of the safest resin products
- Lower viscosity
- Impressive clarity
- Longer working time
- Not available in lower volumes
5. Pro Marine Supplies Resin
Pro Marine supplies is one of the most popular and established resin brands in the space. Based in Michigan the company was founded in 2009 as a boat repair company but their products are used by boat repair shops, artists, crafters, and construction workers alike.
Especially since the product was created as a boat repair material, this product is very durable and water resistant. However, it’s still not intended to be used outdoors permanently.
It’s designed more for flat surfaces like table tops, bars, and other flat artwork.
When mixed properly, their self-leveling formula also results in a crystal clear finished product.
UV resistant and more durable than some of the other types, so it’s great for finishing pieces that may be moved a bit or put where sun may shine on it.
Not as catered to artists. Some other resin may be better fit for casting and other types of resin art, while this may be better for flat surface finishing.
- UV Resistant
- FDA Compliant, food safe to touch
- Not designed for casting or sculpture, mostly just for flat surfaces
Aside from our lineup of the best resin products in the market today, we also want to share a quick list of the features that you should look into when choosing the right epoxy resin for your art.
You might have noticed in our reviews for the best resin for art that one of the features we put in high regard is product safety.
After all, we believe that creating art doesn’t have to come at the expense of your health.
Make sure to read the product label carefully before purchasing. Tags that say non-toxic, odorless, and fume-free are always a good sign.
If you will use your resin for projects that will surely come in contact with food, like kitchen counters or tumblers, we recommend food-safe formulas.
2. Clarity and UV-Resistance
The clarity that you should go for is as clear as water, especially once cured. While there are always projects that call for a frosted look, we can’t deny the elegance that a high-gloss finish provides.
The problem with resin is that it tends to turn yellowish in time due to UV radiation.
There are three ways to prevent or, at the very least prolong this inevitability: you can keep your finished product indoors protected from sun exposure, coat it with a UV-protection finish, or just get a UV-resistant formula.
Another factor that can ruin your finished project’s clarity is bubbling. Fortunately, some formulas produce fewer bubbles.
If you do end up working with a product that bubbles a lot, there’s a quick remedy.
You can mix and pour your formula more slowly and go through it with a torch or heat gun after pouring to pop any stragglers.
You can also use a toothpick for popping bubbles individually in the absence of a torch or heat gun, but it won’t be as effective.
One of the most stunning qualities of resin art is its glossy, perfectly-leveled surface.
Can you imagine coating your wooden center table with resin and get a sloping surface, or worse, uneven bumps?
Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about those if you have a self-leveling formula. This kind of resin will magically set leveled without any additional effort required.
You might want to put painter’s tape surrounding the surface that you will coat to prevent drips since self-leveling resin products tend to be more fluid.
If your self-leveling resin is somehow not level, it means you’re not using enough resin. It would help if you pour more.
Another feature that we look into when purchasing epoxy resin for art is its mixing ratio.
Not all products come in a 1:1 mixing ratio, like the ones we have featured above. It all boils down to how your resin and hardeners are formulated.
We didn’t find any stark difference in the appearance of our finished work when using non-1:1 formulas, but we did find using them quite confusing.
For instance, we certainly didn’t enjoy working with a formula that required a 100:45 mixing ratio.
Remember, mixing ratios should be taken seriously. They need to be precise if you want your product to harden optimally.
FAQs About Art-Friendly Resin
1. What resin do you use for resin art?
There are two types of resin that we commonly use for resin art: polymer and epoxy.
We prefer working with epoxy resin, though, since polymer formulas tend to smell nasty and produce more fumes.
We have also gotten generally better results working with epoxy resin compared with using polymer resin.
We’ll consider using polymer resin for a high-quantity resin casting order because of the material’s affordability.
However, you must only use it in a well-ventilated environment while wearing personal protective equipment.
2. Is art resin the same as epoxy?
There are two ways to answer this question. Yes and no.
Yes, epoxy resin is the go-to formula for making resin art for the reasons we have mentioned above. Hence, it is considered as “art resin”.
However, if you’re referring to Art Resin, the brand, then no. Art Resin is an epoxy resin, but not all epoxy resins are Art Resin.
3. Is resin art expensive?
The amount that you spend on making resin art actually depends on several factors.
First is the size of your project. Smaller projects such as making jewelry or paperweights are not that expensive since they require less product and material.
Bigger projects, on the other hand, like tables and counterparts, will require more product so they can rack up quite an expense.
The quality and brand of your chosen resin also play a crucial role. As mentioned, the polymer resin is usually more affordable, while premium epoxy resin can be quite pricey.
If you want a cheaper process, then we recommend tightening on other expenses. You can buy second-hand silicone molds online or use reusable mixing sticks and measuring cups.
You can even consider making your own molds, especially for unique projects that require custom-made molds.
4. Can I mix acrylic paint with resin?
Yes, you can; in fact, there are different mediums that you can use as a colorant for your art aside from resin-specific tints and powdered pigments.
Heavy acrylics are a bit thick, so use them with care. You might want to mix longer, too, just to make sure that they bind fully with your resin.
However, we’d recommend using pigments instead of acrylics with resin. Check out our guide “How to Color and Dye Resin: Step by Step Tutorial” for more specific tips on what to mix in with resin.
5. How do beginners use resin?
There are different projects that we can recommend to absolute beginners. We do find them gravitating towards resin casting, though.
It is the method of pouring resin into a mold and allowing it to set.
To do this, follow these steps:
- You’ll need a pair of gloves, epoxy resin and hardener, a mold, a variety of colorants, several measuring cups, and wooden mixing spoons. (There’s a ton of different casting molds, just check casting molds out here)
- Wear your gloves.
- Prepare your resin formula according to its mixing ratio. Mix it carefully. Add in a few drops of colorant and mix again.
- You can add glitters, flakes, beads, and more into your resin mix to add more interest.
- Meanwhile, you can add anything into your mold from stickers, flowers, and tiny memorabilia.
- Carefully pour your resin into the mold. Tap it down to help it level.
- Pop any bubbles with your torch, and leave it to cure.
6.What is the difference between epoxy resin and polyester resin?
Epoxy resin is a two-part synthetic resin that is known for its strong adhesive properties and resistance to water and chemicals. Polyester resin, on the other hand, is a less expensive and less durable option that is often used for smaller projects. Epoxy resin is generally considered to be a higher quality and more versatile option for a wide range of applications.
7. What is the best resin for making jewelry?
There are several types of resin that work well for jewelry making, but the most popular and highly recommended is epoxy resin. It is durable, clear, and easy to work with, making it perfect for creating beautiful and long-lasting jewelry pieces. Other options include UV resin and polyester resin, but they may not be as user-friendly or produce the same high-quality results.
8. How long does it take for resin to cure?
The curing time for resin can vary depending on the type of resin and the environmental conditions. Generally, it takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hours for resin to fully cure and harden. However, some resins may take longer or shorter depending on the specific product and application. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for curing time and conditions to ensure the best results.
Voila! You’ve just finished your first resin project.
Our Final Recommendation
You certainly need to purchase the right epoxy resin and hardener before you can create your resin art.
Of the five products we have featured, our personal favorite has got to be The Artist’s Resin by Naked Fusion.
It is non-toxic, odorless, and food-safe. It is also UV-resistant, so we’re sure that its diamond-clear result won’t turn yellow even with sun exposure.
It is available in a 16-ounce volume if you just want to give it a try, but it also comes in one-gallon bottles if you need to purchase in bulk.
We also appreciate the 45-minute working time. After all, we never enjoy rushing our resin projects.
Acrylic Pouring staff is made up of aritists and writers from around the world. We take information from our own experiences, tests, and research what works best from our Facebook Group and other top artists. Join our Facebook Group to get insight from other top artists and find out about giveaways. Follow us on Instagram for top acrylic pours and tips, and check out our Pinterest for some of our favorite pouring and fluid art tutorials from around the web!
8 thoughts on “Best Resin for Art of 2020: Complete Reviews and Comparisons”
Very good information, but are any of these resins available in Australia?
I see craft resin on amazon Australia. Also Unicone.
Very interesting and helpful article. Thank you! I’m just curious: did you test StoneCoat Art resin by any chance? It has a 45 minute working time, and is specially formulated for artists. I have used it and like it.
We didn’t test StoneCoat this time. But we’ll put it on the list for future reviews. Thanks for the tip!
Are these resins all heat resistant? I want to coat some coasters and need to know my hot coffee mug won’t stick to the coaster!
Very nice format and appreciate the info but there is NO safe resin.
It’s a chemical reaction. You are heating a polymer. The fumes can for crystals in your lungs later in time.
Still use resin, just don’t believe it’s safe. Wear a respirator, keep skin covered etc.
I have used many, many resins. There are plusses and minuses to all of them. But Naked Fusion is not a good resin for artists. It is way to bubbly.
I am interested in knowing what resin to use for coasters when used with a hot beverage.