Welcome back to acrylic pouring. Today we are going to tackle a topic that comes up quite a bit: coasters! Coasters are a great way to start using resin in your pours, because the pieces are small, inexpensive, and you don’t need a lot of resin to start this project.
While I go over a specific type of resin work in this article, I’ve also created a downloadable course on how to do resin artwork for those interested in taking their resin art to the next level. This course gives you a broader base of knowledge in resin and the specific techniques I use. There’s also an option to include a supply kit that will give you all the supplies you need to get started. You can find my course and kits here.
Supplies I used
–Ceramic tiles (hexagon, square, or any shape)
–Resin of your choice
-Pigments (acrylic, mica, ink, glitter—your choice)
–Safety protection for yourself and your work area
–Cork or felt backing with adhesive attached (optional)
To start, prepare your area for resin work. I like to put a big trash bag down over the entire work area. Also make sure you have your safety materials, respirator, and gloves. I like using hexagon tiles from the hardware store since they are inexpensive and the shape looks fun on your coffee table.
Also, I recommend elevating your tiles a little so the resin has some space to drip off. Keep some rubbing alcohol handy as well, as this is about the only thing that will get resin cleaned off your hands or anywhere else it ends up.
Mixing Your Resin
Begin by mixing your resin in plastic cups. Mix it according to your resin instructions—each one is different, so please refer to your bottle for your individual instructions. Once mixed, divide the resin into smaller plastic cups to add your tints to.
Remember when adding pigments or acrylic, that you don’t want to add more than 10 percent by volume to your resin. So if adding regular acrylic paint, start with a small amount; you’ll be surprised by how pigmented regular acrylic paint becomes in resin. Remember, less is more.
Design: There’s no Wrong Way
Now, when it comes to pouring resin on your tiles, there is really no wrong way. I highly recommend referring to the color wheel and using complementary colors if you are unsure of what colors will work well together.
I like to do beach-colored coasters, so my colors of choice are shades of blue, burnt umber for the sand, and white for the waves. There is really no wrong way to do this part, though—the creativity and design is up to you!
When you’re finished putting your colored resin down, it’s time to torch the top and get out all of those air bubbles. Don’t skip this step, as it’s crucial to having your resin cure with that ultra glossy finish. Torching also makes the resin thinner, so this is a good time to tilt your coasters if you want to.
Once you have your design finished, stop! Resin has a short work time, and overworking is a real problem. Less really is more. So leave it, resist the urge to touch it, and cover your project up with a box or lid so no hair or fuzzies get into the resin as it is curing.
Check your instructions to see what your cure time is, but it’s generally between 24 and 72 hours, so don’t touch it before then!
Once your coasters are cured, they look amazing finished with some cork or felt backing. You can find both materials with adhesive already on them. Just cut down to size and you have a beautifully finished product.
Ann is a wife, mom to 5 kids, and pastry chef turned full time artist. In 2017 she was diagnosed with Lyme disease and discovered painting as a new creative outlet. She went from having never painted to becoming a full time artist in less than a year.
Her art is inspired by the beauty and mystery of Hawaii, and she specializes in resin, acrylic, watercolor, and heavy texture. Discover more of her work, including timelapses and art to purchase, on her instagram @annupton.art. You can also check out Ann’s resin course that teaches the basics of resin and techniques she uses to make her beautiful art.