Wednesday, March 11, 2020

7 Ways to Eliminate Bubbles from Your Resin

Don't let bubbles be the undoing of your next resin project.
No matter whether you're just starting out with resin or whether you've been working with resin for a while, bubbles are something you will always have to deal with. They can be really frustrating but there are ways of minimising them, or even eliminating them from your projects.

Colourful box containing text: 7 ways to eliminate bubbles from resin

There are many different things that cause bubbles and there are just as many ways to minimise or get rid of them. Half the battle is working out WHY you got bubbles. Once you know why you're getting them, it's a whole lot easier to deal with them.

Try some of these tips and tricks to beat those pesky bubbles.

How to Deal with Bubbles in the Mixing Stage


1. Avoid Vigorous Mixing and Stir Slowly

Resin needs to be mixed thoroughly for it to cure. If you stir fast or whip the resin, you'll incorporate a lot of bubbles into it. Try stirring slowly. It will take longer but when you're working with epoxy, you have plenty of time so stir slowly and you'll end up having a lot less bubbles to deal with.
Mixing resin with a stir stick in a small plastic cup

Small plastic cup with clear mixed resin

2. Rest the Resin

Once you've mixed the resin, let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Set a timer so that you don't forget it.

Most of the bubbles you mixed into the resin will rise to the surface. They're much easier to deal with once they're sitting on the surface of the resin than when they're suspended in the resin. To see how to pop bubbles on the surface of resin, see "How to Deal with Bubbles AFTER Pouring"
Small cup of mixed resin with a timer set for 10 minutes

3. Warm the Resin to Avoid Micro Bubbles

If you've ever mixed resin and it looks cloudy instead of clear, hold the cup up to the light. Most likely, it's full of tiny, microscopic bubbles. These bubbles are so small that they can't rise through the resin to the surface and if there are thousands of them, the resin appears cloudy. This is what happens when you mix cold resin.

If your bottles of resin feel cool/cold to the touch, try warming them in a container of warm water. Make sure the lids are on tightly so no moisture can get inside them. Leave the bottles for 10 minutes and then remove them from the water bath. The bottles should no longer feel cool. Now you can go ahead and mix the two parts together. Don't forget to refer to the instructions that came in your resin kit - they will tell you what the optimum temperature for working with your resin is.
Warning: Never mix hot resin. If the bottles feel hot, let them cool before mixing the two parts together.
Resin and hardener bottles sitting in a container of warm water

How to Deal with Bubbles AFTER Pouring

Mixing resin isn't the only place that you'll encounter bubbles. Even if you have no bubbles after mixing, there are still other ways that bubbles can be introduced into the resin, so having some tricks up your sleeve to deal with them is essential.

4. Drag Them Out of the Resin

When you put textured items into resin, quite often a bubble will get trapped against the surface of the object. You can avoid that happening by "painting" on a thin layer of resin with a stir stick before placing it in the mould. But if you still manage to get a bubble, use a toothpick to dislodge it and then drag it out to the edge of the mould where you can remove it from the resin.
Using a toothpick to dislodge the bubbles caught on the surface of the leaf.

Using a toothpick to drag bubbles to the edge of the mould.

5. Use a Straw

Once bubbles reach the surface, you can blow through a straw to pop them. The carbon dioxide in your breath will pop them.
Bubbles being removed from resin by blowing through a straw

6. Use a BBQ Lighter

This is one of my favourite tricks. You'll need a BBQ lighter or gas torch for this trick. Pass the flame BRIEFLY across the surface of the resin. Use a back and forth motion so that you keep the flame moving across the resin surface at all times and don't linger in one spot. 
Passing a flame from a BBQ torch across the surface of the resin

7. Spray with Rubbing Alcohol

If you're not comfortable using a flame on the surface of the resin, then this tip might be for you. Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spritz the surface of the resin. The alcohol breaks the surface tension causing the bubbles to pop. The alcohol will evaporate quickly without affecting the resin.


And here's one BONUS TIP: Use a Heat Gun to Pop Bubbles

I prefer to do this in the mixing cup rather than when the resin is in the mould. Why?
Because the temptation is to concentrate the heat too long in one spot to pop a stubborn bubble. This can cause the resin and the mould to fuse together permanently. And then the only way to remove the resin is to destroy the mould.

So, just give the resin in the cup a short burst with the heat gun and you'll see most surface bubbles pop.

Now that you have a host of different ways of dealing with bubbles, go forth and create bubble-free resin projects.

Pin These Tips!
How to deal with bubbles in resin tip sheet


Happy resining!








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Would you like to comment?

  1. Thanks so much for your amazing tips with resin, I’ve been dabbling with it for a while now but I’m still learning! I’m very grateful that you are kind enough to share your knowledge and experience with us! Stay safe and healthy and have a good 4th of July! Liz

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    1. Liz, thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad you found these tips useful.
      If you'd like to fast track your resin journey, my online classes at www.resinmadesimple.com will really escalate your understanding and confidence in using resin.
      Take care, and happy resining!
      Myléne

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  2. This is great, thank you! I’ve also been using resin for a few years but have not been able to achieve that glasslike surface. Your tips are easy to remember and so simple that I feel foolish for not thinking of them. Thanks again! I’ll be trying these today. ��

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    1. I'm glad you're finding the tips useful, Theresa. I have another one that might also help... and it is so simple that you'll kick yourself for not thinking of it. Check out this blog post on how to MIX RESIN WITHOUT BUBBLES: https://milllanestudio.blogspot.com/2020/04/how-to-mix-resin-without-bubbles.html

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  3. I tried the rubbing alochol and my resin never properly cured (it was b/c of the alcohol b/c I did some pieces with no alcohol and it cured perfect)

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    1. A LIGHT spritz with rubbing alcohol over the resin won't affect the resin curing. It will evaporate in just minutes.

      If you've had a problem with the resin not curing, then you need to look at other possible causes.

      If this was the exact same mixture of resin that you poured into several different moulds and ONLY THE ONE DIDN'T CURE, then it may be that you've scraped unmixed resin off the sides of the cup and it's ended up on the surface of the resin.

      If it was a different mix of resin, then you may have inaccurately measured the resin OR not blended it well enough for the chemical reaction to cure it.
      If the uncured resin is only on the surface you might be able to save your piece by applying a clear layer of resin over the surface.

      I hope that helps you for your next batch.

      Myléne

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  4. Many thanks for the tips. I will try rubbing alcohol spray!

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    1. Glad the tips have helped, Denise. The rubbing alcohol spritz is a game changer!

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  5. Avoid using wood sticks to stir your resin. Wood is porous and will introduce bubbles. Get some plastic or silicone sticks which are relatively inexpensive and reusable. Makes a huge difference.

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