Pouring clear bubble free resin to showcase objects into your resin boards or tables can be a tricky process. It requires patience, lots of it and slow, yes I said slow, and shallow pours. If it is done right it can look fantastic. As an Aries artist, I don't have a lot of patience so this was a tough learning curve for me. I like instant results so putting some cool music on and just chilling out and walking away is how I control that inner voice telling me to do another pour. There was nothing worse than going back excited to unveil your artwork to see those infamous bubbles staring up at me.
If you have ever been disappointed with the end result then here are some quick basic tips that have helped me improve my outcomes.
Tip #1 - Seal the wood with a first coat of thin resin
I always do a sealing coat of resin. This means me rubbing a thin coat of resin with gloved fingers into the grooves and over the places on my board that I will be pouring my main layers of resin on. This first sealing coat for me has been vital. It prevents any future reactive bubbles coming through your resin from any tannins in the wood or other reactive chemicals. Leave this thin resin sealing layer to cure overnight. This means that your next pour is resin over resin - no reactions yay!
Tip #2 - Sand it
Next step is the get a fine sanding block or paper and sand back any rough bits on the sealing coat. This will mean your first pour will be smooth and imperfection free. The resin should be cured enough for you to give it a good sand. Then wipe if clean with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust and then dry it off. Make sure it is dry and clean before pouring any new resin.
Tip #3 - Pour the first shallow layer of resin and place the seashell or objects into the groove now.
This should be a shallow 3-5 mm depth pour. Gently heat it or propane gas it to clear any bubbles and to ensure the resin is a nice consistency. I always warm my resin in a water bath before I combine the hardener and resin. I live in a cold climate at the bottom of the world so it is hard to keep my resin warm. The colder the resin is the murkier or milky in colour it can look. Once you have the resin nice and clear in the groove you can place your shells or items in now. This shallow layer is what will set them in place. If you make the resin too deep at this stage the shells or items can float up. Cover your project up and walk away. Don't come back for at least 6-8 hours or even better overnight.
Tip #4 - New day new pour - repeat - repeat
I'm doing it again, same thing as above just another shallow pour of no more than 3-5 mm - a quick zap with propane gas gun (very quick to avoid burning your seashells). You can repeat this process until you reach the top of the pool. Because you have done such a great job of the seashells in the resin pool you will also at this point be doing the rest of the top board ocean pour and making those cool wave effects.
Tip #5 - Finish strong
This is where you go wow I so excited about how that looks. I was soooooo patient and it paid off and I didn't over pour my resin just to finish this.
The learning process
Resin is a learning process. Not all resin is the same and different resins can be used for different applications. I use JustResin from Australia. This board was make using Diamondcote. It is a beautiful clear very fluid resin that is fantastic for lacing of the white water. Let me know your success and or disasters with embedding shells or objects into your projects.