Are you excited to start working with epoxy resin and create some one-of-a kind pieces? The coolest thing about epoxy is that it gives you hundreds and thousands of possibilities when it comes to what you can make.
Wanna revamp your living room table with a glossy finish? Use epoxy.
Wanna make some boho chic earrings for your sister? Use epoxy.
Whatever you try to make, it’s going to be a fun DIY project as long as you respect some ground rules.
You have to be very careful with the curing time of your epoxy resin. Curing time could make or break your entire project.
So, let’s see how long does it take epoxy resin to dry?
What you need to know about resin dry time:
First things first, let’s learn what cure time is. The cure time is the amount of time it takes for epoxy resin to dry or harden. It can vary from one resin to another. The best practice is to read the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer carefully, as it will mention clearly how to dry the resin and the expected time frames.
Usually, it can take between 24-72 hours for the resin to dry completely. During this time, you shouldn’t touch or move your project as it can damage the surface.
Can you cure resin faster?
Yes you can!
You’ve probably wondered many times if you can find a quick dry resin on the market, and the answer is yes! There are faster-curing resins out there. But there’s a catch! These types of resin can start to harden within minutes, so you don’t have much time to work with it. If you’re a beginner, we don’t really recommend using such an epoxy resin, because you’ll be prone to making more mistakes.
Another option you have is to warm the materials before working with them. Place your bottles of resin and hardener in hot water and let them sit there for a while. For Roxy Epoxy, we recommend letting the bottles sit in hot water for 30-35 minutes at a temperature of 122F (50C). You can also add heat after you’ve poured the resin by using a hairdryer or heat gun. It will also help you eliminate any air bubbles that might have formed on the surface. However, you should be very careful when doing this in order to avoid cracking.
Another trick you can do to try and decrease the slow cure of your epoxy resin is to increase the room temperature. Add a few degrees on your thermostat or use a heat lamp-- whichever is more convenient for you.
The fastest way to dry resin is by using a special UV resin that cures in as little as 2 minutes under a UV lamp.
What can go wrong when speeding up epoxy dry time?
Speeding up the epoxy curing time has its benefits, but it can also have downsides that you should take into account. Your project might cure unevenly and you risk the following:
- Yellowing can occur
- Sticky spots on the surface
- Epoxy has a cloudy appearance
- Blushing can occur, such as Amine blush, which is an effect that can appear and which looks like a waxy film on the surface of your cured resin.
- Uneven surface with glossy and non-glossy areas
- Improper adhesion to the base of your project
What mistakes should you avoid?
When you’re trying to speed up the drying process, mistakes can occur which is normal. After all, to err is human. We want to save you as many headaches as possible, so we’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes you should keep an eye for:
- Too much curing agent can screw up your whole project. If you add more than you should, this will result in resin that hardens faster than you can work with it. You definitely don’t want a resin that hardens while you’re pouring it!
- Don’t go overboard when adding color to your mixture. It is recommended to use a maximum of 7% color in ratio to the resin and hardener, as more color can impact the curing process.
- Stick to one brand. Different brands of curing agent and epoxy resin might not be compatible. You risk ending up with a mushy mixture that never cures.
- Respect the ratio. Use the exact amounts that the manufacturer recommends in order to avoid overheating and a resin that hardens way too fast.
What else should you keep in mind?
There are external factors that might affect epoxy dry time without you even knowing.
- Temperature is key. If the environment you’re working in is too cold, it will slow down the curing process. The colder it is, the harder it will be for your project to dry.
- Use the correct hardening agents. We can’t stress this enough. Use only the hardening agents recommended by the manufacturer, otherwise you might end up with a yellowish or cloudy looking project. It’s better to be safe than sorry so follow the instructions accordingly.
How will you know when your resin is fully cured?
If you know, you know. Just kidding!
The best way to know when your epoxy has dried is to allow the curing time to finish completely. Follow the instructions provided by the brand’s manual. If they recommend letting it dry for 72 hours, then make sure you don’t move it or sand it before then.
I know you might get impatient waiting for your project to finish completely, but rushing it won’t do you any good.
Other tips & tricks that might help
- It’s important to prepare your crafting area for working with epoxy. You can read our article on the subject and make sure you’ve covered all the steps.
- Before you start mixing, double check that the resin and hardener are at the same temperature. If they’re not, your epoxy will cure unevenly.
- Handle the heat gun carefully so you don’t burn the surface or yourself!
- Mix thoroughly! If done incorrectly, the mixing stage can impact the drying process.
That’s it, folks! Hope we’ve answered all your questions regarding how to dry resin faster.
You’re all set now to start crafting and creating some amazing artworks. If you like to work with wood and epoxy, we have some ideas for you that will beautify your home or make for awesome gifts for your loved ones.
Whatever you end up doing, do it with passion and creativity. Unleash your inner artist and have fun!