If you’re a painter who wants a seriously high gloss but doesn’t want to breathe in the toxic fumes of a traditional two-part epoxy resin, then I’ve got to turn you on to the product that is changing my life: ArtResin.

Until now, I could only kind of achieve my desired level of shine by hand applying dozens — yes, dozens — of coats of gloss varnish. It wasn’t a great solution, but my garage studio space has no windows and very limited ventilation. And then… ArtResin to the rescue. No brutal toxic odors. And it’s just the tool I needed to finish some mixed media pieces I’d started that use acrylics, acrylic mediums, acrylic ink and tissue on canvas.

All of the paintings pictured below were built the same way:

  • Canvases were covered with a base acrylic color, generally a smacked on combination of white, blue, green, and yellow.
  • A simple curved shape was sketched across the dry canvas.
  • Within the shape, I dropped ink colors and quickly applied crumpled strips of tissue paper over the ink.
  • More ink was added until I was satisfied with both the color, placement, and saturation.
  • Once dry, I used a palette knife to paint additional layers of acrylic around or through the shape.
  • Let dry, then resin, baby, resin! It not only seals in the delicate tissue, but it makes the colors absolutely pop.

Here’s the series:

Leaf 1
Leaf #1, Mixed Media, 10″ x 10″
Leaf 2
Leaf #2, Mixed Media, 3″ x 12″
Red Leaf, Mixed Media, 3″ x 12″

Art Resin’s website and YouTube channel are full of great tutorials (and inspiration!), but here are a couple of key tips:

  • Raise your canvas over your work surface, because if it spills over the edges you’ll find it pretty hard to separate your canvas from the work surface once dry!
  • Make sure your canvas is level, level, level. Yes, use a level.
  • Mix the parts thoroughly at a true 1-to-1 ratio, and if you’re not sure how much resin you need, use their online calculator.
  • Stir for a solid three minutes. Don’t cut corners here.
  • Pour your resin from the center of the canvas outward in a circular pattern, then spread out to the edges. I expect the resin to spill over, and I use my (gloved!) hands to run that excess resin across the sides of the canvas.
  • As with other resins, use something like a heat torch to pop the bubbles. If the idea of an open flame makes you uncomfortable, I get it. I felt the same way. But you don’t need a flame thrower—just a simple butane torch does a great job, and it’s my favorite part of the process! It’s so satisfying to see those bubbles disappear! (FYI, I bought my torch directly from ArtResin’s online store.)
  • Finally, cover the canvas. Use a box or rig up something that can keep out dust while the resin dries. Give it 24 hours, and your piece is beautifully finished.


Art Resin and Torch
Two-part ArtResin and Trusty Butane Torch. Indispensable!!

Resin might seem like a lot of work. I get it. But if you want the ultimate in gloss finish there’s no better way to go, and if you want it without toxic fumes, ArtResin is absolutely, positively the way to go.