How Does The Cold Weather Effect Craft Resin’s Epoxy Resin?

Posted by Craft Resin on
Tags: How To

We’ve covered the topic of using resin in warm/hot temperatures before, but now we’re moving towards cooler temperatures in the UK again, we’d like to switch it up and draw your awareness about working with resin in cooler temperatures.

 

 

One of the most important factors to ensure your epoxy resin cures properly is the temperature: the ideal temperature for both your Craft Resin and your workspace is slightly warmer than room temperature: 70-75F or 21-24C.  Resin won't harden properly if the temperature is too low, so some precautions need to be taken during the colder months.


Here are 3 simple things you can do to ensure a perfect cure in cold weather:

  1. Ensure your resin is at room temperature: let it sit out for a few hours or give it a warm water bath.
  2. Ensure your workspace is at room temperature: keep it no lower than 70F/21C and, ideally, above 75F/24C.
  3. Ensure your workspace stays stable at room temperature for the first 24 hours of curing.

 


But why is temperature so important? 

What happens if you do use cold resin?

And what effect can a cold room can have on your resin cure?  

We’ll cover the why’s below:

 

1. Ensure your RESIN is at room temperature.

At room temperature, Craft Resin is crystal clear with a honey-like consistency. Cold resin is thick with a cloudy, milky appearance due to thousands of cold-induced micro bubbles. 

 

You’ll never be able to torch these out, which can be a complete pain if you want bubble free, crystal clear projects!

 

Cold resin is a thicker consistency, making it more difficult to pour.

 

It will have a cloudy, milky appearance due to thousands of cold induced micro bubbles.

 

Cold resin is thick and difficult to spread.

 

It will not self-level as easily as room temperature resin and has a frothy looking appearance.

 

Even after torching, you will be left with frothy looking areas due to micro bubbles below the resin surface. You will not be able to torch these out.

 

 

How can I increase the temperature of my resin?


If your resin is cold, you need to bring it up to room temperature before you resin.  You can do this by letting the resin bottles sit out to come up to temperature or an easier way is to try a warm water bath: 

  • Always warm the bottles BEFORE you measure and mix.
  • Leave the lids on to prevent any water from getting mixed into your resin or hardener.  (Water in your resin mixtures means a cloudy cure)
  • Place your bottles of resin and hardener in a container of warm water:  the water doesn't need to be very hot ... about the temperature you'd use for a baby's bath is just fine.
  • Don’t fully submerge the bottles.
  • Let the resin sit in the water bath for 15 minutes or so (this will depend on how cold your resin was to start with and how big your bottles are).

 

To prevent any water from getting into your resin mixture, always dry the bottles thoroughly before you open them.

 

Room temperature resin is smooth, clear and with a beautiful honey-like consistency.  It pours and spreads with ease.

 

TIP:  If you are using a water bath to warm your Craft Resin, keep in mind that heat promotes a faster cure: this means that your 45 minute working time will be cut down by about 10 minutes. It also means that the resin may thicken and cure in the cup if you leave it sitting out on the work surface while you get your artwork ready.  Get everything ready first, then measure and mix your resin and pour right away. Don't leave your warm resin sitting in the mixing cup!

 

 

2. Ensure your WORKSPACE is at room temperature or above:


When working with Craft Resin epoxy resin the 3 key guidelines for room temperature are:

  • WARM - 70-75F or 21-24C is ideal, but don't go below 70F/21C
  • DRY - 50% humidity is ideal, but anything below 85% relative humidity should be fine
  • STABLE - no dips in temperature during the first 24hrs


During the colder winter months, the best case scenario is to plan ahead: use a heater in the room that you're planning on resining in to increase the ambient room temperature. Leave your resin in the room so that it will come up to temperature as well.

Working outside in cooler temperatures is not advised, and be careful when working in outside sheds/garages/workshops, as these areas can be very hard to stabilise the temperature in for the full 24 hours.

What happens if the temperature of my room is too cold?


When your room temperature is too cold, the resin will take far longer to cure.


If the temperature of your resin room is below 70F/21C, your resin may stay sticky for days or may not cure at all.  If this happens, simply try moving your piece to warmer area or increase the room temperature ... your piece should cure dry to the touch after 24 hours.

 

TIP: If your resin is still sticky, even after 24 hrs in a warmer environment, then temperature likely wasn't the issue.  Your sticky resin is likely due to a measuring or mixing issue. Check out our blog Recommended Technique to learn how to measure and mix Craft Resin correctly. Every resin brands guidance is slightly different, if you’re not using Craft Resin, visit the brand you are using and seek guidance from them.

 

 

3. Ensure your resin room STAYS STABLE at room temperature or above for the first 24 hours of curing.


The first 24 hours of a cure are critical ... and the resin room must remain warm, dry and stable, with no fluctuations or dips in temperature.

For example, placing your freshly resined piece to cure in a sunny window seems absolutely ideal, but when night falls and the temperature does too ... you may very well end up with what's known as the "orange peel" effect.  This may look like dimples in your resin, waves and other strange surface imperfections.

So remember, when working with Craft Resin’s epoxy resin:

  • Use room temperature resin.
  • Ensure your resin room is at room temperature or above.
  • Ensure your resin room stays stable at room temperature for the first 24 hours of curing.

 

Follow these simple points to help get a perfect, Craft Resin cure every time.

 

 

What is the best temperature to store Craft Resin epoxy resin?

Opened or unopened, store your Craft Resin bottles in a shaded spot, out of direct sunlight and in a spot where the temperature will stay stable at room temperature or just slightly below ( 70F or 21C ).

If you are in a warmer location right now and you’d like to learn more about working with Craft Resin in warmer conditions take a look at our warm weather Blog.

 

If you have any tips on working with epoxy resin in colder temperatures please do share them below in the comments.

 

Team Craft Resin

Tags: How To

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