How to Make Resin Art on a Canvas

About: Hi Everyone, I'm Jeremy Hoffpauir. I write instructables about unique DIY woodworking and home improvement projects. I use unique design elements with a rustic coastal style in my creations such as epoxy...

Intro: How to Make Resin Art on a Canvas

Hey Everyone, Jeremy Hoffpauir here. In this instructable, I show you how to make resin art on a canvas. I use multiple techniques to create cells and unique blending, which are both awesome resin art effects.

Materials I Used:

Gather Materials and Prepare Work Surface

As most of you know, I like working with Epoxy Resin. I had a small amount of material left over from my epoxy resin table project I completed last month, so I decided to make resin art on a canvas.

Step 1: Gather Materials & Prepare Work Surface

Epoxy Resin Work Surface

I receive a ton of questions about my epoxy resin work surface. So, I’ll take a quick minute to explain. In an effort to reduce the epoxy resin mess (run-off), I attached four 2×4’s to the underside of my outfeed table a few months ago. The 2×4’s suspend the work piece in the air. Additionally, I used 2×4’s around the table below the plywood top to create a tub. I sealed the underside of the table with silicone caulk to prevent leaking. Ultimately, the underside of the outfeed table is a tub which collects the epoxy as it runs off the work piece. The outfeed table is attached to my table saw with magnets. To use the table, I pull it away from the table saw and flip it over.

Step 2: Prepare Paint and Epoxy Resin

First, I added the white acrylic paint in a plastic cup. The acrylic paint will add color to the epoxy resin.

White was my base color, so I used a large measuring cup because I needed roughly 8 ounces. I mixed the other colors in a small plastic cup. I used roughly 1 tablespoon per 4 ounces of epoxy resin. Keep in mind, the amount of acrylic paint is not an exact science. One tablespoon per 4 ounces produced a nice color for me.

Next, I mixed 24 ounces (12 ounces of epoxy, 12 ounces of hardener) of epoxy resin.

Step 3: Mix Paint and Epoxy Resin

I mixed the 24 ounces epoxy resin by stirring gently with a mixing stick.

While stirring, the epoxy resin will get thick and cloudy. It will start to get easier to stir and become clear again after a few minutes of mixing. Next, I poured roughly 4 ounces in each small cup with acrylic paint. I poured 8 ounces into the large mixing cup with my base color, which is white. Then, I mixed the paint with the epoxy resin. It is important to make certain the paint is completely mixed with the resin.

Step 4: Pour Base Color

I poured the white epoxy resin on top of the canvas.

Next, I rubbed the white resin to ensure it completely covered the canvas. The base color is necessary for the ‘lacing effect’. The ‘lacing effect’ is achieved when a different color is poured on top of the white resin and heat is applied with a heat gun. More on this in a later step.

Step 5: Pour Colors

There is no right or wrong way to pour the colors on the canvas. I did not have a plan I just sort of went with it.

First, I poured the sand color. Next, I poured the gray and aqua colors. Then, I poured the blue color near the top of the canvas.

Step 6: Heat Gun to Merge Colors

I used a heat gun to merge the different colors by moving the resin with heat.

This creates unique resin art effects because the colors blend together. Additionally, the white (base) color becomes more visible.

Step 7: Make Resin Art Cells

The next 2 layers I poured were mixed with silicone oil.

I mixed 5 drops of silicone oil per 4 ounces of resin. This is not an exact measurement – this amount just seemed right to me. I mixed the silicone oil with the resin in the mixing cup. I’ve seen people drop dispersing agents directly on the resin, but that didn’t seem right to me. The silicone oil is a dispersing agent, which adds multiple effects to the art piece such as lacing and cells. I allowed the base layers to sit for 10 minutes before I applied the resin with silicone oil. First, I applied the aqua blue to the top of the canvas just above the blue layer. Then, I used my heat gun to work the resin into the other colors. I really started to make cool patterns.

Next, I applied the dark grey resin with silicon oil across the top. I decided to bring some of the dark grey into the middle of the art piece.

Step 8: Move Resin Art on Canvas

I should have realized the resin would congregate to the middle of the canvas because of it’s weight; however, I didn’t until it happened.

This turned out to be a good thing because it added to the unique patterns. I moved the resin around by lifting the canvas and tilting the canvas in different angles. Next, I moved the resin with the heat gun until the pattern looked good. I did this until I was happy with the patterns.

Step 9: Resin Art Effects

The silicone oil helped create awesome effects as you can see from these pictures.

I've read of people using denatured alcohol and other dispersion agents. I chose to use silicone oil because I thought it would create more interesting patterns.

Step 10: Final Thoughts

I hope this project provided you with some value because this is, and always will be, my ultimate goal.

Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and visiting my website for more projects and other fun stuff.

Feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions. I'm happy to help!

Until next time – Imagine…Create…Share

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    15 Discussions

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    NoBoxEver

    5 weeks ago

    This I so neat. I have everything but the silicon oil. However, I definitely am going to use an 8x10 canvas that I have on hand.

    1 reply
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    NoBoxEverKrMell

    Answer 5 weeks ago

    Craft stores and online suppliers (Fire Mountain Gems; MicroMark) sell various formulations of resins/hardeners. Craft and art suppliers sell canvases. It looks to me that we're on our own to preventing spills!

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    DelphineP6

    Question 8 weeks ago on Introduction

    Hi ! Would it be possible to replace acrylic paint with powder pigments? Thanks a lot for this step by step, I've been looking for a precise tuto for a looong time!

    1 more answer
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    jeremyhoffpauirDelphineP6

    Answer 8 weeks ago

    Hi, thank you very much. Yes, you can absolutely replace the acrylic paint with pigment powder. Pigment powder is a bit more expensive than paint, which is the reason why I did this project in acrylic paint. If you are interested, checkout my website or my other instructsbles for complete tutorials on how to mix resin with pigment powder and glow powder for a glow in the dark effect.

    https://pahjodesigns.com

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    chinniS1

    Question 2 months ago on Step 2

    Hi there. I have a question ,so in the instructions you had mentioned 12 oz of epoxy to 12 oz of hardener. What is an hardener.?Love the art,planning to try resin art first time.

    1 more answer
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    jeremyhoffpauirchinniS1

    Answer 2 months ago

    These terms are used very loosely and can be confusing, so kudos to you for asking this question. :)

    Epoxy is the name of the mixture or the name of the type of resin. The epoxy comes in 2 parts (1 part resin and 1 part hardener). Hardeners are used to cure epoxy resins.

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    jonessmj

    Question 3 months ago

    Hi Jeremy. Love this piece. Several questions: What happens to the silicone oil? Does it dry completely? Do you cover your finished pieces with a clear protective coat of some kind? Do you ever come back with additional coats of resin after letting layers dry, to achieve a kind of 3D or gesso effect? Finally what about adding texture to a layer, with fibers, or crushed glass, glitter etc to one of the pours? any suggestions/comments will be greatly appreciated!

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    jeremyhoffpauirjonessmj

    Answer 3 months ago

    Hello, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I believe the silicone oil disperses the resin. I don’t believe it hardens; rather, it thins the resin - similar to thinning paint with paint thinner.

    I don’t use protective coats on art pieces bc I usually don’t have a reason to do so. Resin cures very hard so it is somewhat protected out of the gate.

    I use multiple layers at the same time to create multiple effects. I haven’t used additional layers after 1 layer cures.

    I’ve used fire glass on a few of my river tables - check them out at https://pahjo.com

    There are a few artists that I know of who create 3D effects. Take a look at https://tammymedskerstudio.com

    Hope this helps!

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    TanyaR50

    Question 4 months ago

    Hi. I'm about to try my first resin art. I'll do a small canvas to test the colours before moving on to a larger surface. If I use MDF board for the larger one so it doesn't pool in the middle, what should I paint the MDF with? Would white gesso work, or should I use something else?

    1 more answer
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    jeremyhoffpauirTanyaR50

    Answer 4 months ago

    Hello, I suggest using a paint and primer in 1 from Home Depot. White or grey are popular colors to paint the canvas with.

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    jeremyhoffpauirIsabellaR13

    Answer 5 months ago

    Hello, thank you very much. The canvas has a rough texture, so I didn't do anything to the canvas. As long as the surface isn't glossy and slick, epoxy resin will adhere to it.