Can you use photos in resin?

Hey guys! I am making a resin tray for my sister for Christmas and I wanted to embed some photos of her daughter, but wanted to know how to approach it? Can I print images on photo paper at Walgreens and embed them in resin or should I seal them? Any suggestions would be helpful. I want to make sure I do it correctly so I don't waste resin. It's epoxy easy cast resin, cures in 24-48 hours.

1 Answer

  • 4 years ago

    You'll probably want to seal any print you use in resin for several reasons, even though printing on "photo paper" in the first place would be best. Sometimes the paper or dyes used won't keep the colorants from bleeding or the papers can become translucent and colors darkened, any edges of papers may not be completely sealed by whatever is on the paper or the paper has been cut, sometimes there will be moisture or air in the paper/etc which can cause bubbles, etc.

    Here's some info about sealing them from one page at my site**:

    ...can use a decoupage medium like ModPodge, etc (or Ultra Seal, or just use a diluted permanent white glue like Elmers GlueAll, 3 or 4:1 with water), or something like acrylic medium, etc:

    ....... brush a coat of the glue or other sealer onto back side of cutout print, preferably with flat brush... let dry completely for 4 hrs.after application or will always be visible

    .......then lightly and quickly brush it onto front of cutout...let dry sure to also coat the porous side edges of the image because the resin can soak into the paper from those areas as well, either by applying more glue/etc to those areas, or by laying the cutout on waxed paper and using glue on the front/back side around the outside of the image as well as on it which will result in a peel-up "decal" after drying (can trim some excess if desired, but leave enough to seal edges thoroughly)

    ... if desired, can then dip finished cutout into the resin (and let cure 4-5 hrs) before using the image in resin in the normal way

    Also be aware though that Easy Cast is a tweaked epoxy resin, not a regular one.

    It's been tweaked so it can be poured more deeply than 1/8" at a time, but that results in some disadvantages compared to regular epoxy resins (like Envirotex Lite or other brands, "bartop resin" sold at hardware stores like Glaze Coat, etc). When later exposed to warm conditions, it can become softer/rubberier. If it were freestanding that would make it a little flexible too, but in a tray for example, that might mean that a cup of hot liquid left on it could leave an impression, etc. And it could be more susceptible to scratching than a regular epoxy resin. You could at least give the surface more protection from those things by coating the (completely cured) resin surface with polyurethane (from the bare wood-sealing aisle of a hardware store); that's not a bad idea for regular epoxy resins too.

    You'd be best to check out tutorials online for using resins in trays (and especially with Easy Cast if you can find those). Btw, there are also polyester "casting" resins which are usually used for deeper casts, often in molds/etc, but those are fiddlier to use though cheaper.

    And a lot of tutorials on using resins for "tabletops" (into which things are often embedded) would be helpful for some parts but you wouldn't have to worry about containing the edges of the pour since you're containing your resin with the sides of the tray.

    Check out these links:

    ** (lots of info about the various kinds of resin, how to apply, seal, etc)

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