How to create geode-like resin art for your home
If you’ve ever been mesmerized by the swirly, colorful, geode-like paintings in galleries, let me teach you how to make one at home.
Although not cheap, resin art can add a lovely touch to your home. Once you get the materials, it’s pretty easy sailing into stunning, vibrant seas.
Art Resin (you can get as much as you’d like. I started with 32 oz but I moved on to the 2 gallons)
Acrylic paints (My favorite are the Golden brand ones- the thinner, the better)
Mixing tools (like Popsicle sticks)
Disposable cups for mixing
Measuring cups (plastic)
A canvas of your choice (wood, canvas, etc).
A tarp to cover your area
Kitchen blow torch + fuel (We got ours from Williams Sonoma, but Amazon might have cheaper ones)
Step 1: Choose a canvas
Choose a size and a shape you’d like to add to your walls. Recently, I’ve been really loving how a round wood canvas looks on the wall, so that’s what I will be working with. It’s not easier or better to work with any one specific canvas. It all depends on your preferences.
At first, try your resin art on a smaller canvas- perhaps no bigger than a piece of printer paper (8.5”x11”). This will give you an idea of how resin moves, how quickly you have to work with it, how do the colors interact with each other, and really begin practicing your technique.
Today, I decided to tackle a large canvas, 24x30. It was tricky to use in a small space, but the results turned out lovely nevertheless.
Step 2: Choosing a color scheme
After you secure all of your materials, let’s begin with your first piece. I very highly recommend you take your time with colors, and learn a little about the colors that you’ve purchased. My favorite ones are the Golden Fluid Acrylics. They have a wide color selection, including metallic, neon, and pearl finishes. You can go cheap with some paints, but you might have difficulty mixing your resin in, and keeping the resin remain liquidy. You haven’t had heartbreak until you used cheap paint that made the resin solidify quickly and ruin your painting.
When choosing colors, choose light, easy to master colors like whites and grays, and maybe one main color like blue. If you’d like to get a little “crazyyyy”, add a hint of a complimentary color.
When you go paint shopping, it’s super easy to get excited and buy every single color, and every shade. But treat the first time as an experiment. Once you feel like this is indeed your calling and your passion, I will not stop you from buying up the store.
When choosing your colors for the canvas, always test out your colors! They might look different in the tube, and you don’t want a surprise when you add your resin, and it will be too late to go back. So take 3 minutes to see what your paints look like on paper, truly. I liked how this red looked, but after doing a test, I realized that it would be too bold for this color scheme and chose to not use it.
This quick test will also give you a clue how thick your paints are, if there is texture to the glitter paints you chose, and how deep the colors really are. Some colors look lighter in the tube, and then appear quite dark once they’re out on the canvas.
Step 3: Setting up your space
Find a room in your home that has either an open layout, or access to a window. Though Art Resin is very forgiving, it’s still a chemical so make sure to work in mind with having a potential headache if you don’t leave yourself enough room to breathe.
Lay out your tarp in an open area. This can be your floor, your table, wherever you feel comfortable enough that if you stain something, you won’t have a heart attack.
Resin can be very very messy, and is absolutely very sticky. So be careful with where it falls because when it solidifies, it will be difficult if not impossible to take it off.
Have your gloves on at all times, and have backup gloves for when your hands get messy.
Set up 3-4 cups underneath your canvas to elevate it so that the resin can drip from the sides. Set the cups on an even plane so that your canvas is stable and never falls over (because then all hell will break loose).
Step 4 : Mix your resin
Your resin and your hardener will come in 2 different containers. By using the Art Resin calculator, you have to plug in how large your canvas is and measure out your amount of ounces for the canvas you chose.
My canvas is 24 by 30 so I need 25 oz of resin and 25 oz of hardener. Equal parts!
When you first combine and start mixing, you’ll not that the combination is a little cloudy. Mix well, for about 3 minutes, until the combination is transparent again.
Step 5: Choose and prepare your colors
In your disposable cups, add your individual colors.
I add half a teaspoon of royal blue to one cup, half a teaspoon of indigo to another cup, and half a teaspoon of bold gold to another cup.
I like to have the main part of my paintings to be white / light so I add white to the most amount of resin.
By the side, I also have a pearl white that I will add a little later.
*Important note*. I highly recommend picking up pearl, iridescent and glittery colors to add depth and dimension to your work. They add a gorgeous sheen to your work, and the particles look absolutely stunning when you’re inspecting the painting. These colors really help to form that “geode-like” appearance, and they are just very very pretty.
Step 6: Mix the colors and the resin
Once you have your colors in your cups, start adding the resin to your cups. This is, as they say “more art than science”. Add a little here, a little there, and make sure to leave yourself a lot of resin for your lightest color.
Depending on how large your canvas is, you might have a lot of resin to play with, or very little. I pour about 1/4th of a cup for both of the blues, 1/3rd for the gold, and the rest of my resin for the white. I want the painting to be fairly light, because dark colors are trickier to work with (they take over the painting and completely erase the light parts if you’re not careful).
Take your wooden stirrer, and start mixing the individual colors. Once you see that the colors are evenly mixed in with the resin, you’re good to go.
And please don’t worry if you think the colors aren’t mixed properly. This is a pretty forgiving process!
Step 7: Take a deep breath. (But also open the window because resin is indeed a chemical).
Take your first color and apply a thin stripe in a wavy motion across your canvas. Don’t focus too much on the edges because that’s where the resin will flow. Focus more on the inner center points of your canvas.
Now take the second one and do the same. Add the third, and the fourth, and so on.
Now there are many ways of moving the resin around. I like to pick up the canvas and move it around so that the resin/paint mixture starts crawling and moving across the canvas. I turn the canvas over, and over until I like the pattern that is coming up.
Now after you see if you like the pattern being formed, start adding the rest of your mixture. Add bold colors where there are sparse areas. This is the part where I also feel comfortable enough to start adding my gold. I want my gold to stand out and not get overshadowed by the bold blues, so I pour it later down in the process and move the canvas around only so slightly so that not too much of it escapes.
During the last parts, I also like to mix in my pearl colors into whatever white I have remaining so that if I add more, I will have a glittery, vibrant white.
Or you can have a “dirty” pour, by combining your colors! So I can also add a little bit of silver to my white, and have a nice, unique color that will stand apart on my canvas.
Step 8: Torch that sucker
Once you feel comfortable with how your resin art piece looks, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then gently torch the surface from about 5-7 inches away. This will pop the air bubbles and allow you to have a smooth, clean surface.
Choose a torch you’ll be comfortable with. They can be found in most of your favorite art stores, and cooking stores. But in cooking stores you might have to pay a premium “because its a souffle torch” and souffle is serious, bougie business.
Step 9: Put your art away for 24 hours
This part is very tricky because resin is super sticky. Take your canvas, and place it on 4 fresh cups. Make sure that the surface of the cups doesn’t touch the outside border of your canvas because the resin will stick and create ugly borders that you’ll have to take off with a sharp knife afterwards.
Store your piece in a room that people won’t use for a bit. I like to keep my art resin in the studio with the windows open slightly so that fresh air flows inside. Although this resin is very forgiving, and doesn’t smell chemically at all, it can indeed impact you and give you a headache if you linger too long in a closed room with it.
And you’re all done! After 24 hours, you’ll see that your canvas is no longer tacky and you can touch it and feel how smooth the resin is! Hang your work of art and enjoy your new piece.
I’d love to see what you made! Tag me in your work on Instagram!
Want to learn how to do this without getting your home messy? Join my workshop social. Materials, drinks, and bites are included! Currently classes are held in Philly. If you’d like me to come to your city, email me! (email@example.com).