Tips for Working (Safely) with UV Resin
Updated: Mar 14, 2022
Because resin is toxiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiic, much like your ex from college.
I love using resin to secure my earring posts to clay, however...UV resin, while *mildly* less toxic than traditional resin, is NOT safe to use without proper PPE and experience. Keep reading to learn more!
When I started working with resin in January 2021, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I watched videos of other (bigger) polymer artists who did NOT wear any sort of PPE, and copied that. Turns out, that was the WRONG thing to do, which I luckily found out relatively quickly. Turns out you can't believe everything you see other creators do on the internet!
Why do you need PPE with UV resin?
Sadly, a lot of UV resins still say that they are non-toxic, but that is simply not the case. UV resin, while not super smelly, is still dangerous to have on your skin or clothes.
Resin is a toxic and allergenic substance before it cures, and you may not know you are allergic until after you touch it. Additionally, the fumes created while resin cures under a UV lamp can harm your eyes, so they need to be protected as well.
Tools for Resin Work
This is my preferred brand of UV resin, which I have set up on auto-delivery so I never run out! One 200mg bottle goes a long way for attaching posts, but if you are using it to resin the fronts of earrings, you will run out faster.
This is a great respirator option, and it comes with goggles! These silicone gloves are helpful, as well.
This is the UV lamp I use, which comes with an extra light bulb. I found I needed to replace a couple of bulbs after 3-4 months, due to the amount of use these lamps get!
And finally, this is my favorite drill for clay! It cuts through resin easily, and after several months of daily wear has shown no issues. I also use these silicone tools to spread resin around on the pieces.
These three pieces were all made with resin!
How to Safely Apply UV Resin
Make sure you have ventilation! Open a window, set up a couple of fans, and ensure that your room has plenty of air flow. I do all my resin work outside now, even when it is freakishly hot here in Florida.
KEEP PETS AND KIDS AWAY! Anyone not wearing a respirator should give your resin station a wide berth. The fumes may not smell, but many people are allergic to them.
Wear long sleeves and pants, your respirator, glasses, and gloves. Using resin with gloves and tools will take some getting used to, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it with practice!
Have fun! Resin adds a unique gloss to your art that is hard to replicate otherwise (although you may just see a blog about that in the future...).
Resin is an awesome tool for clay artists, but it is not a safe substance. Always wear PPE, keep pets and kiddos away, and make sure your space is properly ventilated. Side note: proper PPE also needs to be worn when you are working with polyurethane glosses and sanding clay, as the microplastics are not good to breathe in!
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