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Best clear resin for small projects

I have been looking for the best resin to use to put a thick clear
coating over photos I use in my jewelry. So far it is frustrating,
the resin surface dries tacky even using different ratios, or the
crystal clearness yellows over time. I live in a dry climate with
ample wood heat, so humidity and cold temps are not really an issue.
Does anyone have a recommendation for the best clear resin to use for
small projects?


A longtime ago I made photo pendants, I used plexiglass that I cut
out circles, slowly, with a jewelers saw. Some glues turn photos
orange, so do a few experiments. I think I used 2 part epoxy, and
then you have to slide the plexiglass around in a small circle to get
out the air bubbles. If I remember correctly, after I set the photo
in the bezel, I could use tripoli on a buff and gently polish the

Richard Hart

Hello Cyndia;

Opticon cures to a very hard finish, and it’s about as clear as a
resin can be. But it’s pricey and it’s rather toxic to work with…
you’ll need a proper filtering mask. I’m also not sure that it
wouldn’t be to prone to penetrate the photos, mucking up the
appearance. Epoxy is hit or miss, might be hard enough, or not, might
be clear, maybe not, it would require a lot of experimentation, all
depends on the brand. I know the clear resins like Colores or Colorit
that I’ve used, sold for jewelry applications, aren’t going to be
very clear, but can harden sufficiently with a little heat. Why don’t
you check the local hobby supplier or craft/art supply store for the
stuff that’s used in Decoupage? It seem’s it would be ideal for your
needs. I’d bet you could find a supplier online.

David L. Huffman

I have used the Doming Resin from the Rio Grande Catalogue. I live
in a dry climate and it works for me. Try coating the image first
using a spray fixative.

Good Luck,
Carla Pennie

Hi Cyndia,

Instead of using resin (which sounds like it might react poorly to
the photo chemistry over time)… have you considered using a clear
sheet of mica (cold connection) as a protector or possibly
transferring your photo onto something like polymer clay or shrinky

Not knowing you style, these may or may not work for you. Just a

Tracy Burlison

Hello Cyndia,

Does anyone have a recommendation for the best clear resin to use
for small projects? 

I use Colores Doming Resin, I bought it from Rio. I’ve been using it
for less than a year, so I can’t say anything about the yellowing
other than they promise that it doesn’t yellow. I’ve had quite good
success with it curing nice & hard, though, with a couple
exceptions. One time I did three pendants at once & they all cured
ever so slightly tacky. I can only guess that I didn’t mix it quite
right. I’m sort of paranoid now every time I do a batch, since often
I’m doing several & it would be a real ?$&#^ if a whole batch didn’t
turn out right. Three was bad enough. A second time I had a problem,
but I think that was the temperature of the room in which I let it
cure. When I first started doing photo pendants, it was warm out &
therefore the temp in my studio was fine. It eventually turned to
winter, though, and as I work in basement, it’s currently always
rather chilly down here. The darn thing just did NOT cure! I was
only doing one that time, thank heavens- a custom piece. I tried
doing it in the kiln & that finally got it cured, but it was a real
PITA in the mean time. And although it did finally cure, I wasn’t
able to monitor the air bubbles because it was hidden in the oven &
some bubbles got into it. So, the last time I had to do a couple
(again, custom pieces), I took them up into the main part of the
house to cure overnight & it was once again just fine.

Designs by Lisa Gallagher

A couple of years ago, I broke an expensive opal in half. I let the
end client know. He asked what I could do to restore it as best
possible. He was a Phd. and wanted to know all of the specifics
before I did it. I did not touch the two halves together before I was
ready to proceed. The thing is that every time one touches those
edges, one chips off small flakes. It is inevitable. Fit them
together as little as possible. I epoxied the opal back together. I
then cleaned up the excess epoxy and put a coating of UV curing
crystal cement. This stuff sets up as crystal clear plastic. It can
be tripolied and rouged. The doctor was happy with my repair. So much
so that he paid for the job in full. A virtually invisible repair.

My point is that the UV curing crystal cement would probably serve
your purpose. I believe that it is in fact the same stuff that is
available to hide windshield damage that you can find at the auto

Bruce D. Holmgrain
JA Certified Master Benchjeweler
CAD/CAM Solutions