Updated: Feb 12
I've had the privilege to try many different brands of resin. Here I will let you know exactly what brands I have used and my opinion of them. I hope that this will help you gain more information about these brands of resin and help be able to guide you into which resin will work best for you and your projects. I've tried to attach photos below each paragraph of brand I write about so you can visually see what I am talking about. I really believe that the brand of resin you use effects the design of your art work. Some resins hold designs better, some protect from UV rays more, some just suck lol.
OK when I first started I used the brand Pro Marine Supplies Table Top Epoxy Resin. It is in my opinion a great brand to start off with. It's about $60 per gallon, which might seem expensive, but a lot of the fancier brands are at least double that price. This product is a thicker resin which makes it easier to manipulate and create a design out of it. It is harder to push around with a blowtorch and heat gun, but you have a longer time to work with it before the resin starts to set. It leaves a nice clean finish nearly every time. I did attempt to make a small river table out of this resin before I found out what Deep Pour Resin was. I ended up pouring about 3 inches and the resin overheated and cracked. we ended up pouring about another 1/4 inch of epoxy over it and it ended up curing just fine, but I will never forget coming out to the garage to find that this resin was in fact steaming as it was sitting inside this chunk of wood lol. I ended up pouring a clear top coat over the whole table and it left a really nice smooth finish that has lasted and left very minimal scuffs/scratches.
NEXT UP is the brand, ART RESIN. The luxury brand. OHhh Art Resin. It is about $120 per gallon and about $200 for 2 gallons. I remember when I switched over to Art Resin it was like night and day. I felt like a queen. I felt like I just got the gucci of resins. I thought I was the top dog lololol. This product is softer and smoother than most. Mixing the two parts doesn't make your arm sore. It has so many good things in the brand, like it is FDA to be food safe, so I can pour it on cheeseboards or bowls. It has the UV protection against yellowing so it takes longer for me to see yellowing. (Still does over time). I loved this transition into art resin. I felt like the wispy lacing I was trying to achieve was being accomplished with this brand. I thought this would be the brand I would use forever until I was offered other resins to try. SOO once I started trying other brands, I realized that there are other resins out there that are cheaper and just as good. I also realized that since this resin is a little more liquidy so the design, or lacing you're trying to achieve might not hold as well. I did have trouble with getting "dimples" in my pieces. Now this could have happened to me for multiple reasons, a. temperature fluctuation occurred during it's curing process. b. I applied heat for too long after it started curing. c. I just don't know what lol. I will say that this brand doesn't get trapped bubbles underneath the layers which is nice.
Next I was able to try Liquid Diamond Casting Resin. It is $70 for a half gallon. IT sucks. lol. It is for more of jewelry making or pendant inlays. And based on my experience, I couldn't stand it. I used it to make rings, and it is very very thin and runny, which is soo good for casting projects. But when it dried, I couldn't even take it out of the mold before it just shattered to pieces. At first I thought it was me, so the next batch I added a little less hardener to make it hold better, but the same thing happened. I don't know if I was given a bad batch or what, but it was sooooo ridiculous. I will never use it. I should have taken photos of it, but just imagine shattered epoxy resin that was supposed to be a ring lol.
I then tried ClearCast 7000. It is $60 per gallon. Be careful, there is a ClearCast 7000 and a ClearCast 7050. But I am saying I love the 7000. I still use this for all my coaster molds. It is the best for casting projects for it's price. There are very very few trapped bubbles that I get in my coasters. It won't hold a design, like I wouldn't be able to put lacing or anything, but after I take my coasters out of the mold, they are strong and durable and don't bend at all. I feel like the heat resistance to the coasters is the best. Like a hot mug won't affect the surface at all. And it is really hard to mess this resin up (Just be sure not to add too much color to it so it doesn't mess up the chemistry of the resin).
I've tried the brand WoodCrafters Epoxy Resin. It's around $55 per gallon. I liked it. I didn't use it for any wood projects which I probably should have lol. I used it as base layers on a large resin art work. It was able to hold color just fine. It is super thin. I honestly don't really have anything good or bad to say about this resin. But I should have used it more for wood lol.
My boyfriend and I used Incredible Solutions Pourable Plastic to make a river table. It was really good. We poured about 2 inches deep. There was no overheating or cracking. My boyfriend only used Pigment powder, and it held it pretty well. There was no chipping when it was planed. For the price it was great. It was an easy purchase off amazon and was $224 for 3 gallons. We ended up using about 4.5 gals total for this project. I would definitely use this again for more river tables.
Ok one of my absolute favorites and best quality epoxy is Epoxy Lab Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin. I LOVED IT! I tried it for oceanscapes. It was a no go. This is just a casting epoxy. But I truly believe that it is the best casting epoxy on the market. It is too expensive for me, thats why I stick to the ClearCast 7000, but if you are looking for absolutely perfect casting projects then use this. There are NO bubbles that get trapped. And it is beyond crystal clear. There are no imperfections in this resin. It holds color soo well and when you're wanting no color in the epoxy this is the best one. For real I can't talk any higher for it. The only thing is it is too expensive for me. It's $22 for only 16oz of resin. The picture below is probably the worst ever. I took a screenshot of a video so you can't actually press play or anything. But the coaster on the left is from Epoxy Lab, and the one on the right is ClearCast7000. In the video you can see that Epoxy lab has very few imperfections (I added gold flakes so there are some small pieces in there that look like imperfections but are not). And and the one on the right has a lot more. I'm sure I could have gotten rid of more bubbles if I took more time, but it really does show a huge difference.
NOW! It's the moment you've been waiting for. I NOW USE... DRUMROLL PLEASE.... MAS EPOXY!! Are you surprised? First off their marketing is amazing lol. I feel like all the big resin artists are using this brand. So obviously I had to try it, and I love it! It is insane with holding lacing. It is thicker than art resin. But I still feel like it holds it's luxuriousness with maintaining the exact design I am wanting. The UV protection is still great, and I haven't noticed any yellowing yet. I truly love this brand. It is a little more expensive, but they are always having deals, and there are plenty of discount codes out there to make it cheaper for you. I will stand by this resin until someone changes my mind. It costs me around $130 for 2 gallons. It is thicker, so I sometimes get trapped bubbles, but that is just me moving too fast and not being careful. I love this brand and will recommend it to all crafters that are wanting to create wall-art pieces.
I hope that this helped you understand the differences between some of these brands. I know that resin is such an expensive hobby so might as well do as much research as possible with it. If you have any other questions I encourage you to look through my Instagram highlights (@fluidartbykimi.com) , and if you can't find your answer there please feel free to reach out at email@example.com. Thanks so much for reading!!!