As we sit here writing this weeks blog it is currently raining here in the UK, but it's also warming up, so this is causing extra moisture in the air which means humidity levels are very high right now. At the time this Blog is released weather.com is predicting 81-88% humidity in the UK.
Lots of people think that humidity is only high enough to effect their resin creations in the summer months, but humidity levels can rise all year round. Most weather apps will report the humidity levels these days, but you can also purchase humidity gages to check the humidity levels in your resin workspace.
Why is this important when working with resin?
Because any moisture that gets into your resin projects during the mixing stage or the curing stage can cause issues to occur in your projects. Issues that can be hard to get rid of, so best to take precautions to stop these happening in the first place.
One of the issues we notice the most when humidity levels rise is Amine Blushing:
Amine Blushing is when your resin cures with a strange texture on the top of it, it can look like an uneven coating or like it has water marks or a crackling pattern in it. Sometimes it can hardly be seen, other times it is more visible.
Amine blushing can be caused by moisture in the air or humidity in your workspace. A drop in room temperature during the curing process, or the room being too cold in general. These cause the water soluble components of the resin to rise up to the surface and leave marks behind.
How to prevent amine blushing from happening can be quite simple:
Keeping the room temperature warm, between 70-75F or 21-24C as a minimum. Ensuring your workspace has a maximum humidity of 85%. A humidifier gage can help monitor this and if the humidity is above 85% you can get a dehumidifier to help control this.
If your workspace is too cold, you could try something like a fan heater, or a heat mat which you can place your resin pieces on to cure. You can also fix amine blushing on your cured pieces by either buffing and polishing your piece or if that doesn’t work, gently sanding your piece and adding another clear topcoat of resin.
How do you reduce the humidity when it does hit?
You can’t stop humidity happening, if the temperature rises and water in the surrounding area evaporates into the air humidity will arise. So you can’t change the fact that humidity will happen, but there are a couple of things you can do to help minimise the humidity in your workspace.
Some artists switch up their normal working times during the more humid months. If you are used to working during the middle of the day when humidity levels could potentially be at their highest, then consider working later on in the evening where the humidity levels might decrease, or vise versa.
It can still be humid in the evenings so you will still need to monitor this. But working in the evenings then gives you another 12 hour curing time before the peak of humidity will hit again the next day, so your projects should be more in the clear of the effects arising after this time, again you will still need to monitor this.
Not everyone can switch their timings up, we completely understand this, and that is one of the joys of owning your own resin business/hobby right, you can do it when it suits you!
If you can’t switch up the times, or as a step you might want to include as well as switching up your times, is to purchase a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is an appliance that takes the moisture out of the air at home or in your workspace, so this can help a great deal. But this again will need to be kept on during the curing phase too.
One thing to watch if you are using a dehumidifier is that you use this in an enclosed room, if you have any windows open then you will just get more moisture in the air. Because you will then be using our resin in a non-ventilated space, you will need to use a respirator to protect your health as a safety precaution.
We know that switching up your techniques can be a pain, and changes always take time to adjust to. For example wearing a respirator in the warmer months may be more uncomfortable than you are used to, so build up to longer working times again gradually and take regular breaks outside of your resin workspace, in the fresh air, with your respirator removed - Yes that’s us giving you the permission you need for more iced tea breaks, enjoy!
If you have any tips on how you like to work in the humidity that may help others please do share them in the comments below.
Topic Of The Week Giveaway:
We have attached a giveaway to these Topic Of The Week announcements on our Instagram platform, this is helping us to spread the knowledge of how to use epoxy resin further, but also enabling anyone who helps us share this information to win free resin and mica powders.
To enter the weekly giveaway please see the latest post #CRWEEK19 on our Instagram feed/highlights and follow the instructions to enter:
Team Craft Resin