An epoxy resin art piee made with epoxy, shiny metallic flakes, and Rose Red Epoxy Dye from Pigmently

If you're a beginner to resin crafts, knowing what's best to use, as well as which would be easiest to learn, can be difficult to figure out. There are several common resin types, and within those types are different variants of the corresponding resin.

Because resin crafts can be intimidating to start with, we want to make sure that newcomers have the information they need to begin their own creative journey with confidence.

In this article, we'll explain some of the common resins, including the most common choice for resin crafts, and then we'll talk about which of those options is ideal for beginners plus which is the best to work with in general.

First, though, let's explain what "resin" means.

What is resin?

Resins are compounds primarily used in the production of plastics, adhesives, varnishes, and other materials. They're usually viscous (to varying extents) and can be either natural or synthetic.

Natural resins

Natural resins are often produced by plants, particularly trees; they're usually transparent or translucent solids or semi-solids. These substances are produced by the plant as a form of protection against pests and injuries, sealing over cuts and wounds.

Historically, natural resins, like amber, rosin, and copal, have been used for various purposes, including in varnishes, adhesives, and incense. These days, though, natural resins have been largely supplanted by synthetic variants in many applications due to their more consistent quality and versatility.

An epoxy resin tray made with epoxy resin and several different epoxy powder pigments from Pigmently.

Synthetic resins

Synthetic resins, on the other hand, are manufactured resins and by far the most common category of resins. They can be engineered with a wide range of properties, making them remarkably versatile. Common examples of synthetic resins include epoxy, polyester, and polyurethane resins.

Epoxy resins are well-known for their strong adhesive qualities and durability, often used in coatings, electronic components, and high-performance materials. For DIY resin crafting projects, epoxy is often chosen as the primary material.

Polyester resins are widely used in the manufacture of fiberglass and other composite materials; because it's less resilient and more difficult to use, it's generally used in mass production as opposed to DIY. 

Polyurethane resins find applications in foams, elastomers, and coatings. It can be a sealant for fixtures and furniture, and it's also part of man different products.

The adaptability and strength of these synthetic resins have made them indispensable in a multitude of industrial, commercial, and recreational applications.

What is the easiest resin for beginners?

Of the resin options available for DIY use, we recommend epoxy resin for beginners.

Epoxy resin is simple to prepare and features virtually no odor, especially when compared to other resin types. It's also less messy and much easier to work with.

With a high-quality epoxy resin such as our UltraClear Bar & Table Top Epoxy, you get:

  • A crystal-clear, customizable finish. Leave it transparent or infuse it with colorants.
  • A strong, durable finish. UltraClear's epoxy resins cure to a tough-as-nails solid.
  • A low-maintenance surface. With its easy-to-clean surface, epoxy resin requires almost no upkeep.

Another benefit to using epoxy resin is that there are numerous video guides and tutorials to help newcomers get started. With many different types of resin art-and-craft projects, including resin keychains, epoxy tumblers, resin jewelry, there's no shortage of interesting projects to start with for aspiring resin enthusiasts.

A resin art piece shaped abstractly like a star and tinted black with Black Epoxy Dye from Pigmently.

Have questions? Want advice? Contact us!

If you have any questions about approaching resins as a beginner, or if you'd like assistance in planning your first epoxy project, please reach out to us at UltraClear Epoxy—our epoxy experts are ready to assist!

You can contact us via phone or email here. During business hours, you can also text chat online with one of our resin specialists by clicking the Help button at the bottom of your screen.

In our online store, you'll find a variety of useful tools and supplies, ideal for resin projects, plus our award-winning UltraClear Bar & Table Top Epoxy and our UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy.

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