Resin’s Dirty Secret

Resin’s Dirty Secret

In this episode, Peter collects 8 years worth of resin projects from across the known Shoptime Cinematic Universe to uncover and reveal resin’s dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about. Despite the naming scheme for many resins that include buzzwords like, Clear, SuperClear, UltraClear and Crystal Clear, they still all have one fatal flaw that is simply unescapable…

All resin yellows over time.

an example of very yellowed bubblewrap, cased in resin

Regardless of storage conditions, such as UV exposure, humidity, temperature or even perhaps the vacuum of space, all resin yellows over time. No matter what, this holds true for both epoxy, polyester and even stabilizing resins alike. Let us now take a trip back down memory lane and take a look and see how various projects have held up, with respect to yellowing, over the years.

Peter searched far and wide for his resin projects

As time went on, many of the older pieces certainly took on a more amber quality to them. While this was anticipated, there are a handful of items that have resisted this attribute and it is quite interesting to try to investigate and quantify why that may be.

Before you toss out your plans of using resin in your next project, there are various strategies and techniques that seem to reduce or mitigate the effects at least in the short term.  Be aware though, the slow and steady march toward an amber future might still be inevitable.

Items encased in resin can end up in a state that you might not want them to, such as this entombed rose

In many projects, pouring a large solid volume of resin can make it go to the darkside even faster

If you are able to use a thin coating or glaze on your project, it can provide more desirable results. The primary viewing angle/orientation can make a big difference. Also, the color of your background can help to hide the ill effects. Typically, an opaque/dark element can contrast strongly with the yellowing effect, thus making it that much less noticeable.

Perhaps there may be a situation where a yellowing tint might even compliment the piece, such as this penny display or Hammond’s amber cane from Jurassic Park. 

John Hammond's Resin Cane is a great example of how the yellowing effect of aging resin can help a project.
Spared no expense!

Speaking of tints, intentionally adding a color or a dye to resin actually might resist the yellowing process entirely.  You could certainly use a commercially available pigment or even one of Peter’s more hue-morous examples seen in some videos! While they still may change over time, many of the colored pieces show great promise.

various substances can be used to colorize resins

In some projects, resin might take a backseat to an already dense or colorful material such as paper, cork, denim or even Froot Loops.  Here, the primary material itself may provide a more overpowering characteristic than the aging resin can overcome.  Alas, there are no guarantees when it comes to resin and the dreaded yellowing, but with some planning and a bit of luck, you may be able to lessen it’s effect on your projects.

Hopefully this deep dive onboard the yellow submarine of resin secrecy was illuminating and helps to provide needed clarity before entombing your most prized possessions in a vat of resin.