Caring for your Original Art from Michele Donohue Art
Updated: Aug 8
Most fine art can be compromised if exposed to direct sun light, heat or extreme weather conditions. This includes resin artwork. I only use quality resin with UV protection, however direct sun is still not recommended to help prolong life of any art creations.
Wall Art Care
Resin wall art pieces can be easily cleaned/dusted with a damp microfibre washcloth, followed by the microfibre buff/dry cloth made for use for glass & mirrors. Or, if dirty, a soft cloth with mild dish soap can be used, then buffed dry with another soft dry cloth. Avoid anything abrasive to protect the surface. Resin is scratch resistant, but not scratch proof.
Shipping, Storing, or Moving Resin Creations
When (if) shipping (moving) resin items, ensure no plastic or textured wrap (such as bubble wrap) touches the resin surface area directly during shipping/storing. If there is extreme heat at any point during shipping, the plastic may effect the resin finish (even after full cure), if it gets hot enough for a long period of time and any pressure is against piece while hot. So suggestion is to protect direct surface area with something like glassine paper (for wall art), freezer paper shiny side, or parchment paper against resin surfaces. Soft tissue paper on castings. Once there is a protective wrap over piece, then bubble wrap or other wrap can be wrapped over top of the protected surface covering.
Heat tolerance of resin varies depending on item & resin product used for said item.
Coasters, Trays & Tables, I sometimes use an art type resin to create the artwork with, then top-coat with the higher heat resin, or sometimes the whole piece (coasters) is made throughout all the layers with the higher heat countertop resin.
Coasters made with high heat resin, typically can hold a hot cup of coffee/tea without marking. Keep in mind occasionally tile/ceramics (tiles & cups) can hold more heat in, and therefore some times the results can vary with tile & ceramics for marking. See further notes below on coasters.
If an item is sitting in a space that gets extremely hot (like a car sitting in hot sun, or a sunroom), the resin will not become pliable & deform (like lower heat tolerant resins do). There are many resins on the market with heat tolerance levels of 120F range, however, none of the resins I use have that low of a heat tolerance.
Direct heat contact rating is typically lower than heat tolerance ratings shown. For example a hot pan off the stove will mark most resins, unless a quality countertop type resin is used. I use a high quality, high heat tolerant resin called iCoat Countertop on items requiring a higher direct heat rating. The iCoat countertop resins I use have a heat tolerance rating of up to 500F (260C).
Cure Times of Resins
Several of the top-coating resins I use may be dry to touch in 8-12 hours. Casting resins I use may be dry to touch in 24 hours to 4 days (depending on the piece & resin product used). Deeper castings take longer.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All resins (even though dry to the touch), continue to harden for up to 2-3 weeks after initial cure. Their full heat tolerance & durability will be reached at 3-4 week mark. So, if your piece is freshly made, please allow a few more weeks before setting hot cups of coffee on them.
Care of Resin Decorated Charcuterie Boards, Coasters, & Trays
Where resin is used on coasters, trays or cheeseboards, all resins used are FDA Compliant (FDA 21CFR175.300).
I use quality resins only, and all of the resins I utilize for these types of resin projects, have a shore hardness rating of 81 or higher. Even though resin is inert once cured, we prefer to suggest people keep the resin decor, as the decor intended for dressing up the table. However, some people really want/need to use the decorated section too. So if covering it up anyways, use small glass/plastic dip bowls on the resin section with olives or pickles, dips etc., or use paper baking doilies or parchment or wax paper against the resin surface area. Ideally, most just use the wood area for serving, & keep the decorated area to be visible decor.
Cutting on resin surfaces is not recommended. Resin is scratch resistant, not scratch proof.
For people wanting hard working cutting chopping boards, it is recommended to use a less fancy/different board for that job so as not to ruin the original art decorated serving piece. Some people choose to use the backside of the board for cutting (if there's no added texture on decorated side that would cause it to be unlevel). The decorated serving board typically is used for serving precut finger food type items.
Resin decorated boards, should never go in the dishwasher, the wood/timber area should be treated as all wood serving boards. Soaking any wood boards in dishwater is never recommended as it can ruin the wood. Set board in empty sink and use soft cloth with mild dish soap to clean, then dry. Every now & then the wood/timber area should be reconditioned with food grade oil. Do not use food oils that go rancid with age. Food grade mineral oil works great, and there are numerous food grade cutting board oils that can also be used to treat the timber area.
As stated above, higher heat tolerance resins are used for resin coasters that will be used for hot beverages. It helps prevent possible permanent ring damage to the epoxy on the coaster from heat. Softer cure epoxies that are also lower in heat tolerance are more prone to issues with coasters, then higher heat tolerant epoxies that also have a higher shore hardness rating (harder curing resin).
However, important note..... high heat epoxies will not help prevent the coasters from sticking (vacuum) to the cups, "if" they are super smooth. A vacuum happens with cold beverages too. It happens with other surfaces besides epoxy resins as well. Sometimes even napkins lift up with a cup that has been sitting on it. We've heard of cups sticking to various types of substrates on placemats as well. Different types of cups and different types of humidity levels can also play a role. It's similar to the same force that a stack of not-entirely-dry glasses often stick together. Moist, smooth surfaces can create a vacuum seal that causes the coaster to get picked up with the cup. Some people suggest sprinkling a tiny bit of salt or sand on top of the coaster, to avoid creating the vacuum seal between the smooth base of the glass/mug and the coaster surface, since condensed moisture often occurs where the two pieces meet. Or you can tilt your mup/glass ever so slightly off balance first before lifting it up to break the seal (you might need to hold coaster still with another finger).
Or, to avoid this vacuum seal issue completely, look for or request textured coasters. If coast was made in flat surface mould, or resin topcoated tile, I can sprinkle some tiny sand (for texture) on to the coaster before top-coating it. Anything that gives you a bit of a texture barrier between the condensating cup and your coaster will help reduce that vacuum.
Coaster, trays and cheese/ charcuterie boards with resin, can be hand washed with mild soap & water, and a soft cloth (or microfibre cloth).
Textured Art areas
For pieces that have added texture like gemstones or crushed glass, can be cleaned using spray methods. The gemstones are semi precious stones so completely washable.
Set the board in an empty sink, and use mild dish soap & water, & the spray nozzle on gentle stream. If needed a soft toothbrush can be used. Or if preferred the larger board sizes can also be washed in a laundry washtub the same way. If the piece is too large for sink or tub, it can be taken outside in nice weather and gently rinsed as needed, then buffed gently dry with soft microfibre glass/mirror drying/buffing cloth.
Care of resin or alcohol ink wine glasses, cups, tumblers
To protect your custom design please:
Handwash only, with mild soap & non abrasive cloth.
Do not soak.
Not dishwasher safe.
Do not microwave.
Do not freeze.
Avoid prolonged exposure to excessive heat (such as hot car).
Handle with care, do not drop.
Care of Resin castings & resin sculptured items (bowls)
Resin castings can be cleaned with a damp microfibre cloth, then buffed dry.
Take care not to drop your piece.
Keep out of direct sun light to help prevent premature aging/yellowing of resin.
If using organics (ie: flowers & plants, etc), be aware some types of organics can fade in resin piece, if set in areas with direct sunlight.
Please keep your resin creation away from heaters, radiators or excessive or constant heat.
Care of Resin Scratches or Hot Cup marks
As mentioned previously, resin is scratch resistant, but not scratch proof.
If your piece ends up with a minor scratch, you can sometimes use a plastic polish to buff the scratch out. There are plastic polish kits you can buy online or even in automotive departments or stores. If it's a deeper scratch, it may need a buffer tool used on it as well.
If marks occur on pieces, you can use a polishing compound to buff and shine the resin back to a glassy finish. Wipe it on with a cloth then hand rub it, or if needed, use with a buffing and polishing wheel.
There are many types of polishing compounds (these are just a few). Many people use vehicle headlight polish on their castings :
- Meguiar's PlastX plastic cleaner & polish, for automotive headlights.
- Blue Jewellers polish compound, often used on resin jewellry.
- Another one mentioned to give a lovely finish on resin jewellry is a piano polish.
- Hut Ultra Gloss Plastic Polish many pen makers use.
- Novus 7100 kit, 1 (Plastic Clean & Shine), 2 (Fine Scratch Remover), 3 (Heavy Scratch Remover), available at Lee Valley Hardware.
- Flitz, Metal, Plastic & Fibreglass Polish
- Carnauba wax
- Turtle Wax 50935 Scratch Repair & Renew.
Different users have different preferences. Some people find a polish paste works better then a polish liquid depending on their piece, and desired finish.
If you have a coaster that ends up with a circular hot cup mark, you "might" be able to reduce the mark by using hottest tap water on the mark. Use hot water to try to soften the area, then with protected finger, try rubbing the mark out using gentle circles. Dry fully, then try buffing with a polish as above.
In any resin creations, please know slight imperfections are possible, and may occur due to the handmade process involved.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a message via the contact page.
Thank you! Enjoy your original, one of a kind piece!