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How to Stop Pitted Resin Holes

Resin is my favourite finish for fluid acrylic paintings as it really brings out the colours and gives a glass like finish but one of the problems with resin is how to stop those holes from appearing in the resin when it dries.

The reason these holes form is usually because it reacts with the silicone oil or Floetrol (or on some occasions it just seems to dislike areas of paint!) and gets repelled away from those spots leaving a hole where the original painting shows through which can be really disappointing. You may not get the holes if you don’t use silicone or Floetrol.

This is a real bug bear for a lot of people and there have been quite a few solutions put out there that are supposed to cure this problem (of which I think I have tried them all!).

Some of the solutions are (and these do seem to work for some people):

  • leaving the painting to dry for a number of weeks before using the resin (this may not always be possible)
  • spreading cornstarch (which is known as cornflour in the UK) on top of the painting to soak up the oil (then cleaning this off some hours later)
  • Cleaning the painting with dish soap (or washing up liquid in the UK) to get the oil off the surface
  • adding a small amount of silicone to the resin and using your fingers to mix it on to the painting (be careful if trying this as it can cloud the resin)

But I have recently found a solution that really works for me. My theory behind it is to seal the painting so that the oil does not come into contact with the resin and hence does not repel it.

So I now put on 2 coats of a varnish/medium on the painting after it is dry and before I put the resin on. It is also wise to try and clean the majority of the oil off the painting first using some kind of dish soap. Let the painting dry completely before adding the varnish.

The varnish/medium that I use is just one that I happened to have in my studio, it is the Atelier acrylic medium (that is the link to the US product and you can also find it in the UK here) but I am sure if it was a matt or satin medium it would work equally as well, or indeed a different make, as long as it is able to cope with something on top of it.

When putting the resin on you still need to keep an eye on it for the first 20 minutes or so to make sure everything is covered but if you keep spreading resin over any slightly thinner areas you should get a full covering over the whole painting.

Some people say that you need to let the painting dry for a few weeks before putting the resin on. I have found that as long as the paint is fully dry and I sue this method, it works fine.

However, it is not totally foolproof, you need to really make sure you cover all the painting with the varnish, but it has given me much better results than I have had before from any other method of stopping the resin holes.

Here is a painting that has just had this treatment – the paint had both Floetrol and silicone in it so I gave the painting a clean with washing up liquid and then put 2 coats of the varnish on. One this was all dry I put the resin on and you can see that it has gone on really evenly:

The resin fully covers the painting after cleaning and varnish/medium.

Hope this may help someone – if you have a different method please let me know and I will try it out!



2 thoughts on “How to Stop Pitted Resin Holes

  1. I have done many many resin coatings on my paintings. Right now I have a piece that is a special order, also goes with 2 other canvases, and after 2 days it has NOT, dried.
    What can I do to salvage this canvas piece..I am out of the paint that I used and the mixes to start over will be a horrible situation.



    1. Hi Carole, I would say NO! Don’t resin over the wet paint, this can cause issues. I’m afraid the only answer is to wait for the paint to dry fully. I have had paintings that have taken days to dry as well. Sometimes it depends on the atmospheric conditions as well as the paint itself.

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