Epoxy resin is a very unique crafting material that is very versatile. One of the biggest reasons for its recent popularity is the fact that it is transparent and colorless. But I wanted to test if every type of epoxy resin is clear and if resin can be as clear as glass. Here is what I found.
Epoxy resins are usually clear, colorless, and fully transparent. Some resins like UV-resin tend to be a little less clear and often have a slightly yellowish tone while other resins like art resin or deep pour resin can be as clear and transparent as glass.
I compared UV-resin, crystal clear art resin, and crystal clear deep pour resin with each other to see which one is the most transparent.
In this article, I will also show you how to color these resins to keep them transparent and which coloring method not to use.
What Kind of Resin is the Clearest
I wanted to test which kind of resin would be the clearest and most transparent. This whole endeavor started because I got asked if it is possible to see through epoxy resin. So I tested a couple of different resins to find out if you can see through epoxy resin.
As a whole, it is possible to see through epoxy resin. Most resins like UV-resin, art resin, and deep pour resin are all naturally transparent and clear. There are special crystal clear resins that are as transparent and clear as glass.
The clearest kind of resin is art resin and deep pour resin. The crystal clear variants of these types of resin are almost as transparent as glass.
You can see a comparison of each of these resins in the following sections.
Art resin is most often used for creating resin jewelry, making small casts, or encasing pictures in resin.
There are a lot of different art resins out there including crystal clear art resin that is even more transparent and clear than regular art resin.
You shouldn’t use cheap art resin as those are often not UV-resistant which will lead to yellowing if they are exposed to sunlight for a longer period of time, and they are often slightly yellow, to begin with, and not as clear as high-quality art resin.
I used art resin from Let´s Resin that you can get right here on Amazon. It is UV resistant, crystal clear, and degassing, meaning most bubbles will raise to the surface of the resin during the curing process.
It doesn´t reflect light the same way that glass would but other than that it is almost as transparent as glass.
Deep Pour Resin
Deep pour resin is usually used for projects where the resin is poured very thickly.
Regular resin would cure too fast resulting in a very strong exothermic reaction that can lead to multiple issues. Deep pour resin, however, is specially made to cure slower and with a less volatile reaction.
This makes it possible to pour resin in much thicker layers than usual.
Other than that, deep pour resin is very similar to art resin and is also available in a crystal clear variant.
Regular deep pour resin is usually already very transparent but the crystal clear deep pour resin is almost as clear and transparent as glass.
Finally, I also tested how transparent and clear UV resin is.
UV resin is very similar to other resins but it has one major advantage over other resins. It does not need to be mixed with a hardener.
UV resin cures as soon as it gets exposed to UV rays. It will usually cure within minutes.
Of all the resins, I tested, the UV-resin was the only one that did not cure extremely clearly.
The UV resin did cure transparently but you can see a very slight yellowish tint in the resin. There are UV resins that will cure very transparent but all of the UV resins I tested did not.
In the end, I think UV resins aren’t the best choice for a project where a crystal clear transparent resin is needed.
How to Color Transparent Resin so that it Stays Transparent
At one point or another, you might want to color your resin but in a way that it stays as transparent as possible. I will show you exactly what methods work and which won´t right here.
I have another article where I compare different coloring methods and show the results next to each other. So if you want to know more then consider reading my guide on coloring epoxy resin right here.
Coloring Methods that Work
You will get the best results by using alcohol ink or resin dye.
Both of these links will give you a very good result without making the resin opaque.
I personally prefer alcohol inks because they are cheaper and the result is almost the same as with resin dye as you can see here:
Resin colored with alcohol ink.
Resin colored with resin dye.
Resin will lose some of its transparency when it is colored and there really is no way to avoid that.
This is the same as with colored glass. As soon as a transparent item is colored the light will simply have a harder time moving through the item. Thus making the item less transparent.
Coloring Methods that don´t Work
There are also a few coloring methods that will instantly make the resin opaque or will leave some specks of color or debris inside of the resin.
So don´t use water-based paint, like acrylic paint to color resin. This will make the resin opaque as you can see right here.
Don´t use color pigments to color resin as this will also make the resin opaque.
Don´t use chalk or food coloring to color your resin as those will not properly dissolve in the resin. Here is an example of resin that was colored with food color.
Also, don´t use any other type of paint like oil-based paint and enamel paint because those won´t dissolve well in resin either.