Resin can easily be repaired by either using a two-part epoxy glue to glue broken pieces back together or by using either some epoxy resin or some sandpaper to repair imperfections on resin surfaces. Surfaces only need to be cleaned of dust and debris before applying any type of epoxy glue.
So you don´t have to worry about any imperfections in resin surfaces as they can usually be fixed quite easily. And if you are dealing with a broken resin sculpture then you will be able to repair that quite easily too.
How to Repair Resin Surfaces Step by Step
This part of the guide will focus on how to fix imperfections like scratches, holes, and cracks in cured resin surfaces.
1. Clean the Surface With Isopropyl Alcohol
First, we have to clean the surface of any dust and debris to avoid damaging the surface when we work with it.
Isopropyl alcohol will evaporate fairly quickly after it was applied so you can quickly move on to the next step.
2. Sand the Surface
Next, we will sand the surface where the imperfection is.
If you are only trying to remove a small scratch or a tiny hole then sanding will be more than enough and you don´t need to apply any additional resin.
Start with medium-grit sandpaper (around 100 to 110 grit) to remove some of the surface material. You don´t want to use sandpaper that is rougher than 90 grit or you will add more scratches instead of removing them.
Move to finer and finer sandpaper until the surface is smooth and the imperfection is gone. If the damage is deeper than that then you can also stop and skip to step 4 where you will learn how to apply a thin layer of resin to fix deeper imperfections.
Don´t worry if the surface is opaque and lost its transparency because we will fix that in the next step.
3. Wet Sand the Surface
After sanding the surface it will most likely be opaque now and no longer transparent. This is completely normal and can be fixed by wet sanding the surface.
Wet sanding is done quite easily by simply applying some water to the sandpaper and sanding the area very thoroughly. You need to use very fine-grit sandpaper for wet sanding (around 700 grit or finer).
Wet sanding takes a long time and a lot of patience. It will most likely take you about 20 to 40 passes until the surface is transparent and smooth again. But it is well worth it.
4. Apply a Thin Layer of Resin (Optional)
The final step is optional. You only have to apply a thin layer of resin if you are not able to remove the imperfection by sanding it. So only when you try to fix dents, deep scratches, or severe damage.
You will need art epoxy resin and some masking tape to apply a layer of resin.
I can highly recommend art resin from let´s resin. It is UV resistant, easy to use, and cures crystal clear. You can buy it right here on Amazon.
Mask the sites of the surface with masking tape but leave about a 1/2 inch standing over the edge.
This will act as a barrier to keep the liquid resin on the surface while it cures.
Then mix the resin according to the instructions. I recommend using a digital scale to weigh the resin and the hardener before mixing them. It is also recommended to wear gloves while working with resin.
Mix both components very thoroughly.
Pour the resin on the surface and make sure that it spreads evenly.
You can use a small blow torch to remove any bubbles that might form on the surface of the resin while it cures.
The resin will adhere to cured resin surfaces without any issues so you don´t need to sand the surface of the resin at all.
I have a whole article where I explain why resin adheres and why you don´t need to sand surfaces before applying resin that you can read right here if you are curious.
Once the resin is cured which usually takes around 24 hours, you can remove the masking tape.
Any smaller imperfections like bubbles can easily be removed by sanding the surface as explained in steps 2 and 3.
How to Repair Resin Sculptures
Almost any sculpture that you can get for outdoors nowadays is made out of resin. Luckily, if resin breaks it can be repaired relatively easily. And here is how:
1. Clean the Broken Pars
You will need:
- Epoxy putty or epoxy glue
- Protective gloves
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Masking tape or rubber bands
The first step is, as always, cleaning the broken parts from any dust and debris.
First, use a small brush or an old toothbrush to remove dirt and debris. Then use some isopropyl alcohol and a piece of cloth to clean the surface from any dust.
2. Apply the Epoxy Glue to the Broken Parts
Epoxy resin can easily be glued by using epoxy glue.
You can use liquid epoxy glue to fix sculptures that are only broken apart or epoxy putty to fix sculptures where small parts or chunks are missing.
Either mix the two-part epoxy together or combine them by kneading the two parts if you are using the epoxy putty.
Then apply the epoxy to one part of the broken figure and press both parts together.
You might need some masking tape or rubber bands to keep both parts pressed together until the resin has cured fully.
Once the resin has cured, which usually takes around 24 hours, simply remove the rubber bands or masking tape and take a look at the glued seam.
3. Remove any Imperfections by Sanding the Area
There will most likely be some imperfections where the two broken parts meet.
These can easily be fixed by simply sanding the surface with some 600-grit sandpaper.
You can also use an Exacto knife or a box knife to carefully remove the excess epoxy at the seams.
Epoxy resin is naturally water resistant and very strong so the sculpture can be left outside just as before.
Some epoxy glue might start to turn yellow after a while in the sun but that process can take multiple years.
Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.