How to make metallic resin

Written by larry simmons
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How to make metallic resin
Use metallic powders to create a metallic resin capable of simulating cast metal. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Metallic resin allows you to create from moulds detailed resin castings with the appearance of metal. You can make the metallic resin by adding atomised metal powders to a two-part component resin mix. You can then pour the resin mix into any rubber mould, creating a cast object that carries the mould details, all at the fast room-temperature curing rates that makes resin easy to work with. The resulting casting will simulate actual metal.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Polyester resin
  • Resin hardener
  • Atomised metallic powder
  • 2 cups
  • Wooden stir stick
  • Liquid black pigment
  • Rubber mould
  • Mold release agent
  • Mild liquid soap
  • #0000 steel wool

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  1. 1

    Pour the right amount of resin for your casting into a plastic cup. Fill the second cup with the resin hardener, using the ratio of hardener to resin recommended by the resin manufacturer.

  2. 2

    Add the metallic powder to the cup containing the resin, by weight. Use a ratio of two parts powder to one part resin for bronze, copper, brass, zinc, or nickel-silver powders; a one-to-one ratio for aluminium powder; and one and a half parts powder to one part resin for steel powders. Stir the powder into the resin using the wooden stir stick.

  3. 3

    Add the liquid pigment to the resin, using a ratio of one part pigment to 10 parts resin by weight, to darken the metal if desired. Stir the pigment in thoroughly with the stirring stick.

  4. 4

    Spray the surface of the rubber mould with a mould release agent to prepare it for use. The release agent prevents the resin from sticking to the mould as it cures.

  5. 5

    Pour the hardener into the cup containing the resin, and stir thoroughly until fully mixed. The mixture will be thick but pourable with the consistency of a thickened honey.

  6. 6

    Pour the mix into the mould and wait the length of time the manufacturer suggests for the resin to cure. Remove it from the mould, then wash the casting with liquid soap and warm water to remove the release agent. Lightly sand the surface with #0000 steel wool to remove the light coating of plastic and reveal the metal-like casting.

Tips and warnings

  • Copper powder speeds the curing of polyester resin. Substitute epoxy resin for the mix when using copper.

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