In the crafting world, epoxy resin is a wonder material. You can literally make anything and everything with the help of it. But it takes hours if not days to cure resin properly. Here, I’ll share all the tips and tricks about how to make epoxy dry faster.
Just like most materials, epoxy dries faster in warm weather. Increasing the room’s temperature or putting it near a heating source will prove to be very effective. You can use a hair dryer or heat lamp in this case.
The epoxy-to-hardener ratio also plays a major role in its curing time. A perfect mixing ratio will make epoxy resin dry faster and save you much time.
Go through the whole article to enlighten yourself with everything you need to know about this wonderful material.
Is It Possible to Epoxy Dry Faster?
If you have tried a thousand methods to dry your epoxy faster and still failed, know that a warm atmosphere is the best solution. Although curing epoxy resin can be such a pain in the neck, placing it in a warm place fastens the process a lot.
Turn the temperature up in the room where you are working and keep it constant for the first 24 hours. Sudden fluctuations in the heat can cause uneven drying of the resin and create lumps and dimples.
The ideal temperature for curing ArtResin is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (24-30 degrees Celsius). The general rule of thumb is that, for increasing every 10 degrees Celsius, the curing time gets reduced by half. But, there is a limit to how much heat can epoxy resin withstand.
Standard epoxy can endure up to 150-300 degrees Fahrenheit. After that, the temperature will start to negatively affect the resin. You can also directly apply heat over your epoxy project with a space heater or a heat lamp.
Remember that colder temperatures slow curing and make your work even more time-consuming.
How Long Does It Take to Dry Epoxy?
The typical curing time for epoxy is about 7 days. It mainly depends on the mixing ratio and the thickness of the epoxy layer. The thicker layer takes longer while thin layers dry much faster.
1-inch epoxy layers take sometimes between 6-12 hours to get completely cured. You will know that the resin is starting to dry when it becomes no longer workable and forms a tacky, gel-like consistency. It’s better not to touch it at this time as you can easily dent it if not careful.
On the other hand, if you add a hardener to the resin mix, you will get a quicker cure. A 2-part epoxy, 1-part hardener takes almost 7 days to cure properly whereas, adding more hardener will cause the epoxy resins to cure faster.
However, the hardness of a 24-hour cure and a 72-hour cure is only an important factor if you are involved in resin art. Coasters, bar tops, and other heavy-duty projects require a less flexible cure before shipping.
But for coated paintings, sculptures, or drawings, such hardness is not necessary and can be neglected.
Temperature is another important parameter of the curing process. Warmer temperatures facilitate curing resin and reduce the cure time.
So, turn the heat up in the room where you are working and keep the temperature constant throughout the whole time. [Source]
How Do You Make Epoxy Dry Faster?
Now that you know the basics, let’s get into the details. In this segment, I’ll guide you through the steps of drying epoxy faster. The best way to do this is to increase the temperature.
Using heat is one of the easiest ways to cure the resin. You can use various heat sources according to your will for this. Hair dryer, UV lamp, craft oven, and heat lamp are some of the conventional ways.
Method 1. Hair Dryer
If you have a hair dryer lying somewhere around the house, grab it now as it is the perfect element to use in this case. Simply turn on the hair dryer and direct the warm air to your resin art. You can even control the heat level with this.
Although heat is good for curing resin, excessive heat can also negatively affect it. So, reduce the heat level as necessary and don’t point it in one direction for too long. Spread the warm air all over the art project to ensure even curing all over.
Method 2. Craft ovens
Craft ovens are the best friends of resin artists. This will reduce your work by a lot. All you need to do is to place your finished resin art inside the oven and you are good to go. The oven will provide an even distribution of heat all over the place.
It will also ensure constant and undisturbed heating throughout the process. So, just insert your resin inside it and you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Method 3. UV lamps
There are special UV LED lights in the market that can be used to harden the resin. UVA rays are used to cure thicker epoxy resins or resins that have colored pigments mixed in them.
On the other hand, UV resins especially require a UV lamp to cure and harden them. To properly cure the resin, you need to ensure that the lamp is emitting the correct wavelength of light. Typically, 350-410 nm light is perfect for the curing process.
Method 4. Insulated Food Carriers
This method is not quite that popular or well-known. If your food carriers are insulated, you can use them to cure resin as well. The benefit of it is that you don’t have to worry about keeping the temperature constant.
Nowadays instant resin curing machines are gaining a lot of popularity. These machines can cure epoxy resins within just 2-3 hours. You just need to turn on the switch and place the resin inside.
You can even control the time and temperature. The 360-degree rotation inside the machine provides a smooth and even finish and cures the epoxy perfectly.
✘ Don’t Do It
Giving resin enough curing time is crucial for the perfect finish. But it’s not enough to do just that. You will also need to look out for other factors as well. This includes proper measurement of hardener and colorant as well as maintaining perfect weather conditions.
When you need to speed up the curing process of the resin, adding more hardener sounds like the perfect solution, right? WRONG. Don’t add an excessive amount of hardener as it will throw off the balance and won’t let the resin get fully cured.
It will then remain sticky indefinitely no matter how much time you give it. Similarly, mixing too much colorant will disrupt the hardener-to-epoxy ratio and hinder the curing process. It is recommended not to use more than 6% of colorant from the total volume of the resin mixture.
Epoxy resin can be greatly affected by humidity too. In highly humid conditions, a chemical reaction starts within the resin mixture and forms bubbles. So, observe the humidity closely and don’t let it get too high.
Similarly, it is crucial to maintain the perfect temperature if you want a smooth and perfect finish. A sudden temperature drop can cause dents or create an orange peel effect on the cured resin so be careful of that.
Special Tips & Tricks
I know that working with resin can seem quite intimidating at first glance, but it’s not that hard once you get the hang of it. Follow through the steps to make sure you get a perfect finishing:
- Read the instruction manual carefully. This is the most important thing to do. Every different resin brand comes with its own different set of instructions. So, to gather the proper knowledge you must read the manuals thoroughly.
- Warm up the epoxy resin and hardener in warm water before using them to avoid bubbling.
- Stir the mixture slowly and thoroughly. Any rapid movement can cause bubbling within the resin.
- Pick a suitable spot to rest your resin art. You must select a place that will be undisturbed for at least 24 hours. Any disturbance or temperature drop should not take place before the resin arts fully cure.
- Bad weather and resin curing don’t really go together. So, avoid starting any new project when the weather is extremely bad.
Keeping these things in mind can help you ensure a perfect finish on your beloved art project.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Does Epoxy Dry Faster in the Cold?
No, cold weather slows down the drying process and increases the curing time of the resin. Warm air and high-temperature help in resin curing.
However, if the temperature gets too low, it will freeze out the resin. The epoxy may eventually harden but it may not achieve a complete cure. It will affect the physical property of the resin and cause it to break down prematurely.
Q: What Causes the Epoxy to Not Dry?
The number one reason for epoxy not drying properly is an inaccurate mixing ratio. The most common mixing ratios are a 2:1 (two-part epoxy one-part hardener) or a 1:1 (equal amount of epoxy and hardener) mixing ratio.
Unlike polyester resin, epoxy resin doesn’t dry faster by adding more hardeners. If you add an excessive amount of hardener, the mixture will remain sticky indefinitely and won’t get solid over time. 
Q: What Happens if Epoxy Gets Wet Before It Cures?
Once the epoxy dries and gets hard, exposure to moisture can’t affect it anymore. However, if your resin art comes in touch with moisture before it’s fully cured, the resin mixture can produce bubbles inside and get cloudy.
The chemical components present in epoxy start reacting and forms a foam-like appearance.
Although some experiments proved that water causes an increase in the cure rate of epoxy materials at low temperatures and slows down the curing rate at high temperatures, it’s better not to let the epoxy come in contact with moisture before curing. 
I know reading all these instructions and steps can make epoxy art look very confusing and hard. But trust me, once you get the hang of it, it’s super fun to do.
You just need to know the basics such as giving it enough time to dry, having a warm atmosphere, and don’t let any moisture come in contact.
Following these basic steps should be enough. Now, don’t worry anymore, and start creating exciting new projects with resin.