Learn how to pour resin in marbled patterns by following my tutorial! I poured resin in two different colors in a shallow bamboo tray and will show you how I finished it with a glittered marble effect.
Wondering how to pour resin in marbled patterns?
Hey all! As you may have seen, I recently got an xTool M1 laser cutting and engraving machine. That post will tell you everything you need to know before deciding to buy the machine.
However, while testing out the machine and doing a few projects for my review, I ended up with a few duds. One was this bamboo tray that had a bit of scorching and an off-center design thanks to me wanting to see what happened when I skipped the M1’s recommended “framing” step.
But it’s a perfectly good tray otherwise! So I decided to save it by doing a little marbled resin pour in the tray to cover up the botched design. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with resin, and this little tray was juuust deep enough for a resin pour. A shallow one, but that just means it didn’t take much resin!
Below is a look at the tray, and the second picture shows how I covered it up. I’ll probably use this as yet another under-a-plant furniture protector, and a resin pour project is perfect for that. So let’s talk about how I did it!
Here’s what I used:
- Two-part epoxy resin
- Dye powders & glitter flecks
- Resin mixing supplies
- Heat gun
- Disposable gloves
- Plastic workplace protection (a trash bag works)
And here’s how to pour resin in marbled patterns in a tray!
Step 1: Prepare
Obviously preparing for any project is a good first step. But it’s definitely a required first step with working with resin. I am someone who often jumps right into projects without much planning. That’s not a good idea with resin, especially if you’re new to resin.
To prepare, get everything set out in the same spot. I recommend covering your workspace with a disposable plastic tablecloth or a trash bag for easy cleanup. Resin is messy.
Next decide how much resin you’ll be working with. I wanted to use 2 ounces of resin—so that means 1 ounce of each of the bottles since this is a two-part mix. I also knew I wanted two colors, so I decided to mix everything in one cup and then transfer a little bit of the mixed resin to a second smaller cup.
I set out and opened the colors I wanted to use. I didn’t want to have messy resin gloves and be fumbling with opening the dye powder bags. And they are super messy and pigmented, so I didn’t want to drop them by accident!
Finally, I plugged in my heat gun and set it on the table but didn’t turn it on. You have to work quickly with resin, including catching and popping air bubbles very soon after you finish pouring your design.
Step 2: Mix up your resin!
Next you’ll mix up your resin. Put on disposable gloves, and make sure to work in a well-ventilated area as resin can produces fumes and have a nasty small. I quickly poured 1 ounce from each bottle into my main measuring cup and mixed quickly but thoroughly.
It’s important to get as close to the 50:50 ratio as you can. If the ratio is off, the resin won’t cure properly. I used a little spoon so I could continue scraping down the sides of the measuring cup as I mixed. A popsicle stick would work well too.
When I was satisfied with how well the resin was mixed up, I took a little bit of it and put it in a separate smaller cup. This would be my accent color.
Step 3: Mix in colors
Next I added dye powders to each cup. I used PolyColor brand for these, but I have used many different brands of mica dye powders with great success. For the main cup, I chose Purple Mountain Metallic with a bit of Violet Pearl Metallic mixed in. Mix quickly and thoroughly—the clock is ticking!
Then I added a metallic pearl color (not pictured below) to the smaller cup and mixed it up. I used the Diamond Dust Metallic pictured below as a final step that I’ll note toward the end of this tutorial.
Like this? Check out my Small Outdoor Side Table Plans With an Epoxy Resin Glitter Top, my post about Preserving Leaves in Resin for Decor, and my DIY Epoxy Resin Planters Using a Silicone Mold!
Step 4: Pour the resin in the tray
Next you’ll want to pour the resin in the tray. I do this in circular patterns all around the surface I’m pouring into. It will slowly seep into the entire sunk-in area and fill it up.
After I’d poured all of the purple resin in, I took a little stick and started dropping the pearly white resin in. Then I took that stick and used it to “drag” the white resin around in circles.
When I was happy with the design (and keep in mind it will change a bit when you blow it around with the heat gun), I took the Diamond Dust Metallic and sprinkled it over the tray.
Remember, steps 2, 3, and 4 happened over the span of about 5 minutes. Resin begins setting up very quickly, and your clock starts as soon as you mix the two-part mixture together.
Step 5: Pop bubbles and let cure
After I’d pouring everything and added the metallic dust, I let it sit for about 1 minute. Then I grabbed my heat gun and put it on a low speed. Just enough to pop all of the air bubbles that emerge after pouring resin.
After the first round of popping, I turned off the gun and waited another minute or two for the remainder of the bubbles to pop. Make sure to hold the gun far away and move closer slowly—this will ensure you don’t blow the resin everywhere.
Once all of the bubbles are gone, it’s time to let the resin cure. It will be very sticky to the touch for 12 or so hours depending on the conditions in the room. So don’t touch it! After about 24 hours, it should be dry to the touch.
Refer to your package’s instructions for full cure time. After it has fully cured, you’ll be able to begin putting things on it. Isn’t it lovely?!