UV Resin Vs High Gloss Varnish

On Small Wood Crafts

By Tania Lopez

SO, foolish me I got ahead of myself.

I will say that when I finally tried UV resin on my Christmas ornaments I fell in love.

So much so that I went ahead and began varnishing my popular Puerto Rican Popsicle coasters with the stuff and they look AMAZING.

Coaster varnished in UV Resin.

Now I have heard and seen resin at work prior to, but was not keen on utilizing chemicals that I had to premix myself or that would require to air dry for an extended period of time, so UV Resin was just right.

My error? I did NOT test run before varnishing a ton of my next product.

For a while my customers have been asking me for wooden rear view mirror flags. I was excited for the shiny new hearts hanging on the mirror. I made sure to purchase a non-yellowing, self degassing, clear UV Resin.

Varnished in UV Resin

My first hurdle with the stuff actually came in when shipping these items during the summer. See prior to, I have only been varnishing my Christmas Ornaments and coasters with resin so the cooler temperatures made it so that the items arrived to their destination with no issues. Once the temperatures started to rise though, so did the concerns. No matter how I wrapped them, and with what, the extreme temperatures meant they would stick to just about anything.

Then, I had one customer who reported his flag had turned yellow. WITHIN 3 weeks!! As I researched why this happen I kept reading that it could be the way it was mixed. Well this didn’t fit my scenario since I utilize premixed uv resin. Then, I see it, even though it SAYS non-yellowing, the fact is that prolonged sun exposure can turn ANY resin yellow. Well, this sucks!

I began adding a disclaimer to my items but the unpredictability was messing with me. I pride myself on quality of my products so this just wasn’t going to work for me.

So I went on my search for other options to varnish my wood crafts, saddened that they will not have that almost glassy look to them. I have used ModPodge before, both in spray and paste and although I love their products, I already knew this is not the look I was going for.

Through my search, I kept seeing Liquitex High Gloss but I have only used it for my canvases. Not sure why I didn’t think about the fact that people do use it to varnish their paintings on wood panels. Regardless, I decided to try it.

Must say, I was surprised with the outcome. My rear view mirror charms were back on. As a side note though, I find that working with Liquitex high gloss varnish takes a lot of patience. Your layers must be thin and it requires longer drying times. It is also very watery, which for me this makes it a little tougher.

Top Heart varnished in UV Resin | Bottom Heart Liquitex High Gloss

So what’s the verdict? Do I prefer UV Resin or Liquitex High Gloss Varnish?

To sum it up, I will continue to use the UV Resin for crafts that I know will not be utilized outdoors. It’s just easier to handle and quicker to dry and cure. What this does is that it allows me to put out items a lot quicker. PLUS in my opinion nothing beats the shine! But it’s not scratch resistant so, that’s something to keep in mind for your project.

My rear view mirror charms and front door plaques will be varnished in the high gloss varnish from now on. And that’s that.

What varnish do you guys prefer?

I personally use the ‘Let’s Resin’ UV Resin and instead of the nail uv lamp that turns off ever 5 minutes I purchased a ‘3D Printer UV Light’. I hang it from a stand and it works great.

Liquitex High Gloss Varnish , if you’ve never used it before I say purchase a smaller one to try out.

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