What Can I Do To Minimize Bubbles?

by Fran Valera

When working with resin, bubbles are a fact of life, and probably the biggest variable, but there are many ways to avoid/reduce/eliminate them. Your Little Windows how-to guide, and our How-To Videos have tips and tricks at every step. Beyond printing on Little Windows papers, which are waterproof, here are the basics:

1)   If your bottles have been moved around or shaken, LET THEM SIT STILL for about 30 minutes to settle.

2)   If your Little Windows Part A (Resin) has gotten cold, it may have thickened up. The thicker your resin, the harder it will be for bubbles to rise, so you'll want to WARM IT UP.  You can measure out your batch into the mixing cup, then pop the cup in a microwave for 5-7 seconds, until the outside of the cup is just warm to the touch.  DO NOT TRY THIS WITH ANY OTHER RESINS OR CHEMICALS, AS THEY MAY GIVE OFF DANGEROUS FUMES.  Another option would be to tighten the lid on your Part A, put it in a zip-top bag, and soak it in hot water for 15-20 minutes.  Allow it to cool down to about room temp before mixing in your Part B.  Do not heat Part B, do not heat after you've combined A and B.

3)   Try to avoid adding bubbles while you stir. STIR SLOWLY AND GENTLY, and be sure to scrape the side and bottom of the mixing cup. Stir for the recommended amount of time. 

4)   LET YOUR MIX REST for 5-6 minutes before you pour, to allow blending to complete, and let bubbles to rise and pop. If there are any bubbles clinging to the top or sides of your mixing cup, scoop them out before you pour.

5)   POUR RESIN SLOWLY into your mold, and slide in your photos into the resin, face-up. Wait a few seconds to let the photo settle down into the resin, then use your mixing wand to slowly push the photo to the bottom. Cover up your mold and wait the recommended amount of time so the bubbles have a chance to rise up and pop on their own.

6)   After 10 minutes, if you see any stubborn bubbles clinging to your photos, use your mixing wand to gently scooch them off and up into the mixture toward an edge, so they have a chance to rise up and pop on their own.  Give them a few minutes then scoop any remaining bubbles up and out of your mold.

7)    Another way to avoid bubbling is to pour in thinner layers, which also allows you to collage and create 3-D effects!

8)   Watch out for pigment inks in your printer, they may cause tiny bubbles to form and cling to the surface of the photo.

Posted in Bubble Trouble

I see bubbles even after I scooped

by Fran Valera

Sometimes you'll scoop out all bubbles, then come back a while later and see a bunch more in one spot on your piece, usually on one edge or corner.  That means there was a larger air bubble trapped behind your paper, and as the resin starts to set up, that bubble makes its way up and around the edge of the paper in a stream of smaller bubbles, almost like a fountain. 

To prevent this from happening, carefully lift up your mold and check below your paper to see if there is a bubble hiding there (keep your mold level so the resin doesn't flow out).  If you see a bubble, you can either press the paper down against the bottom, forcing the bubble up all at once, or you can lift up the paper, allowing bubble-free resin to flow beneath it, then gently push the paper back down.  Allow bubbles to rise and pop.

Posted in Bubble Trouble