In this tutorial, you will learn everything you need to know about how to make ocean resin art on wood using various woodworking and epoxy resin art techniques.
With so many resin ocean art blog posts and video tutorials out there, you are left with more questions than answers.
- What materials do you need for resin art?
- Which epoxy resin to use for ocean art?
- How to get the resin lacing effect for ocean waves?
Well, this tutorial will answer these questions and provide many useful resin art techniques.
So, let us get started with a list of resin art supplies you need for this ocean wave wall art project.
Resin Art Supplies
Working with resin to create unique beach seascapes with ocean waves can be confusing when it comes to resin art supplies.
So, I listed all the resin art supplies I used for this project below as well as within each step.
Hopefully, this list takes the guesswork out of finding and choosing the best resin art supplies.Deep Pour Epoxy
Table Top Epoxy
Translucent Blue Dye
Blue Pigment Powder
Green Pigment Powder
Large Heat Gun
Small Heat Gun
Vacuum for Sander
Finish Applicator Pad
Polishing Abrasive Pad
French Cleat Wall Hanger
Drill Mixing Bit
Resin Ocean Art Video Tutorial
There are several things which are difficult to fully explain with words and images, so be sure to check out the video tutorial below.
First, I made this large ocean wall art to resemble a beach scene in Hawaii.
The exact dimensions of this resin beach art are 60″ x 36″ x 1.25″ (Length x Width x Thickness).
Although my client lives in California, he is a native of Hawaii and wanted this ocean wall art to serve as a reminder of his favorite beach at home in his office.
Instead of creating resin ocean art on wood, I decided to create a resin ocean with 2 pieces of reclaimed wood on the top and bottom.
The 2 pieces of reclaimed sinker cypress wood matches the beach sand color.
In addition, the natural imperfections in the wood allowed me to create resin inlays and other unique resin ocean wave effects.
Ocean Resin Art on Wood Tutorial
Follow the step by step instruction below and start making your ocean resin art today!
1 – How to Make a Large Epoxy Mold
- Sheathing Tape
- 3/4″ Plywood or MDF
As I mentioned previously, the dimensions of this large resin wood art are 60″ x 36″ x 1.25″ (L x W x Thickness).
So, I added 2″ to the length and width to determine the size needed for the bottom piece of the resin mold.
Essentially, the additional 2″ allows enough room to attach the sides and ends to enclose the tub.
I cut a piece of 3/4″ MDF (plywood works as well) to 62″ x 38″.
I like using 3/4″ material with large resin molds because it prevents bending.
Then, I covered the bottom piece of 3/4″ MDF with tuck tape.
Next, I cut the sides and ends. The sides were 62″ x 1.5″ and the ends were 36.5″ x 1.5″.
Essentially, the sides and ends need to be slightly taller than the wood.
I secured the sides and ends with screws from the bottom.
I covered the sides with sheathing tape to seal the epoxy mold.
Finally, I applied a line of silicone down the length of each piece of wood and positioned them in the mold.
The silicone keeps the wood secured in place and prevents epoxy from leaking to the other side.
Wood and Resin Casting Epoxy
It is vitally important to choose the best epoxy resin for your project.
Since this project involves filling a large area with epoxy.
As a result, I use deep pour epoxy (aka casting resin) for the initial resin pour.
Deep pour epoxy has the following benefits:
- Low viscosity penetrates the wood fibers.
- Slow curing times promotes a stronger bond.
- Fewer epoxy pours.
- Easier mixing with drill instead of by hand.
In addition, I used table top epoxy for additional resin pours.
More on this later.
2 – Mix Deep Pour Epoxy
- Deep Pour Epoxy
- Mixing Bit
- Mixing Containers
- Nitrile Gloves
- Translucent Blue Dye
- Blue Pigment Powder
- Green Pigment Powder
Most deep pour epoxy requires a 2:1 mixing ratio.
In other words, 2 parts epoxy (Part A) to 1 part hardener (Part B).
I like to use 3 mixing containers.
Ultimately, 3 containers helps prevent silly mistakes.
So, I use the first container for part A and the second container for part B.
Next, I pour the first and second containers into the third container.
I use a drill with a mixing bit to thoroughly mix deep pour epoxy.
Normally, the epoxy turns cloudy when mixing and turns to clear once mixed.
Keep in mind, most table top epoxy cannot be mixed with a drill bit.
The thick viscosity of table top epoxy doesn’t release air bubbles as easily as deep pour epoxy.
Since I plan to mix 2 colors, I poured a small amount of the epoxy resin in a small container.
Add Resin Dye and Pigment Powder
Next, I added translucent blue dye to the large container.
I mixed the material and added more dye (if needed) until I achieved the shade of blue I wanted.
Then, I added green pigment powder to the second container.
I decided the green needed a blue tint.
So, I added a small amount of blue pigment powder.
3 – First Epoxy Pour
My son and I poured both containers in the resin mold at the same time.
Also, this pour filled .75″ of the total 1.25″.
Also, I should mention the greenish/blue epoxy represents the ocean water near the beach.
The blue water represents deep ocean water.
Obviously, the blue epoxy will take up a larger part of the ocean themed wall art than the green.
As I mentioned, this reclaimed sinker cypress wood contained many imperfections.
So, I filled wood voids with epoxy to strengthen the wood and add character to the piece.
More on this later in this ocean art tutorial.
Finally, I used my heat gun to blend the blue and green epoxy.
Remember, deep pour epoxy releases air bubbles without needing a heat gun or torch.
4 – Second Epoxy Resin Pour
After the first pour partially dried for roughly 48 hours, I started the second pour for this ocean resin wood art.
I used better boat table top epoxy for this pour and the final resin pour.
Table top epoxy worked well for these pours as it only required shallow pours of .25″.
Also, table top epoxy cures quickly.
First, I poured clear epoxy over the green on the beach side of the ocean resin wood art.
Next, I poured blue resin on the other side of the ocean art.
In addition, I made the blue a bit darker than the first pour.
As a side note, wood and resin art is forgiving.
In turn, feel free to make adjustments and follow your artistic instincts.
Then, I used my heat gun to move the resin and remove air bubbles.
5 – How to Make Resin Ocean Waves
Immediately after the second epoxy pour, I mixed a small amount of epoxy with white dye to make resin ocean waves.
Next, I spread the epoxy with white dye using a mixing stick near the beach side and on top of the wood voids I filled with epoxy.
Also, I spread the white epoxy in the middle and the ocean side of the resin seascape.
Then, I used my heat gun to create resin ocean waves.
I simply moved the resin with the heat gun until it spread out.
As a quick tip, don’t move the white resin waves too much as it will blend with the blue.
Resin Cells and Lacing Effect
To create resin cells and the resin lacing effect, apply heat with a heat gun or torch.
Most importantly, leave the resin alone afterwards to allow it to do its magic.
I find a torch works better to create resin cells.
Additionally, the heat gun works best to create the resin lacing effect.
6 – Final Epoxy Pour
Resin Art Supplies Needed:
Next, I proceeded with the final epoxy pour following the same procedure as the second pour.
As you can see, I decided to use a lot of blue dye to get a dark blue color.
I poured the translucent blue resin on the deep side of the resin wood ocean art.
Then, I loosened the resin with a heat gun to allow it to spread across the surface easier.
Once the blue resin covered roughly 75% of the surface, I mixed and poured a small amount of greenish blue resin near the beach side.
3D Resin Ocean Art
You may be wondering why I created resin waves in the second layer and covered them with the third layer.
Well, I use multiple epoxy resin layers to create a 3D effect.
I followed the same procedure to create resin ocean waves as in the previous step with an additional ingredient.
Essentially, I added a very small amount of isopropyl alcohol to the white epoxy.
By adding alcohol to the white epoxy, I created a more dramatic wave effect with more resin cells and resin lacing.
For example, the picture below is a resin inlay with a resin cell.
Most importantly, I noticed the table top epoxy resin cured quicker than normal.
In my opinion, the environment (temperature and humidity) in my workshop caused the resin to cure faster.
Normally, I do not use alcohol ink to create resin ocean waves.
Since alcohol ink acts as a resin dispersion agent, it disperses on top of the blue resin.
In addition, it doesn’t mix with the blue resin as easily.
I used my heat gun to move the white resin on the wood to simulate crashing waves on the shore.
Finally, the ocean resin wood art is ready for sanding.
Working with Resin
By using various resin art techniques when working with resin, I create unique resin effects.
7 – Sanding Resin and Wood
I use a tried and true technique to sand resin and wood surfaces.
First, I use a Festool RO125 with a vacuum and set the sander to rotary mode.
I use the following grits: 120, 150, 180, 220, 320, 400.
I keep the sandpaper clean by blowing off the resin build up.
Ultimately, this is the key to sanding resin like a pro.
For additional tips, visit this detailed resin and wood sanding tutorial.
8 – Trim Ends
I cut roughly 1/2″ off each end with my track saw.
9 – Apply Resin and Wood Finish
I like to finish resin and wood surfaces with Odies Oil.
Also, there are many suitable finishes for resin and wood surfaces.
So, I encourage you to visit this tutorial about the best finishes for wood and resin.
First, I applied Odies Oil by hand with an applicator pad.
Next, I used a terry towel to wipe off the excess.
Then, I used my rotary sander with a polishing abrasive pad to work the remaining oil into the surface and remove the final excess.
Finally, I let it sit for 48 hours.
10 – Attach French Cleat
As a final step, I centered and attached a french cleat wall hanger to the top of the ocean resin wood art.
Next, I attached a wood spacer at the bottom the same thickness as the french cleat.
This will allow the ocean resin wood art to sit flush on the wall.
Finally, I stamped the ocean wall art with my trademark.
In conclusion, I hope this ocean resin wood art tutorial provided you with value.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or just to say ‘hello’.
My client was very happy with his resin ocean art and sent me this picture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, acrylic paint can be used to color resin. They are a great way to add color variations to resin. Also, be sure to mix 1 part acrylic paint to 10 parts resin – 1:10 rule.
Heat guns are used on resin to remove air bubbles and blend tinted resin.
Normally, bubbles are formed in resin due to improper mixing or curing.
To make epoxy ocean waves, use a heat gun to blend a small amount of white tinted resin with blue resin.