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How To Make Ocean Resin Art on Wood

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
Sheathing Tape
Translucent Blue Dye
Blue Pigment Powder
Green Pigment Powder
White Dye
Isopropyl Alcohol
Large Heat Gun
Small Heat Gun
Mixing Containers
Nitrile Gloves
Stir Sticks
Track Saw
Rotary Sander
Vacuum for Sander
Sandpaper
Wood Finish
Finish Applicator Pad
Polishing Abrasive Pad
Leveler
French Cleat Wall Hanger
Drill
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.

Introduction

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.

ocean wall art

Reclaimed Wood

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

Materials Needed:

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.

large epoxy mold

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

Materials Needed:

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.

ocean art translucent blue dye

I mixed the material and added more dye (if needed) until I achieved the shade of blue I wanted.

mix translucent blue dye and epoxy
mix translucent blue dye and epoxy

Then, I added green pigment powder to the second container.

mix epoxy pigment powder

I decided the green needed a blue tint.
So, I added a small amount of blue pigment powder.

mix epoxy pigment powder
mix epoxy pigment powder

3 – First Epoxy Pour

Tools Needed:

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.

resin art epoxy pour

Obviously, the blue epoxy will take up a larger part of the ocean themed wall art than the green.

epoxy pour ocean wall art

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.

resin wood art epoxy pour
filling wood voids with epoxy

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.

epoxy resin heat gun

4 – Second Epoxy Resin Pour

Materials Needed:

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.

better boat resin ocean art

First, I poured clear epoxy over the green on the beach side of the ocean resin wood art.

ocean wall art epoxy pour

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.

resin beach art epoxy pour
resin beach art epoxy pour

Then, I used my heat gun to move the resin and remove air bubbles.

5 – How to Make Resin Ocean Waves

Materials Needed:

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.

make resin ocean waves
make resin cells
making epoxy resin ocean waves

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.

Less is more when making resin ocean waves.

resin ocean wave heat gun
resin ocean wave heat gun

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.

resin cells ocean wave art

Additionally, the heat gun works best to create the resin lacing effect.

resin lacing ocean wave art

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.

translucent blue dye resin ocean art
blue resin

I poured the translucent blue resin on the deep side of the resin wood ocean art.

beachscape epoxy resin pour
large resin ocean art
resin inlays ocean wall art

Then, I loosened the resin with a heat gun to allow it to spread across the surface easier.

loosen resin with heat gun

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.

epoxy resin beach scene

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.

epoxy resin beach art

Ocean Waves

Supplies Needed:

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.

resin cells ocean wave art

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.

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.

resin beach art waves

I used my heat gun to move the white resin on the wood to simulate crashing waves on the shore.

ocean art resin waves
resin ocean waves
ocean art resin waves

Finally, the ocean resin wood art is ready for sanding.

ocean waves art

Working with Resin

By using various resin art techniques when working with resin, I create unique resin effects.

resin cells ocean wave art
fill wood voids with colored epoxy
ocean resin wood art

7 – Sanding Resin and Wood

Supplies Needed:

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.

sanding epoxy resin
sanding epoxy resin

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.

epoxy resin sanding tip

8 – Trim Ends

Supplies Needed:

I cut roughly 1/2″ off each end with my track saw.

cut resin wall art with track saw
festool track saw
festool track saw

9 – Apply Resin and Wood Finish

Supplies Needed:

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.

apply odies oil to resin and wood
epoxy resin odies oil

Next, I used a terry towel to wipe off the excess.

remove excess odies oil from resin

Then, I used my rotary sander with a polishing abrasive pad to work the remaining oil into the surface and remove the final excess.

polishing resin

Finally, I let it sit for 48 hours.

ocean resin wood art

10 – Attach French Cleat

Supplies Needed:

As a final step, I centered and attached a french cleat wall hanger to the top of the ocean resin wood art.

level french cleat
secure french cleat
attach french cleat wall hanger

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.

attach bottom spacer

Finally, I stamped the ocean wall art with my trademark.

resin ocean wood art underside

Conclusion

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.

ocean wall art

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I mix acrylic paint with resin?

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.

Why do you use a heat gun on resin?

Heat guns are used on resin to remove air bubbles and blend tinted resin.

Why does my resin have tiny bubbles?

Normally, bubbles are formed in resin due to improper mixing or curing.

How do you make epoxy ocean waves?

To make epoxy ocean waves, use a heat gun to blend a small amount of white tinted resin with blue resin.

Joe

Wednesday 11th of August 2021

Excellent job thank you so much & wow unbelievable lessons 👏 👍

rusticsearelics

Thursday 12th of August 2021

Thanks so much, Joe!

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