Looking for glossy, self-leveling, resin-like one-part arylic clear coat
October 9, 2013 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a product comparable to Ranger's "Glossy Accents" but cheaper and/or sold in larger quantities. I use it between paint layers to get a deep glaze effect on a playing-card-size panels.

I am looking for a larger quantity, ideally at a lower price per ounce (I am currently paying about $5/2oz.) Larger jar is more important than price point-- the tiny bottle is annoying because I go through it so fast.

The product needs to be a glossy, self-leveling (no brushstrokes, totally flat), permanent, compatible with acrylic, and should look like deep resin/epoxy. It should stay dry in every environment, or if it tends to get a little soft in a hot room, I need to know about that so I can warn people.

Liquitex pouring medium gets close, but levels out too flat/ doesn't "pillow up"-- I want to totally eliminate surface texture in one coat. The paint layer should appear "encased" in the glaze coat. It doesn't have to encase very high peaks, but it should encase a surface texture at least as deep as stucco in one coat. Two coats would be OK if I could pour the second on top of the first midway through the first's drying time. GAC 100 and Golden Polymer medium also do not dome up enough. I have not tried a clear tar gel yet.

A little bit of yellowing over time is OK. I would prefer to minimize yellowing. I don't really want any coloration in the product, but I'd like the option to tint with acrylics. I am ok with polishing the surface for a higher shine.

It should dry in 24 hours or less, and I'll settle for a two-part resin if I have to, but I'd like it to be premixed. I don't care what it smells like so long as it doesn't pose a danger to myself or others in my apartment. Minimal toxicity or toxicity that can be easily mitigated is somewhat important.

I'm pretty sure this product doesn't exist, but please surprise me. I will try every wackadoo idea that has half a chance of working. I have not tried 2-part resins or Envirotex because of the hassle of mixing them, the relatively large batches you have to mix up at once (I could probably adjust my workflow around doing big batches of pours at once, but I don't want to), and the difficulty of finding one that "domes" similar to the Glossy Accents. But I'd love to hear if you think that 2-part resins would work. Brand names please! Thanks for your help!
posted by blnkfrnk to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Until you specified "one-part", I was thinking "they make all sorts of resins that woodworkers use for bar tops". So though it's an indirect answer, I'm going to try to address your issue with 2 part resins.

From my playing with 2 part epoxies, the size of the mix is limited primarily by your ability to measure small quantities. Bigger mixes kick off faster, because they keep the heat generated by the curing trapped. I'd say get a triple-beam balance and you should be able to mix eyedropper quantities, or a basic digital food scale for ounces at a time, and go with the 2 part resins.
posted by straw at 11:35 AM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, and: The problem with 1 part is that they have to use air to cure, either by oxygen contact (polyurethanes), or by evaporation (shellac). So they don't really do thick well. In my finishing, I'm generally going for the other effect, I want that finish to look as thin as possible, but your local paint pro store might have some ideas for floor polyurethanes that'll work. They tend to be a little milky, but...

Though even there, the really good floor finishes are generally two part.
posted by straw at 11:38 AM on October 9, 2013

I mix smaller batches of Envirotex often for resin jewelry and it's not all that hard. I use plastic solo cups and measure the liquids to the indents on the cup. Not sure that it "domes" just like glossy accents, but then I wasn't particularly interested in doming properties.

Judikin's Diamond Glaze is quite similar to Glossy Accents - and it's here at 1.18/oz, when you buy the 18 oz jar.
posted by sarajane at 2:50 PM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I bought Eco-Bond Clear Sealant for this sort of purpose. I haven't had a chance to test it yet, but it meets a lot of your criteria. You can get it at Home Depot; it's cheap enough that it'd probably be worth your while to buy some to try. I'd suggest getting some caulk-saving caps, too; I need to pick up some before I open up my first tube.
posted by limeonaire at 7:14 PM on October 9, 2013

Two-part System 3 Clear Coat is great stuff. And like Straw says, mixing in large batches isn't mandatory, in fact it's more difficult to work with because is kicks of faster. You can slow it down by mixing in tray rather than a cup and you can order slow curing hardener.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:08 AM on October 10, 2013

Whoah, whoops! I was reading through the Woodcraft catalog last night (as one does), and realized that there is another option: UV cure resins.

Here's a blog entry on doing U.V. cure resins in jewelry making, it looks like you might be able to create exactly the domed look you're looking for without 2-part mixing.
posted by straw at 10:52 AM on October 11, 2013

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