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Unread 07-13-2009, 04:50 PM   #1
AVAAntares
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Resin dye = fail! Any suggestions? D:

Last week, I cast some small resin jewels using Castin Craft polyester resin and dye. It's the very same can of product and package of dye I used for my last resin batch (which worked fine). The only difference was that this time I used the red dye instead of blue.

On Friday, when I assembled my jewelry pieces, the resin was a lovely, deep blood-red color. It looked like this: http://h.imagehost.org/0822/resin-before.jpg

However, when I looked at the pieces again on Sunday, almost all of the red had faded except for a faint salmon-color tint around the base. Now the resin looks like this: http://h.imagehost.org/0731/resin-after.jpg

I have heard that the Castin Craft dye is not stable over the long term, but this happened in just TWO DAYS! Which brings me to ask a few questions:

1) Does anyone know what might have caused or exacerbated the color loss, so I can avoid it happening in the future?

2) Does anyone know of some other brands of resin dye that might be more reliable and less likely to fade than Castin Craft? (I need to make several other jewelry pieces for this costume, and I don't want this to be a recurring problem.)

3) Is there anything (other than glass paint, which I'd already thought of) that I can use to re-color the resin pieces that are glued to my jewelry? The jewelry is fragile enough -- and the glue strong enough -- that I think trying to remove the jewels would damage the pieces beyond repair.

Thank you for any suggestions you can give!
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Unread 07-13-2009, 05:15 PM   #2
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Ah! Oh no! That's terrible...and the red color was so lovely at first..

I am by faaaaaaar no expert, but my first wonder was if the glue had a bad reaction with the dye or something?

Wish I could help more =(
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Unread 07-13-2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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The jewels were backed with aluminum tape (like acrylic jewels have that silver plastic coating on the back to make them shiny), so the glue never actually touched the resin. Also, this is the exact same tape/glue combination I used on all the resin bits for my last costume, and I had no trouble at all with those pieces!

A friend of mine had the red dye in some of her pieces fade to orange after several months, so I'm thinking it's the dye that's bad.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
Hazumu
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i have a resin rabi en rose heart i made years and years ago. the thing last i saw was every bit as red as the day i made it. my guess is it is a bad lot of dye?
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Unread 07-13-2009, 07:40 PM   #5
DlGlT
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You may be able to use red RIT to return some of the coloring, we use this method for dying resin ball jointed dolls different colors....so I guess it could technically work on resin gems.
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Unread 07-16-2009, 11:54 AM   #6
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I'm blocked from the images, but, could it be that it isn't that the red faded, but instead, that the resin clouded, thus obscuring the pigment?

Generally resin dyes should be a pretty simple suspension of the same iron oxide pigments you see everywhere else in the universe in a base that won't upset the resin (as opposed to water, which equals resin death)

As far as other products, I've found polyurethane resins much easier to work with. The main manufacturers (Smooth-On and Polytek) both have PU resins that cure "water clear" and could be pigmented to look like translucent jewels. I haven't played with the clear ones yet (although, since I just splurged and bought a pressure pot for another project, I really should try them out...that's what you need to get resins super-clear and bubble free)
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Unread 07-16-2009, 12:15 PM   #7
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I'm on my DS, so I didn't read all the replies...but! The resin I like is the Colores two part system. They hold pink and blue very well (never tried red).
For what you have now, you could try Sharpie. One of my resin pieces was just clear with blue Sharpie on the bottom. Hope I was of some help.
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Unread 07-16-2009, 12:44 PM   #8
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instead of adding dye to the resin itself, you can just paint the back with the color you want. It will look clear from the side, but straight on it will appear red.
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Unread 07-16-2009, 05:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verdatum View Post
I'm blocked from the images, but, could it be that it isn't that the red faded, but instead, that the resin clouded, thus obscuring the pigment?
No, the dye has definitely faded. The resin is completely transparent. I can see every detail of the texture of the backing magnified through it like a lens.

Quote:
As far as other products, I've found polyurethane resins much easier to work with. The main manufacturers (Smooth-On and Polytek) both have PU resins that cure "water clear" and could be pigmented to look like translucent jewels. I haven't played with the clear ones yet (although, since I just splurged and bought a pressure pot for another project, I really should try them out...that's what you need to get resins super-clear and bubble free)
I have some resin and plastic samples from Smooth-On, but for some reason I was thinking their transparent resin had a kind of yellowish tint to it... But I haven't really used any of that company's products except the prosthetic skin stuff (the name of which I have completely forgotten at present), so I could be remembering incorrectly.

I have no experience with polyurethane resin. Is the pressure pot absolutely necessary to get PU resin perfectly clear? The polyester resin I use cures glass-clear on its own, and I have never had clouding or bubbles in it, so I'd like to avoid spending money on extra equipment if I can. ^_^


Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieMay9
For what you have now, you could try Sharpie. One of my resin pieces was just clear with blue Sharpie on the bottom. Hope I was of some help.
If I can't get them off easily, I think I'll probably end up glass-painting them. It's a little more resilient than Sharpie ink, and I don't want the color scratching or rubbing off on the rest of my costume. Thanks for the suggestion, though!


I wrote to ETI (the company that manufactures Castin' Craft) about the dye fading, and they suggested (in a rather terse, un-customer-servicey email) that it was because the dye wasn't mixed thoroughly before I added it to the resin, and I should try shaking the bottle more. I have cast another set of jewels to see if this will help or not, and I will update with a progress report in a few days in case anyone else experiences this problem.
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Unread 07-16-2009, 08:55 PM   #10
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Random:

I actually thought it looked cooler after.

...
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Unread 04-24-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
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I know this thread is ages old, but I actually now know what is causing this fading problem, and am commenting for any future problems someone might have. After speaking with the company when I was having red items fade to brilliant orange, and doing extensive testing on my own after information from them, I have figured out that since the catalyst stops working as well after it is a year old, it also starts killing the red and yellow dyes. The way to tell how old your catalyst is for the polyester resin is by the sticker on the bottom. (also all their other products! The resin itself can get too old to use, too, but I don't know the age for this. It also usually hardens when it's too old.) The first two numbers on it are the year it was made. I was using catalyst that was made in 2011, and it's currently 2013, so this was why it turned orange from the pure red dye. My number started with "11" for 2011. I don't know if the catalyst that comes in the two pack with the resin in the can has the sticker, but it should. If not, I wouldn't risk it unless you are doing pure blues or green colors. I never had this effect aqua and blue, though it might have cause my pure green to lighten a fair amount. Starting from the back end of the number (they're about five or six numbers long) is the Julian calendar year, so you can actually find out the exact date your item was made and bottled.

Also for awesome reference, I suggest using Dura-lar for backing your gemstones, as it has a mirror finish and is like an awesome sticker! Make sure it's the sticky back (also called pressure sensitive). It's available online, as well as in a few places in NYC that I am personally aware of, such as DiVinci Artist Supply. The back is silver, whether you buy the silver or gold, and layers quite nicely like real gold leafing.

Good luck!
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