The great outdoors is a realm of beauty and unpredictability, where nature’s elements constantly change and challenge us. Epoxy resin has become a popular choice for incorporating art into outdoor spaces, whether in statues or as part of picnic tables.
However, the ever-changing weather, temperature fluctuations, and precipitation challenge resin artwork’s longevity and integrity. Among all outdoor elements, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light is considered one of the most harmful to epoxy resin.
In this article, we will explore the effects of UV light on resin and provide actionable steps to mitigate its damaging impact, allowing you to enjoy your resin artwork for years to come.
Understanding UV Light
UV, an abbreviation for ultraviolet, is an invisible form of light to the naked eye. The sun emits UV light, which reaches the Earth’s surface and plays a vital role in our ecosystem. UV light is categorized into three major types: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
- Ultraviolet A rays(UVA) – All UV light is classified by wavelength. UVA is the longest wavelength of the 3. UVA is transmitted through the atmosphere.
- Ultraviolet B rays(UVB) – UVB is also transmitted through the atmosphere. UVB is absorbed through the Earth’s Ozone layer
- Ultraviolet C rays(UVC) – The shortest of the 3 UV rays, all of the rays from UVC are absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere.
UVA has the longest wavelength and is the most prevalent on the Earth’s surface. UVB is also transmitted through the atmosphere, while UVC has the shortest wavelength and is completely absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere.
Different regions of the world experience varying levels of UV sunlight exposure. In tropical areas, UV light exposure is year-round, while the extreme north and south poles have long winters with limited sunlight. While artificial light sources also emit UV light, our focus here is primarily on understanding the effects of sunlight on resin art and furniture.
Does resin art fade in the sun.
Resin is known for its waterproof and weather-resistant properties, making it an ideal material for outdoor furniture and art. However, prolonged exposure to UV light can compromise the integrity of resin over time.
The UV radiation from sunlight causes the resin to degrade by breaking down its chemical bonds, leading to discoloration and, eventually, cracks. This degradation process gradually weakens the structural integrity of the artwork.
The first sign of resin degradation is the artwork’s loss of color and brightness. These effects may take time to notice, so it is essential to pay close attention to your resin outdoor art as part of your garden and lawn maintenance routine.
How to protect outdoor resin sculptures in the sun.
Limit Exposure To Direct Sunlight:
One of the simplest ways to reduce the exposure of resin to sunlight is by limiting direct exposure to the sun. This can be done by placing the resin under natural or artificial shading.
Strategically placing the resin under a tree or your deck away from direct sunlight. This does not eliminate the sunlight radiation reaching your resin artwork but its a step in the right direction
Select Resin Solutions With UV Protection.
One of the best options for UV protection is to purchase resin that has a UV protection additive. The additive provides the necessary protection from loss of gloss, discoloration, and cracking.
The ingredient that you will be looking for in the outdoor resin is HALS( Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer). The main reason for the additive in resin is to provide a protective coating from the harmful effects of UV light.
HALS also reduces the effects of discoloration and yellowing over time.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Outdoor Resin Statues
Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial to maintaining the beauty and longevity of outdoor resin statues. Here are the recommended steps:
A. Surface Cleaning: Start by gently removing debris and mildew buildup from the statue’s surface. Avoid power washers, as their strong water jets can cause chipping, cracking, or breakage. Instead, use a garden hose to shower or mist the statue with water.
Avoid harsh bristled brushes that may create microcracks or ridges when scrubbing the surface. Instead, use a soft cloth or sponge to remove debris. Mix water with dish soap to clean the surface effectively, ensuring the soap is safe for use on concrete statues. Thoroughly rinse the statue to remove residual soap and allow it to dry for 24 hours.
B. Sealing Cracks: During the cleaning process, if you discover any minor cracks on the surface, it is recommended to use a resin solution for repair. Ensure the surface is dry and free of debris before applying the resin. Follow the instructions provided with the resin carefully. Apply the resin evenly to the damaged area using a gloved hand. Allow the resin to dry completely, then sand it to ensure a flush surface.
How To Paint Resin Outdoor Statues.
When painting outdoor resin statues, following the appropriate steps for optimal results is essential. Here is a guide to help you:
A. Apply a Base Coat: Before applying the paint, it is crucial to prepare the surface by applying a base coat. The base coat acts as a protective layer, preventing the paint from bubbling and chipping.
Acrylic base coats are recommended to allow moisture to pass through while resisting water penetration. Additionally, they offer protection against algae and are mildew resistant. Ensure the concrete surface absorbs the base coat properly and allow it to dry for approximately 5 minutes before proceeding.
B. Choose the Right Paint: Various paints can be used for outdoor resin statues, each with pros and cons. The choice of paint depends on the desired finish and budget. Acrylic latex paint is a popular option as it comes in various colors, protects against mold and mildew buildup, and is water-resistant, allowing easy cleaning.
Acrylic latex paint can be used for both indoor and outdoor resin art. It offers a bright and clean finish when absorbed into the resin, making it preferable to spray paint. Depending on the type of resin art, you can choose realistic colors for animal or holiday-themed pieces.
Resin artwork and furniture can be a beautiful addition to your outdoor space, but it is crucial to protect them from the harmful effects of UV light. While there is no long-term solution to prevent resin degradation caused by UV light entirely, following the steps outlined in this guide can significantly mitigate the damage.
By limiting direct sunlight exposure, choosing resin solutions with UV protection, and implementing proper cleaning and painting techniques, you can ensure your resin artwork and sculptures maintain their beauty and structural integrity for an extended period. With these precautions, you can confidently enjoy your outdoor resin creations for years to come, even in the face of changing weather conditions.
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