How To Achieve a Resin Gloss Finish Without Resin

Author: Olivia Moull  Date Posted:6 May 2019 

Read below all about how you can achieve that stunning glossy resin look in your pours without the resin! Simple, quick and ultra-effective.



Achieving a Resin Gloss Finish Without Resin 


That glass-like glossy finish you get with resin pieces is beautiful but resin can be expensive, tricky to use and emits nasty fumes and chemicals you don’t want.


Luckily, there are now so many products on the market and tricks you can use to achieve that glossy glow sans-resin.


We’ve experimented with a few different products that are easy to use, don’t require extra tools like a heat gun and are a little easier on the back pocket.


So, without further adieu, here’s our top glossy picks: 


Mont Marte Premium Painting Board


Before we kick off with paints and mediums we need the perfect surface to apply them to.

You can achieve great results with canvas and we carry a great range of all shapes and sizes including some funky and unique round and heart shaped ones.

However, to achieve that resin-like gloss finish we’re after, we’ve found the best results are achieved with a painting board like this one from Mont Marte.

The smooth surface of this painting board enables the paint to glide on effortlessly and dries with an even finish that is optimal in achieving that glassy look.

For an interesting effect, leave portions of the blonde wood exposed without paint and simply cover with layers of varnish. Another cool effect and great way to be a little more sustainable is to use wooden chopping boards from your kitchen.


Display on the walls as art or use to display your food beautifully. That's definitely one form of #foodart we can get on board with! 



Liquitex Pouring Medium


This one takes the hard work out for you.

When mixed with acrylic paints and poured, it creates even puddles with ease and creates flowing application of colour.

It does not craze, crack or hold bubbles and retains an ultra-glossy, wet appearance when dry. This medium does not alter the colour or opacity of paints when mixed and is flexible, non-yellowing and water resistant.

This is an easy-to-use product with excellent results and a solid contender in our series.

To use, mix with your acrylic paint of choice (we recommend a free-flowing one like Atelier Free Flow Acrylics which we will go into further detail shortly) in the required amounts and watch the paint glide and marble onto your canvas drying with that gleaming but soft finish.

To take that glass finish to the next level and make your artworks more durable, get your hands on a high-quality gloss medium/varnish.

Other substitutes: Atelier Pouring Medium, Floetrol Acrylic Paint Conditioner, Mont Marte Acrylic Flow Medium


Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish


Which brings us to our next secret weapon, the Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish.

Added to your paint and pouring medium mixture, this dual-purpose medium and varnish adds an extra level of durability and protection to your works and an even more intense sheen when dry.

It's a flexible formula that won’t crack even with changing in temperature and humidity. 

A good ratio we’ve found is mixing three parts Liquitex Pouring Medium to one part Liquitex Gloss Medium. If you go beyond that and add too much gloss medium you will find your colours may darken when dry.

With this mixture, you will notice the paint will have a slightly thicker consistency but don’t worry, it will still pour fine. 

Other substitutes: Matisse Polymer Gloss Medium and Varnish, Liquitex Glazing Medium


Atelier Free Flow Acrylic Paint


You can’t make the perfect pour without the perfect paint. This Atelier Free Flow Acrylic Paint is a highly-pigmented, fluid paint that applies evenly and smoothly and dries with a rich, vibrant finish.

The high viscosity and free-flowing consistency of this paint adds a rich colour to your mediums without altering the integrity and overall chemistry making for that perfect glass-like finish.

The high pigmentation means only a small amount of paint can go a long way when applied to your mediums. This paint makes pouring and achieving stunning and gleaming results a breeze! 



Other substitutes: Matisse Flow Acrylic Paint, Matisse Fluid Acrylic Paint, Jo Sonja Acrylic Background Paint, Mont Marte Satin Acrylic Paint


Liquitex High Gloss Varnish


And finally, the cherry on top of our beautifully glossy iced cake is the Liquitex High Gloss Varnish.

Slightly different to the aforementioned Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish, this can be used only as a finishing varnish not a medium.


With a very thin consistency, this is like a little bottle of liquid glass that will be the final layer of protectant and of course help you to achieve a lustrous resin gloss finish.

Once your painting is dry after at least 24 hours, apply several layers of varnish with 3 hours in between each coat. We are sure you’ll be chuffed with the results and never look back to the days of resin again. 


Other substitutes: Art Spectrum Gloss Varnish, Jo Sonja Gloss Varnish, Matisse Polyurethane Gloss Varnish, Liquitex Gloss Varnish


Give this recipe a go next time you’re creating your own pour masterpiece.

As always art is about enjoyment so get experimenting and have some fun with it.

If you create anything from our blog tutorials don’t forget to upload photos of your masterpieces to social media and tag us, we love seeing what you guys create.


If you have any topics you’d like to learn more about drop us a line with some blog suggestion.

Plus, don’t forget you can watch video tutorials on our YouTube channel Happy creating! 



F | @artshedonline I | @artshedonline




Comments (2)

Can’t get art spectrum varnish

Hi there I’m hoping you can help I can’t seem to get Art spectrum gloss varnish in the United States is there anyone that you could recommend going through to get it shipped here? Is there a better alternative? Please email me if you have any ideas or any suggestions. Your help is much appreciated thank you so much for your time and help!

Hi there! Unfortunately due to extreme delays because of COVID-19 we have had to temporarily close our International Shipping service. We hope to reopen this service later in the year but we are unsure of when this is likely to happen. If you would like to be notified of when we reopen International Shipping you can sign up to our email list on our website, as this is how we like to keep our customers in the loop with updates on the store. :)

Atelier Free Flow Acrylic Paint

Can you use Atelier Free Flow Acrylic Paint with a paint brush as I want to use it inside the top 4cm of a wooden bowl and don’t want it to run. I want to see the grain behind it but with a little maroon /red glassy finish. Is this achievable . Thanks in advance for your reply. Kind regards liesa

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up