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Common Mistakes using Epoxy Resin

Author: Karen Connolly
Categories: Resin
Epoxy Resin

Epoxy poured correctly can solve many problems. However, mistakes and mishaps can easily be made. Design flaws, incorrect mixing ratios, and uneven hardening of Epoxy can result in problems. However, remember that it will be much more challenging to recover from a mistake once the Epoxy has thoroughly dried. Fortunately, most of these mistakes are still reasonably easy to fix.

Common Mistakes Made with Epoxy Resin

Tacky or Sticky Resin

One of the most common issues for Epoxy is that it remains tacky or sticky after curing. It may be caused by an incorrect ratio of Resin to hardener or by the temperature being too low during curing. It's also quite common for debris or an insect to land in the Epoxy. Using tweezers or a wooden stick, remove the object while the Epoxy is still wet.

Epoxy Resin and Hardener mixture

Epoxies typically come in two-part component kits (Resin and hardener) that must be mixed before use. The mixing ratio is crucial and must be strictly followed. Depending on the epoxy mixing instructions, you will mix it by weight or volume. Be sure to pay attention to these instructions. A mistake in the mixing ratio will cause your Epoxy to harden too quickly, too slowly, or not at all.

Choosing the Incorrect Products

Epoxy products are versatile, so choosing the right products can be difficult. Some are used for bonding, while others are used for moulding, casting compounds, structural fillers, or electronics. Before selecting a product, make sure it's right for your project. For more information on choosing the right epoxy resin for your project, please read our article about the best epoxy resin.

Temperature Fluctuations

Temperature is always essential when working with Epoxy. Epoxies are subject to a temperature range that determines how well they cure. Working outside of these temperature ranges may result in your Epoxy failing by curing too soon, too late, or not curing at all.

Poor Storage

Poor storage is a significant issue. Epoxy should be stored between 60° F and 70° F (16° C and 21° C) when not in use. Temperature fluctuations can cause Epoxy Resin to crystalize or solidify.

Poor Surface Preparation 

It is imperative that you prepare your surface properly before applying your Epoxy. The surface must be clean, oil-free, and dry, and getting this step wrong may prevent your Epoxy from bonding or adhering correctly.

How to Fix Uneven Epoxy Finishes

The uneven hardening of epoxy resin can cause dull or tacky patches. You can fix an uneven epoxy finish by waiting until it has dried thoroughly and then sanding lightly with fine-grained wet sandpaper after it has dried. Once you have sanded the surface, wipe it down completely so no sanding dust remains. To remove any oils or fats on the surface, wet a micro-fibre cloth and mix some commercial detergent with the water (roughly half-and-half).

Epoxy resin can then be applied as a protective cover coat. Make sure there is enough mixture, and work on a level surface. You will then have an excellent finish because the Epoxy will self-level. It is always a good idea to mix more Epoxy than you need, so there will be enough to create a smooth surface. You can use any epoxy that drips or runs off your project to fill in smaller holes in the piece.

How to Prevent Uneven Epoxy Surfaces

 The primary cause of uneven epoxy resin is often not using the correct mixing ratio or even using Resin and hardeners that are out of date. This can create sticky spots in the cured Epoxy. Usually, these problems are caused by poorly prepared surfaces. Make sure you have prepared yours well. Epoxy can also be used at lower temperatures with a special hardener, allowing it to cure at a lower temperature.

Glaze coat epoxy may sometimes fail when the air is too humid or when trapped air is present. You can prevent these problems by careful ventilation, avoiding excessive humidity, and using a torch to warm the Epoxy. However, do not overheat the Epoxy, as this may cause rippling.

Epoxy Resin Countertops Repair

 Home DIY projects are common, one of which is repairing epoxy resin countertops. As you use your counter more and more, you may notice that the surface is scratched or scuffed. Crack filler putty is the ideal product for more significant surface scratches since it has been specially formulated for this purpose. When these have been filled, use fine-grained wet/dry sandpaper (650-grit) for sanding the countertop. This will take care of all surface imperfections before wiping the whole counter with a cloth and a 50/50 mix of household cleaner and water. Once you've removed all the debris and any water/cleaner still present, buff the area with a dry cloth to ensure that it's completely dry.

Now, you can restore the shine to the countertop by applying a thin layer of Resin. Epoxy should be allowed to cure for a full day before its final sheen is achieved.

Ripples on your Epoxy Surface

Working with Epoxy, especially when dealing with wood, can also cause warping, and this can cause ripples or a wavy pattern on the surface of the Epoxy. Applying more than one layer of Epoxy is the best solution to this.

Fill in any voids in the project with a seal coat. Using the seal coat is especially important if the object has porous or uneven surfaces, such as wood, cork, or concrete. The seal coat is Epoxy brushed on thinly to seal any pores on the surface and prevent air bubbles from forming in the flood coat. Using a good paintbrush, prepare a small batch of seal coat (16 ounces of Resin + 16 ounces of hardener) to apply to the surface.

Always conclude with a flood coat, as not doing so may lead to an uneven appearance. The top layer will level out and smooth out the surface for a perfect finish.

Conclusion of Common Epoxy Resin Mistakes

 As you can see, epoxy resin mistakes are relatively straightforward to repair with the correct guidance, materials, and effort. Working with epoxy products should always be done in a well-ventilated room, with gloves and eye protection. The temperature and humidity of your surroundings are also critical not just when you are working with Epoxy but also during the curing process.