13 Tips and Tricks for Applying Epoxy Coatings
It doesn’t matter if it is for the first time you are setting up an epoxy resin mix, or you have been a pro in doing that work. You are always required to remember these 15 tips and tricks for attaining great results on your task through your mix.
Tips for Preparing Epoxy Resin Mix
- The first and foremost thing you need to do is to plan your work. You have to think about the entire procedure before you begin. You need to make sure that your substrate is all set. Only start mixing your epoxy resin once you have read the instructions thoroughly and have all the tools you need on hand and in front of you.
- If you are using the mix for the first time, then make sure to do a few sample mixes to get know the curing time (only if you have excess product or a small sample kit). Also, it will help you to know about the physical properties, changes in the pot-life and the kick-off process. Once you product is mixed thoroughly you can apply to your substrate.
- On high-gloss surfaces, you are required to sand the entire surface with at least 150 grit pad to ensure the substrate portfolio is ready. Most epoxies are low VOC or no VOC therefore the substrate needs to be well prepped for maximum adhesion. Also, it is important to keep in mind that your surface must be clean before you use the epoxy resin mix. You don't want any dust bunnies in your final product!
- You must use a fresh brush and clean it by using the sticky side of the tape prior to mixing the epoxy. This will help in removing any loose fibers from the brush and it will also require a little clean-up before your epoxy begins to cure. You must use a bristle brush or nap roller to get great results. However, if sanding is necessary, then a chip brush will also work nice.
- Do not keep your epoxy in extremely cold or dry places. Heat expedites the curing process and cold wether can hinder epoxy adhesion. Ensure that the temperature or the room and floor is not too high or else the epoxy will be might not bond properly.
Tips for the Application of Epoxy Resin Mix
Photo Credit: How to Build a House Blog
- Epoxies which are ambient cure, such as CCR and CLR are enormously impacted by humidity and temperature. So, do not apply epoxy resins for hot-coating and laminating in cold temperatures, on condensation surfaces, or days when the humidity level is high.
- For quick cure times, wait for the epoxy resin mix to sit for a couple of minutes before you pour it. Remember, high temperature can accelerate curing times. So, if the warm temperature is the issue, then use ice-packs in a zip-lock or plastic bag in order to cool the bucket/can you are mixing in. Also, you can use a slow-down kicking procedure by adding in some paint thinner which will elongate pot life.
- Spread a thin layer of a well-mixed epoxy by using a squeegee first and then use a brush to finish edges. You can also use the "W" method to ensure an even finish and go over it with a back roller to reduce air bubbles and help spread out any areas which might have excess epoxy.
- If you are required to use more epoxy resin, then let the first coat dry and use the second coat after approximately 2 hours or until hardened. Also for the best results, apply the resin in a criss-cross manner or "W", and then give it time to settle before it begins to harden.
Tips for Clean-Up and Curing Epoxy Resin Mix
- Always stay on the site until the resin has tacked and cured because surface contamination can bring low-spots and fish-eyes on any project. If the time is less, then monitor the site the next day to ensure proper hardened has occurred.
- Use a slower resin if the cure time is too quick. Likewise, use a quick hardener if the cure time is too slow.
- Let the epoxy be cured at room temperature. Remove the tape after 1 to 2 hours after the resin has started to set. If trimming is required, then make sure you do it where the floor and epoxy are 75% cured. Once it is completely cured, mechanical and sanding removal will be required. Also, when running and dripping has stopped, you will need to remove the edging tape. Note: Only use painters tape or 3M tap. Duct tape will remove already applied paint on surfaces.
- Only use denatured alcohol for clean up. It is easy to clean squeegees once the epoxy is entirely hardened (it takes a night). we also recommend Rock Miracle. You would let your tools sit in a bucket of rock miracle overnight tan then come back the next morning and wipe off the hardened epoxy and clean with denatured alcohol. Make sure to dry them well! It is always better to use a new brush every time though if within your budget. Also, if any of the materials gets on your skin, then you must immediately remove it by using warm water and soap. Do not touch your eyes!
After taking reading this you should have some tips and tricks up your sleeve to tackle your epoxy project! It is recommended to read all the safety tips that come along with your product to ensure that you are working safely.
Epoxy Central sells a full line of epoxy, novolac, and mortar coatings for your project needs. Check them out here!
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