Two part epoxies are a form of thermosetting polymer that exhibits high tensile strength, chemical resistance to oils and solvents, toughness, and excellent adhesive properties.
This means 2-part epoxies are ideal for applications requiring long lasting aesthetics.
There are two parts to a 2-part epoxy: resin and curing agent. The resin is made up of resins and reactive diluents/bonding agents, while the curing agent consists of hardeners, accelerators, and catalysts.
The ratio at which these components are mixed will determine the hardness (durometer) and tensile strength of the final product.
A typical mixing process involves adding a specified volume of resin to an empty mixing bucket, followed by an equal volume of curing agent into the bucket with the resin mixture.
The mixture is then stirred with a low speed drill mixer until uniform in appearance (this may take up to five minutes).
What finish can I put over epoxy?
Yes. You should finish it with a clear coating of polyurethane, varnish, lacquer, or polyacrylic. Apply the first coat to all surfaces as soon as the epoxy has cured and is hard to the touch (usually 24 hours).
Allow this coat to cure thoroughly before sanding it lightly and applying a second coat. Repeat this process until the finish is smooth and level. Sand between coats if necessary.
What do you seal epoxy with?
After you’ve completed your project using epoxy, there are a few things you can do to seal and protect what you’ve created.
- If you have a smooth surface, sanding the top is an easy way to create a solid base for your coating. In lieu of sanding, you can also use a high-quality acid etch or primer as the base coat for your epoxy project.
- After creating a smooth surface, apply several coats of clear with enough time in between for each layer to dry completely (and sand lightly between coats if needed). Clear coats are great because they help seal the epoxy in place and protect it from moisture damage and general wear and tear. Acrylics, polyurethane, lacquer, and enamel are some of the best clear coat options available on the market today. As always, make sure that whatever product you choose does not contain harmful chemicals and is suitable for indoor use (especially if children or pets will be around).
How do you make a perfect epoxy finish?
In order to get the perfect epoxy finish, you need to make sure your surface is level and clean. Once that’s taken care of, make sure you’re using the right epoxy and mix it in the right ratio.
When mixing, use a popsicle stick or tongue depressor to stir it very carefully you don’t want bubbles in your epoxy as they can cause imperfections once dry. Pour the mixture into your mold or onto your surface with care.
Use a plastic squeegee or spatula to spread it evenly across the project’s surface and remove any air bubbles. They’ll rise to the top within the first few minutes of pouring so be patient.
The only thing left for you to do after stirring is waiting for it to fully dry!
Can you put a finish on epoxy?
There are a lot of different finishes you can choose from. Some of the most common finish materials include:
- Epoxy (sometimes used as both an adhesive and a coating)
- Wipe-on polyurethane
- Lacquer (both lacquer and varnish are quick-drying forms of shellac, but varnish is usually more rugged)
- Oil (as in tung oil or linseed oil)
- Gel coat (for fiberglass)
The choice of finish depends on the material you’re working with, as well as the purpose of that material. For example, if you’re trying to preserve wood for interior use, you might want to consider oils such as tung oil or linseed oil.
These dry slowly and make it possible to get some interesting effects by carefully controlling your application rate. Mineral spirits are often added to thin the oil so that it penetrates further into the wood surface.
Can I put varnish over epoxy?
Yes, you can apply varnish over epoxy resin!
Epoxy is an ideal surface to work on. However, it does not need a finish. If you want to apply a finish, then use varnish. Varnish is a great finish for epoxy. You could use shellac, polyurethane, or lacquer for your self-made DIY tabletop as well.
Epoxy does not need a finish because it is completely waterproof and can withstand extreme heat and cold. If you are planning on using the surface for decorative purposes only (which would be rare), then there’s no reason to apply a finish over the epoxy resin.
How do you apply clear coat over epoxy?
This won’t be a problem at all as long as you use a clear coat that is fully compatible with epoxy.
If you’re going to use an epoxy finish, you might want to take the time to sand it properly and apply a clear coat over the top.
With epoxy, preparation is key, so make sure the surface of the table is clean and clear of dust or other contaminants. Use tack cloths or compressed air to get any dust off before you start painting.
Once your surface is prepared, brush on a layer of your preferred clear coat in thin coats, making sure not to pile too much on at once lest it drip and run.
The thinner your coats are, the better your results will be in terms of evenness and smoothness which means less sanding later!
You can also use a different method if you like: spraying works very well for applying this product (and tends to produce fewer brush marks). Be careful about over-spraying though; like brushing
Does epoxy need a top coat?
Yes, you can apply epoxy over existing finishes. The most important thing is to make sure the finish has no wax or silicone and is completely clean of dust and oils. You can do this by scrubbing it with soap and water, then giving it a light sanding or an acid etch (if it’s concrete).
Here are some other surfaces that are fine to apply epoxy over bare wood; paint (wood, metal, walls); varnish; polyurethane; caulk
Can you put polyurethane under epoxy?
Polyurethane and epoxy are different products. Epoxy is used as a coating and polyurethane is used as a sealer. When using epoxy, the polyurethane would end up on top of it.
However, you can use either product on its own to get the result you want. Polycrylic can be applied over an epoxy coating as a topcoat for added protection and/or gloss. No need to apply any kind of finish under the epoxy first!
You can finish epoxy with resin, polyurethane, or varnish. Resin is best for maintaining the glow of glow in the dark pigments.
Polyurethane is ideal for adding shine and durability to your design but can dull the color of your pigment. Varnish adds some shine but will not alter or enhance the color of your pigment.
If you are looking to add a lot of shine to your piece, you may want to consider applying a clear coat over your epoxy instead of using one of these finishes.
Ensure that you properly sand any surface before application so that your finish looks as smooth as possible.