A flood coat is a thin layer of epoxy resin poured over an entire surface. Flood coating is the process of flooding that thin layer.
It can be used to create an even gloss or semi-gloss finish on top of wood, artwork, wooden tabletops, or other surfaces. Using a flood coat on top of your project adds depth and dimension to your finished product.
The purpose of flood coating is to create a thin, smooth, and even layer over the entire surface. Flood coats should not be too thick; otherwise, they may not dry properly, resulting in white streaks and lines throughout the finished product.
What is flood coating?
Flood coating is a method of resin application in which the surface of a woodworking project is covered with a layer of resin.
Flood coating can be used to fill voids and cracks, impart an attractive sheen, or protect the piece from wear and tear. No matter its purpose, flood coating is a great way to ensure that your project has a quality finish and that it is protected.
Table of Contents
Do you sand after seal coat epoxy?
After applying the seal coat, you will want to sand the surface of the epoxy until it is smooth. This will help prepare the surface for another layer of epoxy as well as remove any air bubbles that may be left in the previous coat.
You should use very fine grit sandpaper (320 grit or finer) and not use a coarser grit paper as it will scratch the surface of the wood.
How much epoxy do I need for a flood coat?
- For a flood coat, you will need to calculate the square footage of your project. This is calculated by taking the length X width of your table for example. If we have a table that is 30″ X 60″, then we multiply 30 times 60 to get 1800 square inches. Now divide that number by 144 (the number of square inches in a foot) to determine how much epoxy you need for this project — in this case 12.5 ounces per square foot.
- Epoxy should be poured at room temperature, between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit and ideally onto a surface that has been leveled and smoothed so there are no bumps or dips when the epoxy begins to cure.
- Once you have calculated how much epoxy you will need, mix it thoroughly according to the instructions on your specific brand of resin epoxy product. Mix it just until it’s fully blended and has an even color throughout (it should not look streaky). You can use de-airing equipment if needed; if not, just mix it well enough so all bubbles float to the surface as they appear during mixing. Pour slowly into one corner of your project area, making sure not to pour any onto the top edge because it could run down over time and create drips on the sides of your finished item!
How thick is an epoxy flood coat?
While you’re doing this, it’s important to keep the epoxy layer thin—as in one-sixteenth of an inch or less. Any thicker and the epoxy may have a difficult time curing: bubbles will form and cloud your work, or the epoxy might cure with a soft texture that isn’t great for writing on. There are two ways to ensure you’re keeping it thin:
- Use a paintbrush so that you can scrape away excess if necessary as you go
- Use foam instead of wood to spread the epoxy (the foam will soak up some of the excesses).
How do I make a flood coat of resin?
First, mix the resin and hardener together as described in the resin manufacturer’s directions.
Next, pour the resin onto your surface, moving back and forth as you pour to ensure even coverage.
At this point, use a brush to spread the resin around if needed to ensure an even coat across your work surface.
What is a flood coated label?
A flood coated label is a label that has been printed with a flood coating layer to give the label a smooth, glossy look. A flood coat is applied over the entire label surface to provide a clear protective coating.
This means any area of the label not occupied by graphics will be coated in clear ink—hence the term “flood.”
How long after seal coat can I flood coat?
The ideal time to flood coat is 12-24 hours after you’ve applied the seal coat. You’ll know your seal coat is ready for the flood coat when it’s hard to the touch, but not sticky.
If you wait longer than 24 hours before applying your flood coat, you may need to scuff the surface with fine grit sandpaper (220-400) before adding more epoxy.
How long after seal coat can you pour a flood coat?
You will be able to see if the resin is cured by the appearance of your seal coat. It should be smooth, glossy and hard. If it feels sticky or soft, you should wait for a few more hours before pouring on the flood coat.
Typically, it takes 24 hours for epoxy to cure in moderate temperatures (70 F). However, if it’s colder than that, then it takes longer to cure.
In fact, every 10 degrees below 70 F doubles the curing time. For example, at 60 degrees F, it takes 48 hours to cure; at 50 degrees F, it takes 96 hours!
Notice that each lower temperature adds 24 hours to the curing time until you reach freezing temperatures (32 degrees). Once you are below freezing the epoxy will not cure properly and thus no longer set up as intended.
On average, this means that if you live in a warmer climate you can pour your flood coats about 12-24 hours after pouring your seal coats.
If you live somewhere with cooler weather during this time of year then don’t even attempt applying any epoxy until your shop or garage is above 65 degrees F!
This ensures that they will have plenty of time to fully cure and set up as intended before adding additional layers of epoxy (or varnish!).
So, to summarize:
- You are *not* applying a flood coat if you are sanding after the seal coat.
- You *are* applying a flood coat if you are not sanding after the seal coat and simply covering the area with epoxy.
- Your flood coat should be 1/8 inch thick, which will give your project a more even finish.
- Your first step is to pour resin over the entire surface until it is covered in an even layer (no thin spots). Wait about 15 minutes for this layer to harden and then pour again, repeating until your epoxy reaches an approximate thickness of 1/8 inch.
A successful flood coating has no visible bubbles (they will show up later) and can be identified as such by labeling it “no sand” when you’re done pouring—this will help prevent confusion when moving on to future steps in your project.
After 30 minutes have passed since your final seal coat was applied, you can begin flood coating!