You’re so close to finishing your epoxy art. All that’s left is to pour on a few final coats, and you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of all your hard work. The problem? Sometimes you have to wait days between each coat, and sometimes it seems like you have no idea what the right amount of time is!
In this post, we’ll go over why there are rules around how long you should wait before pouring another coat of epoxy resin, as well as what order those coats need to be in. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how long between layers when working with epoxy resin for crafting.
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How long does a layer of epoxy take to dry?
This is the second most commonly asked question next to how long it takes to cure. The answers are the same, but with a little fine print.
It depends on :
- the epoxy formula you choose
- the ambient temperature at your shop during application
Once again these factors will determine the time it takes for each of these processes: gel time, demold time, and cure time.
If you’re using an epoxy that has a gel time of 15 minutes @ 70°F (21°C), then you can expect a longer gel time if your shop is closer to 60°F (15°C). If your shop is closer to 80°F (26°C), then you will probably have less than 15 minutes before the epoxy starts gelling upon you. For this reason, many people like working with epoxy which has a longer workable period in cooler temperatures.
When can I apply a second coat of epoxy?
If you want to apply a second coat of epoxy, the first layer must be fully cured (24-72 hours in temperatures between 70-80). If you want to apply a second layer is less than 24 hours, you can lightly sand the first coat with 80-120 grit sandpaper. This will create a tooth for the second layer to grip onto. However, if your temperature is below 70 degrees, it’s best to wait until the first coat has been fully cured before applying more epoxy.
How soon can you pour a second layer of resin?
As a rule of thumb, you should wait until the layer below has been set and is hardened before pouring your next coat. In most cases, this will be 12-24 hours after you’ve poured your first layer.
It’s okay to pour multiple layers while the first is still wet, but there are a few caveats:
- you’ll have to get rid of any air bubbles that pop up (you can use heat or an epoxy mixer)
- the epoxy won’t cure properly if it’s too thick (1 inch or more), so you’ll want to sand it down
- your piece will take longer to cure
Can I pour epoxy over epoxy?
Yes, you can pour over epoxy! We know of a number of people who have done this with beautiful results.
As long as the first coat is completely cured (typically 72 hours or more depending on the product), you’re good to go. Just make sure to lightly sand your surface prior to pouring your second coat.
This will help adhere to the next layer and create a smooth, even finish!
How long does it take 2 part epoxy to dry?
If you are asking how long it takes for 2-part epoxy to dry, we recommend that you use a timer. Depending on the consistency of your mix and where the work is being done, you could have up to 20 minutes before the mixture starts to harden. That gives you plenty of time to spread it evenly on your table.
Mix part A and part B in a cup or small pail until fully blended. A mixing stick is ideal for this task because it allows you to blend thoroughly without creating air bubbles. Once mixing is complete, pour
enough material into another container for immediate application. Spread with a brush or roller over your surface area as thinly as possible. You can always apply additional layers once the first layer cures, as long as there are no bubbles present.
What happens if you don’t sand between coats of epoxy?
Smoother is better. It’s the golden rule of epoxy. When you’re pouring up to six coats, you might be tempted to skip over sanding between each one, but don’t forget: every coat of epoxy should be sanded smooth before the next one goes on. Here’s a rundown of when and how you should sand your epoxy.
- Don’t Sand Too Soon
You can’t really hurt your epoxy by sanding too early—it just won’t do much good. Since the surface is still soft, it will easily clog up your sandpaper and you won’t make much progress in smoothing out the surface. Make sure at least 24 hours have passed since your last pour before picking up a sander or block.
- Sand Between Each Coat
It seems simple enough, right? Every coat of new epoxy needs to be free from bubbles and as flat as possible for that flawless finish we all want so badly (especially if you’re putting clear epoxy on a tabletop). This means that even if you pour more than one coat in a day, each one still needs its own light hand-sanding before applying another layer.
How do you apply the second layer of epoxy?
When applying the second coat, be sure to cover all exposed areas of wood. If you do not, the wood will soak up the epoxy like a sponge! Also, it is important that you mix up more resin than you think you will need. It is better to have too much than not enough.
In addition, we recommend laying the second layer at a 90-degree angle from the first layer. This helps ensure that each layer has an even thickness and that there aren’t any thin spots in your final coating. If a thin spot occurs underneath your topcoat, it may cause bubbles on your tabletop’s surface when you apply heat to help cure and harden the epoxy. Finally, be certain not to sand between coats of epoxy or use a heat gun to accelerate curing. Both can result in unintended finishes that may show through the topcoat later on!
Can you do 2 coats of epoxy?
Can you do two coats of epoxy?
Yes, you can do two coats of epoxy. However, depending on the type of epoxy you are using will determine how long you need to wait between coats.
For example, if you are using a fast drying epoxy like our FastCast™ super clear epoxy, then the 2nd coat could be applied as soon as 3 hours after the first coat has been applied and cured.
As a concluding point, we should also mention that you need to sand between layers. This is because even if you wait the recommended four hours, it will still be slightly tacky and not ready for another layer. Using sandpaper is the best way to remove this surface tension and help the epoxy bond with itself properly, preventing later cracking or peeling.
Last but not least, you can use a heat gun to speed up the drying process between layers. Just make sure not to set your project on fire! And finally, don’t pour epoxy over epoxy—this will result in cloudy glue that has soaked into your wood and is no good.
Remember: work slowly and carefully!