You’re about to mix up some epoxy resin for your new DIY project. Maybe you’re coating a table top with it or pouring it into silicone molds to make jewelry, or maybe you’ve decided to go all-out and use epoxy as your countertop material as I did in our master bathroom remodel.
But how thick of a layer can you pour?
The question is complicated because there are so many factors involved in determining how thick of a puddle of epoxy resin will cure.
To help you answer that question, we’ll look at what makes an epoxy cure thicker than others and then the factors that affect how thick it can be poured.
How thick can I pour epoxy?
The depth of the pour you are making is dependent on the product you choose. Some epoxy formulas have been designed specifically for thin pours, while others mix better and cure more evenly when thicker layers are applied.
The lower viscosity products can be poured thicker than higher viscosity products. For example, our Deep Pour epoxy can be poured up to 2 inches thick (in one pour) and cures to a hard as glass surface that is perfect for tabletops, bars, countertops and deep molds.
What happens if you pour epoxy too thick?
When air bubbles get trapped in a thick layer of epoxy, they can cause the surface to warp and crack. This can ruin the aesthetic of your end product, but it also means that all that work you put into it was wasted.
The way to prevent this is by mixing slowly and at room temperature, and brushing on thin coats with an epoxy heat gun or torch.
Can you pour multiple layers of epoxy?
You can apply multiple layers of epoxy in three different ways:
- Wait for the first layer to cure, then pour the next layer. This method is recommended if you are pouring two or more coats on top of a previous pour.
- Pour the next layer before the first layer has cured. This method is useful when you want to build up epoxy on vertical surfaces or create several layers as part of a decorative project.
- Sand/scuff down your last coat and then apply another coat after 2-4 hours at room temperature (or 1 hour at 75 degrees Fahrenheit). Our resin will begin to gel within 18 hours and be fully cured in 72 hours at room temperature (16 to 24 hours at 75 degrees Fahrenheit).
How thick can I pour table top epoxy?
When pouring, you want to pour in layers. You can pour epoxy resin up to 1/8” per coat and up to 1″ thick per project.
We recommend using a color pigment, glow powder or alcohol ink with the first coat of your project so that you don’t see any white streaks from the base layer beneath it.
Once your first coat has cured overnight, you can pour on successive layers.
If you are working with color or clear pigments or metallics like leafing flakes or glitter flakes we suggest you use a clear base for the first layer of your project and then work in colored coats as needed in subsequent layers.
Color epoxy resins should not be poured over clear epoxy resins because they have been known to discolor the clear resin when applied too thickly (generally greater than 5/8″ thick).
Color epoxy resins will also change their appearance depending on how thick they are poured and can look different than their dried samples if poured too thickly (greater than 5/8″).
How deep is a deep pour epoxy?
When you have a deep pour epoxy, you can reach up to 2 inches thickness. You can buy the depth that you need based on your project.
If you are ready to buy a deep pour epoxy, the recommended thickness is 2 inches thickness so that it is easier for you to use it.
How do you make epoxy thicker?
The first thing to do is get your hands on an epoxy thickener. These additives can be purchased at most hardware stores and online, and are wildly popular with DIYers.
Thickeners come in many different forms, including waxes, silica, aluminum powder or microspheres (tiny hollow spheres of carbon).
Each different additive will produce a unique result some can create a putty-like consistency that will allow you to make raised designs or textured surfaces with the epoxy.
Just keep in mind that the thicker you pour your epoxy, the longer it will take to cure and harden completely.
Another option is to use epoxy with a longer pot life. Pot life refers to how long you have until the resin starts curing after its two parts have been combined.
If you choose an epoxy with a shorter pot life (10 minutes) then it will harden more quickly than one with a longer pot life (60 minutes).
Try experimenting by mixing batches of epoxies together: if you combine part A from two brands’ resins together and then add some thickening agent from another brand into part B, you can create customized consistencies for all sorts of applications!
Lastly, if all else fails, just try slowing down the curing process by working in lower temperatures! Or, if your workspace is especially warm during the summer months and causing your resin to cure too quickly when it’s mixed together or poured, opt for cool cures instead.
Can I pour epoxy over epoxy?
Yes, you can pour epoxy over epoxy, however, it is not recommended unless you are using the same brand. Different brands will have different chemical compositions and don’t always play well with each other.
We can look at this question from a few different angles:
- Are you pouring epoxy over epoxy in order to create a thicker coat? If so, please check out our article How Thick Can I Pour Epoxy for more information about creating thickness with one application.
- Are you pouring epoxy over another brand of epoxy? If so, we recommend using the same brand of epoxy as your first coat. Remember that even though we have tried to make all our resin formulas compatible with each other (and they are!) they do still have slightly different chemical formulations. Also please note that if you are consolidating multiple brands or types of resin onto a single surface there is an increased likelihood that adhesion may be compromised and delamination may occur. It is important to note that this risk exists even if the two different resins are from the same manufacturer but made by two different production batches. This is because there is always some small variation in formulation between batches – no matter how carefully crafted and controlled both process and formula might be. As such it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to recommend NOT mixing older products with a new products for this very reason – just as an example of how careful one should be when considering putting two different resins on top of each other on the same job!
- Are you pouring multiple coats using the same brand/type of epoxy? If so, we recommend sanding between coats where possible to ensure good adhesion between layers.
How long between epoxy pours?
If you are pouring epoxy over epoxy, you must wait until the first coat is cured—usually 24 or 48 hours. If your pour is thick, it will take several weeks to fully cure.
You might consider splitting your pour into multiple thinner layers if you have time. For example, if you have 30 days for your project to be complete and the temperature is about 80°F, you can do three 10-day pours instead of one 30-day pour.
The second and third coats will be cool enough when applied to harden at an adequately fast rate.
Epoxy is a great material for creating beautiful and durable coatings. It can be used to make a countertop, table, or floor more attractive and resistant to heat and water damage.
However, some precautions need to be taken when pouring epoxy. For example, it’s recommended that you pour the epoxy in layers instead of all at once. The maximum thickness of a single pour is around ¼”.
To create a thick section of more than 1 ½”, you will have to do it in multiple layers. That said, if you ever have any doubts about your epoxy project—whether about how much, how thick, or how deep you should pour—it’s better to ask experts such as the customer service team at EnviroTex Lite®!