This guide contains some of the most common problems we see with use of Epoxy due to not following the instructions provided. In this guide we will lay out the problem, the reason behind why it happened and the solution to fix it!
Problem: Entire Surface Is Soft, Wet or Sticky after 48 hours:
1) Product was under-mixed. Unfortunately, as much as we stress this as the most important part of the project, it can still occur and is the most common cause of this problem. If you do not mix long enough or do not scrape the sides and bottom of the container while mixing, you will find under-cured epoxy. The Resin component tends to sit on top of the mixture in the bucket. If it is not mixed thoroughly enough and pushed down into the mixture with the stir stick during blending, you can end up with areas that are hard/dry with other areas that are sticky or tacky that will not harden.
2) The product was inaccurately measured. You must follow the strict 1 to 1 ratio by volume (not weight). Do not guess or eyeball these measurements. Just dumping the product from their original containers is not a proper measurement. The product MUST be measured with fairly precise accuracy using a graduated tub.
1)If the surface is hard but only slightly tacky, a new flood coat can be applied over the entire surface, and the new product will dry hard and crystal clear assuming the mixing procedures have been properly followed. No sanding is necessary.
2) If the surface is wet and soft or gooey like jello, then as much of the material as possible must be removed with a paint scraper or knife. Use denatured alcohol or acetone when necessary to help remove the wet epoxy. Remix and apply a new flood coat. The new coat will cover up almost all effects of the previous error. Be certain to follow the proper mixing procedures.
Problem: Small Sticky or Soft Spots:
1)The most common cause of this is scraping or brushing from the side or bottom of the mixing container while pouring. It is natural to want to use up every last drop you have mixed. However, when you pour onto the surface, you should just dump it out and set the container down. If you use a stick or a brush to try and remove every drop, you will very likely end up with sticky spots.
2) Mixture was not blended properly.You may also end up with sticky areas due to the mixture not being thoroughly blended. The Resin component tends to sit on top of the mixture in the bucket. If it is not rigorously pushed down into the mixture with the stir stick during blending, you can end up with areas that are hard/dry with other areas that are sticky or tacky that will not harden.
1) If the sticky spots are hard but only have a slight tackiness on the surface, you can mix up a very small batch of epoxy and paint over those areas with an artist paint brush. Make sure to dip the brush into the center of the container to ensure that you paint on blended epoxy instead of touching it to the sides of the container as you might end up with the non mixed material. You may also re-pour over the entire surface, and the new product will dry hard assuming correct pour procedures have been followed.
2) If these spots are soft and wet, you will need to scrape or cut out as much of the soft material as possible using a paint scraper or knife. Use denatured alcohol or acetone when necessary to help remove the wet epoxy. If you are left with deep depressions. As a result, your first re-coat should be used just to fill in the areas in which you scraped. After this pour has set for at least 4 hours, a full re-coat can be completed. This will hide the imperfections and leave you with a hard glass-like surface.
Problem: Air bubbles across the entire surface:
1) No bubble removal technique was used as shown in our instructions. (butane or propane torch or heat gun)
2) Improperly applied or no seal coat was used.
3) The wood surface below was extremely porous, and the seal seal coat was not thick enough to cover. (Very common in aged wood)
4) The product was whipped or stirred excessively putting so many bubbles into the mix that they could not be removed with the flame/ heat technique.
Problem: Air bubbles in just one spot-
1) Knots, cracks, or holes in wood were not properly sealed, and air bubbles continually rose throughout curing process.
2) Missed a spot during the seal coat.
Solution: Usually the bubbles are not noticeable enough to warrant any further work. If, however, you desire, you may sand or grind the surface to remove as much of the air bubbles as possible and re-coat the entire surface. Spot-fixing results in a raised (speed bump) looking area and is much worse looking than the bubbles themselves.
Problem: Surface Cures Uneven with Ripples or Waves:
1) Wooden surface had too much warping or imperfections, and one coat of epoxy was not enough to cover the imperfections.
2) Applying too thin of a flood coat (didn't use enough product). This product needs to be applied in full 1/8” flood coats to properly self-level, allow the product to run over the sides.
3) Applying too much heat during your bubble removal techniques will cause a ripple effect. The heat or torch should be swept across the surface rapidly without holding it in one place.
Solution: Applying another flood coat in sufficient thickness should hide virtually all signs of the waves or ripples from the previous coat.
Problem: Surface Appears Cloudy, or White In Spots and Streaks:
1) After the two components are poured together and stirring begins the mixture will turn a cloudy white color, this represents areas in which the epoxy has not fully combined. You must continue to mix until all signs of cloudiness and tiny white lines have completely disappeared (usually takes 3-4 minutes of thorough mixing). If the mixture is poured onto the surface without thoroughly mixing the batch, the white and cloudy spot will remain in the epoxy and can't potentially create soft and or sticky spots.
Solution: Usually the white areas are not noticeable enough to warrant any further work. If, however, you desire, you may sand or grind the surface to remove as much of the undeniable area as possible and re-coat the entire surface.
Reading all of the instructions is a crucial step before using our epoxy for the first time. Our epoxy is an exclusive formulation and is not the same product as some other epoxy you might have used previously. This product will produce professional results when applied correctly. Take your time to review some of these common problems that first-time users can encounter.
These instructions provide the information for mixing and pouring Easy Pour Epoxy. Please be aware that there are many variables that may pertain to your specific situation, as there are thousands of surface materials and projects that you can use our epoxy with. We recommend that you do a small test of your project first to ensure that the final application turns out well.
You should always do a trial run with the product to ensure proper understanding of how to mix and apply.
Beginners Notes: Please read if this is your first time using Easy Pour Epoxy
1. For best results, the product should be used in conditions between 75° F to 85° F.
*Please note that this is a requirement, not just a recommendation and there is no room for error.
2. Make sure that your mixing container is clean, and your measuring device is accurate. This product requires that you mix at a 1 to 1 ratio by volume. Any variances from this ratio will cause the epoxy to never completely cure.
3. THOROUGH mixing is one of the most important parts of this process. Even if you have experience with other types of resins, it is very easy to underestimate the amount of mixing this product requires. Depending on the quantity being mixed, it can take anywhere from 3 to 7 minutes of continuous mixing. Be sure to mix in a uniform way while avoiding a whipping motion. During mixing, the product will turn cloudy white, and you must continue to mix until all signs of haziness and white streaks in the mixture have turned back to a transparent color.
4. Always scrape the sides of the mixing container and mixing stick during the mixing process. If any unmixed material remains on the side of the container and falls onto your surface while pouring it will leave an uncured wet or sticky spot.
5. While pouring the epoxy onto the surface, NEVER scrape or brush the sides or bottom of the container you just mixed in to remove every last drop because no matter how thoroughly you may have mixed, there will always be an unmixed portion stuck which can be dislodged and will leave a wet or sticky spot.
Before You Get Started
Coverage: In order to determine how much epoxy you will need, you must know your square footage. We offer a product calculator on our website.
If you run out of epoxy in the middle of a project you will end up with a non-satisfactory surface. It is always best to order a little extra, than to run out in the middle of a project.
Make sure that you have enough epoxy to account for pouring over sides and edges, covering objects, filling in holes, or any other factor that would require additional epoxy.
Project Preparation: For best results, the product should be used in conditions between 75° F to 85° F.
*Please note that this is a requirement, not just a recommendation and there is no room for error. If you need to, you can use space heaters to maintain the temperature throughout the whole product curing stage. (72 hours). Both the Resin and the Hardener should be at a 75° F temperature as well. Do not take your product in from a cold area and expect good results. Also, the room you are working in should be clean, dry, dust and insect-free. Settling dust can often cause imperfections on the surface of the epoxy as it is curing.
Safety: Gloves should always be worn when working with epoxy. This product is non-toxic and safe for indoor use because it has virtually no odor. Product may be harmful to skin so proper eye and skin protection should be worn at all times.
Surface Preparation: For most applications, the wood surface on the bar or table should be sanded first and cleaned, and dust free. Any type of moisture, oils, or grease can cause fish eyes or other product curing problems.
Measuring and Mixing
1) Measuring: It is extremely important that the product is measured accurately and mixed thoroughly. Clean graduated cups or tubs should be used for measuring. Measure 1 part RESIN to 1 part HARDENER. Do NOT vary this ratio, epoxies are formulated to cure at a certain mixing proportion and any variances can cause the product to never fully cure. We recommend always pouring the HARDENER into your mixing container first, followed by the RESIN. This will help the two components mix more thoroughly.
2) Mixing: Combine the two components together into a larger container. The mixing container should be about 30% bigger than the amount of product you are mixing so that thorough mixing can be accomplished without spillage over the container lip. - Mixing of the product should be done by hand with a wide stick or silicone spatula.
The more product you are mixing the longer it will take to achieve a complete mixture. Generally, one gallon of the mixture takes approx. 4-5 minutes of mixing. Two gallons of mixture take approx. 6-7 minutes of mixing. As you begin to mix, the resins will almost immediately turn a cloudy white color. This represents the two separate components starting to blend. As you continue to mix the level of whiteness will begin to turn more transparent with the end result being a completely transparent mixture in which you can see perfectly to the bottom of the mixing container. You will see some air bubbles in the mixture, DO NOT WORRY…this is normal and will be taken care of with a torch after you have poured your product.
Pro Tip 1: If you are new at using epoxy, we recommend starting your mixing process with smaller batches until you get the hang of it. Epoxy is a time sensitive product and we would hate for your product to go to waste because something went wrong.
Pro Tip 2: If you don’t want to take any chances of under-mixing you can wait until the mixing container starts to become slightly warm to the touch which usually assures a long enough mix. However, this also reduces your working time, especially when mixing 1 gallon or more.
Pro Tip 3: Pour quickly after complete mixing. Leaving large amounts of mixed material in your bucket will cause an accelerated chemical reaction due to the heat being generated.
WARNING: When pouring the resins onto the surface NEVER scrape or brush out from the container you were just mixing from. Just dump the resins out and leave the remaining material in the container.
A. Pouring the seal coat: The seal coat is designed to penetrate and cover any porous surfaces you will be working with. The seal coat will cut off any potential air pockets in the wood that will release air bubbles. The best way to apply a seal coat is to start on one end and pour the resin all the length of the surface, zigzagging as you go. Set the container down and then use a rubber squeegee or a foam brush to drag the resin across the entire surface and achieve an even coat. Please bear in mind you do not want to achieve any buildup with this coat, it is meant only to cover up the grains of the wood or substrate. Usually, only one seal coat is required. However, sometimes extremely porous wood or knots in the wood need multiple coats in order to fully seal the surface. You should wait a minimum of 4 hours before proceeding to apply a flood coat.
B. Pouring a flood coat: Each flood coat self-levels approximately 1/8” thick. If depths thicker than 1/8” are desired multiple coats are necessary. You must, however, wait at least 4 hours between flood coats. The best way to apply the flood coat is to start on one end and pour the resin the entire length of the surface, zigzagging as you go. After you are finished pouring, set the container down. Do NOT try to scrape anything else out of the bucket. Because you are pouring about three times the amount of product you did with the seal coat the material will immediately start to flow out. However, you will still want to use a rubber squeegee or foam brush to help guide the material around. The less you use the brush the better. Dragging too hard on the brush will put hundreds of air bubbles on the surface which are impossible to fully remove.
Removing Air Bubbles
Once you have sufficiently covered the entire surface you will then begin the process of popping air bubbles. The best tool for removing bubbles is a small propane torch. By holding the heat source approximately 6 to 10 inches away from the surface and quickly sweeping across you will immediately see the bubbles start to pop. It is a good idea to stand by the project for at least 30 minutes after pouring in order to pop any air bubbles that suddenly appear. Other flood coat issues: -Bar rails and edges: the flood coat can be allowed to run over the sides which will create a coating on the vertical edges. These edges will not create as thick a coating as flat surfaces so you must do your best with a brush to keep the material even. -Underneath edge: Drips will form underneath the bar-rail or edge, these drips can be sanded off once the epoxy has cured. If you catch the epoxy at just the right moment in the curing process a razor knife can be used to cut the drips off.
5) Re-Coating: When re-coating within a 4 to 10 hour window no surface preparation is needed. The layers will bond together as one. If you allow the previous layer to fully dry, a light sanding is necessary with some 220 or 320 grit sandpaper. After sanding, you should wipe down the surface with a solvent such as denatured alcohol (acetone can also be used). Do NOT use paint thinner, aka mineral spirits. The wipe down process with the solvent should be done with a clean rag that will not leave any lint on the surface. Continue cleaning until all sanding dust has been completely removed. You are now ready to re coat. Don’t worry about the sanding scratches. The next pour will fill in the scratches and it will look like glass again.
After applying your final coat, the product should be kept in as clean and dust-free an environment as possible. At 80° F degrees, the product takes approximately 12-14 hours to dry to the touch. However, the product should not be put into any type of use for at least 2-3 days which will allow it to achieve sufficient hardness to resist scratching. At temperatures below 80 F, the product will take longer to cure.
1. After the epoxy is cured you'll be able to peel post of the dried resin out of the containers.
2. Put on some gloves and take a cloth or rag and wipe out the containers with acetone or alcohol.
3. Wash with warm soapy water and rinse. You can do the same with the mixing spatula!