Diy Epoxy Frequently Asked Questions
There are multiple types of resins. There are cheap resins thin resins thick resins one with UV some yellow faster then others and so on. Let’s start with countertop / bar top epoxy. Most of these are going to be 1:1 ratio and can only be poured up to about 1/4 in thick at a time. These epoxies are usually harder and more scratch resistant. Make sure to check and see how good the UV quality’s are before purchasing.
Next is art/jewelry. Depending on the size of the design I would make sure your products will do the correct application. There are art resin that can only be poured 1/4 in thick and then there are longer curing epoxy that can be poured thick 2in plus.
Then we have casting epoxy this epoxy is thin and takes longer to cure some more then 3 days. The advantage of a casting epoxy is you can do huge projects in one or 2 pour. I recommend buying the least amount of resin to see if you enjoy resin work and to reduce costs if you quit this hobby. Start small make mistakes on sample boards and sample peices before diving in.
Some tools needed for epoxy Gloves A measuring mixing bucket, Disposable cup for mixing other colors, mixing sticks, torch, heat gun,Sandpapers, polishers, polishing compound , tape measure
Optional tools. , orbital sander, belt sander, disc sander, multiple saws, multi-sander, drill,vacuum pot, pressure pot, router, table saw, nail guns, brisket joiner, router sled
We are a bit bias diy-epoxy.com has some amazing epoxy. There is multiple brands on all eBay amazon and websites specialising in epoxy sales.
What parameters to pay attention to when buying epoxy? When buying epoxy , remember that you will Be getting a kit resin and hardener to equal the total amount you purchased. When buying epoxy make sure it’s UV stable to not amber on you. Make sure it’s a scratch and heat resistant. When doing art and countertops a thicker epoxy is better as it keeps your art work in place. Make sure it’s a crystal clear epoxy.
First read what type of epoxy you have. Some are mixed by ratio and some buy weight. We have ratio epoxy 1:1 2:1 To measure the quantity of liquids you need an mixing cup with measurements or if the container say weight use a accurate scale. When mixing, remember to pour the hardener first and then the resin. Your epoxy should be mixed very thoroughly, mix in one bucket for 2 min then transfer to clean bucket for another 2 min at this time you can add the
Colorants and micas and pour off smaller amounts for multiple colors. mix slowly by hand as you want to mix your epoxy well but do not want to introduce more air bubbles into your epoxy. (see how to remove air bubble later).
Veins help your counters to have a more realistic organic look! To make veins you run your epoxy with colorant in it to make veins. you can then spray 99% alcohol on it to make the veins look less harsh
The epoxy basics are
Make sure you use PPE
Use between 70-80 degrees, Ideally 75 degrees
Mix for 5 minutes
Mix multiple colors in one bucket and pour it out all at once!
Make sure your surface is sealed, and then pour between 6.5 to 7.5 oz per square foot depending on the viscosity of your resin. Let it set for several minutes to self level them proceed to torch or heat gun to realize air bubbles
When mixed correctly it is food safe and meets the FDA Guidelines as food safe.
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Our Artisan art epoxy is a 1:1 mixing ratio
The Artisan Fast set is a 2:1 Mixing ratio
Our Casting Resin is a 2:1 ratio
We recommend mixing thoroughly for a minimum of 3-5 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the container while mixing. Not mixing thoroughly may lead to curing issues. Ideally, you would pour the mixture into a second clean, dry container and mix for an additional 2-3 minutes. We recommend mixing no more than 1 gallon at a time. If you do mix 1 gallon, use a power mixer set to hand speed.
Adding colors to micas and dyes if fairly simple. you pick a color that suits your resin project best and mix it in with the epoxy. A little goes a very long way so test out a small amount first!
15-20 minutes after pouring, you can lightly torch the top of the epoxy in a sweeping motion about 5-6 inches away from the top. Wait another 10 minutes, and repeat this process once more.
You can pour the second coat when the first coat is firm but still tacky to the touch (usually 4-6 hours after pouring, depending on temperature). If it has hardened completely, we suggest a light sanding before pouring the second coat to allow it to bond properly to the surface.
Mica powder and Pigment Pastes are our suggested pigment, however you can also add water based paints, oil based paints, acrylic paints, and epoxy pastes. Remember LESS IS MORE! Tinting your epoxy does not take much pigment, and when you add too much it can affect the curing process. Add a little bit at a time, mix, and if you haven’t reached your desired effect you can add a little more.
If it is sealed back up and stored in a cool, dry place, you can get 1-2 years out of it. However, you will notice the color of the hardener start to yellow. Once mixed, this should clear up. However, please test the mixture before pouring on your final project.
There are many ways to find out here are a couple. Epoxycalculator.com has multiple calculators to help. When pouring a countertops we suggest 4-6.5 oz per sf. To measure the amount of epoxy needed to pour into a mould, you can pour water into the mould then pour it into a measuring cup. then mix the same amount of epoxy as the poured water. Remember to pour the water out of the mould and dry completely. Do not use this method if there is wood in the mould or anything else that absorbs water.
Well there are a couple thing you need to know first. Pot Time is the time in the container while mixing. You want to mix and get the epoxy out of the container as soon as you are done mixing. The resin working time, i.e. the time when you can work with the resin to do art work is about 1 hour for most. Look at the instructions from the manufacture cause this time can change. You can process the epoxy (sand and polish it) after about 2-3 days. The epoxy becomes 90% hardened after about 7 days. 30 days is max complete cure. Epoxy is finicky The epoxy ideal temp is 70deg if the temperature is above 75deg the resin dries faster and if it’s lower, resin may not cure properly. Humidity and tempeture control are huge with epoxy.
Start by To obtain the desired colour of the resin you need to add a dye of the right colour. There are plenty of ways to dye resin and I will present only those that I have tested myself. But first, you need to know how to add the dye to the resin, and it’s very simple. To epoxy resins, all dyes are added after mixing the resin with the hardener and then mixed again to give a uniform colour to the entire resin. The dye to polyester resins is added to the resin before mixing it with the hardener and then the already coloured resin is mixed with the hardener. Remember to add very little dye because even one drop will give the resin a colour; if the colour is too pale you can add more dye, as preferred.
My most commonly used material for creating moulds is plexiglass from 1mm thick anti-frame. Sometimes it happens that the casting sticks to the mould. The mould should be slightly heated with a small burner or a lighter and then, the casting should smoothly peel off. Another way to make a mould is to use plastic from beverage bottles. A form can also be made of transparent adhesive tape. Moulding silicone can be a way to make a form that can be used dozens of times; you must first cast a model you want to get and then, after cooling down, you can use it up to several dozen times. The cast resin will easily debond because moulding silicone is very flexible, making the casting easier to pull out. How to make a mould from plexiglass.
Pouring raw wood with resin is quite problematic because resin, filtering through pores of the wood, causes air to get out as air bubbles. To prevent the formation of air bubbles, a thin layer of resin should be applied on wood before the main pouring, to clog the pores, and only after the thin layer has dried, pour the whole.
Flowers are great to be poured with resin; after processing of such casting, a beautiful decoration is created, but you must remember that flowers and plants are quite specific for pouring. To properly prepare flowers, you must first dry them out, otherwise they will rot and lose their vivid colour. Before pouring, a thin layer of resin must be applied on them to avoid air bubbles as in the case of wood. 15. How to pour large castings? Resin can also be a material for tables or other furniture, which requires pouring quite thick layers of resin (over a few centimetres); when casting such thick layers, complications may occur, and more precisely, the resin may take a huge temperature and start to smoke, drying out in less than minute and distorting the mould. Therefore, thick forms should be poured with layers of up to 2cm, this way has one downside – after solidification, the lines between layers are visible. To prevent this, avoid waiting for the first layer to solidify. After about 5 hours from pouring of the first layer (it should have the consistency of a soft rubber), pour the next one. To check if the resin has the right consistency, you need to lightly touch it with a toothpick; if it doesn’t stick and the resin deforms slightly, it means the consistency is good. Then pour the second layer and repeat until the desired thickness of the casting is achieved.
Method 1 The easiest way to prevent the formation of large amounts of air bubbles is to insert (before mixing) the container with the resin and the hardener into a container with warm (not hot) water for about 10-15 minutes. Heat dilutes the resin, which causes bubbles to get to the surface faster. Method 2 After mixing of the resin (before pouring the mould) it must be put into a vacuum chamber. After 20-30 minutes, the air bubbles should disappear. Then draw the resin out of the chamber and you can pour the mould. Method 3 Pour the mixed resin into the mould. Put the mould into a pressure chamber and leave it there until the resin dries completely. The pressure created by the chamber reduces the bubbles to invisible size and they solidify as such. Method 4 Pour the mixed resin into the mould. The casting surface can be gently heated with a burner, dryer or heat gun. This method is very simple and you do not need any special equipment for it; unfortunately, in this case, only the bubbles that are on the surface of the resin are removed. This method can be combined with the second method.
One of the most important steps in the formation of things from resin is polishing, it gives the appropriate gloss and smoothness. Unfortunately, it takes time to get the right gloss, depending on the size of the polished item. Polishing can last from several dozen minutes to even several hours.
There are many ways to polish, I will present 4 different ways that I use myself and I am happy with their effects. Method 1 Polishing begins with pre-treatment, when sandpapers with a grit of 80, 120, and 220 are used for dry sanding. Sanding is applied until the cracks of the previous paper with smaller frit number are covered. After dry sanding, it’s time to use wet sandpapers, where you should apply plenty of water. Wet sanding starts with 360 sandpaper, then we use 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, and we finish the entire action on 2500 sandpaper. The final step of polishing is the use of light abrasive car paste that will give the final gloss to the casting; I use a microfiber cloth for polishing with this paste. I rub the paste thoroughly into the casting and continue this as preferred. Method 2 In the second method, repeat all the steps from the first method, up to the step of using 1000 grit paper. Then, use an abrasive paste; then it’s time to use the light abrasive car paste from the previous method. Method 3 In the third method, repeat everything from the first method to the step of using 600 grit paper. Then, use a special set of abrasive cloth. Polish the work with each cloth, one by one, from the set from 1500 to 12000 grit, for this polishing, also use water, as in method 1. Here, you do not need to use polishing pastes. Finish polishing with a 12000 grit cloth. Method 4 The third method is very helpful and brings very good results, but it can only be used for round objects.
Repeat all the steps from the first method until using 600 grit paper, then you need to prepare the resin (the amount depends on the size of the item) and then wait until it gently thickens. When the resin has the right consistency, pour it into the sanded resin. When the resin solidifies, it will create a layer that will look like polished. 18. Precautions for resin work. When working with epoxy resin, remember that it is a chemical that can irritate the skin and eyes, cause allergies and even burns. Please remember about appropriate security measures, which are: – goggles – gloves (preferably disposable, rubber gloves) – protective mask – boots – protective clothing Remember to work with the resin in a ventilated room with an inlet of fresh air. After working with resin, remember to wash your hands thoroughly and dispose of empty resin containers. In case resin contacts the eyes, rinse with cold water and consult a doctor.
Pigment pastes. These are highly potent pure pigment designed to be mixed into epoxy at very small amounts but to make your epoxy a solid color. These are perfect for base colors for countertops , beach Scenes waves and more.
Special dyes for epoxy resins: – transparent dyes that you use small drops and it tints the epoxy but keeping the transparency of the resin at the same time this is perfect for live edge river tables.
Mica Powders. These are finely ground powders when mixed with epoxy can be transparent or opaque depending on the amount mixed. Most are more sparkly and give definition to your work.