Table Top Epoxy Resin is a 100% solids, high-build, clear polymer coating that is commonly seen on bar and table tops. Each kit contains a bottle of resin and a bottle of hardener which are mixed together at a 1 to 1 ratio by volume. This product cures to a clear, glass-like finish that resists scratching and will not distort with age. Items coated with it will become permanently preserved and protected for your enjoyment throughout a lifetime. This product will resist yellowing and is water resistant. However, it does not provide 100% UV protection. This should be carefully considered before applying in an outdoor, high UV exposure setting. The Table Top Epoxy Resin will not exhibit any blushing or sweat-out even under high humidity conditions. This product is best applied in two stages. The first stage is referred to as the seal coat. The seal coat is brushed on in a thin layer and is used to seal any porosity on the surface which will prevent air bubbles from rising in the subsequent flood coats. Once the seal coat has set for at least 4 hours a flood coat is then applied. The flood coat should be poured onto the surface and allowed to flow out and self-level. You can use a rubber squeegee or a foam brush to help spread the epoxy. Generally one to three flood coats are applied for most table and bar coatings, however, you must wait between 4 to 10 hours before applying subsequent flood coats.
What You Need:
- Safety Gloves - Epoxy is very sticky.
- Graduated Mixing Cups - Accurate measurement is extremely important to achieve optimum cured properties.
- Clear Stir Sticks - Dirty sticks can cause contamination of the epoxy.
- Rubber Squeegees - These spreaders will not leave air bubbles behind as brushes can.
- Brushes - Foam or nylon brushes which do not lose bristles
- Solvent - Denatured alcohol or acetone for cleanup and wiping
- Propane Torch, Heat Gun or Hair Drier - Used by sweeping the heat or flame across the surface of the uncured epoxy to release trapped air bubbles
- Drop Cloths - Should be used to avoid spills on flooring surfaces
Beginners Notes: 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. 1. To avoid most of these common problems, you should always do a trial run with the product to ensure proper understanding of how to mix and apply. 2. Always 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 the most important part of this procedure. 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 without whipping. 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 completely transparent color. 4. Do not whip this product while mixing. Excessive whipping will add a tremendous amount of air bubbles which are difficult to remove. 5. Always scrape the sides of the mixing container and 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. 6. 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.
Project Preparation: For best results, the product should be used in conditions between 70° F to 85° F. 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. It is also important that any prior stains or finishes be completely dry before beginning. Any types of moisture, oils, greases or uncured finishes can potentially cause fish-eyes or product curing problems.The information contained in this bulletin is based on data considered to be accurate and is intended for use by persons having technical skills and know how at their own discretion and risk. Since conditions of use are outside our control, we can not assume liability for results obtained or damage incurred due to misuse, nor can we assume customer liability.
1. Coverage: In order to determine how much to mix you must know your square footage (length x width). When working on large projects it is not necessary to mix the entire amount all at once due to the difficulty in mixing more than two gallons at one time. Mixing multiple batches for one coat is acceptable when they are poured right after each other. Large projects generally require more than one person in order to facilitate proper mixing and pouring within the allotted amount of working time. Seal Coat Coverage Guide (48 square feet per gallon) Area to Cover Total Volume of Epoxy (resin + hardener amounts) _____________________________________________________________ 1 Sq Foot 3oz Total (1½oz Resin+ 1½oz Hardener) 4 Sq Feet 11oz Total (5½oz Resin + 5½oz Hardener) 10 Sq Feet 26oz Total (13oz Resin + 13oz Hardener) 16 Sq Feet 42oz Total (21oz Resin + 21oz Hardener) 24 Sq Feet 64oz Total (32oz Resin + 32oz Hardener) For Large Projects: Use formula of 48 Sq Feet per gallon (½gal Resin + ½gal Hardener) Flood Coat Coverage Guide (12 square feet per gallon) Area to Cover Total Volume of Epoxy (resin + hardener amounts) __________________________________________________________________ 1 Sq Foot 8oz Total (4oz Resin+ 4oz Hardener) 3 Sq Feet 32oz Total (16oz Resin + 16oz Hardener) 7 Sq Feet 80oz Total (40oz Resin + 40oz Hardener) 12 Sq Feet 128oz Total (64oz Resin + 64oz Hardener) 24 Sq Feet 256oz Total (128oz Resin + 128oz Hardener) For Large Projects: Use formula of 12 Sq Feet per gallon (½gal Resin + ½gal Hardener)
2. 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.
3. 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 clean stir stick. 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. Timing this with a watch is a good idea. - The process of mixing is long and will make your wrist tired, but it is the most important part of the project. 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. Mixing must continue until all signs of cloudiness and hazy lines have completely disappeared. Be certain that you scrape the sides of the bucket and the stick while you are mixing. It may be helpful to use a bright light next to the container to ensure the mixture is combined thoroughly. After you are confident there are no more thin, hazy lines remaining in your mix it is time to pour. [Tip 1: 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. Tip 2: 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.]
4. Pouring. 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. 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. Other tools that can be used to pop the bubbles are a heat gun or a hair drier. However, both of these tools move air around which increases the risk of dust settling in the coating. 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.
6. Curing: 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.
Advanced Techniques After becoming familiar with the proper application procedures, these techniques can be attempted.
Embedding Pictures: Objects such as pictures, articles, and maps may be embedded in this product. Some thin paper such as newsprint and magazines must first be sealed with a white glue or similar product. This prevents the epoxy from penetrating the paper and causing a translucent effect. Alternatively, you can laminate thin paper in a plastic to keep the epoxy from coming into direct contact with it. Most photo quality paper does not require these extra steps. Once the papers are properly sealed they can be placed onto your project surface. You should generally wait 30 minutes after applying your seal coat of epoxy before placing the objects. Subsequent flood coats will then cover and embed these objects.
Embedding Solid Objects: Wood, rocks, shells, bottle caps, coins, etc. may be embedded with this product also. All porous objects must be sealed first; either with the epoxy itself or another type of sealers such as shellac, lacquer or polyurethane. If the objects are not properly sealed they will release tiny air bubbles which will form around the object during the flood coats. Placement of these objects may be done before you apply the first seal coat or they can be placed into a previously applied seal coat which has been allowed to sit for 30 minutes. Lightweight items such as bottle caps should be glued down to prevent floating. Embedding Fragile Objects: In order to embed fragile items specials steps can be taken. Using a sprayable aerosol can of polyurethane or lacquer clear coat is a great way to seal your object without touching it. Make sure you follow the directions for the sealer and ensure the object is fully cured before coming in contact with the epoxy.
Thick Build-Ups: This product can be used to build up unlimited depths. Each flood coat should not exceed 3/16”. Attempting to pour thicker can cause the epoxy to generate excessive heat which in turn will cause more air bubbles, possibly cracking and shrinkage. It is advisable to wait at least 4 hours between pours to allow sufficient curing and cooling. While this product is considered clear by epoxy standards, it does have a very slight amber tone. This color is virtually unnoticeable in depths up to 1/2” thick. The color of the epoxy can become noticeable in greater depths especially over light colored surfaces.
Damming The Edges: We generally recommend allowing the epoxy to run over the edges of your surface as it will self-level at approximately 1/8” at a time. If your application calls for a temporary dam to be constructed it must be done with great care to insure it can be removed after the epoxy is cured. Ideally, a smooth, soft or flexible plastic strip should be used because the epoxy will not stick to it. Alternatively, wooden trim can be used but only if it is first covered with a 2 to 4 mil plastic sheeting. Lining the wood trim with the plastic and tacking it to the edge should prevent the epoxy from running in between the edge and the plastic. Testing on a small mock up should be done to ensure no leakage or problems will occur with your damming technique.