How to Fix Epoxy Mistakes: Ten Common Epoxy Resin Problems
Whether you're a beginner or have been working with epoxy resin for awhile, there are some mistakes that you might run into. These can make working with resin frustrating if you're unfamiliar with them. However, learning great epoxy practices doesn't have to be intimidating or difficult. Keep these how-to-fix-resin-mistakes tips in mind every time you approach a new project.
Reading Through Instructions
Although you may be excited to get started on your project right away, we highly recommend reading through our product instructions entirely before use. This will help ensure that you don't miss any steps along the way and help you understand the particulars of our products.
Choosing the wrong epoxy for your project
Understanding the different uses for the variety of epoxies we have available is crucial for ensuring the best result for your project. For instance, think about how deep of a pour you are trying to achieve. Some resins, like our ProPour Casting Resin, are specifically formulated for deeper pours. However, you can only pour up to 1.5 inches of this resin per application.
Typical missteps with mixing involve under-mixing your resin and not mixing it thoroughly. Spend several minutes carefully stirring your resin. You are looking to eliminate signs of any swirls in the mixture. Also, mixing slowly will help you reduce the presence of bubbles.
Make sure you're also mixing with the proper tools. Use something like a stir stick and a mixing container with minimal ridges, so that you're able to scrape the sides and bottom of the container while you mix.
Do not mix resin formulas. Even if they're both ProMarine Supplies products, if they are not the same formula, the project could be affected negatively. If you have extra unmixed resin leftover, it is best to store it away in a cool, dry, and dark place for another time.
Wrong temperature for pouring
Environment temperature is incredibly important for the curing of resin. If the temperature of the room is too cold (lower than the recommended temperature for what you’re using) the resin will not cure properly. Likewise, if the resin itself is not that recommended temperature or warmer, the result will be unsatisfactory. You run the risk of inconsistent texture and micro-bubbles forming. In order to combat cold resin, you can warm the sealed bottles up in a warm bath for 10 to 15 minutes.
Adding too much dye/pigment
Including too much dye or pigment, especially if it's a liquid colorant, can mess with the consistency of your resin. Your additives should equal no more than 5% of your total mixture. If too much is added, you may not get the color you're hoping for. That's why it's always best to start with a small amount. For coloring, a little bit goes a long way!
Uneven epoxy surfaces
When pouring resin for your projects, make certain that work surfaces and project materials are level and flat. Resin is self-leveling, which means that if you have enough, it will flow more easily to fill the space without the use of tools. However, it's a good idea to use tools to level out the epoxy anyway, just to make sure you have a complete and even cover.
A great rule for measuring out how much resin to use is to have a little more prepared than what you calculated you need. This ensures you have enough to fill all the space available and you can use the extra resin in another mold if you have one around.
To fix uneven resin surfaces that are already cured, you will have to make sure there is no debris in the resin. You can use isopropyl alcohol and a rag to clean it. Then, sand down the surface to even it and apply a second coat of resin.
Since our epoxy resin products have different ratios, it's always important to be aware of what the measurements of the specific product you are using are. For instance, if you are using our Table Top Epoxy or our ProArt Epoxy, it is measured in a 1-to-1 by volume ratio. This is one part side A to 1 part side B.
It helps to have graduated measuring cups so that you can see how much of the product you are pouring out. You want to avoid 'eyeballing' or guessing at the correct amount and be as accurate as you possibly can. Keep in mind that the smaller the amount that you’re measuring out, the more accurate you need to be.
Do not allow water, whether left over in measuring cups or mixing tools, to come into contact with the resin. While it's important for your tools to be clean before also coming in contact with resin, make sure they are dry as well. Moisture can negatively affect the curing process. This is why it’s also crucial to make sure additives aren’t water-based and to dry or seal anything like wood or flowers.
Waiting Too Long to Use Product
Sometimes customers will purchase a product and wait too long to use it. The problem with this is that our products have a shelf life of one year whether it’s been opened or not. This means there is a chance that the resin may not cure properly after this shelf life. You can always test this, if it's been a long time, by doing a small test pour.
Incorrect Storage of Product
There are many factors to consider when storing your resin. You want to store it in a cool dark place, where it won't get too hot or be in direct sunlight. Heat and sunlight can affect the unmixed resin and cause it to yellow early or be more susceptible to heat damage. Although you shouldn't pour resin cold, you can warm the bottles up in a warm water bath before use.
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