Removing Bubbles in Epoxy Resin
So, you've poured and spread the epoxy resin for your artistic project or DIY task, and now you're wondering how to handle the bubbles that are forming. This is a common occurrence, and nothing to worry about. In fact, bubbles can continue to develop for 60 minutes in epoxy resin after the curing process has begun. The most efficient way to remove them is to run a blowtorch or heat gun over the surface of your resin at a height of about eight inches. This will gently heat the resin - and the bubbles will pop out.
There are some tips to try to keep the formation of bubbles to a minimum. None of these tips are required, but using a few or all of them will help minimize the volume of bubbles that form in your project:
#1 – HEAT YOUR RESIN ONLY NOT HARDENER
Warm the resin by dipping it into a bowl full of warm, NOT hot, water - prior to mixing
Warming the resin, and not the hardener, allows the resin to mix better with the hardener. A warmer room results in fewer bubbles, too.
#2 – MIX BOTH RESIN AND HARDENER SLOWLY.
Don’t rush! Take your time mixing. Take the full 3 to 5 minutes to carefully and slowly blend them for the first mix and an additional 3 minutes for the second mix.
NOTE: Stirring too quickly can cause many more air bubbles to occur, and they can be harder to get out.
#3 – WAIT A FEW MINUTES AFTER YOU’VE COMPLETED MIXING THE RESIN AND HARDENER.
This allows the resin to begin popping on its own - (degassing)
NOTE: Remember this does cut into the pot time (the working time you have before the resin hardens too much to work with)
#4 – STIR UPWARDS SLOWLY AND BRING SOME OF THE LARGER AIR BUBBLES TO THE SURFACE
Blowing on the surface as you do this can help
#5 – YOU CAN USE A STRAW TO BLOW ON THE SURFACE TO TARGET SPECIFIC BUBBLES.
Especially when applied in thin layers, this is effective.
#6 – USING A HAND LIGHTER
Be careful don’t keep the flame on the resin for too long allowing the resin to cool. Make sure to do it quickly and after you’ve let your work de-gas on its own. (with smaller projects)
Caution: If you overuse the flame, the cured product will have a grainy, almost sticky texture on the surface instead of a smooth, slick surface.
#7 - IF YOU’RE USING CASTING RESIN
Use a toothpick to pop the bubbles from corners and then you can blow on the surface or use your hand torch.
You need to physically move them with a toothpick toward the center of the mold to pop them.
#8 WORK IN THIN LAYERS.
When working with thin layers, fewer bubbles tend to develop and are easier to remove.
Epoxy resin is a versatile and flexible material that provides a great variety of creative and practical options for imaginative artwork and DIY task performance. The bubbles created during curing should be a minor issue to deal with - and not distract from artistic endeavors and project accomplishments!