Epoxy Resin – Smoothing out the ‘Bumps in the Road’…

In our projects, as in our lives, we at times encounter some unevenness that needs to be addressed; whether by smoothing out or leveling off, the challenge of uneven surfaces can be conquered. When tackling a repair, construction or creative project – if the surface is uneven and you desire a smooth, level consistent finish for your project (and who doesn’t?); working with epoxy resin and its self-leveling properties will help you realize the results you desire.

Epoxy resin is most easily applied to clean, dry and level surfaces. Some projects however, require working with uneven surfaces like table or bar tops made of specialty woods, or creative artworks like jewelry or paintings – and therefore require a bit more preparation for best results. To begin with, surfaces for epoxy resin application should be:

  • Clean - surfaces to be bonded or coated with epoxy resin should be free of contaminants or detritus such as grease, oil, dirt, sawdust, etc – anything that will inhibit the bonding process should be removed. Clean surfaces with solvent or sand  if needed, then wipe down completely
  • Dry – to ensure proper adhesion, epoxy should only be used on dry surfaces. Use lint-free cloths or paper towels – then circulate air with a fan, hair dryer or hot air gun as needed until dry
  • Sanded – non-porous surfaces may be lightly sanded to provide a bit of texture for adhesion. Again, be sure to wipe off sanding residue for best results

When working with materials that aren’t smooth, for instance making a table out of “rugged” wood; the knotholes and other cavities need to be “leveled out” (after surface sanding) with a first coat of epoxy resin to ensure a smooth final finish. In the example here from inhabitat.com titled, “HOW TO: Make a stunning wooden table with glow-in-the-dark resin infill,” the cavities in the wood aren’t just filled – but also highlighted with a colorful additive – adding a creative touch to this DIY project.

Please note that epoxy resin should be applied in full 1/8” coats to properly self-level. Applying coats that are too thin can make for uneven or rippling effects on the finish as can the application of too much heat during the drying process. For more information on this, read “Troubleshooting for uneven surface with ripples or waves, after curing.”

With proper preparation, application and curing – your epoxy resin project will shine – and so will you!

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