Pouring epoxy resin is a pretty straightforward task. Once you've finished mixing it up, you just take the container and tilt it over the surface of your substrate.
However, that doesn't mean there aren't ways to do it better. There are several small details that often get overlooked when it comes to pouring resin. By taking them into account and making small adjustments to how you pour your epoxy, you can get a cleaner, more consistent pour that will prevent various blemishes from appearing and save you the hassle of having to fix and fine-tune things later.
In this article we'll give 5 excellent tips for pouring epoxy resin.
5 Tips on How to Pour Resin
With each part of the epoxy process, there are several things you can do to optimize your results and achieve that perfect finish. The pouring step is no different.
Here's a list of 5 tips that will help you achieve a perfect pour.
- Tip #1: Pour your resin slowly, and keep it close to the substrate surface.
- Tip #2: While pouring, squeeze your mixing container to direct the flow better.
- Tip #3: Smoothly pour your way across the substrate surface as you pour.
- Tip #4: Never scrape out leftover resin from your container.
- Tip #5: For thick finishes, apply multiple layers instead of one oversized layer.
Below, we've written more about each tip.
Tip #1: Pour Your Resin Slowly and Keep It Close to the Substrate Surface
The first thing to be mindful of is how quickly you pour your epoxy. When epoxy moves, there's a chance for it to pull in air. This can occur during mixing and also while pouring.
By pouring it slowly (at a reasonable pace) and keeping your container near the surface (a few inches away over it), you can reduce the amount of air that the epoxy takes in as it flows.
Though air can be removed after the resin coating has settled a bit, it's always nicer to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Did you know: Air also comes from pores in a substrate. Always apply an epoxy seal coat to porous materials before you pour.
Tip #2: While Pouring, Squeeze the Container to Direct the Flow Better
Most mixing containers used for epoxy are flexible. This means that when you're pouring your epoxy, you can gently squeeze the container rim to tighten the flow path.
This allows you to better control where the epoxy ends up, which is very useful for attempts at produce complex patterns or when trying to create imagery using colorants.
Tip #3: Smoothly Pour Across Your Substrate Surface as You Pour.
Most good table top epoxy will be self-leveling. This means it spreads out naturally on its own until it reaches equilibrium at a certain thickness. While this is excellent and sort of a failsafe, you can assist the process by pouring carefully across the entire substrate to help it spread out better.
Doing this accomplishes a couple things. For one, it enables you to see how it's going to look as it settles and react to that if you need to make quick adjustments. Secondly, helping this play out faster allows you to make a quick batch to add to the original if you find out there wasn't quite enough.
Tip #4: Never scrape out leftover resin from your container.
This next tip is a little less intuitive.
When applying your epoxy resin after mixing a batch, make sure you never scrape out any leftover resin residue from the container. This residue is normal in mixing and is indicative of components that didn't manage to fully blend together.
Epoxy residue won't cure properly and should not be used in your finish. Once you finish pouring what's working, dispose of the rest. Never reuse containers.
This issue can be mitigated by adhering to proper mixing technique. Always read the included instructions for your chosen brand of epoxy.
Tip #5: Pour multiple layers as needed to avoid air bubbles.
An individual layer of epoxy resin will have a natural layer thickness that it settles at. When that thickness is insufficient for your goals, you should always do additional layers, rather than attempting to do a single, thicker layer.
The reason for this is that the epoxy resin's self-leveling trait is determined by its viscosity. Higher viscosity means a thicker natural layer, but it also means that air has more trouble escaping from it.
To avoid excessive air bubbles, the best way to handle this situation is to:
- Pour a layer at normal thickness.
- Remove any air bubbles
- Let that layer partially cure (about 4 to 6 hours, 10 at the most)
- Then apply another layer on top, repeating the process until you're satisfied.
This will ensure minimal bubble formation (as well as preventing other blemishes) and make it easier to remove and clean up the finish at the beginning of the curing process.
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