What is epoxy resin?
Epoxy resin is a type of resin well known for its chemicals resistance, good electrical properties, strength and low absorption of moisture. Epoxy resin is used in:
- Metal coatings
- Electronic and electrical components
- Electrical insulators
- Fiber-reinforced plastic materials
- Structural adhesives
And lately the epoxy resin is in hype because of its use in surfaces, especially tables with a water look-alike effect.
The river table fever
A lot of people are talking about a certain river table made with epoxy resin. The table is made of wood, epoxy resin and blue pigment. You can see a lot of DIYs teaching how to make this tables (although it may not be as simple as “DIY” implies).
How to use epoxy resin?
Many may feel the urge to try something like this at home, so there’s a few important things you must know about how to use epoxy resin.
How long does epoxy resin take to dry?
Given its chemical properties, usually the epoxy resin is molded in high temperatures (50-100°C). To use the epoxy resin at room temperature it is necessary to add some curing agent – also referred to as catalysts, hardeners or accelerators. With the hardener, the time necessary for the resin to dry is about 72 hours.
But it’s highly recommended to check the manufacturer instructions.
How to polish epoxy resin?
Polishing the dry resin gives the material a shiny, lustrous cover. You will need the following materials:
- Wet/dry polishing paper in graduated grits from 600 to 1,500 (the higher the number, the finer the sand is)
- Bucket or other container for water
- Polishing compound (preferably also labelled as a fine scratch remover)
- Buffing wheel or polishing tool (for large surfaces of resin) or microfiber cloth (for small surfaces)
The first step to polish epoxy resin is to clean the surface of the table (or object), removing all kind of dirt.
The second step is to wet the surface (with a spray bottle or just spilling the water) – wet polishing will give you a smoother finish than dry sanding. Besides it minimizes the dusting.
Third step: sand the surface with a 600 grit polishing paper. Sand the entire surface of the resin 2-3 times before moving to the fourth step.
The fourth and following steps are to repeat third step with increasingly finer grit sandpaper, until reach the 1,500 grit. Therefore: sand the surface 2-3 times with 600 grit paper, then with 800 grit paper and so on.
Now, remove all the grit or dust remaining on the surface. It is important that no residue is on the surface for the final step which is the polishing.
At last, apply the polishing compound all over the surface, then use the buffing wheel along. Always keep the wheel moving in a circular motion. Do it until the resin is shiny and smooth.
Did we help with your doubts? Do you have a special technique for epoxy resin? Leave it on the comments!