What Is Epoxy?
Epoxy is formed when you mix resin with hardener. It is also known as a polyepoxide. The two come in liquid form. When mixed together they slowly become a solid that is crystal clear and extremely durable. It is a thermoset plastic that once dried will leave a coating that is typically 1/8” thick along the surface area. This is ideal for protecting wood so that you do not have to worry about water damage or scratches, but it also has many other uses.
It can be used as a coating or an adhesive. You can use it to attach items that are decorative to wood or glass and then put a layer of epoxy over it to protect your creative ideas. Although you should consider using grout or some other type of filling as well; it can be used to seal up gaps between wooden slats or over tile so that you can worry less about buildup attaching to the grout.
Wood Countertops & Tables
Working with wooden countertops and tables is among the easiest. To prep the surface, you may want to use a sander to remove imperfections that you do not want sealed inside. This is also the best time to re-stain it if you have the hopes of changing the wood color slightly while keeping the natural woodgrain look of it. Remove all dust from the surface using a damp cloth. Anytime you work with epoxy, you should expect some run off or dripping. One great idea is tacking a piece of wood around the edge of your surface. It is the best way to ensure you will not have drips. You can also use painters tape to help you slow down the drips. Either option will require removing the tape or wood as soon as the table top mixture begins to harden.
For the first coat, you will want to mix up a small amount and pour it, coating the surface area thoroughly, but lightly. This will be the coat that initially seals the surface. Most of the bubbles that are going to form, will form during this time, but if you choose the right epoxy and coat it lightly enough; air bubbles will leave the epoxy before it hardens. You should allow this first layer of epoxy to dry completely over a few hours before adding other layers. Other layers can be thicker, and you should not have to deal with air bubbles developing.
If you want a creative idea for your wood surfaces, you can add photographs and other small items before you apply the first layer of epoxy. To do this, you need to plan. Print out the pictures that you want to add, choose wooden letters, find leaves and flowers that are dried, or anything else that you want to add. Attach them to the wood surface using clear glue. You may want to seal them with glue as well to ensure that they do not add more air bubbles to the surface area. Once the glue and sealant has dried, you can start adding the epoxy using the thin layer and following up with thicker layers.