What is Epoxy Resin? & How to use it!
You may well have seen some really cool makers' projects using epoxy resin recently. Epoxy resins are popular with creators due to their strong bonding capabilities and transparent appearance. In simple terms, epoxy resins are forms of plastic.
They have become more and more popular with makers in recent years due to their ability to produce truly wonderful surface finishes, just another reason why DIY enthusiasts love them. The two main components of epoxy resin are (A) the Resin & (B) the hardener. When these two components are mixed together, they form a chemical reaction that causes the liquid mixture to harden into a robust, solid material.
Epoxy resin’s transparent appearance is one of its key features. Its clean, glossy finish makes it a brilliant choice for use in a variety of applications, from coating furniture to being used as a general adhesive.
It is particularly good for furniture due to its capacity for self-levelling. As epoxy resin is a liquid before it hardens into a solid, it evenly fills and conforms to the shape of a container before hardening. Epoxy resins flow and settle evenly, hence their smooth, high-end finishes.
Epoxy Resins’ self-levelling makes it particularly useful when working with uneven surfaces.
As well as its aesthetic qualities and self-levelling, another brilliant benefit of using an epoxy resin is that it is incredibly durable, making it perfect for use in DIY projects.
How to use Epoxy Resin
One of the most important things to bear in mind before using an epoxy resin is the time it needs to set and harden. Most commonly known as curing time, this duration is crucial as this is when the liquid stabilizes into its strong stable form. Depending on the specific project, this process can last hours and even days!
Curing time can be sped up if the epoxy resin is left to settle and set in the right conditions. For example, epoxy resins left to cure in a warm room tend to harden faster than in a standard temperature. It is widely agreed that the optimum temperature for epoxy resins to cure is between 75f and 85f, or 24c to 30c, however this is when using a fast hardener. If you're using a slow hardener the room should be cool.
Epoxy Resins are a fantastic choice for makers looking to create a stunning, high quality and durable finish to their project. Whether you’re an artist aiming to create a sculpture of a DIY enthusiast looking to create a finish for some customer furniture, epoxy resins are a reliable and versatile option to facilitate your creative vision.
Why not check out the epoxy resin products in our store?
Top Tips for Epoxy Resin Beginners
- Choose the right epoxy resin - There are many different epoxies available to makers for their projects. However, not every epoxy is suitable for a specific project. For example, tabletop epoxy isn’t suitable for filling voids, meaning it can’t be used for a project like a river table.
- Think about your materials - Due to the heat that epoxy resins can generate when curing, they can actually melt through popular materials like Melamine. This can seriously damage your project.
- Properly mix your epoxy resin - This is potentially the most critical element of ensuring a good pour. If your resin and hardener aren’t fully mixed, then some areas will not be set and your project is doomed. Mix the A & B in one container, then transfer that contents into a new container and mix again. Do not scrape your epoxy off your stick into your project! This can be disastrous. Make sure to mix thoroughly!
- Use a fast hardener for small projects and a slow harder for larger ones.
- If you're using a fast harder, make sure you have a good warm room temperature, around 75f and 85f, or 24c to 30c is best. If you're using a slow hardener, the room should be slighter and cooler if pouring a large amount.
- Always wear gloves and face protection, epoxy can be dangerous and cause skin irritations if you don't follow the safety guidelines. Always work safely!