Using Epoxy in Your Woodworking Projects

Epoxies can be used in a lot of interesting, creative ways in woodworking projects of all types. You can use them to create water effects, glow in the dark effects, neon colors, glitter effects and much more.

If you’ve never worked with epoxy before, you might not realize just how difficult it can be to create a perfect glossy finish without bubbling or unevenness. Here are some tips from a lumber store in Franklin County, MA to help you get the best possible results out of your epoxy work in your next woodworking project.

Surface preparation

You must prepare the surface of the wood thoroughly before applying the epoxy. The surface should be sanded, clean and dry. Sanding with the grain will not only ensure the smoothness of the wood, but it will also improve the aesthetics of the finish.

When you’re sure all dust and potential contamination is cleared from the wood, you’re clear to begin working with the epoxy. Make sure the temperature of the area is a comfortable indoor temperature—about 18 degrees Celsius. Otherwise you could have problems with the wood fibers expanding while you’re adding the epoxy to it.

Epoxy application

Generally you will want to apply multiple thin layers of epoxy rather than one single thick coat. Begin by rolling on a small layer of epoxy with a foam roller, then drag that epoxy into other areas in sections as level as you can. Using this method will help prevent the formation of too many air bubbles.

The first coat might come out a little rough, especially if you’re working with woods that have naturally coarser grains. No worries, though—allow the first layer to fully cure, then lightly sand the surface and clean off the dust before applying the next coating. Otherwise, you’ll generally want to apply the next coat when the epoxy is a little bit tacky, sort of like masking tape. You should be able to make a fingernail impression in the epoxy, but if you can’t, wait until it fully cures and then lightly sand the surface before applying the next coat.

If you see air bubbles starting to form in the surface, you should eliminate those bubbles before the epoxy cures. Use a hot air blower or, with the proper amount of care and precision, a propane torch to remove those bubbles. This process reduces the viscosity of the epoxy, which in turn frees the air in those bubbles. If you do not get rid of the bubbles in the epoxy, they will appear in the finished product and result in an uneven surface.

Finally, make sure you follow all of the instructions on the labeling of your epoxy product when mixing and preparing it for use. Most epoxies are one to one mixtures, meaning you need the exact same amount of each material in a single mixture. Try to avoid mixing up too much at once to start with.

For more information about using epoxies in your woodworking projects, contact a lumber store in Franklin County, MA.