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If you have never heard of epoxy before, there are some things you should know before choosing to use epoxy for countertop resurfacing. Make sure you know all the pros and cons before moving forward with epoxy as it can greatly save you money in the long run.
Epoxy can be a great DIY project as long as you follow all directions carefully. It can also be a more cost-effective way to cover existing damage on your countertops. Let’s review some of the must-knows before beginning to use epoxy.
In This Post:
- 1. You Will Need to Spend Some Time Researching
- 2. Make Sure to Practice
- 3. Covering Your Furniture Is Necessary
- 4. A Skim Coat May Be Necessary
- 5. Intense Measuring Is Needed
- 6. Know the Facts
- 7. A Professional Might Be Needed
- 8. You Might Want to Adjust the Thermostat
- 9. Mix Carefully
- 10. You Can Manipulate It
- 11. You’ll Have to Torch After Pouring
- Choosing Quartz
1. You Will Need to Spend Some Time Researching
Epoxy has some pretty strict instructions that need to be followed. We suggest you watch some video tutorials or speak with someone who has used epoxy before. It is not a process to begin lightly or without knowing exactly what needs to be done.
Try to research and get as much information as you can before starting.
2. Make Sure to Practice
Since epoxy needs to be poured and torched in a specific way it is also a good idea to practice. Try pouring some sample pieces to guarantee that you have the technique down.
Some companies even offer testing kits to try at home before committing.
3. Covering Your Furniture Is Necessary
Epoxy can be a very messy job even for someone who is experienced. You will want to completely mask anything that is even remotely near the epoxy. This could include the floor, the cabinets, under the cabinets, and the place where you are mixing the epoxy components.
4. A Skim Coat May Be Necessary
Depending on the material of your counters, a skim coat may be necessary before you can begin to pour the epoxy itself. This is most common for porous surfaces such as wood or granite. The skim coat is an important process and should not be skipped.
It will help to seal the material and avoid air bubbles in the final product.
5. Intense Measuring Is Needed
Make sure to have accurate square footage and buy accordingly. It is recommended that you buy slightly more materials for the epoxy to make sure that you can cover all the surfaces and have some leftover.
This is crucial for covering any craters or other mistakes that may pop up. The quicker they are covered the less likely they are to be noticeable later.
6. Know the Facts
Curing is the most important word you may hear when it comes to epoxy. In order for your counters to be able to be used, the epoxy needs about 12-24 hours to cure. This does not mean you can now use your counters like normal though.
It can take up to 30 days for the counter to be fully cured. So, for the first month or so you need to be extremely careful with your counters. Do not put heavy objects on the counter as things could leave a dent or impression.
For the first 30 days, the counter will not be scratch or heat resistant either.
7. A Professional Might Be Needed
Some people opt to use a professional after realizing how difficult doing epoxy can be. A professional may be able to do it much quicker than you can. They also know some tried and true tricks that minimize problems and mistakes.
If you still want to DIY, ask for advice at the local hardware store or from the local contractor.
8. You Might Want to Adjust the Thermostat
The temperature in your home can greatly affect the epoxy process. The ideal temperature for your home is 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is below this the cure can be much softer than it needs to be. This could greatly affect durability.
The epoxy itself also needs to be 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures should be kept throughout the whole process, including 2-3 days before you start and 24 hours after you have finished.
9. Mix Carefully
The ratio should always be 1:1 for the two ingredients needed for epoxy. This is the most important part of the whole epoxy process. Badly mixed epoxy could result in soft spots and other problems.
10. You Can Manipulate It
Epoxy can be reset and manipulated the most within the first 40-45 minutes. It is easiest to do with a brush. Then you can pour a new layer over the part that was removed with the brush.
Many people get nervous and rush through the pouring. While the pouring does need to be done promptly, you should also take your time. Don’t be nervous. If you mess up, simply pull out the area that does not look good. Just remember to do it quickly.
11. You’ll Have to Torch After Pouring
It is possible to over torch the epoxy, so only torch the necessary amount. The torching process is meant to get out any bubbles that may have formed during the pouring process. If you over pop the bubbles or get the torch too close, you can easily put burn marks into the epoxy.
You can see now that epoxy can be a tasking process. It takes research, time to make, and time to get your kitchen back to full use. While it can be cost-effective if done correctly, the problems make many people avoid it.
One of the most popular alternatives is quartz countertops. They are much more durable, easy to get installed, and resistant to virtually everything.
The installation for quartz usually only takes one day. It is engineered off-site and then brought to your home and installed. Sometimes within a matter of just a few hours. It is ready to be used as soon as it is installed, so no waiting 30 days like you would with epoxy.
While epoxy can be very durable, quartz is even more so. It is completely resistant to mold, mildew, bacteria, scratches, dents, and stains. It is also pretty heat resistant. Click here to see how quartz countertops could change your kitchen forever.