One of the most common issues that customers find after their TotalBoat TableTop Epoxy has cured is little white spots or bubbles.
Bubbles can come from a couple of different sources. Epoxy itself can create bubbles as part of the reaction of the resin and hardener, so it is very important when using a thicker epoxy material, such as TotalBoat TableTop Epoxy, to apply it in thin coats, as directed on the product. When it is applied too thickly, the bubbles naturally try to rise to the surface and get trapped. Waving a heat gun or hair dryer can help warm the epoxy for just a few seconds, helping these bubbles to rise to the surface and pop more easily by means of convection. This can help when the epoxy is first poured, but should not be done any more than 15-20 minutes after pouring TableTop Epoxy.
Applying TableTop Epoxy to a bare wood substrate can also create bubbles if the wood has not been previously sealed. Wood naturally has air in the grain, and when an epoxy coating is applied to it, the epoxy displaces some of the air. The epoxy also warms up as it cures, causing any air to rise from inside the wood up to the surface via convection. These bubbles may get trapped in the epoxy during their journey from inside the wood to the surface as the epoxy cures. Sealing the surface thoroughly with a thin seal coat of epoxy or varnish, then letting the seal coat cure prior to applying TableTop Epoxy, can prevent bubbles that would originate from the wood.
Aggressively mixing epoxy can whip microscopic air bubbles into the epoxy making it look white or cloudy. Always mix slowly, steadily, and thoroughly. Do not use a drill mixer or 'whip' the epoxy when mixing, as it will create many little bubbles that can be a challenge to alleviate once the epoxy is poured.
White spots, and cloudiness or hazing in epoxy are commonly caused by moisture, dampness, or other contaminants. Clear epoxy products such as TotalBoat TableTop will develop white spots as a sign of water or moisture from the air, in a substrate, or from any other sources. The best way to avoid having white spots is to prevent them by only applying TableTop Epoxy when the epoxy can go through its entire cure process without being exposed to moisture or damp conditions. Wood or other porous items that are being coated in the epoxy should be allowed to dry for a minimum of a few days first. Do not apply epoxy in high humidity conditions, or when rain, dew, fog, or any other forms of moisture can settle on the surface. Spots can also come up by embedding things that have surface contamination, or using colorants, tints, or other effects that are not compatible with the epoxy.
Always ensure that any substrates that will be in contact with the epoxy are clean and free of any surface contamination, all wood substrates have been previously sealed, and apply thin coats of TableTop Epoxy. For best results, only use approved colorants, tints, or other effects, do not apply epoxy when humidity or any form of moisture may affect the cure, and always stir slowly to avoid inducing any extra air bubbles.