Achieving the best possible finish starts at the beginning, before any epoxy is mixed or applied.
- The substrate must be thoroughly and completely cleaned to remove any contaminants.
- In places where ambient dust can be an issue, misting the floor with water can help keep dust down right before applying any epoxy, but it is extremely important not to get any of the water or mist in the epoxy, or on the surface that is to be epoxied.
- The ambient temperature, surface temperature of the substrate, and the temperature of the epoxy is very important, and it should be within the temperature range specified by the epoxy manufacturer. Also, do not apply epoxy if the humidity is too high, or it can dull the finish, or even give it a hazy look.
- Dispensing the epoxy to the correct mix ratio is extremely important. Adding more or less harder does not affect the cure speed. Epoxies are chemically designed to a specific ratio of the resin and hardener components, which must be followed very accurately to ensure the best possible finish.
- Thoroughly mixing the two epoxy components is the next crucial step. Whipping and stirring quickly will induce lots of microscopic bubbles, so mix slowly, by hand, scraping the sides and the bottom of the mixing pot completely.
- We strongly recommended that you use the 2-cup mixing method. Start by mixing in one mixing cup, then transfer the mixture to a second mixing cup and continue stirring. This will reduce the chance of encountering any resin-rich or hardener-rich areas of epoxy that were on the bottom of the first cup.
- For bare wood substrates, always apply a thin seal coat of epoxy to seal up the pores and the grain of the wood, then allow it to cure until it is just slightly tacky, prior to adding a flood coat of epoxy. Warm the wood to at least 90°F, if possible, before applying the seal coat, which will help ensure that the epoxy flows into the grain, reducing the chance for air bubbles on any flood coats.
- Allow the epoxy to cure under the specified temperature conditions, without being used for at least 2-4 days. Epoxy products can take up to 7 days for a complete cure (depending on the product used), even if the surface feels hard and tack-free within just a few hours. The epoxy will continue to harden throughout the cure process, which will preserve the fine finish on the surface.