Epoxy coatings are becoming more and more popular these days for tables, bar tops, works of art, and many other things. In addition to their durability, resilience and clarity, epoxy coatings can also be buffed to remove imperfections, small scratches, or just to increase the shine by performing a few basic steps. The components needed to perform this are dependent on the condition of the surface.
Epoxy with a wavy surface, scratches, or an otherwise inconsistent surface will need to be wet-sanded first. Before beginning, protect the surrounding floor area, as it will become wet. This task will require an assortment of sandpaper designed for wet or dry use, including 220, 320, 400, 500, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, and 4000-grit. Using a sanding block that is very flat and true is also required to promote the best finish. Wet the sandpaper in a small bucket of clean water, or use a spray bottle and mist the surface to begin. Start with the coarse grits and sand the entire surface for consistency, taking extreme care to promote flatness. Dip the sandpaper in the water as needed to keep good lubrication while sanding. Wipe the surface clean with a clean towel or rag between coats, or you can hose it off with clean water. As you work through with slightly finer grits of sandpaper, be very thorough to sand completely. Each step up in grit is to remove the sanding scratches of the previous sandpaper grit, so it is worth the effort to be thorough and diligent. The final appearance should be a very smooth and finely hazed surface, uniform in sheen, with no sanding streaks at all. Use fresh water and a dry towel or rag to remove all sanding residue, if there is any, before proceeding to the next step.
The next step is to buff and polish the surface. This part of the process will bring out the smooth, shiny surface. A buffer/polisher machine, a polishing material, and an appropriate polishing pad or sponge will be needed to perform the next task. For small surfaces, a drill with a small polishing pad can be used, but regardless if it is a large or small project, a variable speed tool is required for this so that the tool can spin fast enough for the polish to work, but does not build up too much heat on the surface. There are many polishes available, from machine polishes, plastic polishes, and other compound materials. Polishes that are designed for wood also work. Some products even come in 2- or 3-stage kits, working from coarse to fine. Follow the directions on the product, and use an appropriate pad or sponge for the polish material. Use the polishing tool at the speeds recommended, being careful not to burn the surface or cause swirls on the surface. There are also hand polishes available to use, but be very careful to follow the directions on the product label. Once finished, carefully remove any polish residue from the surface with a clean microfiber cloth, taking extreme caution not to induce any new swirls or streaks.
Wax products can also be applied to protect the surface and promote the highest gloss. There are a multitude of wax products ranging from furniture wax, carnauba waxes, and tabletop waxes. Be sure to pick one that matches the desired application, and apply it as directed.
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