We’re taught from a young age the physics of liquids – that they will change their shape to fill the space in which they’re poured. And now you’ve done exactly that, but instead of a smooth, flat surface from end to end, you’ve found something simply unsatisfying.
It may seem like simple math to mix the volume of epoxy needed for your project and just pour all at once. But if you pour more than directed, your work has only just begun.
The Short Answer
The cause of uneven, dimpled, or warped epoxy is more often than not improper mixing. It is of the utmost importance that you follow the instructions and mix thoroughly. Otherwise, different areas of the poured layer will contain different ratios of the resin and the hardener, resulting in a less-than-perfect cure. The solution now is to scrape away any uncured epoxy, sand, and repour a new layer of epoxy – after mixing thoroughly accurately, of course.
The Long Answer
Epoxy Resin hardens as a result of a very temperamental chemical reaction that produces heat. This is called an exothermic reaction.
Disturbances in this reaction are what cause imperfections, like unevenness in the form of dimples, waves, or warped epoxy. The most common contributor to this mistake is an incorrect ratio of the part A liquid resin to the part B hardener in the poured mixture.
Incorrect ratios will lead to improper curing of the epoxy. Too much of part A liquid resin will likely result in a tacky epoxy surface. Too much of part B hardener will likely result in a rubbery, uneven, warped epoxy surface.
Another likely reason for your uneven epoxy is that you have not used enough mixture to begin with. And so, the epoxy layer will be thicker in the areas you poured over in comparison to the thinner areas in which that epoxy was left to run and spread.
It is a good measure to always mix just a little more than you think you will need. It’s quite the hassle trying to measure and mix more epoxy in time.
In either case, the solution requires you to physically level the surface and then repour a new layer. Any uncured epoxy will need to be scraped off first, but then you can sand and clean the surface before mixing and pouring a new batch of epoxy.
How To Fix Uneven Epoxy
While it is always unpleasant to find yourself facing a flaw in your handiwork, the road to fixing uneven or warped epoxy takes only a few easy steps.
If there are still any areas of uncured epoxy residing in your work, you must first thoroughly scrape off all of the uncured resin. Wish as we might, it will not magically cure if your attempt to fix it is only pouring a new layer of epoxy on top of it – nor will that new layer cure in those areas either. So you have to scrape down to give yourself a solid foundation. That is, a base layer of only cured epoxy, or the original itself. Be sure to get all the uncured epoxy off, but be mindful of how hard you scrape – large indentations or scratches in a foundation like a wooden board will be visibly evident even in the final result.
1. Just dealing with cured epoxy, the first step is to sand down the entire surface until smooth. In the event you found uncured epoxy beforehand, you now have to rid the piece of all of the jagged dents and scratches made in the epoxy while scraping. Either way, sanding is done in order to rough up the surface of the epoxy enough so that the next layer will properly adhere to the first one. Use a clean, lint free cloth or an air compressor to remove the dust.
2. Now it is time to mix and pour a new thin layer of epoxy resin. Be sure to follow the instructions closely to prepare this small batch and mix thoroughly using clean supplies. Then, pour over the entire piece and let this layer sit for 4 hours – no more than 10. This timing ensures that this first thin layer will be cured enough to set the layer, but still chemically soft enough to bond with the next thicker layer.
- Important note: Repour over the whole piece, not just the damaged areas. This leaves a seamless look, with no evidence of the project’s former condition.
3. Finally, prepare and pour a thicker layer over your project, taking care to cover the formerly damaged areas. This should leave your project with a smooth and level coating. Leave your project to cure completely, be sure to cover it so no contaminants like dust or debris will damage the final result after all your hard work!
Do It Right The Next Time:
Here are a list of preventative measures worth taking to avoid flaws the next time around!
– Read your instructions. Then read them again. Intentional or not, deviating from instructions is the most common cause for imperfections.
– Before pouring, always level your piece. This ensures reliable, even results.
– Pour thinner layers. You’re sure to have learned by now that epoxy is a temperamental thing. While this means increasing the number of pours, it also means greatly reducing the risk of a thick layer overheating and forming imperfections. We say the extra effort is worth it.
– Use a short and wide cylindrical container for preparing the resin and hardener, this makes thorough mixing easier and reduces the heat build up in epoxy. This is in substitute to a taller, narrower, cylindrical container.
– Reduce the temperature of the working environment. Epoxy is meant to be poured at about room temperature, and we don’t recommend lowering it below 65 degrees. However, whatever the temperature, do your best to keep it stable and consistent. Fluctuation in temperature can cause more imperfections.
– With the temperature control in mind, be sure to cover your piece. Find a way to prevent dust and debris from contaminating the epoxy surface during working and curing.
– Use Deep Pour coating Epoxy. This will help avoid layers overheating when accidentally poured too thick.
Time to take what you’ve learned and get to work. Our goal with this article is to have empowered with the information to go forward and get creative with your epoxy. To make choosing supplies a little easier, we compiled some of the top rated online options.
Here are the popular picks for some of this article’s items:
- [link – top rated casting resin beginner’s kit]
- [link – top rated table top epoxy beginner’s kit]
- [link – top rated deep pour epoxy]
Hopefully you now understand how to level out uneven epoxy resin, and how to avoid it in the first place! Don’t cry over spilt epoxy. Take a breath and evaluate your work to determine how to start your repairs. Scrape off any uncured epoxy resin if you must, and then sand down to give yourself a foundational layer to build upon. Then, follow the instructions correctly and repour epoxy onto your project, layer by layer. Soon enough, you’ll have yourself a beautifully completed epoxy project!