Over the past six months I’ve attempted four epoxy resin pours. The first two were disastrous, the third was fabulous (I got smart and took a class on how to make epoxy resin art) and the fourth was just plain fun (I finally knew what I was doing and what NOT to do). I figured it was time to share my knowledge of how to create a successful epoxy resin pour and tips on what NOT to do. Let me show you my mistakes so you don’t make them!
Let’s talk about the second time I tried to make an epoxy resin pour (the first time isn’t worth sharing).
It all started with this DIY birch wood fireplace cover. I’m currently in the process of creating an electric fireplace with a DIY hearth so I needed to repurpose the birch wood faux fireplace.
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I thought I was going to cover it with epoxy and make a table top out of it. Thanks to a few epoxy pour mistakes on my part I ruined it… Womp Womp Womp. Let me show you.
I used this epoxy kit by Envirotex. The instructions seemed easy enough! You mix part A and part B and pour!
Here is where I went wrong. Do you see all those little bubbles? After a little research I realized that I didn’t mix long enough AND I didn’t seal the wood before pouring the epoxy resin. I mixed part A and part B for about one straight minute before pouring. The instructions called for more.
Listen up folks, don’t skimp on mixing. It will ruin your product and won’t cure correctly. This stuff isn’t cheap, so don’t waste it!
Like I said, this was my second attempt at pouring epoxy. I got smart the next time and took a class with a very talented lady names Jess Crow who taught me how to pour epoxy the right way.
Let me show you the pretty faux marble I created with an epoxy pour on wood.
This is where I learned what I did wrong with my two previous pours. If you follow the instructions and you know a few tips before hand, pouring epoxy resin is actually really simple and easy!
After such success with this class project, I decided to venture out on my own and create an epoxy pour ocean art.
This project was a success but I still hit a few snags.
My biggest hang up was that I didn’t work fast enough. I poured the blues first and they poured just fine. When I went to pour the sand color the epoxy had already started to dry. Ugh, lesson learned.
Also, be mindful of what you are pouring on because it will stick to anything it touches! When I say stick I mean stay glued permanently.
Tips for successful epoxy pours:
Always seal organic materials like wood before you pour epoxy resin over it;
- If you are covering an organic material like wood or leaves always seal it before pouring the epoxy. Artresin.com shares a very helpful reason why; “Porous, organic materials like wood, leaves, fabric and even some soft, lower quality papers contain air and moisture, which they absorb and emit depending on the climate. These materials will continue to “breathe” … releasing air even after being covered with resin. This is called off-gassing and it results in air bubbles in the resin, sometimes hours after you have poured and torched.”
Follow the proper mix times when mixing parts A and B;
- Always follow the instructions and the amount of mix time for part A and B. SET A TIMER AND DO NOT STOP MIXING UNTIL THE INSTRUCTED TIME IS UP. If you do not mix part A and part B effectively or for enough time, your epoxy won’t cure right. Take it from someone who has made this mistake. It won’t hurt to mix too much but it will hurt to not mix enough (take it from someone who has made this mistake more than once).
Always use the proper personal protective equipment;
- Always protect yourself with at least the minimum amount of protection when pouring epoxy: gloves, eye and clothes protection. A mask is a good idea too. You definitely need a mask when drilling, sanding or grinding epoxy and be aware that the epoxy resin does emit vapors when it’s curing too! I use heavy rubber dishwashing gloves because they cover not only my hands but my forearms too. I also make sure to wear my glasses for eye protection and a mask.
Work quickly once you’ve mixed part A and part B of the epoxy resin;
- Once part A and part B have been mixed you have a limited amount of time before the epoxy hardens. Don’t rush yourself but work diligently. You can see in the video below where I did not work fast enough. The time between mixing part A and B and the epoxy hardening was about 20 minutes.
Use a solid base beneath the medium you are going to pour epoxy over;
- Be mindful of what type of surface you are pouring on. When Epoxy cures it really hardens. Use something underneath to prop your art piece up. Let me show you where I messed up with my last epoxy pour. You can see below where I poured epoxy over a heavy piece of brown paper. Now my issue is how to get the wood pallet off of the brown paper.
I used a knife to score it.
After we scored through the brown paper and epoxy, it took a little elbow strength to pull it off.
Use a heat gun or blow dryer immediately after pouring the epoxy to move and blend the different colors for a fun design;
- A heat gun is recommended for blending and moving epoxy resin but a hair dryer will work too. Covering the appliance in saran wrap will help prevent the epoxy from transferring from gloves to the appliance.
If you want to see the whole video on how to create ocean art with Epoxy see my YouTube video below.
Always seal porous, organic materials before pouring epoxy over it
If you are pouring epoxy over an organic material like wood or leaves always seal it before. This prevent bubbles and air from being trapped under the resin.
Always follow the instructions for the proper mix time for mixing parts A and B
It's a good idea to set a timer and always mix part A and part B for at least the minimum amount of time suggested.
Use proper Protective Equipment when pouring epoxy
Always protect yourself with at least the minimum amount of protection when pouring epoxy: gloves, eye and clothes protection. A mask is a good idea too.
Once the epoxy resin is mixed work diligently before it dries
Once the part A and part B have been mixed you have a limited amount of time before the epoxy hardens. Don't rush yourself but work diligently.
Use a good solid base beneath the medium you are going to pour epoxy over
A Vinyl surface (like shower curtain) is recommended to lay beneath where you are going to pour epoxy. Remember; the epoxy will stick to anything!
Use a heat gun or blow dryer to move and blend the different colors for a fun design;
When working with different colors of epoxy, use a heat gun or blow dryer to move the patterns around and create a fun design.
Now that I’m finally getting the hang of this pouring epoxy hobby I might have a new favorite craft.