No Air Bubbles in Your Epoxy! How To Get a Perfect Finish with UV Poxy

Understanding the secret to a perfect "glass-like" finish using EcoPoxy UV Poxy, or other epoxy resin for coating, is easy. Following a few simple steps to prevent air bubbles is essential. Then I will explain how to properly use heat to de-gas, or remove, the bubbles after your pour.

MOST COMMON CAUSES OF AIR BUBBLES:
  • Overheating
  • No seal coat
  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Improper mixing
  • Layer too thick or too thin
All of these can be avoided!

TEMP and HUMIDITY:
First, make sure your work space is  indoors and climate controlled. Temperature and humidity are HUGE factors in achieving epoxy resin success. The ideal room temperature is 72° - 75° F. (but 68°- 80°F will suffice) The humidity should be under 60%. You can add a dehumidifier to control excess moisture. Use a hydrometer to measure the levels in your workspace. Acclimate your materials to room temperature and maintain both temp and humidity levels throughout the entire process.

UV Poxy is a very viscous epoxy. This makes it the PERFECT choice for clear coating (topcoats) many surfaces. This is a quick curing epoxy that reaches gel stage in 20- 45 minutes, so timing is everything!

I like to warm my resin to 100° before mixing. I use sink of hot water or a heating pad on LOW to gently warm both Parts to make the resin thinner, easier to mix and this eliminates any air bubbles. *WARNING: Do not overheat! This will shorten your work time.

MIXING:
Measure UV Poxy Parts A & B precisely, then mix thoroughly, but NOT vigorously, for 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom repeatedly. Do NOT "whip" air into your mixture. (Keeping the bottom of your stick on the bottom of the container will prevent excess bubbles).

Mix by hand and avoid mixing too much epoxy at one time. The more you mix, the less work time you will have.

Once mixed, let your mixing container sit for 45 - 60 seconds. This allows the bubbles to rise to the top and then remove the the foamy layer with a heat gun (5-7 sec). 

Immediately pour your mixture onto the entire surface to be coated in a spiral from the outside to center, evenly distributing the epoxy. Continue to smooth over every inch using a spreader or rubber spatula, pushing epoxy back and forth to coat area and break surface tension. Next pull the epoxy over the edges, again, breaking the surface tension. This should be done QUICKLY, leaving a layer thickness of 1/8". Do NOT spread too thin!

SEAL COAT:
To get a bubble-free layer, start with a seal coat. This seals the surface and prevents the outgassing of air into your flood coat. Brush or roll on a thin layer of epoxy to the entire surface. (it doesn't need to be perfect) Allow it to dry, 8-12 hours, then pour your flood coat. (If you wait more than 24 hrs, sand in between layers).
Before adding the flood coat, clean the surface with 99% ISOPROPYL or denatured alcohol. (spray bottle and a lint free cloth) 
DE-GASSING (REMOVING AIR BUBBLES):
Pouring and spreading epoxy will cause bubbles to form. Most of these should dissipate on their own. But often it is necessary to use a heat gun or torch to speed up air bubble removal.
I can not say this enough...DO NOT OVERHEAT! This is the main cause of bubbles trapped in epoxy resin. Gently de-gassing resin is a artform. Use a heat gun on LOW or a torch with the flame held parallel to the surface (not aimed at the surface)and continuously sweep across the entire surface keeping the heat 4 inches above the surface for 3-5 minutes. Never stop moving!
It takes both patience and a very light touch. The window for this is only a short time before the gel stage. Once the resin becomes hot, you will create more bubbles than you will remove. You should not smell the resin burning, see smoke or boiling liquid. All of these are signs that you have overheated the epoxy.
If you epoxy resin layer is too thick or too thin, it will continue to produce air bubbles after the gel stage. These will become trapped. A thin seal coat is fine, a flood coat should be a self leveling 1/8".
When creating resin art paintings, counter tops, etc... they should be finished with a clear coat of epoxy. This is the difference between good and great. It will produce the glass-like finish and amplify the beauty of the layer below.
Browse the SHOP for UV Poxy and the tools needed to create beautiful epoxy resin artwork.
READ my blog post: UV Poxy Instructions