The definitive How-To on Table Top Epoxy

table top kit1One of our most popular products is our Cyrstal Clear Table Top Epoxy. This two-part epoxy is not only crystal clear, but UV Resistant and is great for many kinds of projects from River Rock to castings to topping a bar or table. The product has many uses and is relatively easy to use, but there are a few tip and secrets that will give you better results, and an easier experience.

The first step of any resin product is always the surface preparation. You will want to start by sanding the surface down. Once it has been lightly sanded, you do need to make sure it’s completely clean and oil free before applying. Be sure to wipe down the surface with Isopropyl Alcohol before starting. If you are using this product on wood, be sure the wood is completely dry, or it will give off moisture and cloud the coating.

Epoxies are extremely sensitive to temperature and our Table Top is no different. If your environment is under 60 degrees, the epoxy will likely not cure out properly. Also, if the temperature is over 90, you will find an extremely quick working time. One thing our technicians always recommend is setting the product in warm water for a half hour to get the epoxy warm. You will find it flows better and makes getting rid of air bubbles much easier.

Fiberglass Coatings Crystal Clear Table Top Epoxy is a 1:1 ratio mixture. The most important part of this whole process is getting the two parts mixed properly before application.

To start, be sure to have proper protection, like an apron, gloves, a face mask and safety glasses. Once you have the proper protection have two separate mix and measure cups and pour each mixture separately and exactly the same. Do not pour more than you need, as whatever you mix will get hard and won’t be reusable. From there, pour the two mixtures into a third cup, giving you the most accurate mixture. Be sure to pour as close together as you can, as air bubbles are your enemy here.

After scraping the cups and getting the mixture out comes the toughest part; stirring. Many people want to whip it like a custard or pudding. While those things are delicious, it does add air to your mixture, meaning cloudiness and air bubbles you may not be able to get out. So, stir the mixture slowly for a full 3 minutes. Set a timer, if you need to, but do not skimp on the timing. As you stir, you should see the mixture go from cloudy to crystal clear, with hopefully little to no air bubbles.

Once the two components have been thoroughly mixed, it’s time to apply the product. You need to remember you have a fairly small working time, depending on the temperature. At 70 degrees, you have roughly 20 minutes before it starts to really get hard, but at 90 degrees, your working times is a bit less than 10 minutes. When applying, you pour the syrup-like liquid on to your surface and spread the liquid evenly over the surface. I like to just put a glove on my hand and spread it that way, but you can use a brush if you choose.

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Once the product has been leveled, it will continue to self-level to a point, but it will need help. Be sure to allow it to drip down the sides, or if you build a dam, ensure it doesn’t leak.

Now, you want to get the air bubbles out. If you find most of your air bubbles are on the surface, you are in luck. Our Bust-a-Bubble spray is great for drawing them up and out. Simply give a light spray to the product and watch the bubble go away. Do not let the Bust-a-Bubble pool; you are only looking for one or two spritzes to do the trick. Bust-a-Bubble works best with the thicker pours. If your project is a thin film, using too much will slow or stop the curing.

If you have bigger, deeper bubbles, you will need to try something different. The best thing is generally a heat gun. Adding heat to the mixture thins the epoxy, allowing the bubble to float to the surface and pop. Some people will also use a toothpick to pop the bubbles. I’ve found, for deep bubbles, a combination of the two works great.

The thinner the mixture, the longer it will start to get tacky. If the pour is fairly thick, it will get hard in about an hour, with a complete cure coming in about 24 hours. If it’s a thin pour, since there is very little heat given off, you will see a complete cure taking closer to 48 hours.

Multiple pours are absolutely fine with Table Top Epoxy. You want to wait until the product is tacky and setup before applying your next coat. As with before, be sure to apply slowly to not get air bubbles and keep applying until you achieve the thickness you need. If you do let it completely cure, you will need to sand the product down to 220 grit, wash the product with soap and water and re-clean with Isopropyl Alcohol before applying a new coat, so it’s best to apply while still tacky.

Remember that while our Table Top has a better UV protection than the rest, it doesn’t mean it’s meant for something with direct sunlight. We recommend keeping it out of the direct sunlight to avoid yellowing.

Another benefit of using Table Top is how easy it is to repair. If you have scratches or dings on your table, you can always lightly sand the surface and add another layer to give it that new table finish. Just be sure to clean your surface again before applying that new coat.

Table Top can also be tinted or pigmented. We sell many colors you can add to the mix to change the color, from a see-through color, to a dense color. You will find very little pigment goes a long way. Adding too much pigment can slow or stop curing, so a little dab will do ya’.

After your table is done, I recommend adding a UV Polymer wax to your covering to add even more UV protection and also bring out the shine. We sell a Presta brand that works very well!

So, there you go! Everything you needed to know about Table Top. Easy, right? If you have questions, remember, we have technicians that are available to answer any other questions you have, so don’t be afraid to ask!

FGCI Product Spotlight: EMC2 Genius Bucket Paint Kit w/ Video

 

At Fiberglass Coatings, we try to make projects as easy as we can, from our excellent technicians who can walk you through your job step by step, to our new website, filled with useful information, to the products themselves. One of our latest products is a perfect example of including everything you need to make your job easy, and the results outstanding. Today, we are looking at The Genius Bucket by EMC2 Paint.

The Genius Bucket is available in several different colors.

When you first open your Genius Bucket, you will notice it is PACKED with goodies; everything you need to do your project. With this bucket you get so much more than just the paint, you get:

  • 2 quarts of Quantum Base
  • 1 quart of Brushing Activator
  • 1 Quart of Brushing Reducergenius bucket
  • 1 quart of Surface prep cleaner
  • 1 Instructions
  • 4 6” Roller Covers
  • 1 Roller frame
  • 1 roller pan
  • 2 foam brushes
  • 4 large latex gloves
  • 2 paint strainers
  • 2 stir sticks
  • 2 scour pads
  • 2 mixing cups
  • 4 general purpose rags
  • 4 lint-free wiping rags
  • 1 pre-taped masking paper film

It’s great for rolling or brushing your paint onto your surface. As the video above states, you want to make sure you use proper safety equipment, including the gloves (included) and a dust or painting mask for the fumes (not included) and also some safety glasses.

You want to make sure you take your time and follow the surface prep instructions properly. Surface prep can make or break your project as the surface needs to be scoured and cleaned prior to applying the paint.

The next step is mixing your paint. You are looking at a 2:1:1 mixture of Base, Activator, and Reducer. Be sure to measure carefully and stir for a full 5 minutes before applying. After waiting until the paint is tacky, you can apply your second coat, for best results.

From that point, you are all set! Your project will look outstanding! And all from a Bucket! I guess that’s why they call it Genius.

If you want to see an example of this paint in action, check out our Project Boat.

 

5 Tips on how to use Brushable Gelcoat

Brushable gel

Brushable Gelcoat is a specially formulated product that is made to be applied like paint and eliminate the need for spray equipment. It has excellent leveling, Water/Osmosis resistance, UV light Stability, great Gloss Retention and a fantastic long-term durability. It comes in many different colors and can be bought online or in our stores! So, let’s talk about some tips on how to get the most out of the Brushable Gelcoat.

  1. Don’t add Patch Booster or Sanding Aid! You heard that right, you don’t need to add sanding aid to Brushable gelcoat to have it dry tack free! The self-leveling technology added doesn’t require any additional products or additives.
  2. Proper gelcoat application requires you apply your coats about 15-20 mils thick,
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    Mil Gauge

    using a mil gauge.

  3. Allow the gelcoat to cure overnight and then lightly sand it and buff it for an outstanding shine!
  4. Use Acetone for your cleanup. Just like other Polyester-based products, Acetone is the best cleanup material!
  5. The most important step: Adding the proper amount of Catalyst. We recommend 1.5%-2% Catalyst ratio. After adding the catalyst, you will want to mix for two minutes, preferably with a mechanical agitator (drill mixer). For your reference, here is the catalyst chart so you know exactly how much catalyst you need.

BONUS TIP: In the hot Florida weather, working time is tough for any gelcoat. So our FGCI Pro Tip is to chill the gelcoat down to 70 degrees before mixing. This way you can get a bit longer working time.

 

DID YOU KNOW: That FGCI Colormatches gelcoat? We can make as little as a gallon to nearly any sample you have. Call us for details!

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FGCI Product Spotlight: Tuff Coat

ftl-demo-boat-5Every once in awhile, we get really excited about a product or product line we bring in. To say we were giddy with our latest product line would be an understatement. With that, let’s talk about Tuff Coat!

So, you may be wondering ‘what is Tuff Coat?’ Tuff Coat is a rubberized non-skid coating you can apply to many different surfaces from concrete to fiberglass, even aluminum. Instead of the other non-skids that wear off quickly, or are really hard on your feet, this product is extremely durable, and the rubber makes walking on it very easy.

Now that you are thinking that it sounds like fun, it’s time to talk about the application. Applying Tuff Coat is actually very easy!

 

Step 1: Surface prep. You will want to scrub your surface with soap and water to remove and dirt and grease. The folks at Tuff Coat say the product is only as good as the surface it adheres to, so make sure it’s cleaned. If you are applying to concrete, use a concrete cleaner like ZEP or Simple Green. Make sure you don’t use a solvent, as that can leave a residue.

Step 2: Primer Application. Tuff Coat offers two kinds of primers. The first is the CP-10, which is a 1:1 epoxy primer. This is mixed in equal volumes with a drill mixer and mixed for 2-3 minutes. It is recommended you roll it on with a 3/8″ nap roller or paint brush. You have a pot time of 90 minutes, so make sure you only make what you can spread. This product will be ready to go in 6 to 48 hours, depending on how hot it is and how humid it is.

The other primer is the MP-10 Water based Metal Primer. This is good for any metal application and is a single-stage mix. Again, you will want to stir with a drill mixer and apply the same way. This product is ready to go in 1-4 hours depending on the temperature and humidity.

Step 3: Apply your Tuff Coat. Once you choose which color you want (they have quite a few) it’s time to apply the Tuff Coat. You need to mix with a drill mixer in a bucket, slowly moving down from the top. You may need to mix several times to keep the rubber suspended in the material. When it’s time to apply the product, apply with a Tuff Coat specific roller (it’s the only way to properly distribute the rubber coating) and apply with 2-3 coats, applying at right angles with each coat to ensure a proper covering. The product can also be sprayed with certain sprayers for larger applications.

It’s that easy! Below we have some pictures of a demo boat we did, and I also included a great how-to video that shows how it’s done. And with all of our products, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail us, Facebook us, send us a Tweet, or give us a call at 1-800-272-7890 and we will be happy to answer your questions.

 

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