We are all familiar with the phrase “all men are created equal,” a great sentiment, the same though cannot be said about epoxy. Many people think of epoxy resin as a glue, a sealer for flooring, objects, or a wide variety of commercial purposes. While true to a degree, modern-day technology has developed formulations that are designed for use in very specific applications in controlled environments. 

Epoxy was originally invented in the 1930s to be used in dentistry but quickly evolved into a plethora of adhesives. Epoxies are still used today to line water tanks, repair bridges, and many other commercial uses. But, it has taken on a whole new life in the construction industry and the arts and crafts world. 

Like most commodities, epoxy ranges in manufactured quality and price. Introduce pigments, mica flakes, additives, variables like heat and humidity, and you better have some experience to lean on to get you that bubble-free, crystal clear look you and working so hard for as a lot can go wrong. I’m here to help you choose the right epoxy for the job.

Epoxies used in the construction and arts and crafts can be divided into three classifications:

  1. Countertop epoxy, tabletop, epoxy, or finish-coat are epoxies that are designed to be poured over a finished substrate to provide a high gloss protective layer at ¼” or less. WHAT TO WATCH FOR? A well-formulated epoxy for this application should have good ultra-violet light protection and a high heat rating to protect against ambering. Also, good bubble release, zero water retention rate, and a slew of flow agents and other additives to make sure every job is successful. 
  2. Casting epoxies are made to pour thicker than ¼” up to as much as 3″ or 4″ deep for river tables, cutting boards, coasters. Pay attention to the demolding time of your project as some deep cast epoxies can typically take up to a week to dry properly vs a crystal clear epoxy with a low thermic rate that can be demolded in 24 to 48 hours. WHAT TO WATCH FOR? There are many types of casting epoxies and selecting the right one is essential to provide a great finished product that won’t crack, bubble, foam, or be too flexible or too hard for the project. 
  3. Metal Illusion floor epoxy is a 2:1 mix made to layout at 10-14mil on an epoxy flooring coating application. It can be pigmented with metallic effects, acrylics, or dispersion colors or simply used as a crystal clear topcoat. With unparalleled bubble release, it creates a beautiful, long-lasting floor when applied over one of the suitable primers. It can be used on wood, concrete, canvas, and most any other well-prepared substrate.  

Tim Phelps is a thought leader in this space, a 30 year veteran of both the epoxy and decorative concrete industry as well as the U.S. Military. He has been featured on TV home repair shows like SpacesTV and various online outlets. He started iCoat Products 30 years ago to help contractors and tradesmen deliver top quality work to their customers and over the years has developed superior iCoat epoxy systems that are best-in-class and have been stand-out products at the annual World of Concrete Show. Tim always makes himself available to those skilled in the industry and those looking for a start, contact him on 877-669-1110 or tim@icoatproducts.com