Epoxy Tutorial with lots of PICS :)

ladyronnieJune 27, 2007

I am making a new thread for this since the previous one got stale waiting for me to get this done! I did this on a very small project, a little 3" square coaster, mainly in the interest of the time I had to glue the tessarae. You would follow the same steps on a larger project. One thing that is very important, is that your project needs to sit LEVEL! And the bigger the project, the more important it is. So, that said, Here Goes:

First, arrange everything you need AHEAD OF TIME! I learned the first time around that not having something when you have epoxy ready to go is NOT GOOD!

What you need: Your project

--two-part epoxy (resin and hardener)

--measuring cup (I used a tablespoon for small amount)

--container to mix in (straight sided)

--something to mix with (needs a straight side to scrape container sides, I use a plastic picnic knife for small amount)

--a piece of stiff cardboard or a throwaway paintbrush (I have a craft paintbrush that is getting stiffer and stiffer, but I keep using it)

--rubbing alcohol (the only thing that will clean up wet epoxy)

--a rag for wiping your hands, etc (to wet with ALCOHOL, not water)

--something to time for two minutes (watch or clock with second hand, kitchen timer, etc. Not in pic, I used clock on wall)

Measure EQUAL AMOUNTS of resin and hardener into your mixing container, (I quickly wiped out my measuring spoon with alcohol-rag), and begin stirring. Time stirring for TWO MINUTES.

Be sure to scrape sides and bottom of container frequently. Use kind of a whipping action, like hand-whipping egg whites. Mixture will get frothy and even have little bubbles float into the air.

POUR mixture onto your project. You can pour it all in the middle on a small project, pour it all around on a larger one. You can see all the bubbles in this pic:

To be continued...

(I just don't want to accidentally delete this whole thing before I post it! So I'll do it in a few parts.)

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ladyronnie

Next, use the paintbrush (or cardboard) to PUSH EPOXY AROUND to the edges and over the edges. I used the paintbrush also to paint the sides of the project with epoxy.

It will run over onto your supporting surface. (Which reminds me, BE SURE TO PROTECT THIS SURFACE!! I should insert here: on a larger project without its own legs, you should place something under it to suspend it so the excess can drip off and not adhere your project to your work surface. I used wood blocks under the parts of my bathroom vanity. OR make sure you have plenty of newspaper or similar that can be torn away later. The funky edge this leaves can be dealt with, not to worry.)

Ok, next comes a weird pic. I am breathing LIFE into my project. Ok, not really! All those little bubbles will go away with a gentle application of carbon dioxide. The easiest way to do this is to EXHALE over the epoxy. Looks weird, works great. You will see the little bubbles just pop and disappear.

Just keep doing this until no more bubbles appear. (I did this through a piece of pvc pipe over my larger project so I could move around easier. Yes, I got lightheaded because it took awhile! There is a way to do this using a bunson burner. I haven't tried that though.)

Some little bubbles up close:

And a close-up after the bubbles are gone:

That is basically it. The project will take a several hours to dry. It says in the literature how long at what temp and humidity level. The hotter the better. A couple other little things in the next post...

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:41PM
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ladyronnie

Here you can kind of see just how shiny it turns out. If you look close you can see the reflection from the box in the surface of the tile:

When it is completely dry, it will be stuck to that paper. I will tear the paper away, then use sandpaper to sand that edge smooth.

If you have raised your project on blocks (which need to be AWAY from the edge toward the middle of the project by the way!) you will have hard little drips along the bottom edge. The easiest way to deal with these is with a belt sander, takes them off in a hurry. More tediously, you can hand sand them. Sanding does make the epoxy turn opaque, but if it's where it matters, you can do another layer and it will go clear again.

Piece of cake, eh? Have fun!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:53PM
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shellybelly26

where are you getting the epoxy youre using

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 10:04PM
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mosaicwench1

What a great tutorial - thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 10:05PM
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brendak_59

I think I will try this. I also want to know where you get your epoxy?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 10:18PM
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bamasusanna

Wow! You really put a lot of work in this presentation. Thank you so much for taking the time to do it. I'm going to save it to my file!!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 10:33PM
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chickeemama

lady- thank you thank you!!! I have done this before but did NOT know about the alcohol...boy that would have saved us some frustration had we known that!!! I've not done anything big before. Did you mix the epoxy all once when you did the counter top or did you do it in batches?? You might have said but I sure don't remember if ya did..

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 11:20PM
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ladyronnie

Thanks everyone. I got the epoxy at a local True Value hardware store. We don't have a Lowe's, and Home Depot didn't have it. It cost $21.19 +tax for the quart size (two pint bottles, a pint each of resin and hardener).

CHICKEE: When I did the vanity, I did each side, the front, and the top separately. (That's why I had to do the tape "form" when I put it all together, to do another layer on the countertop to cover the seam between the top and the sides/front, if that makes sense.) So I did it in five batches total, if I remember right.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 11:54PM
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madhabitz

Hey, that's right spiffy-- good job on the tutorial.

Nancy

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 7:18AM
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ladyronnie

This morning I peeled the paper from the edge and back of the tile, and I learned something. Epoxy does not stick well directly to porous tile. This was actually a good thing. This was a little tile sample, with the grid relief on the back, so the epoxy ran under it as well. The paper was stuck to the entire back of the tile, soaked through 3-4 layers of paper. It peeled off hard, but it did peel off cleanly, with no sanding needed. Looks like where I painted the sides with epoxy it would peel off if I tried very hard, but I won't unless it really starts to come off on its own. It DOES stick permanently to the glass/grout. (It does NOT stick to silicone though, I learned on the back edge of my vanity where I had run a bead against the wall. So be sure the silicone is all covered with grout well if it comes up between your tessarae.)

Veronica

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:29AM
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shrty411

Wow thanks. Great job explaining!!

Maria

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:39AM
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LinLee

I know you probably already covered this in some earlier post, but I'm coming late to the game.
I really like the way the epoxy looks...is it for interior & exterior projects? And you said you used it on your sink, was it to keep the moisture out or for the smooth feel?
Linlee

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 12:38PM
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d3bbi

Ronnie, thank you for such a detailed tutorial. Very informative.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 12:58PM
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ladyronnie

AAAAAND you got to see my Alien Ears and Grandma Chin! ;D)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 1:49PM
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bamasusanna

What? Where?????

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 2:17PM
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curbdiver1954

Really GREAT tute!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience in oics.....much easier for some of us to grasp!

Pat

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 9:16PM
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lyndalu

Thank you so much for taking the time to create this wonderful tutorial for us. Great job. Very sweet of you. I'm sure I'll want to do this at some point - so I'm definitely saving this! Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 12:13AM
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LinLee

Was I asking a stupid question.....again?
Linlee

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 7:27AM
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crackpotannie

Thanks so much Ronnie you saved us all a lot of mistakes!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:56AM
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shrty411

I don't think so linlee. I'd like to know too. Can you use it on exterior projects??

Maria

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 12:33PM
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hrsg

Great tut! Thanks for sharing the tips on the bubbles!

On my watering can I actually used resin on that swap project.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 2:02PM
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ladyronnie

LINLEE: Sorry I missed answering your questions. No, it is not recommended for exterior applications. And on your other question, yes and yes :) It works beautifully to keep moisture out, but my main reason was to make a perfectly smooth surface. I didn't tumble the glass (this was only my second or third project, didn't know about tumbling glass!) and there were some edges that could have been a problem. The epoxy solved that, and it looks great, it actually enhanced the color.

Veronica

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 4:05PM
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brendak_59

Does anyone know what you should put in your tumbler for glass? I picked up a tumbler at a flea market with no directions or owners manual.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 7:38PM
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shrty411

brendak- I just put the glass and water ( about 1/2 full). I tumble it four about a half hour

Maria

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 8:19AM
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ladyronnie

bump

Just checked out page 67 to see what might be falling off, and this was the last thread on that last page. Might still be useful to someone someday...

Roni

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 7:54PM
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meadel

I'm glad you saved this. It helped me a lot when I used it !
Thanks !!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 8:40PM
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mermaidmosaics

Thanks for bumping this up, I'm going to save it. Thanks so much

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 9:19PM
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nicethyme

Good save Ronnie!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 11:27PM
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cindiloo

THANKS! Wish I would have had the brains to look this up before I did the wine lady tray! She turned out OK, but reading your tut I can see where I could have made it easier!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 3:08AM
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gcpommom

Hi, have a question for you--I want to do this on some coasters I made a while back. However, the coasters were made in a mold using concrete. The tiles are glass.

Is concrete considered a porous surface? You mentioned that the resin won't stick to a porous surface, so I thought I'd ask before I go out and buy it.

Thanks

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 1:56PM
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daisyme

What a beautifully done tutorial! (I love the piece too!) Thank you so much! Now if I want to keep a copy of this, how would I do that?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 3:59PM
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ladyronnie

It's always flattering to see one of my old threads pop up. Thanks :)

POMMOM: It was just a happy accident to discover that the epoxy didn't stick to the back of my tile in this tute. I truly don't know if it would stick to concrete without testing it. I am assuming you DON'T want it to stick, like to the backs of your coasters? If so, the best thing to do is elevate your coasters off the surface (which is well protected with something as the epoxy WILL run off the sides). I didn't elevate the tile because I knew I could sand off the edges, just was happy to discover it wasn't necessary. You could use something like pieces of popsicle sticks, or foil balls, or even pebbles, just MAKE SURE they are well inside of where the epoxy will drip off, so they don't become adhered to your coaster! Does that make sense? You will have hardened epoxy drips on the edges, but they sand off very easily, especially if you have a belt sander.

DAISY: You can save the text in Word or something similar, but how to make the pics go with it I don't know, as they are in my photobucket account.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 7:47PM
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texasfern

Oh this is great timing.
A friend of mine has talked me into returning to a craft show.(I gave them up 4 years ago)I wanted to do some small things and coasters came to mind. I have tons of tiles leftover from the ceramic days.
Thanks so much Ronnie.
Daisy, I just save them in the clippings up in the top right corner of the posts.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 4:47AM
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mermaidmosaics

Ronnie,

Question on your wonderful tutorial. I did my first epoxy test on my door hanger.
The question is what about on using epoxy on items that have already been sealed with tilelabe grout/tile sealer?? Or any kind of sealer?? I noticed it said in the directions for my epoxy, that it would require sanding or scratching etc and my eyes glazed over and promptly forgot about it until I had already started the pour. So the liquid appears to just be sitting on top of my door sign. Oh my...

So what have you done if you used grout sealer, or even decided later you wanted to use the epoxy and forgot if you sealed it??

I am so glad I didn't try this first on my sea turtle!! LOL. It was kinda fun actually, like the chemistry set I wanted when I was a kid that my parents never bought me!!

Thanks

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 1:29PM
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ladyronnie

Hi MERMAID. I'm glad the tutorial was helpful for you.

To be honest, I have used epoxy on 1)my bathroom vanity...1st experience with it, thankfully a positive one! 2)a gourd vase and 3)that little tile in the tutorial. I have never tried anything that was sealed first. If it hasn't hardened in 24 hours, it's probably not going to, though someone with more experience might tell you to give it more time? Maybe you could call or email the manufacturer? Sorry I can't be more helpful this time!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 5:34PM
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mermaidmosaics

Ronnie,

Good news on mine. The epoxy did harden and I really LOVE the gloss. I'll take a pix tomorrow and show you all. Because I have a different sign on each side, the epoxy did run onto the back side and make a bit of a mess.

I used old tile to sit the sign on, upside down, with a ton of paper under that.I know I mixed up too much epoxy and lots of it ran over the edge and when it hardened it stuck the tile and newspaper to the sign. I think, after rereading your tut, i should have put the tile facing down with good side next to the sign. As it was, the old tile had a lot of drywall stuck to it and that got stuck to the epoxy and to one side of the sign. I did get it all peeled off and plan to do one more light coating on that side of the sign.

Thinking I'll be brave and do Ms. Loggerhead tomorrow, though hopefully someone migh ttell me what I should do since I already used sealer on her. I also used sealer on this sign, and it did work.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:54PM
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mermaidmosaics

Lady Ronnie,

Could you tell me how your bathroom counter is doing with the epoxy/resin now?? I am thinking of using resin on my small glow in the dark backsplash. I am debating whether it would be easier to keep clean and get less water spots with the resin than without.

I know you did one awhile back so just checking. Thanks.

By the way, I will post but DH is rearranging his office and I can't get hooked up to the digital camera, but I did use resin on Madam Loggy and I love the look. Also did my door knob signs. so shiny and glossy.. Reminds me of those beautiful coffee tables back in the 70's made from real logs and resin coating.... i'm bablling. sorry

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 5:55PM
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ladyronnie

Well, I have tried and tried to get a good current picture of my bathroom vanity, and I think all I have accomplished is to realize that my new camera simply doesn't take as good a photo as my old camera! I THINK the vanity has yellowed SLIGHTLY in the past year and a half, but the second photo makes it looks like it has REALLY yellowed. But if you notice, EVERYTHING in the second photo looks yellowed! (And we don't smoke, so it's not that!) Bottom line is, I am still quite pleased with how it turned out, and how impervious to water it really is.

Before we had installed the faucet:

Today:

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 7:42PM
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mermaidmosaics

Thank You so much for taking an updated pix. You are so sweet. I still haven't made up my mind. Really love the resin look and your bathroom sink looks so fantastic/

Hopefully I can post pix soon of Madam Loggy and my door signs.

How do you get your spirals so perfect?? Do you draw them ahead of time?? I can't seem to get mine to look right, specially on my yellow brick road pot, it is just all wrong.. thinking of tearing it apart and starting over

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 8:37PM
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ladyronnie

MERMAID: I drew the original swirl, the one I cut out, then flipped it over and traced it for the red swirl, which I did in red glass. There is a mirror placed behind the cut-out swirl in the finished piece. Here's a WiP pic:

As each row of glass was added around the outside, it kept the same curve going. HTH!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 4:26PM
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mermaidmosaics

Ah ha!!! Thank you so much. Those are perfect curls.. Still haven't made up my mind on my backsplash,

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 8:32PM
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brendaj57

Your tutorial was very helpful and was exactly the information I was searching for. I noticed this epoxy was interior. Is there is an exterior epoxy? I made a two sided house number sign and would really love to keep it outside all winter (In Maine!) Has anyone ever left a mosaic out all winter in freeze/thaw temperatures and if so, what did you do to prepare your mosaic piece? Any information would be great.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:34PM
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mermaidmosaics

Brenda,

I would LOVE to know the answer to that too!! I would so love to find something like this for outside, but I haven't seen anything like that yet!! Maybe someone else knows. ??

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 1:06PM
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