Working with epoxy may not always be easy, but it’s always worth it. After putting hard work into a beautiful piece of woodwork, painting, or mosaic, it only makes sense to preserve it with the durable, waterproof surface that epoxy provides. Epoxy is also fantastic for creating long-lasting dioramas or resin art.
Sometimes, however, you may want two coats. Some projects require two coats of epoxy, while others may only call for one, but the first layer set with scratches or bubbles that you’d like to cover up.
So, can you pour epoxy over cured epoxy? You can pour epoxy over cured epoxy if you allow the first layer around 24 hours to cure and sand it before pouring the second layer. It’s always best to follow the instructions on your specific epoxy brand. If you sand and follow the directions, you shouldn’t experience any issues.
Let’s dive into the details of how exactly you can go about pouring a second layer of epoxy the right way.
Preparing The First Layer
Epoxy is a type of liquid resin that requires time to truly set. As you pour, you want to make sure you use a leveler to ensure an even spread of the epoxy.
But what if there’s a big divot that somehow found its way into your first layer? Before you even start to sand, you want to remedy that hole and ensure a flat, even first layer.
This can be done fairly easily. You’ll want to mix a small amount of your epoxy, just enough to cover the hole or dent, and pour it into that space. Use a leveler to ensure it seals that space and creates and even, flat surface.
Once your first layer is flat and set, it’s time to get the sander out. You’ll want to sand down the first layer because this will help achieve a mechanical bond rather than a chemical bond.
What’s the difference between a chemical and mechanical bond? The short answer is that since the epoxy has set, the chemicals are no longer liquid and able to interact on that level. It is essentially a solid surface now, so the new layer of epoxy will bond from a purely mechanical standpoint rather than the chemicals from both layers coming together.
This is why sanding is important. It gives you a surface area that is more ready to bind with new liquid.
Pouring the Second Layer
So your surface is sanded and you’re ready to pour that second layer. To start, ensure you have all necessary materials readily available right next to you. It will be important to work quickly.
Mix your epoxy resin and pour directly onto your sanded surface. Smooth it out with your leveler as usual, and leave to dry.
If you’re using a roller for this process, be aware that a roller can leave behind a texture from the material of the roller brush. This is usually not the desired effect, so it may be best to use a leveler to achieve a nice, smooth surface.
Because this is a second layer on top of the hardened first layer, also keep in mind that this layer will not soak deeply into as many pores or crevices in your surface as it might have with your starting wooden surface, for example. Be sure not to use too much epoxy that it creates a thicker layer than desired.
Every type of epoxy is different, so be sure to follow the instructions on your label for the best results. Happy pouring!
Can I Use Epoxy In Cold Weather?
Yes, as long as the epoxy is kept warm. If working in a cold shed, keep the epoxy off of the cold concrete floor. Be sure to return the epoxy bottles to a warmer climate when done with the project.
What Material Does Epoxy Not Stick To?
Epoxy will bond with all woods, aluminum, and glass well. There are certain chemicals that it will not stick to, but the best way to know if epoxy will stick to your desired surface is to try it out! Mix a small amount, pour, and wait for it to cure.
How Will I Know If I Need A Second Coat?
Some epoxy brands will recommend right on the label to pour a second coat. Sometimes even if the label doesn’t mention a second coat, the first layer didn’t set the way you wanted it to. A second coat is an easy way to hide any scratches or bubbles that snuck in on the first layer!