Epoxy Resin Calculator
Please use the Epoxy Resin Coverage Calculator above as a reference guide only. Each epoxy brand/formula is unique. We have formulated the calculations to follow the coverage rules of 12 square feet per mixed gallon at 1/8 inch. We also factor in loss due to mixing as well as overflow of the project. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. If you are using a deep pour resin, please use our thick pour casting resin calculator.
Calculating the necessary epoxy resin for a given project is critical to achieving a successful application. This should go without saying, but what many do not realize is that with many projects, you cannot simply pickup where you left off and pour more epoxy. This is especially true on large pour areas. For example, if you were to run out of epoxy (and not have more on hand) 75% of the way through pouring a large countertop, you may notice a line in the surface where leaving off. This is because the original epoxy will cure by the time an additional batch can be mixed and poured.....
By now many will be wondering, well then, how do I fix this? It is possible to fix this, but in order to remove the line, the ENTIRE surface (low area and high area) will have to be sanded and the ENTIRE surface has to be poured again. This problem could have been prevented with having enough epoxy on hand and readily available for the original pour. Needless to say, accurately estimating the needed epoxy for a given project is of utmost importance.
Seal Coat Coverage Vs Flood Coat Coverage
Neglecting to consider the epoxy needed for a seal coat will increase the chances of miscalculating the amount of epoxy needed for a given project. If you are unsure of whether or not you need a seal coat for your project, it is almost always better to assume that you do need a seal coat. The determination really comes down to the type of substrate. Woods, for example, are much more porous than laminate surfaces. Therefore, a seal coat may be more necessary when pouring over a raw piece of wood compared to a laminated. However, that is not to say that a seal coat is not necessary for a laminate surface. Each and every surface is unique and requires its' own analysis and ultimately determination of whomever is pouring the project. In our opinion, it is much better to err on the side of caution. In most cases it is better to pour a seal coat than not. The one exception to this rule would be if there were max height/depth requirements of a given project.
Seal Coat Volume VS Flood Coat Volume
A seal coat is a very thin coat meant to seal the surface of a porous substrate. When pouring epoxy over a porous surface excess bubbles can arise as the epoxy soaks into and fills all the voids, which ultimately releases air. By pouring a thin seal coat (i.e. 1/32 inch) the air is able to rise to the surface easier than a thicker flood coat (i.e. 1/4 inch). Additionally, if imperfections do appear in the initial seal coat, it is often easier to correct in a thin pour seal coat versus sanding through a thick pour.
A flood coat is meant as a final coating and is often much thicker. Most epoxies require pours of no more than 1/4" per application. Therefore a flood coat will often be between 1/8 and 1/4". If the project were sealed initially with a thin seal coat, then bubbles should not be as numerous in the flood coat. This is why this coat can be poured more liberally.
Dam The Edges VS Flow Over
A large portion of the epoxy usage calculation is whether or not the epoxy will flow over the sides of the project. Some projects may require a dam or some may utilize molds. For those projects which allow the mixed resin to flow over the sides of the project, more epoxy will be needed due to the waste of overflow/dripping off the sides. In addition to allowing for the additional epoxy needed for overflow, an loss allowance should be included due to mixing. When mixing epoxy there will be loss of epoxy that remains on the inside of the containers as well as in the graduated mixing containers. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the containers to try to best utilize all epoxy.
Pro Tip: When utilizing a dam or frame around a project, be sure to properly seal the area. Epoxy tends to flow behind certain tapes. Furthermore, epoxy will adhere to certain tapes. One of the best tapes to use is clear packing tape.
If you will be encapsulating items in your project you may want to account for additional epoxy. All items being encapsulated should be sealed prior to applying a coat of epoxy. Each type of item may require specific prep work. For example, paper-based products like cigars wrappers, playing cards, pictures, etc would need to be coated prior to pouring epoxy over. If these items are not sealed prior, the paper items could soak up epoxy and ultimately ruin the item. For paper based items, a mixture of Elmer’s’glue and water works well. We have found a mixture of 3 parts Elmer’s glue and 1 part water works best for a cheap, yet effective seal. Allow this seal coat to dry thoroughly before applying epoxy. For figurines, shells, and other large more three-dimensional items, using an epoxy seal coat is best. This can be accomplished by dipping the items into a properly mixed batch of epoxy or by painting on a very thin coat of epoxy. By sealing encapsulated items, you can reduce the likelihood of bubbles forming on the edges/surface of the encapsulated items. Be sure to account for the additional epoxy that may be required for this step.
Cheap Sealing Solutions: For paper items, use 3 parts Elmer's glue and 1 part water mixed together to seal paper items prior to applying epoxy. Allow the glue mixture to dry completely prior to applying epoxy.
Pouring In Layers
Most coating epoxies such as table top and bar top epoxy require thin pours of no more than ¼ inch per application. If these types of epoxies are poured thicker, you risk an accelerated reaction, which will cause the epoxy to heat up, which can ultimately crack, fish eye or yellow. Understanding a desired thickness of the final project is critical to calculating the necessary epoxy for a given project. These epoxies can ultimately be poured thicker [than ¼ inch] , but must be done in layers. Our calculator accounts for projects up to 1 inch thick. For thicker application you may want to consider a thinner resin such as a deep pour casting resin. Contact us, for more information regarding these items.
Art Resin Coverage Calculation
Each artist approaches his or her project uniquely. However, most art resin artist will mix one batch of epoxy and then color small amounts as needed for their project. We recommend pre-measuring out colors needed in individual containers. The reason for this comes back to the working time of mixed epoxy. Once mixed, epoxy needs to be poured immediately. Large amounts of epoxy cannot be left in a mixing container beyond 10 minutes. Therefore, one of the most efficient strategies is to have colors pre-allocated to their own mixing container and then add [the already mixed epoxy] to those colors. The big takeway here is, there will be wasted epoxy when doing so. It is better to over-allocat the amount of epoxy (per color) than not have enough. Therefore, those mixing multiple colors for their art resin project should account for even more epoxy.
How Much Color: A common question is "how much color should I use." Unfortunately, this is a very subjective question to answer because the answer lies in the desired color/opacity of the artist. It's best to initially allocate small amounts as larger amounts can be used to darken the mixture to desired color.