Everything You Need to Know About Applying a Second Coat of Epoxy
If you’ve worked with epoxy before, you may already know that you often have to pour more than one coat of epoxy in order to achieve your desired result. There are quite a few reasons why you may need a second coat, such as fixing scratches or other damages, fixing any mistakes made during the first coat, or even simply building up the surface to make it thicker and more durable.
Don’t worry though, in this article we’ll go over how to determine if you need a second coat, how to prep for it, and how to pour it. Let’s get started!
Can You Epoxy Over Epoxy?
Often times, you may start a project knowing that you’ll need to pour a second coat of epoxy. If your project is going to be quite thick, it may be ideal to go ahead and plan to pour two coats for proper curing and hardening. Refer to the directions on your personal bottle of epoxy in order to determine whether or not you’ll need more than one coat. In the directions, you’ll find a section that specifies what exactly your epoxy needs and the max thickness you should pour at a time. Remember - most table top epoxies require thin pours, meaning you'll need to apply multiple layers to achieve a thicker coat.
If you’re looking over your current epoxy job and you are unhappy with the finish, then it may be time to consider pouring a second coat. If your epoxy ended up cloudy or discolored, it is unlikely a second coat will fix this problem. However, if there are a few scratches, bubbles or any damaged sections, pouring a second coat will fix these as if they were never there! Read more about how to fix uneven epoxy here.
Prepping Your Epoxy for a Second Coat
A lot of first-time users ask, “Can you sand epoxy?” The answer is, YES! This is the primary way to prepare your epoxy for a second coat. There are a few other steps to take first, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The first thing you’ll want to do is clean the epoxy and ensure there aren't any debris, sticky pieces, or dust particles on the surface.
If you have a large divot in your epoxy, then you’ll want to fill it in before beginning the second coat. Thoroughly mix a new bit of epoxy, and only cover that spot. Use something self-leveling, like this epoxy, so that you can spread properly and even out the surface! You can also utilize a trowel to help spread the epoxy across the project. Some projects are more porous than others and may need help spreading the epoxy effectively.
Then you’ll begin sanding epoxy resin between coats. Sanding epoxy isn’t hard, but you’ll want to be thorough! Sand the entire piece evenly. It will look terrible when you finish sanding it, but don’t worry. After you pour the second coat of epoxy, it will look good as new!
Depending on the epoxy you’ve chosen to work with, you’ll have to wait between 4 and 24 hours before applying your second coat. Be sure to read your directions very thoroughly before beginning your project. Every epoxy is slightly different, so you need to know how to properly use your specific epoxy in order to get the best result!
How to Pour the Second Coat
Applying your second coat of epoxy is going to be almost identical to applying your first coat, other than your prepping techniques of course. You’ll begin by ensuring you have everything you need close by so you can work quickly and efficiently. Then, you’ll read the directions on your epoxy as a refresher, so you don’t make any mistakes!
Next, you’ll mix your epoxy and hardener according to the directions on your brand of epoxy. Then, you’ll begin pouring your epoxy the same way you poured it before--using a leveler to help you achieve a perfectly smooth and level finish!
Finally, you’ll simply wait around for your epoxy to cure, harden, and dry. Typically, this takes a little bit longer with the second coat than the first. It is ideal to go ahead and give your epoxy 24 hours before really using it, just to ensure it is 100% ready to go. Then, you’ll have a beautiful masterpiece to enjoy for a long, long time!
It’s definitely hard to work with epoxy at times. It can be finicky and hard to figure out. However, once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy to figure out! Pouring a second coat of epoxy is the exact same way.
All you need to do is ensure that you know exactly how your epoxy is going to work for you, then have at it! However, you do need to make sure you properly clean and sand your first coat before going in for your second.
While cleaning and sanding, it will leave the surface looking bumpy, rough, and unsightly but this is a very important step as it provides the second coat with a way to grip the surface without slipping off!
I hope this guide helped you determine if your project needs a second coat and how you can properly do that for a gorgeous finish! Happy epoxy-ing!