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DIY Epoxy Handbook: Tips and Tools for Project Success

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Utilizing a two-part epoxy system for your household or outdoor projects can be a great choice for a positive outcome. Some folks are a bit intimidated by the complexities of mixing epoxies, calculating ratios, and there’s also the age-old question of product safety. But our epoxy products are simply too good of an option to be hesitant about. Don’t grab the cheap glue. Read over your manual and take stock of our useful epoxy tips.

10 Tips for Every PC Paste or Putty Epoxy Project

Tip #1

First, avoid all skin contact when working with epoxy — wear gloves. If you keep your skin protected and the work area well ventilated, your safety concerns are pretty much covered. If you are still a bit nervous, wear a respirator and eye protection.

Tip #2

Make sure the parts to be bonded are clean and free of dirt and dust. If you’re working with wood, we’ve found that freshly planed surfaces work best. If you’re gluing metal to wood, it’s a good idea to slightly roughen the metal before applying the epoxy.

Tip #3

For smaller projects, you can cover your work area with wax paper or freezer paper. Most epoxies don’t stick to wax paper! This makes for easier clean up should you drip.

Tip #4

Measure out only what you think you’ll need for your project – because you can’t save the leftovers. Remember, once mixed, epoxy has a limited working time, some more than others. Read the label – and if you’re doing a large job, it’s often better to mix several small batches as you go along.

Tip #5

Don’t use Styrofoam cups or paper plates to mix your epoxy. One of the by-products of the chemical reaction that results from mixing epoxy systems is heat, and Styrofoam cups can easily melt.

Tip #6

To keep track of mix time, write down the time when you started mixing the parts so you’ll know how much time you have to work with. And remember, the more mass you are mixing at one time, the more heat is generated from the chemical reaction, reducing cure time.

Tip #7

Use a disposable glue brush for your application. The best way to an excellent bond is to apply the epoxy to both surfaces. This ensures that the joint won’t be starved — that there will be plenty of adhesive for a strong joint.

Tip #8

Remember that you don’t have to apply a lot of pressure to the parts you are joining – no clamps needed. If even necessary, this can be done with string or tape, or even rubber bands.

Tip #9

Don’t forget to scrape off any squeeze out with a putty knife while the epoxy is still slightly soft and doughy. Once the epoxy has cured, it gets a bit more difficult – or even impossible – to remove.

Tip #10

If you do happen to get any epoxy on your skin, it should be cleaned off with a waterless soap immediately, then thoroughly washed with soap and water. Do NOT use a solvent, that can make it worse. Your tools can be washed with white vinegar or Isopropyl alcohol. Semi-gelled epoxy can be cleaned with acetone.

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Like your mother always said, “A job worth doing is worth doing well.” We stand behind that sentiment every day at Protective Coating Company. Epoxy onward!

 


 
 

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