We can not stress this enough…Temperature is what is going to make this go smoothly or give you a headache unnecessarily. No matter what epoxy you are using from Yeti Labs Epoxy, We recommend following these temperatures for the best results.
Your work area (ambient temperature) – should be between 70-80 degrees. We never mix or pour in temperatures lower than this unless we are using THE DEEP – deep pour casting resin. This is because if it’s cold the epoxy thicken, which means it is much harder for the epoxy to release these bubbles even after torching when using THE TOP – table top and counter top epoxy. If you are using THE DEEP – Deep pour casting epoxy then you can pour in colder temperatures because its such a thin viscosity like water, the bubbles will be minimal to none anyways. However, as a general rule and to make things go smooth, we always get our temps in our work area to around 75 degrees.
Temperature of the epoxy – Sometimes we cant always get our rooms to the exact temperature because of the time of year, where we are in the world, etc. In that case and you are pouring in a colder environment, we recommend warming the epoxy before mixing and pouring. The way we do it is we put the epoxy in front of a space heater or similar until it reaches around 75 to 80 degrees. We have also used a double boiler and warm water to achieve this. We actually do this as well even if our room is at the correct temperature simply because the epoxy might have been stored in a garage or a cold vehicle, etc so we just make sure if it’s cold weather – double check the temperatures and adjust accordingly.
Warmer temperatures will give you fewer bubbles, smoother glass like finishes, and overall less headaches and issues.
We are big fans of hand mixing with a mixing stick. That being said, it really depends on the volume you are mixing and what epoxy you are using. For THE DEEP – Deep pouring casting epoxy, we are usually using large amounts, so we will mix with a drill for 5 minutes or until you do not see any “swirls” in the mixture, it should be crystal clear once mixed.
If you are using THE TOP – Table top and counter top epoxy, we base it on volume. If we are mixing 32 OZ or less we will mix by hand. Because this epoxy is much thicker in viscosity it is not made for pouring anything other than a top coat or less than 1/4″. We usually pour for an 1/8″ top coat. Mixing small amounts with a drill will make tons of bubbles and require much more attention than if you mix by hand. You will still get bubbles in a small mixture, but they will release with a torch or heat gun if you have not poured too thick, and your temperatures are correct. (see FAQ about temperatures)
All Yeti Labs solvent-free epoxies have essentially unlimited shelf lives so long as they are stored in sealed containers. The resin may crystallize or the hardener may darken but this does not affect its performance. If the material is more than a year old do a test to satisfy yourself that it cures properly. We recommend 24 months as a universal shelf life for our products, although we also recommend using the product within a few months prior to any possible material changes.
The hardener oxidizes from oxygen which can discolor it slowly while stored over time. Sometimes the user believes it is not good (hence throwing away). Reality is the material may still be good, but just does not look the same.
As always, please test a small amount prior to any large installations.
THE DEEP – Deep pour epoxy has incredible pot life and workable time. You could leave this in a bucket for many hours and it will not overheat, or thicken on you. You literally have all day to work with it. The set up time on the deep pour because of its low heat and thin viscosity is between 36-48 hours after mixing. Light use or sanding can be done between 48-76 hours depending on temperature, as colder temperatures will make it take longer to set up. This epoxy when cured is extremely hard and crystal clear and is heat and scratch resistant as well as UV resistant.
THE TOP – Table top and countertop epoxy – This epoxy is designed thicker, and not meant to be poured in large deep voids or rivers, etc. It is designed for top coating tables, counters, art, and the like. It is a self leveling glass like top coat. After mixing the set up time is approximately 30-45 minutes depending on temperature. Colder temperatures will take longer for the epoxy to set up and cure. Light use or sanding can be done after 24 hours if the temperatures are correct. This epoxy is heat resistant, UV resistant and scratch resistant for an incredible glass like top coat that will last.
How do I get rid of Bubbles in epoxy resin?
Bubbles are common. A simple way to eradicate them is by using a heat source like a heat gun or a small torch. Lighter = No (You will burn your finger off).
Also, we have special formulations which naturally have fewer bubbles overall, but depending on the volume being mixed, and how you are mixing it can create more bubbles as well. Using a deep pour epoxy such as the deep has a viscosity like water so you wont see hardly any bubbles using THE DEEP. Table Top Epoxy is much thicker so when mixing bubbles will appear, but dont worry, since the top coat is applied in 1/8 inch thickness they are easily removed.
PRO TIP: When mixing the epoxy resin and hardener…
the more volume of mixture you have in a pot, the more chemical reaction. This creates heat. To reduce the heat, mix the product efficiently within 3-5 minutes and a get the mixture out and spread across the project.
The longer it stays in a pot the more heat. More volume = more heat.
More heat will not only create more microbubbles but it can make the cure brittle like glass.
We do not recommend it. Even though we have added one of the best UV inhibitors to our epoxy, The sun is a beast of a monster and over time, it can break down the UV inhibitor. Any color additives may fade over the years, and you might see yellowing after long exposure to direct sunlight. We have had clients use this on tables in a covered patio away from DIRECT SUNLIGHT and they held up fine. If you do place it in direct sunlight, we recommend adding a good quality varnish or urethane with HALS protection additives.
Mixing paints and acrylics with epoxy is not recommended.
Epoxy Resin is a byproduct of oil. So acrylic based, water-based and even some oddly blended oil-based pigments don’t mix well with epoxy. They can get clumpy and even leave a weird film on the finished product. \
We recommend Mica powders, concentrate/solvent based pigments as additives to create your desired colors. Many of these are available in our shop
Powders like Glow powders and mica powders can also be incorporated in our epoxy as long as the powder doesn’t exceed 5% of the total mixture.
Always test small if you do try outside our recommendations… but we do have some color options within our site if you need.