How to clear epoxy resin wood

Written by tracie grimes
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How to clear epoxy resin wood
Clear epoxy resin protects wood and brings out the beauty of the grain. (autumn home decor image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com)

From wooden tables to bar tops and stools, wood used in most homes can be costly. If you're looking for a way to protect your investment from scratches, nicks and moisture damage, consider applying a clear epoxy resin sealer. Unlike other wood sealers, the clear epoxy resin will make its way into the wood and strengthen the fibres. It will also enhance the beauty of the grain and add a glasslike finish. Applying clear epoxy resin to wood takes time, but considering the years of protection you'll add to your cherished piece, it's time well spent.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Dust sheets
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Clear table top epoxy
  • Clear table top hardener
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Stir sticks
  • Graduated mixing cups
  • Bucket for mixing
  • Foam or nylon bristle brushes
  • Squeegee
  • Hair dryer
  • 220 or finer-grit sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Denatured alcohol or lacquer thinner
  • Embedding objects (optional)
  • Mod Podge (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sand the wood surface and wipe away the dust with a tack cloth.

  2. 2

    Mix the hardener and resin, measuring the exact amounts in graduated measuring cups according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pour the hardener into the mixing bucket, then the resin. Mix completely with a clean stir stick, until the cloudy, white appearance clears, scraping the sides of the bucket often. This could take up to five minutes.

  3. 3

    Apply the first coat, also called the seal coat. Wear safety glasses when applying resin. Brush it on the surface in a thin layer with a brush, making sure you smooth out any bubbles and remove any brush bristles that may come loose. Let dry for four hours.

  4. 4

    Apply the second coat (flood coat) over the surface. Pour a small amount into the centre of the wood piece. Allow the resin to run over the edges and use a clean brush or a squeegee to spread the resin evenly. Apply at least two or three layers of the flood coat or more until you achieve the look you're going for. Each layer of the flood coat should be a 1/8-inch coating. Let the coating dry from four to 10 hours before applying another flood coat. If the coat has dried for more than 10 hours, lightly sand it with a 220 or finer-grit sandpaper and remove the dust with a clean cloth and denatured alcohol or lacquer thinner.

  5. 5

    Embed objects in between the flood coat applications, if desired. If embedding paper items like maps or photos, seal them first by applying two coats of Mod Podge to the paper surface with a foam sponge. Let the Mod Podge dry in between coats. If embedding porous objects, seal first by applying a coat of the seal epoxy.

  6. 6

    Cure the resin by letting it dry and keeping it as clean and dust-free as possible. Curing will take two to three days.

Tips and warnings

  • Epoxy resin is self-levelling and manufacturers recommend letting in run over the sides of the wood, so use dust sheets under the wood you're sealing to keep the resin from getting on the floor.
  • For best results, apply in a clean, inset-free, dry room that's between 21.1 and 29.4 degrees C.
  • If you're using a good quality brush, you shouldn't have a problem with the bristles coming out into the resin.
  • Take your time.
  • Mix your products in a clean mixing bucket and follow manufacturer's instructions exactly.
  • Use a hair dryer to release any air bubbles by sweeping the hot air over the surface until the bubbles disappear. This must be done before the resin has dried.
  • Wear rubber gloves when working with epoxy resin.
  • Wear safety glasses.

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