ChrisFromPhilly

TableTop Epoxy - Is my project ruined?

5 posts in this topic

Hi there.  I really hope there's something I can do to save my project.

I made a penny mosaic countertop and used the Tabletop Epoxy on it (pennies had already been glued down with craft glue 24+ hours earlier).  It has been 60 hours and while some areas of the counter are nice and hard, there are sections where touching it leaves the impression of my fingerprints and it's gooey to the touch, but no so soft that it can be mushed around.  Here are the details of what we did:

  1. The room we were working in is usually around 60 degrees so we put a space heater on high in there before starting.  The bottles of epoxy were stored in that room.  The space heater was not on in the room for more than an hour before we started mixing (so the ingredients were probably still very cold)
  2. Mixed the 1:1 batch gently by hand for 8-10 minutes with a thin paddle.  It was thicker and more gooey than expected, but we used it to brush over the layer of pennies anyway and in hitting it with a MAPP-gas torch in places it seemed to cover adequately and make no bubbles
  3. 5 hours later we mixed another batch for the pour-over (same thing, 8-10 minutes slowly by hand).  It was thick and gooey again, and it didn't do much by the way of self-leveling.  However, we were able to spread it around with a thin laminated piece of cardstock and hit it with the torch in quick flashes.  It wasn't as smooth as we had hoped when we were done, but it was evenly distributed so we anticipated it may need a sanding/topcoat upon drying to get a mirror-smooth finish in the end

Now, here we are 60 hours later and the space heater has been running in the room the whole time.  The table top is tacky in some spots.  I grabbed all the thermometers I could find in the house and put them in the room.  I discovered that the room itself is between 61 and 67 degrees and 41% humidity after 60 hours of space-heater supplement (so it was probably only in the upper 50's when we did the job).  In retrospect and with the benefit of additional research, I speculate that everything must have been too cold.  

My main question is this: is the project ruined, or will it just take a longer time to cure? 

Thank you so much in advance for your help and advice.  

Chris from (chilly) Philly

 

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This product is best applied between 70 to 80 degrees.  At those temperatures it could take a week to fully cure.  The project is not ruined.  Bring the Epoxy and the table top up to at least 70 degrees.  Mix up a batch and poor it on top.  It should self level and dry clear.  Be sure it is mixed well.   Be sure the epoxy doesn't have crystals from cold storage.

STORAGE: Store at 60-90°F in a dry place. After use, tightly reseal all containers. Store products on a raised surface off the floor during cold weather and avoid storing near outside walls or doors. Epoxy resins that are contaminated with dust or moisture, or are subjected to low temperatures may crystallize. Do not use material that has any sign of crystallization until it has been liquified. A crystallized resin or hardener can be returned to its original state by heating the material to 140°F to 150°F and stirring until it returns to the liquid state.

 

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Rick,

Thanks so much for the reply and the advice.  Did you mean to mix the batch and pout it over after it finally cures?  I have done nothing yet except keep those heaters blasting in the room.  It has now been 9 days, at min. 70 degrees in the room and it's still tacky to the touch in places.  It seemed to max out in it's hardening maybe 3-4 days ago and hasn't changed since.  I'm hoping that you meant I could pour it over the sticky stuff.  Would that be a good idea?  If so, should I sand first?

I was literally crying over this earlier today.  I have been working a lot lately and this was pretty much the only thing I've been doing with what little free time I've had and I'm just sick about the prospect that all the time and money might be wasted.  Ugh.

Another thing I was wondering in reflecting back on the processes I followed was that towards the end of pouring the pour-over batch, we didn't quite have enough to cover so I mixed more but put it in the container with what was still left that had been mixed ~20 minutes earlier.  Could mixing different batches being applied at the same time have caused the issues I'm seeing?

Thanks.

Christine

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Hi Christine,

You can mix and pour another batch on top even if it's still tacky.  Just be sure to mix really well.  Usually it remains tacky because that area wasn't mixed enough.  No need to sand as the sticky part will not sand well.

Mixing another batch and pouring after the first batch should be fine, again it must be mixed well so the hardener can do it's job.

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Rick,

I wanted to report back to say, "thank you" because the project turned out beautifully.  I sanded what I could, moved the whole project into another (warmer) room, re-coated it twice (it had to become a "pour over" edge, but that's OK), and it hardened perfectly.  The difference in the mixing of these product was quite dramatic when compared to my first attempt, when everything was a little too cold.  the first time, it was very difficult to stir and to spread.  Once I had everything warmer, it stirred and mixed very smoothly, poured very evenly, and hardened as it should have.  I am really happy with my new tabletop and I am already planning out my next project.  

I think I would have given up if it had not been for your replies here.  Thanks ever so much!

Christine

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