Are you wondering how to use epoxy resin on wood? You could be a pro or complete beginner in woodworking and want detailed step-by-step insights into: What are epoxy resins? What’s the application of epoxy resin in woodworking? How is epoxy resin used on wood? How to apply epoxy resin on wood . . . or even can you use epoxy resin on wood? Kindly read the article below, where we dive into each of these topics in sharp detail.
WHAT ARE EPOXY RESINS?
An epoxy resin is a natural compound with a carbon skeleton onto which different elements are attached, giving different epoxy resins different features. Epoxy resins often include a hardener or curative compliment working together to form an excellent epoxied surface.
Most epoxy resins are harmless to use. In fact, there are standards of grading food and drinks safe epoxy. It is possible to have specific formulations that produce 100% solids in epoxy resins allowing them to be friendly to the human breathing system.
WHAT’S THE APPLICATION OF EPOXY RESIN ON WOOD?
From the definition, manufacturers can induce reactions on different carbon chains, attaching different elements to the carbon chain, thereby producing epoxy resins for different uses. For example, there are flexible and rigid epoxy resins, and there are also high viscosity and low viscosity epoxy resins. As such, the applications of epoxy resins are diverse, as discussed below.
1 – EPOXY PAINT | EPOXY SEALANT | EXPOXY COATING | EPOXY FINISH – TOUGH, IMPACT RESISTANT EPOXIED SURFACES
One major advantage of using epoxy resins as paints, sealants, coatings, or finishes on wood is using less energy than traditional powder coatings with a high heat requirement just for curing.
Also, epoxy paints provide a tough, durable, and aesthetically pleasing look to wooden surfaces. Click here to read about the best epoxy resin for woodworking. Suppose you use epoxy resins as paints for outdoor situations, for example, outdoor wooden benches. In that case, it is worth noting that epoxy resin deteriorates, with time, due to exposure to UV rays. Some of the signs of deterioration could be yellowing (not UV specific problem) and chalking out.
As for paints, epoxy resins can be used as wooden coffee table linings, wood countertop coating, or wooden floor finishes.
2 – EPOXY RESIN ADHESIVES ON WOOD – EXTREME HIGH STRENGTH ADHESIVENESS ON WOOD
Epoxy adhesives are extremely high strength and often specially classified as engineering adhesives for specific situations. In a related article, we discussed the strongest epoxy for metal with insights into how this is helpful even in woodworking. In the article, the best picks for the Best Epoxy for Wood to Metal exhibited over 3000 psi tensile strength.
Therefore it is possible to use epoxy resin adhesives to attach one piece of wood to another piece made from plastic, glass, metal, or stone.
Again the advantage we have with Epoxy Resin Adhesives on Wood is the versatility these resins offer due to their different properties of different curing and setting times, color transmission, and flexibility.
Besides, epoxy adhesives on wood offer great heat and chemical resistance allowing them to be used on wooden kitchen furniture and outdoor situations.
3 – EPOXY RESIN IN ART – THE BEST AESTHETICS ON WOOD
There are numerous designs within which you can manipulate epoxy resin to produce epoxy resin art on wood.
One, being liquid, epoxy resin takes the container’s shape, meaning you can achieve any shape you want with epoxy resin for art.
It is even possible to achieve epoxy resin 3d art or even make wood epoxy resin art for sale.
Two, there is the potential to change epoxy resins’ color by adding a pigment that provides millions of color outcomes that could suit the majority if not all designer needs.
Changing the shape and color allows designers and woodworking hobbyists to achieve sleek and creative designs while, at the same time, sealing or bonding wooden surfaces.
Some of the woodworking projects that you can perform with epoxy resin in art include:
River Tables, Wooden Table Tops craft, Wooden Bar Tops, Wooden Coffee Tables, Resin Art Lettering, and Wooden Live Edge Tables.
4 – FILLING LARGE VOIDS IN WOOD WITH EPOXY – REPAIR KNOT HOLES, VOIDS, AND CRACKS ON WOOD
“On occasion, as a woodworking enthusiast, you are bound to land on wood pieces that have large voids, cracks, or holes in them. Although the large voids are not easy to work with, especially when you want the smoothest of surfaces, it is aesthetically pleasing to view these ‘defects.’
Therefore, instead of using substances like wood putty that would not maintain the look of the large voids, cracks, or holes, it is more beneficial to use epoxy resin to fill cracks in wood or, generally, the use of epoxy for wood repair. Epoxy results are beautiful and intriguing, increasing the engagement of surface users with the newly epoxy surfaces.”
The above is an excerpt from our recently released article on Filling Large Voids in Wood with Epoxy.
HOW TO APPLY EPOXY RESIN ON WOOD
SURFACE PREPARATION FOR EPOXY RESIN
This stage involves cleaning, dusting, and cutting, roughening, or smoothening your wooden surface. There are several reasons why you would want to prepare your surface in a specific way:
Cleaning and dusting are important in removing debris and dust from your wooden surface. Such material often collects as a top layer, affecting the result epoxied wooden surface’s aesthetics and craftsmanship. You may not want a dislodged piece of wood laying anyhow inside the cured epoxy resin.
Roughening a wooden surface to apply epoxy resin is mainly done to improve adhesiveness. Although the physical attachment is one of three ways epoxy resin attaches to surfaces, it is critical to make surfaces rough enough to achieve high adhesiveness levels. Applying epoxy resin on wood is therefore much easier than a surface like metal, where roughening a smooth metallic surface is challenging.
You might want to do well-designed carpentry to ensure you are using epoxy resin on wood that is well dimensioned, positioned, and detailed. This kind of wooden surface preparation may involve cutting pieces of wood, engraving art on the wood, adding inclusions to cure with the epoxy, and placing pieces of wood according to the masterpiece design.
EPOXY RESIN MANUAL
Due to the difference in epoxy properties and branding, it is critical that you read the instructions bundled with your epoxy resin carefully. All manufacturers include the epoxy resin manual in the product bundle –Material Safety Data Sheet [MSDS].
Sometimes the resin bundle may not include the MSDS, in whose case one must check for information on the official website of the manufacturer.
The information in the majority of MSDS also includes information on safely disposing of the epoxy.
Check out the following pages:
EPOXY RESIN TOXICITY??
An epoxy resin is less likely to cause toxicity to the human body when wet or even after curing. Sometimes there’s a mild irritation on the skin or eyes when working with epoxy.
Although some epoxy resins have zero VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which are harmless to the human breathing system, it is very important to work in an excellently ventilated workshop. By keeping the workshop well ventilated, you inhale significantly fewer VOCs, if any at all, and hence only a little or no irritation on the skin or eyes.
You do not want to have a tiny space around where you perform your epoxy resin woodworking projects. Have a vast area around which you can move around, and air can come in.
EPOXY RESIN PPE
Workshop respirator with filters. In the theme of safety from potential epoxy resin toxicity, you need to consider purchasing a respirator. This move, combined with excellent ventilation in the workshop, now reduces your VOC inhalation to insignificant levels.
Gloves and glasses. Gloves and glasses allow the user to prevent physical contact with the epoxy resin through the skin or eyes, where irritation could highly likely occur.
SO, HOW DOES ONE ACTUALLY APPLY EPOXY RESIN ON WOOD?
Before applying epoxy resin on wood, we will have to be clear with a few terms:
Epoxy Resin: Hardener, Mixing ratio – This is the proportion of the epoxy resin to the hardener compliment. The MSDS has information on the exact ratios. However, if you are an epoxy resin scientist or experimenter, it is interesting to try out different mix ratios, which result in different outcomes.
Epoxy resin curing – Curing happens when the epoxy resin reacts with the hardener to form a tough result. Functional cures often mean the resulting surface can be fully used for the intended purpose.
What is epoxy set time? – Setting is when epoxy resin stabilizes on your surface and stops moving.
Epoxy resin pigment – Mostly, epoxy resins have this crystal clear feature and do not come colored. In fact, the marketing lines read terms like ‘Ultra-clear, Super-clear, and Crystal-Clear.’ However, pigments soluble in epoxy resin make it possible for designers to include colors into their form factors.
NOTE: Since we have introduced yet another specific product to our epoxy resin mix ratio, it is crucial to check out the MSDS for the pigment to ensure compatibility and safety of use.
TIP: pigments are added gradually and separately while stirring vigorously, allowing the user to achieve the correct color.
POURING EPOXY RESIN – MAKE IT OR MAKE IT
If you are a total beginner, this step is where you should pay close attention because the craftsmanship of this step determines the overall quality of the entire woodworking project.
Pour from a specific side of the project. Pouring for one end makes it easier to eliminate bubbles from your project, although some epoxy resins have anti-bubble features.
Sometimes, especially for large areas, pouring from the center of the project is advantageous since you continuously track how much epoxy resin you will need for your woodworking project.
Also, if the epoxy resin lacks self-leveling properties, then it is advantageous to pour in the middle of the woodworking project from where you can use a form brush to spread it to the entire project area.
HOW TO QUICKLY REMOVE BUBBLES ON EPOXY RESIN
You could pour from one end of your project (especially for voids) have an epoxy resin with anti-bubble features but still end up in epoxy with bubbles.
A wonderful solution for this situation could be using a blow torch or a heat gun, after which bubbles will be eliminated from your woodworking project.
SECURING YOUR EPOXY RESIN PROJECT
The woodworking project should be left in an area with minimal disruptions or traffic. Especially for filling large voids in wood, you do not want a chisel to poke the tape holding your epoxy in the void that would cause a leakage of the entire volume of epoxy resin.
TIP: Place a small volume of the epoxy resin mix in a cup or beaker to monitor your woodworking project’s setting or curing process without disturbing the project.
Finally, you have now used epoxy resin on wood. It could be your first woodworking project, or for the pros and occasional hobbyists, the article provides interesting TIPS and NOTES. Therefore, it is possible to use epoxy resin on wood as paint and as an adhesive, for art and for filling voids.
See the list below for tools mentioned in this article:-
All the best as you continue woodworking!