Recovering from an Epoxy Snafu

Epoxy table-top coatings should be self-leveling. But what if it doesn't level? Here are tips on repair for an epoxy job gone haywire. September 10, 2007

I applied self-leveling Mirror Coat 2-part epoxy to a project exactly per the instructions and now I have a serious mess - it didn't level. The temperature was in the appropriate range. I poured it on in an s-shaped pattern and then squeegeed it around. 24 hours later it still looked exactly as I left it and it did not melt into a smooth service.

Now I suppose I am going to have to sand it off and start over. Have any of you used this product or one like it before? Am I better off rolling it on or something? It would really be great if I thought I could poor on another coat and have it level, covering the unevenness of the first coat, but following my first failure I think that will just leave me with more to sand off.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
I've used the Enviro Tech (?) version on a big table. It went down well, but I thought it was too soft for a topcoat. It scratched very easily.

As for your situation, I would immediately call System3 Resins. They make the Mirror Coat. I can't imagine epoxy not spreading out. Usually a squeegee is all you need to just push the stuff so it runs over the edge.

As for getting it off... Epoxy resins typically get beat up by heat at about 200 degrees F. If you attack that lump with a belt sander, it's going to heat up and glaze the paper like crazy. I would start with a power plane and try my best to cut it off. Then I would get a
4 1/2" grinder (known as the "detailer" in the boatbuilding world). Throw a 60 or 80 grit sanding disc on it and go to town. The detailer dissipates heat much better than the belt sander. You have my empathy.

From contributor B:
Question: How big of a batch did you mix up? How long did you mix it and how long before you started pouring? The reason I ask is that epoxy resins and hardeners, when mixed, generate heat. This heat causes the epoxy to start going off very quickly if left confined in a mixing container. If I need to mix a large amount, I pour it into a shallow tray to avoid heat buildup. If your epoxy was going off too quickly, it may well be that it was losing its leveling properties.