Inadequate surface preparation: Failing to properly clean, degrease, or etch the surface before applying epoxy is a major mistake. Contaminants or uneven surfaces can prevent proper adhesion, leading to peeling or delamination.
Improper mixing ratios: Epoxy consists of resin and a hardener that must be mixed in precise ratios. Incorrect measurements or incomplete mixing can result in an incomplete cure, tackiness, or a soft finish.
Insufficient mixing time: Inadequate mixing time can result in parts of the epoxy not fully incorporating the hardener, leading to uneven curing and weak spots in the coating.
Inaccurate application temperature: Epoxy has an optimal application temperature range. Applying epoxy outside of this range can lead to improper curing, bubbles, or an uneven finish. Low temperatures can slow curing, while high temperatures can accelerate curing, making it difficult to apply the epoxy smoothly.
Applying epoxy on a damp surface: Moisture on the surface can interfere with the epoxy's ability to adhere properly. Ensure the surface is completely dry before applying the epoxy.
Overlooking or insufficient ventilation: Epoxy application can release volatile fumes. Inadequate ventilation can not only make the application process uncomfortable but also lead to air bubbles or surface imperfections due to trapped gases.
Applying too thick a coat: Applying epoxy too thickly can lead to uneven curing, air bubbles, or even excessive heat build-up, which may cause the epoxy to crack or peel.
Using old or expired epoxy: Epoxy has a shelf life and can expire. Using expired epoxy or one that has been stored improperly can result in an incomplete cure, a soft finish, or other application issues.
Not addressing air bubbles: Air bubbles can form during mixing or application. Failing to remove these bubbles with a heat gun or by using other techniques can result in a less aesthetically pleasing finish.
Rushing the process: Epoxy application requires patience. Rushing through any stage—surface preparation, mixing, or application—can lead to a subpar finish. Allow the necessary time for each step as per the manufacturer's instructions.
Avoiding these common mistakes involves thorough preparation, following instructions meticulously, and taking the time needed for each stage of the application process. Unless you're a pro, It's also a good idea to practice on a small, inconspicuous area or on a test surface before tackling the main project.