Epoxy paints are tough, durable and attractive finishes that are well suited to floors, pools and other concrete surfaces. However, epoxy paints need to cure properly to get the best results. Here are a few of the factors that affect the drying and cure time of epoxy.
Most commercial and industrial grade epoxy finishes have an ideal application temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with an application range from 50 to 90 degrees. Specific products may be formulated for applications in higher or lower temperatures. In general, lower temperatures will inhibit proper curing. Without a good curing cycle, the finish will not generate the toughness and adhesion that makes epoxy such a good coating material.
Like acrylic and latex paints, epoxy finishes are susceptible to moisture during the drying process. Excessive humidity can slow down drying times. Most epoxy manufacturers specify humidity ranges for application, with 50 percent being a very common ideal humidity value. Some specialty products will tolerate higher humidity environments more than others.
Of more concern for a quality epoxy finish is moisture on the surface that is being coated. Making sure the surface is absolutely dry is an important part of the preparation process. Surface moisture greatly reduces the adhesion of the epoxy and results in blistering and curling.
Like other paints, epoxy needs time to cure properly. Without curing, the epoxy is easier to damage, and will likely exhibit a less appealing look. One special consideration with epoxy is the length of time before top coating. Many epoxy finishes have a recommended time frame for top coating. This time allows earlier coats to complete a critical part of the curing process, while still giving the fresh epoxy a good surface to bite into.