Laying It Down: Epoxy Application Step by Step

October 1, 2008

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Epoxy coatings are durable and versatile, and are used in many industry and commercial settings where performance, looks and chemical resistance are a priority. Here’s how epoxy is applied by the pros, from the pot to the finished product.

Epoxy Application: Prep Work

The secret to a great paint job is found before a single stroke of paint is applied to the surface. Preparation is vital to getting great results. For epoxy application, preparation involves choosing the right products and preparing the surface. 

Before applying epoxy, a painting contractor examines the expected use of the surface and factors in the effects of environment in order to choose the right product for the job. Epoxy paints are formulated for particular tasks, and matching the right paint to the project goes a long way to improving the performance of the finished coating. 

Once the epoxy product has been selected, the painting contractor prepares the surface that is receiving a coat of epoxy. Shot blasting is used for floors and sand blasting for structures. The primary purpose of blasting is to cause a profile. Additional benefits are that blasting can clean the surface of any stains or old paint that might affect the adhesion of the new application of epoxy. After a thorough cleaning and drying, the surface is ready for a coat of epoxy.

Epoxy Application: Mixing It Up

Epoxy paints are mixed at the job site. Two compounds, one a base agent and the other a curing agent, are mixed together in a set proportion. Once mixed, the epoxy begins to cure. From the moment the base and curing agent are combined, the painting contractor has a limited amount of time to apply the epoxy to the surface. 

Epoxy Application: Laying It On

Applying epoxy requires a practiced hand. Like other paints, epoxy coatings have an optimum film thickness, which is determined by the amount of epoxy applied to the surface. The painting contractor will brush, roll or trowel the coating into place, not too thick and not too thin. 

For a more lasting finish, the painter will build up an epoxy application with multiple coats. When applying multiple coats, the painting contractor will let the epoxy cure for a certain amount of time before applying a second coat. Epoxy coatings have a sweet spot in the curing process which is most favorable for additional coats of product. Too much curing and the new coat doesn’t bite into the previous layer; too little curing and the new coat interferes with the previous layer’s curing process.

Epoxy Application: The Final Cure

Once the final coat goes on the surface, the epoxy application is nearly complete. Now, the coating has to cure completely which can take several days. After final curing, the epoxy coating is a durable shield for the underlying surfaces. 

Epoxy paint is a great product for many industrial and commercial buildings. If you have questions about the capabilities of epoxy paint, please contact a local paint and coatings contractor for more information. 

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