first time using this product. kept blowing on bubbles for 45 minutes
to remove, thought we were done. covered project to dry.
next day had several bubbles in hardened envirotex.
Does anyone have a technique to repair these bubbles??
I thought about cutting off with a razor knife and repouring, is that
a dumb idea?
Since no one else answered this so far.
Yes, you can scrape out the bubbles and re-pour. Make sure you don't
have any little 'flaps' of epoxy left on the surface otherwise the
re-pour might not get under it and you'll see the flaw. Use a
toothpick and rub around the areas you've cut in order to make sure
the epoxy gets into every little nook and cranny. Maybe even sand the
whole thing roughly - a second coat can go wrong since the surface is
so slick that the repour will 'pull away' from it and leave
'reverse-drops' of no epoxy. If it hasn't been that long, you may even
be able to put a razor blade under the edge of a corner and 'rip off'
the Envirotex if the surface was smooth enough. It takes quite awhile
to fully cure.
How to apply it properly in the first place:
Envirotex will get bubbles if you put it on bare wood, especially if
it's endgrain. Endgrain will soak it up, actually.
1. Get a faster cure epoxy. 5 min if it's a small area, 15 min or 2 hr
if it's a larger area. Mix it well, then spread it out all over the
surface, let it sit for a minute or so (work faster if you use 5
minute), then take a razor blade or other flat edge, and scrape the
epoxy off, leaving a very thin coat on the wood. It doesn't matter if
this is perfectly smooth or not, but make sure the epoxy is a clear
one. 'Gel' epoxy will not dry clear. Let this harden to 'seal' the
wood. You can use the Envirotex, but then you have to wait 12-24 hrs
for it to cure.
2. Find a fine-mist sprayer. Wal-mart sometimes has them in the craft
section or the 'travel kit' section. Sally Beauty Supply also has
them. They're only 2 oz or so but usually make a finer 'mist' than a
big spray bottle would. If you have a big one that makes a pretty fine
mist (looks like dust, not drops), that's okay too. Fill it with
alcohol, 91% isopropyl preferred. 70% is 'okay', but if you can't find
91, denatured is probably better. Make sure it doesn't melt the bottle
if it's denatured with MEK instead of wood alcohol.
2. Do all the prep-work in the instructions (i.e. mask things, put
down newspaper). Mix up the Envirotex or whatever pour-epoxy you're
using. I prefer to use giant syringes (BBQ marinade injectors with
rubber plungers work well. The giant automotive oil-mixing syringes
without the plunger don't work so well), make graduated marks on it
with a ruler if the markings on the syringe aren't sufficient (i.e.
smaller amounts). If you're picky, you can fool around and find out
how to mark it off in oz or ml or whatever. Doesn't matter so much as
long as all the markings are equidistant. Make the first mark about
1/4" from having the plunger depressed all the way, and always stop
there, it's easier to keep things accurate. Also mark whether it's
RESIN or HARDENER (use different color sharpies or you'll wind up
filling it with the wrong one, trust me) . Cover the markings (either
yours, or the preprinted one) with clear packaging tape. This way you
can wipe off the syringe with an alcohol soaked rag without taking off
the writing. This is much more accurate than pumps or graduated marked
cups. As long as the container you're mixing in has smooth sides and
you're using something like a big flat popsicle stick, you don't need
to pour back and forth between different cups if you use the syringe
3. If it's warm, and the envirotex is thin, let it sit 15 min or so.
This increases the surface tension enough so that it won't run right
off the edge of the workpiece.
4. Pour it onto the workpiece. Use a flat spreader to work it near,
but not directly on the edges of the wood, especially if you poured it
immediately. Let it sit for about a minute, then lightly mist it with
the alcohol sprayer. This will make a LOT of the bubbles pop. If you
sealed the wood properly, there will be no extra bubbles forming. Wait
awhile, then spray again. Do /not/ soak the epoxy, or it will thin and
fall off the wood. Use just use enough make the bubbles pop. You can
do this for about half an hour to an hour before it gets too thick.
You will usually get rid of all the bubbles within five minutes.
5. After it has set up for about 15-30 min, use the spreader and
carefully push the epoxy towards the edges, then carefully 'clean off'
the spreader against the edge just enough so that the epoxy goes all
the way. You don't want to add enough so that it breaks the surface
tension and the epoxy runs down the sides, though this may happen
anyway, especially if you are repouring over a previous thick layer.
This may create a few new bubbles on the edge, wait for them to rise
before spraying. I've found that you can disturb the surface from an
hour and a half to two hours and it will still be soft enough to
settle back out. After that it may cause permanent ridges, though
Envirotex will actually smooth out after it's hardened if you
accidentally get a small dent in it, well into two to four days
6. After you're done working with it, cover it with large tupperware
or whatever you can find to keep the dust from settling on it. After
an hour or so, look at it again to make sure it still looks okay. Use
a straight pin with the tip bent to hook out any stray hairs or
particles that may have gotten into it. Glue it into a stick if the
surface is large so you don't accidentally rest your wrist into it.
After about 8 hours, it'll be hard enough to uncover, but still soft
enough to scrape any drips that may have gone down the sides. If you
used masking tape, take it off after about 4-5 hours. Let it harden
for 12 hours before you attempt to move or touch it at all. It will
still take another day or so to harden all the way. Polish it with
alcohol on a soft cloth to get rid of dirt. If you need UV protection,
lightly scuff-sand it, then cover with a spar varnish, such as
Benjamin Moore Impervo 440.
If you have any further questions that I may have missed out here,
reply to the group and I'll add more to these instructions.
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