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What Surfaces You Can (and Cannot) Resurface with Epoxy

Posted by Kristin Nordhausen on

The DIY Guide for Epoxy Coating Your Existing Surfaces

One of the most common questions that we get from our customers is just what surface they can cover with epoxy? The answer is virtually any surface can be covered! However, there will be preparation involved for porous surfaces. Below, we have categorized a list of the substrates that don’t require prep, porous surfaces that require preparation, and those few surfaces that cannot be covered with epoxy.

The surfaces that you can directly apply your flood coat of epoxy to include:

  • MDF Board
  • Formica
  • Laminate
  • Formica
  • Tile
  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Glass
  • Metal

Before applying the epoxy, make sure the surface is clean and free of any debris. If you are pouring a countertop, one recommendation we have is to prime the vertical edges by applying our prime coat. As epoxy flows like honey and follows the rules of gravity, it can be thinner on these edges. Applying the prime coat ensures that you have a consistent color throughout the piece.

Now that you know the easy surfaces to coat with epoxy, let’s graduate to porous surfaces.

Porous Surfaces

  • Wood - including plywood, butcherblock, and live edge.
  • Concrete

There are unique tricks that you can use to prepare these surfaces for an epoxy coating. As these substrates are more porous, we recommend a skim coat on the entire surface of the piece, including the underside if possible. This preparation seals the surface and prevents air bubbles from forming during your flood coat as well as moisture entering the surface which can cause delamination. The skim coat is applied with a squeegee and the product is worked in until the surface looks wet, and not glossy. Before you apply your flood coat you should apply 1-2 skim coats to the surface waiting 6 hours between each coat.

Recoating Epoxy & Urethane

To coat epoxy that has set for longer than 12 hours, you will need to sand the surface so that the next layer can adhere. This is a light sanding and doesn’t need to be too abrasive, it simply provides an added assurance that the epoxy will coat properly.

For urethane, be sure to sand the surface extremely well. Otherwise your epoxy will struggle to adhere to the surface.

Surfaces that Cannot be Covered With Epoxy

The few surfaces that cannot be covered with epoxy include:

  • Copper
  • Silicone

Epoxy cannot adhere to this small list of surfaces. Keep this in mind when planning out your project and be sure to choose one of the many other surfaces that will adhere to the epoxy!

Was there a surface we missed? Email us at any questions you have about application of epoxy, we are happy to help! 

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