Using Countertop Epoxy's ULTRA UV 500F Premium FX PoxyTM Epoxy to create a beautiful, elegant countertop, bartop or table top with epoxy resin is both a science and an art. By scientific we mean that if you carefully follow the instructions below, you will have predictable results - a beautiful smooth 3D surface that is scratch-resistant, heat-resistant (up to 500F/260C), Ultra UV-resistant, incredibly impact-resistant (five times stronger than concrete), non-yellowing and will last a lifetime. The artistic aspect comes with your choice of contrasting FX PoxyTM Colors and FX Metallic Powders/GlittersTM for creating granular effects, veins, marbling and other natural or unnatural effects. We have simplified this as much as possible with our pre-assembled Countertop Epoxy Kits, which come with everything you need to create a beautiful countertop, bartop or table top that will rival the appearance of granite, marble, quartz, soapstone or any other type of stone. If you are naturally artistic and would like to experiment, try our Create Your Own Countertop Kit, which comes with your choice of 14 FX Prime CoatTM Colors and 35 FX Metallic Powders/GlittersTM for endless color combinations and patterns. For advanced training, attend one of our Epoxy Resin Workshops to become an expert, and learn how to make money doing something you love!
TOOLS & SUPPLIES (Included in ProTops Tool Kit)
- 2 quarts = 8-10 sq feet @ 1/8"
- 1 gallon = 16-20 sq ft @ 1/8"
- 2 gallons = 32-40 sq ft @ 1/8"
- 3 gallons = 48-60 sq ft @ 1/8"
- 4 gallons = 64-80 sq ft @ 1/8"
- 5 gallons = 80-100 sq ft @ 1/8"
- 6 gallons = 96-120 sq ft @ 1/8"
- 7 gallons = 112-140 sq ft @ 1/8"
- 8 gallons = 128-160 sq ft @ 1/8"
- 9 gallons = 144-180 sq ft @ 1/8"
- 10 gallons = 160-200 sq ft @ 1/8"
STEP 1: PREPARATION & CLEANING
Before you start, make sure that both the epoxy, substrate and ambient air temperature are between 70 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 - 24 Celcius). Clean countertop surface with 409 or a comparable cleaner. Make sure the entire work area is clean and free of dust and clutter, which may contaminate the finished product. Use DAP spackling to fill small holes, cracks and seams. Be sure not to leave any excess spackling on surfaces to be coated with epoxy. Use a sanding block to smooth repairs.
Product temperature may lower dramatically during transit. The product and ambient temperature must be between 70°-75° when mixing, 70° is ideal. It is advised to maintain this temperature for at least the first 24 hours of cure time. Lower temperatures will affect the integrity of the cured epoxy. Please acclimate your epoxy to a 70 degree room first before use.
Skim Coat. If applying epoxy over a porous surface such as concrete or wood, a skim coat is necessary before flood coating with epoxy to prevent air bubbles in the finished product. If you're careful you can do this now; otherwise wait until after masking. Mix a small amount of epoxy according to the instructions in Step 3 and use a squeegee to spread a very thin coat over the entire surface, and torch. This will seal the surface to prevent air bubbles during the flood coat stage. Wait a minimum of 6 hours after skim coating before applying the flood coat.
STEP 2: MASK & PAINT EDGES
After cleaning, let the countertop dry, then begin masking. Roll plastic onto the floor and under your work area. Place the masking material tightly up to the toe kicks under the cabinets and use masking tape to hold in place. Then run plastic along the front edge of your cabinets at the very top, just under the countertop, allowing it to drape onto the floor which you just masked. This is to allow epoxy to drip off the countertop without touching your cabinets or floors. Once everything is properly masked, paint all vertical countertop edges with FX Prime CoatTM. The purpose of this step is to ensure your original substrate does not show through where the epoxy naturally runs thinner. If you are coating a backsplash, please call our support staff for additional instruction. Make sure that you have enough FX Prime CoatTM left over to mix with the epoxy flood coat later on. Let this prime coat dry for at least 4 hours before moving on to the next step.
STEP 3: MIXING EPOXY
NOTE: In this step, it is extremely important to measure epoxy accurately and mix thoroughly, with clean buckets and clean mixing sticks. Hardener (Part B) should always be poured into the mixing bucket first, followed by the resin (Part A) in an exact one-to-one ratio. Mix well with the stirring stick for 3 minutes (avoid drill mixing with this product). Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bucket often to pull any unmixed part A or B off of the container walls. Most problems encountered are because of failure to follow these instructions or failure to have your ambient air temperature, countertop and epoxy at the required temperature before starting.
STEP 4: ADDING BASE COLORS
This step is equally important, and still necessary even if you are only completing a clear coat. Take the already mixed FX Poxy and pour all of the contents into a second clean container. Then add your FX Prime CoatTM color to the mixture (not necessary for clear coats), and stir for an additional 3 minutes using a second clean mixing stick. One jar of FX Prime Coat ColorTM is enough for up to 2 gallons of Premium FX PoxyTM. As soon as you are finished mixing, immediately pour all of your product out onto the countertop surface. WARNING: If left in the bucket, it will harden much more quickly than when poured out on the countertop, reducing your working time.
NOTE: All of our products have been specially engineered for compatibility. Use of other epoxy resins and colorants may affect UV resistance and curing. Do not try to cut corners by mixing a cheaper epoxy or using other colorants with our epoxy. If you choose to ignore this advice, do so at your own risk! For more information, read the specifications on our Premium FX PoxyTM.
STEP 5: FLOOD COAT WITH EPOXY
Spread the epoxy mixture that you just poured onto the countertop with a foam roller, and coat the entire surface evenly and thoroughly, right up to the edges. NOTE: At this point product will start dripping over the edge. Don't try to prevent this by stopping short of the edge. You will waste a little epoxy here, but it's not worth saving material by coating too thinly near the edges. And don't worry about the drips that form; you will take care of them later on.
STEP 6: TORCHING THE SURFACE
Once you are satisfied with your creation, it's time to heat the surface to help level the epoxy and release air bubbles. For this you may use a heat gun or propane torch. A heat gun is not as effective as the torch, and will tend to push material rather than level it. A propane torch will also allow you to create a marbling effect if so desired. We recommend using a torch head that works well when inverted. It is advised to avoid any other types of torch tanks such as butane or MAPP gas. Torch evenly, making sure to not torch too close to the edges. Never let the torch stay in one place, but keep it moving in even, overlapping strokes. If you torch too long in one place the surface will burn. This step not only levels the epoxy and releases small air bubbles, it can also be used to give the finished product a marbled effect. Finally, examine the surface carefully using reflected light on the surface to help identify any non-covered or uneven areas.WARNING: Do not use torch in presence of solvents or other flammable materials, and give isopropyl time to evaporate before torching. Avoid torching or making any changes after the first 45 minutes of working time.
*For use with white, it is suggested to skip the torch step, and instead, spray clear 91% isopropyl alcohol on top of the surface to remove the air bubbles.
STEP 7: CREATING VEINS, MARBLING AND GRANULAR EFFECTS
After you finish leveling the base coat, you can start mixing accent colors by adding metallic mica powders to 91% isopropyl alcohol in spray bottles. One package of FX Metallic Powder is adequate for 1-2 quarts of isopropyl. The ratio of isopropyl to powder is not critical since it will evaporate and leave the metallic powder behind. Shake often before and during application to keep the colors suspended. Use this mixture to create veins, marbling, granularity and contrast. Layer colors on top of each other or apply them alongside each other in random patterns. For veins, use a paint stick to drag accent colors through the surface, or create swirls by mixing two colors layered on top of each other. To create granular effects, stand back from your work and spray from a distance, adjusting the spray nozzle from fine to coarse. Experiment off of your countertop, spraying on the masking film or a piece of cardboard. Try spraying more heavily in certain areas and lighter in others. Note that FX Glitters are not the same as powders, and may clog your spray bottle if you attempt to apply them the same way as the FX Metallic Powders. Mix FX Glitter directly into the epoxy for a consistent glittery effect. Avoid spraying alcohol after the first 45 minutes of working time.
Always start and finish strokes by spraying off of the countertop and moving across your piece, so you don't end up with a large puddle of color where you don't want it. This is your chance to be creative and experiment. Remember that if you're not happy with the results, you can always go over it with contrasting isopropyl/metallic powder accent color mixture. Allow time for colors to blend after spraying to get a better idea of the finished look. For ideas, you can use high-quality photos of natural stone and try to duplicate on your countertop "canvas." When finished, you can spray clear isopropyl over the entire surface. This will help to further blend and subdue colors and create an even more natural, stone like finish. This also helps to release any remaining air bubbles that rise to the surface from mixing.
WARNING: Isopropyl alcohol, while not as volatile as other solvents, is still highly flammable. NEVER have open flames while spraying isopropyl, and be careful when torching to wait until alcohol has fully evaporated.
STEP 8: CLEANUP
Approximately 2-3 hours later, go around all countertop edges with a paint stick or putty knife in order to remove drips from the bottom edge. Once the epoxy is completely cured, if you have any remaining drips, you can remove them with sandpaper. Once epoxy has hardened to the point that drips are no longer forming (about 2 - 4 hours), you can start to remove the masking and clean up the area. Color over-spray is easy to wipe off as the isopropyl evaporates, leaving behind only the colored powder.
THAT'S IT, YOU'RE DONE!
Wait at least 36 hours before using your countertop, and longer before placing heavy objects on top. Like concrete, your countertop will take 30 days to completely cure and reach full hardness.
It is advised, with a dominantly white coating, to take extra caution with direct heat, including slow-cookers, pressure cookers, or anything that might produce direct heat to the surface for longer periods of time... we recommend using a hot pad for extra protection to prevent any discoloring.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? PLEASE CALL US!
Do you still have questions? Please don't hesitate to call. We have the friendliest, most experienced staff in the industry, and for no additional cost, we will be happy to walk you through the entire process. Call Now at (970) 639-9338 to speak one-on-one with one of our professional installers.