Epoxy Introduction

Epoxy Basics

Epoxies for all applications garage, floor, boat/marine, home repair, pipe and leak fixing


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Epoxy Paints come in lots of 'flavors.' The purpose of this page is to get you up to speed about epoxy paints and to compare the different epoxy paints  ( marine epoxy, apply underwater resins , two part putties, fillers, etc.).


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All Things Epoxy - An Introduction Page

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mixing epoxy

mixing epoxy resin

  Wikipedia - defines epoxy as:

Epoxy is both the basic component and the cured end product of epoxy resins, as well as a colloquial name for the epoxide functional group. Epoxy resins, also known as polyepoxides are a class of reactive prepolymers and polymers which contain epoxide groups. Epoxy resins may be reacted (cross-linked) either with themselves through catalytic homopolymerisation, or with a wide range of co-reactants including polyfunctional amines, acids (and acid anhydrides), phenols, alcohols, and thiols. These co-reactants are often referred to as hardeners or curatives, and the cross-linking reaction is commonly referred to as curing. Reaction of polyepoxides with themselves or with polyfunctional hardeners forms a thermosettingpolymer, often with strong mechanical properties as well as high temperature and chemical resistance. Epoxy has a wide range of applications, including metal coatings, use in electronics / electrical components, high tension electrical insulators,fiber-reinforced plastic materials, and structural adhesives. Epoxy resin is employed to bind gutta percha in some root canal procedures. [1]

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Everything-Epoxy.info (primary site) - Click Here (secondary site)


Epoxy Paints come in lots of 'flavors.' The purpose of this page is to get you up to speed about epoxy paints and to compare the different epoxy paints  ( marine epoxies, underwater epoxies, epoxy putties, fillers, etc.).

What separates general purpose epoxy paints (and non-epoxy paints) for epoxy and non-epoxy floor paints, plain marine epoxy, or even water, is their thixotrophic properties. The term has to do with internal gelling of the paint. Thixotrophic additives, such as fumed silica, give the coating the ability to 'gel' after application. This means when applied to a vertical surface, such as a wall, the coating will be as thick at the top of the wall as it is at the bottom of the wall. Regular marine epoxy, floor paints/epoxies, and water, are non-thixotrophic and if applied to a wall would tend to flow or slump to the bottom of the wall, leaving very little of the coating near the top of the wall.

Epoxy paints  are used for marine barrier coats, equipment coating, pipelines, tanks and sumps, wastewater applications, etc.. The advantages of epoxy paints is that they can handle full time immersion, strong chemicals, and are very impermeable as well as tough. Many are solvent free so wet thickness will equal dry thickness (cracks will not reappear as the epoxy cures) and they are nearly odorless. Some can even be applied underwater. The disadvantages of epoxies are that they tend to be brittle, quickly yellow in sunlight (white becomes a creamy color, light blue becomes light green, etc.) and lose their shine in sunlight. The yellowing and loss of gloss (even chalking in some cases) is due to the affect of UV on ALL epoxies (some epoxies will yellow in days, others take weeks but they all do eventually).


garage floor epoxy

self leveling floor epoxy application


The major differences between the different epoxy paints are:


Color - in large volumes (15 - 60 gallons depending upon the formulator) custom colors are usually available - but remember that epoxies yellow. Generally our epoxy paints are available only in one color, which varies from product to product.

marine epoxy for boat building

marine epoxy for boat building


Viscosity/fillers - solvent free epoxies tend to be somewhat thick, but all the epoxies considered here are rollable or brushable. Some are thinner than others making them slightly easier to brush or spray apply. Corro CoatFC 2100 epoxy paint, for example,  contains both Kevlar (tm) micro fibers and feldspar ceramic which complicates things if the product is to be spray applied. Generally many of these products can be applied at up to about 15-20.  Note that at 16 mils coverage is 100 square feet per gallon - at 8 mils it is 200 square feet per gallon.

Pot life - the amount of time after the two epoxy components are combined that they can be used before they begin to harden. Pot life is greatly affected by temperature (doubling or halving every 18 degrees F or 10 degrees C) and by the amount and concentration of the epoxy. 12 ounces of epoxy in a cup will have a much shorter pot life than 12 ounces spread out on a floor or 3 ounces of epoxy in a cup. In really hot weather an epoxy with a long pot life may be necessary because an epoxy with a more 'normal' pot life may not provide enough working time (perhaps only 10 minutes or so). In cold conditions a 'fast' or short life epoxy may be necessary because the cold conditions will greatly slow down the epoxy reaction and stretch out the pot life considerably.


epoxy for rot repair

epoxy for window rot repair

Price - this is self explanatory.

Shipping Restrictions - Most epoxies (actually just the curing agent - part B), and all products containing solvents are considered hazmat to ship. Generally these products can be shipped 'ground' without problem or special charges, but they are nearly impossible (or too expensive) to ship, especially in small amounts, by air or outside the USA. If you need air shipment or live outside the USA consider only the non hazmat classified coatings.


two part marine epoxy

Epoxy Part A and Part B and epoxy thickener


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BIG list of internet links for:  EPOXY BASICS - GETTING STARTED WITH EPOXIES - EPOXY 101






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need to learn more about epoxies??

--- visit these third party sites ---

Two Part Epoxy Product Groups:

(EVERYTHING-EPOXY.INFO  ---  Intro to basic epoxy resin types)

also visit the EPOXY GURU



Epoxy Essentials (tm)


Reasons for coating failures

Preparation problem 70%; application problem 12%; environment problem 6%; wrong paint selection 9%; bad paint 1%; adding thinner 2%

"At least 70% of premature coatings failures are traced back to 'surface preparation' whether referring to wood, concrete, or metal. In a commercial recoating project, the costs (and profit) associated with surface preparation are about 70% of the job. How extensive the surface preparation is will depend on the performance expectation of the owner... Know the A, B, C's of surface preparation - visible contaminants, invisible contaminants, and profile."


Dr. Lydia Frenzel, The ABCs of Surface Preparation, Cleaner Times, April 2001, pg. 42-44.



Epoxy coatings are used because of their outstanding chemical resistance, durability, low porosity and strong bond strength.

Epoxies consist of a ‘base' and a ‘curing' agent. The two components are mixed in a certain ratio. A chemical reaction occurs between the two parts generating heat (exotherm) and hardening the mixture into an inert, hard ‘plastic'.

Epoxies yellow, chalk (or more commonly least lose their gloss), in direct sunlight (UV). The yellowing can be a real problem. For pigmented epoxies select colors that are dark or contain a lot of yellow (such as green). Even clear epoxies will yellow and cloud up. Often epoxies are top coated with latex or urethanes that will retain their color and attractive gloss. This is particularly true if color coding or matching company colors is important.

Epoxies will harden in minutes or hours, but complete cure (hardening) will generally take several days. Most epoxies will be suitably hard within a day or so, but may require more time to harden before the coating can be sanded.

By their nature, epoxies are hard and brittle. Additives can be added to epoxies that make them less brittle, but generally at the loss or reduction of other positive epoxy properties such as chemical resistance.

Other clues of cheap epoxies include ‘induction time' (after mixing the two components the mixture must sit for several minutes to ‘self cook' before being applied).

The best time to recoat epoxy is within about 48 hours after the initial coat. Because epoxies take days to reach full cure, a second coat applied shortly after the first coat will partially fuse to the first coat rather than forming a simple mechanical bond.

End users can thicken epoxy with many things, Tiny glass spheres, known as micro-spheres or micro-balloons are commonly used. Besides thickening, their crushable nature makes sanding the hardened epoxy easier. On the downside, they work like tiny ball bearings, resulting is sagging and slumping. Another thickener is fumed silica (a common brand name is Cabosil (tm)) which looks like fake snow. About 2 parts fumed silica with one part epoxy will produce a mixture similar in texture and thickness to petroleum jelly. Micro-spheres and fumed silica can be combined together.

Fisheyes are areas on a painted surface where the coating literally pulls away for the substrate leaving a coatingless void or fisheye. Often fisheyes are caused by surface contaminants such as a bit of silicon, wax, or oil. I have also seen them on clean plywood where epoxies paints have been used as sealers and the problem might be due to uneven saturation (soaking-in) of the epoxy into the wood. Surface tension plays a big part in fisheyeing. There are some additives that can be mixed into the epoxy that will reduce surface tension. Likewise, on wood, applying several coats of solvent thinned epoxy, instead of one coat of unthinned epoxy, seems to work well. Applying a thick coat of epoxy over a contaminated fisheye surface will bury the fisheye but expect the coating to peel away in the future. As a rule of thumb, always suspect some sort of surface contamination as the primary cause of fisheyeing.

Adding a bit of solvent to a solvent based or solvent-free epoxy is something that most manufacturers would not officially approve of and something that might not work with all epoxies. However, it can be done (unofficially) with the epoxies I deal with. Adding solvent to these epoxies will: 1) thin them out; 2) increase pot life; 3) allows them to flow off the brush/roller a bit more smoothly; and 4) perhaps allows them to ‘soak-in', penetrate, or may be soften, the substrate just a little bit. Not change is visible in the epoxy unless 12% or greater solvent is added. With that amount of solvent, the epoxies no longer cure with a glossy finish.

It is best to use epoxies with a mix ratio close to 1 to 1 as opposed to something 4-1, 5-1, etc. because errors in the mix ratios can be more pronounced with the latter. That said, no matter what the mix ratio is, some epoxies are more forgiving of mix ratio errors than others. One ‘trick' of epoxy vendors with odd or very sensitive mix ratios is to sell calibrated pumps that disperse the epoxy components in exact amounts.

How Thick? How thick should your coating be? Economics play a major role in determining how much coating to apply. One U.S. gallon contains 231 cubic inches. That's only 1.6 cubic square feet of surface at one inch thick and that's also assuming a solvent-free product. If the product is 25% VOC (i.e. 25% solvent) then dry thickness/coverage will be 25% less. Again, assuming a 1/4 inch thick coating (250 mils) maximum coverage will still be only 6.4 square feet per gallon. A solvent-free (100% solids) epoxy coating applied at 16 mils will cover 100 square feet per gallon (note: the wall paint in your office is probably 2-4 mils). While thick coatings sound like a good idea, they use so much product that they must be made very cheaply so that coating 1,000 or 10,000 square feet can still be done at a competitive price. A high quality, fairly expensive product with a coverage rate of 100 sq. feet or more per gallon, on the other hand, will have a low enough cost per sq. foot to provide both economy and top quality.


Page 1


Epoxy Paint

Page 2

 epoxy paint

Garage  Coatings

Page 3

garage epoxy

Epoxy Resin Systems

Page  4

 epoxy resin

Clear Marine Epoxy

Page  5

 marine epoxy

Questions and Help

Page  6

 epoxy help




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Links to Lots of MUST READ Information Articles About the Best Epoxy Floor Paints, Including Preparation, Alternatives, What Can Go Wrong, etc.

floor related articles, info, links





Clear Top Coats  - FLOOR CLEAR TOP

Best Floor Epoxy - CLICK HERE

Epoxy Quartz Floor - BROADCAST FLOOR

Acid Etching - ACID

Epoxy Paint Chip Floor - CHIPS

Epoxy Paint vs. Floor Epoxy Paint - EPOXY PAINTS

Epoxy Paint - SURFACE PREP

Floor Basics/Options - START HERE

Floor Epoxy - CATALOG PAGE





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