For the second counter top I scaled back the sanding and left the original finish mostly intact, and I decided most of the damming of the sides was unnecessary. So I only taped the edges and let the first seal coat drape the sides. I smoothed the sides with a foam brush to eliminate drips.
The bar top epoxy requires quite a few materials and supplies.
- Klear Kote resin and hardener
- 220 grit sandpaper
- Denatured alcohol
- Tack cloth
- Measuring cup and mixing cup
- Mixing stick
- Rubber putty knife (7″)
- Foam brushes
- Protective gloves
- Paper towels
- Plastic drop cloth
The instructions and tips I read all said measuring equal amounts of resin and hardener by volume was the most important step. I purchased too large a measuring cup which made measuring difficult but so far the mix has been accurate enough to harden.
The mixture is hand stirred for at least 1 1/2 minutes in the measuring cup, scraping the sides and the mixing stick regularly. Then it is poured into a second clean cup. I used disposable drinking cups and a clean one for each mix. It is again mixed for at least three minutes. I used a timer for the mixing.
My solution never became clear in the mixing cup again as some instructions suggest, but again it has hardened so far. It is poured across the entire top without scraping the cup. I let it linger a bit to have the last few liquid drops pour out. The next step is spreading the epoxy evenly on the bar top. The liquid is supposed to self level which means some high spots may lose their coverage as it dries.
Although I did not experience many bubbles in the drying epoxy, a propane torch is best to produce the CO2 that pops bubbles in the finish. I used the torch each time to spread a thin layer of CO2 over the top, moving the torch constantly and holding it high enough that there was not smoking of the surface. The polymer is not flammable but the under layer of wood still can get burnt.
The drying time is supposed to be about 6 hours and if re-coated in that time supposedly does not need sanding. But I always waited longer until completely dry and then sanded it a bit with 220 grit paper to have the next coat adhere better.
This is the second coat that is drying on the second counter top.
After use, I clean the putty knife with paper towels and wipe out the residual mixture in the measuring cup. Gloves are very important while working with the epoxy as the solution is extremely sticky. Although drips can be cleaned with denatured alcohol, laying plastic under the work surface is strongly recommended.