FR1 Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin User Guide
FR Crystal Clear epoxy resin can be used in many different applications. Just to name a few, it can be applied to restaurant tables, bar tops, wood crafts, canvas art, domino tables, bottle cap tables, poker tables, counter tops, etc. The possibilities are endless. The product is easy to use, however, we recommend doing a small practice run first so you can become familiar with how it works. For more pointers and guidelines be sure to read our Product FAQs.
- Safety Gloves and Glasses
- Clean Graduated Mixing Containers
- Clean Stir Sticks
- High Density Foam or Nylon Brushes that won’t lose bristles
- Rubber squeegees to help spread resin
- Propane torch preferable, but heat guns or hair dryers can also be used. Make sure it’s a dust-free environment.
- Acetone or Denatured alcohol can be used for cleanup and wiping.
- Drop cloths to avoid spills on floor surfaces
IDEAL WORKING CONDITIONS
- Ideal working temperature: 75°F – 80°F. Stay below 75% humidity; otherwise, it will really slow down the drying time.
- Product temperature should be acclimated to at least 75°F. Temperatures below 75°F will cause mixing to be extremely difficult as well create excess air bubbles that cannot be removed. To warm the epoxy quickly we recommend using either a heat lamp, an electric heater or placing the closed bottles of epoxy in a tub of warm water for 30 minutes. Getting the epoxy too hot will result in a faster reaction time, so pay careful attention to what you’re doing.
- The room you’re working in should be clean, dry, dust and insect-free.
- Make sure your product surface is level. If not level, the epoxy will puddle in the lowest point.
- Wood surface should be sanded, clean and dust free. If a stain will be used, we recommend an alcohol-based NGR stain, then wait at least 24 hours before applying your seal coat of FR1 Crystal Clear Epoxy. Oil based stains can cause fish-eye (crater-like air bubbles on the surface) if not completely dried for at least 2-3 weeks. After oil-based stain has dried, use a clear oil-based polyurethane as a seal coat, then wait 48 hours before applying your first flood coat of epoxy.
How much FR1 Crystal Clear epoxy should you buy? This depends on the size of the flat and leveled surface you wish to apply the mixture to. First, measure the length and width in feet and then multiply these two numbers to calculate the square footage. i.e. a table that measures 4 ft. x 6 ft. = 24 sq. ft. You can use our APPLICATION CALCULATOR to help you.
To estimate how much you’ll need for the seal coat: divide the square footage by 48.
i.e. 24 sq. ft. ÷ 48 = 0.5
To estimate how much you’ll need for the flood coat: divide the square footage by 16.
i.e. 24 sq. ft ÷ 16 = 1.5
Now you add both results and you get 2. This means you’ll need at least 2 gallons (1 gal. resin/1 gal. hardener) of the FR1 Crystal Clear epoxy resin to do one seal coat and one flood coat. If you need to do two flood coats, then multiply the result for the flood coat by 2. i.e. 1.5 x 2= 3 + 0.5 (seal coat)= 3.5 gallons of FR Crystal Clear Epoxy.
WARNING: This is just an estimate, so keep in mind that this leaves no room for waste or any mistakes. We highly recommend ordering a little more than what is estimated.
SEAL COAT VS. FLOOD COAT
The seal coat is a thin brushed on layer that is used to seal wood surfaces. You don’t want any air bubbles coming up when you pour your first flood coat.
NOTE: For most applications the wood surface on the bar or table should be sanded first, cleaned and dust free before applying the seal coat. Keep in mind that very porous woods, such as barn wood, may require several seal coats. In this case, you may be better off using a polyurethane to seal the wood, since it’s not as easily absorbed as the epoxy. If you use polyurethane, please wait 48 hours before you pour your first flood coat of epoxy resin.
The flood coat is poured and self levels at approximately 1/8” thickness. If depths thicker than 1/8” are desired, multiple coats are necessary. However, keep in mind that after ½” thickness, the epoxy will have a slight amber color to it. Also, you must wait at least 4 hours between each epoxy seal coat and each additional flood coat. You want the surface to still be tacky, when you apply each coat. If the seal or flood coat dried before you could apply your additional coat or if you’re using stains, please read our Product FAQs for further guidelines.
Note: Not all surfaces require a seal coat. If you’re not sure, feel free to call or e-mail us.
Safety Precautions: Gloves and safety glasses should always be worn when working with epoxy. This product is nontoxic and safe for indoor use because it has virtually no odor. Product may be harmful to skin so proper eye and skin protection should be worn at all times.
These two products are mixed together by hand at a 1:1 ratio by volume. Make sure to use two clean, graduated containers to properly measure out equal amounts of resin and hardener. Do NOT vary this ratio, epoxies are formulated to cure at a certain mixing proportion and any variances can cause the product to never fully cure. For beginners, we recommend mixing only 2 quarts at a time (1 quart of each part). Once you feel more comfortable with the product, you can do up to ½ gallon of each part. Use a separate container for mixing that is at least 30% bigger than the amount of product you are trying to mix. Pour in the hardener first and coat all sides of the container and your clean resin stir stick with the hardener, then add the resin. Continuous mixing is required including sweeping the sides and bottom of the mixing container while mixing and without lifting your stir stick to avoid mixing in air bubbles.
For a 2 quart mixture the mixing time is 4 to 5 minutes.
For a 1 gallon mixture the mixing time is 5 to 7 minutes.
*Good idea to use a watch or timer to ensure proper mixing time.
The product may cloud a little during mixing but will clear as mixing nears completion. Mixing must continue until all signs of cloudiness and hazy lines have completely disappeared. Some air bubbles are normal in the mixture; however do not whip the mixture. Whipping the mix will result in numerous tiny air bubbles which will turn the epoxy completely white with bubbles; this can result in air bubbles remaining in the cured product. It is important to mix without inducing air.
NOTE: If you don’t want to take any chances of under-mixing you can wait until the mixing container starts to become slightly warm to the touch which usually assures a long enough mix. However, this also reduces your working time especially when mixing 1 gallon.
For larger projects, mixing multiple batches for one coat is acceptable when they are poured right after each other. This will require more than one person to facilitate proper mixing and pouring within the allotted amount of working time.
WARNING: Pour quickly after complete mixing the two components. DO NOT leave large amounts of mixed material in your mixing container, this will cause an accelerated chemical reaction due to the heat being generated and your batch can start smoking due to this excess heat.
Pour quickly after complete mixing. When pouring the resins onto the surface NEVER scrape or brush out from the container you were just mixing from. Just pour the resin mixture out and leave the remaining material in the container. (If you try scraping the sides or bottom while pouring, any unmixed material that may remain on the sides of your mixing container may fall on your surface and leave an uncured wet or sticky spot.)
For the seal coat we recommend starting at one end and pour the resin the length of the leveled surface. Set the container down and then use a rubber squeegee or a high density foam brush to drag the resin across the entire surface and achieve an even coat. If your seal coat goes on too thick, you can end up with air bubbles staying trapped in the cured epoxy. Please keep in mind that the seal coat is only meant to cover up the grains of the wood. However, sometimes extremely porous wood or knots in the wood will need multiple coats in order to fully seal the surface. Wait at least four hours and then you can pour your next seal coat or first flood coat.
DENSE WOODS: For dense wood care must be taken to avoid too much build-up in the seal coat. You should reduce the amount of epoxy being applied, either by reducing the amount of epoxy you mix up for the seal coat or squeegeeing off the excess epoxy after you have poured it on. If your seal coat goes on too thick, you can end up with air bubbles staying trapped in the cured epoxy.
For the flood coat we recommend pouring the epoxy in the middle of the leveled table and allowing the epoxy to flow out. For bars, start on one end and pour the resin down the entire length. After you are finished pouring, set the container down. Do NOT try to scrape anything else out of the bucket. Since you poured about 3 times the amount of resin mixture that you did for the seal coat, the material will immediately start to flow out. To help guide it, you may need to use a plastic spreader or a high density foam brush. The less you use the brush the better. Dragging too hard on the brush will put hundreds of air bubbles into the surface which are impossible to fully remove. Once the surface is covered you will begin to pop any air bubble that might have formed. The best tool for removing the bubble is a small propane torch. By holding the torch gun 6 to 10 inches away from the surface and quickly sweeping across the surface you will begin to see the air bubbles pop. Other tools that can be used to pop the bubbles are a heat gun or a hair drier. However, both of these tools move air around which increases the risk of dust settling in the coating. It is a good idea to stand by the project for at least 30 minutes after pouring in order to pop any air bubbles that suddenly appear.
Each flood coat self-levels to approximately 1/8″ thick. If depths thicker than 1/8″ are desired, multiple coats will be necessary. You must, however, wait at least 4 hours between each coat. When re-coating within a 4 to 10 hour window, no surface preparation is needed. The layers will bond together as one. If you allowed the previous layer to fully dry, very light sanding is necessary with 180 or 220 grit sandpaper. After lightly sanding, wipe down the entire surface with acetone and a clean rag that will leave no lint on the surface or any more sanding dust. Once the surface is clean and dry and you no longer smell the acetone, you’re ready to do your next flood coat. The next pour will cover all sanding scratches.
For advice on how to deal with the bar rails and edges and underneath the edge, please make sure to read our Product FAQs.
After applying your final coat, the product should be kept in a clean and dust-free an environment as possible. At 80F degrees, the product takes approximately 12-14 hours to dry to the touch. However, the product should not be put into any type of use for at least 2-3 days which will allow it to achieve sufficient hardness. At temperatures below 80F degrees, the product will take longer to cure. The first couple of weeks after curing the surface is more prone to scratching, so we recommend the use of coasters and place mats whenever possible. As the product ages its hardness will increase. For additional tips on curing and how to care for your finished product, please visit our Product FAQs.
Drop Cloths should be used to avoid spills on floor surfaces. Use denatured alcohol or acetone for cleanup and wiping.