epoxy table finish - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-23-2016, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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epoxy table finish

So I have a kitchen table that has been through a number of less-than-top-notch finishing regimens, and I would like to get some opinions on where to go from here.
They are as follows

For a good number of years, we had simply had a table cloth on an un-finished table. The table has a fairly pretty grain (I couldn't tell you what kind of wood it is), so with the support of the family, I decided I was going to apply a clear coat to replace the table cloth. This is what happened...

I had read/heard somewhere about those epoxy kits are actually intended for coating bar surfaces, tables, etc. This sounded perfect, so I went to Home Depot and bought. as I remember, it was a 64 oz kit (32 resin and 32 hardener). I completely neglected to read about mixing and application, and proceeded to mix the whole 64 oz in 1 fell swoop. It took about 15-20 minutes of my prep time before I went to soak a brush for application. At this point, and only at this point, did I realize that the bowl I was mixing them in, had become literally flexible to the touch from heat. I went to dunk my brush, and it was hot enough that I could feel the heat permeating from a few inches from the surface.

I'm an underestimated, overzealous chemistry geek, and it hit me right then and there, that I had set off a serious exothermic reaction. It just contained getting hotter and hotter, so I figured I probably ought to start applying it before it starts hardening. I started applying it as fast as I could, but it was too late. It was hardening so fast that it just wasn't adhering to the wood.

We left it on there for a year or so, but it began to peel fast, and just continued to do so fairly fast. At that point we went back to the table cloth.


After a year or maybe 10 months, I admitted defeat, and stripped the remainder off.

At this point, for some reason I can't pin down, I had developed the opinion that this type of epoxy product had been removed from the market.
That being my thought, I decided that I ought to do a new coat with polyurethane. This application was very easy and painless, but it just isn't hardy enough. The epoxy, I would have felt safe leaving industrial ethanol and nitric acid standing on the surface for days and days... the polyurethane I think would fail against that after a few hours.

The reality is that it did in fact begin to fail after just a few months, and by now a good 50% is gone. I could kick myself for not getting more in depth with finding another epoxy kit for the job.


So my question is this... There is definitely still a fair amount of poly left on there. Can I apply the poly on top of that? Or will it just not adhere without stripping all the poly off?

Thanks so much for any input on the subject!
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-23-2016, 05:53 PM
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Mods, can the duplicates be deleted?

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-23-2016, 06:12 PM
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I think the best thing for you to do is buy a new table that is already finished.

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post #4 of 14 Old 09-23-2016, 07:07 PM
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Thread is too much for me to read. As long as the poly that is on the table isn't cloudy you should be able to scuff sand it and apply another coat.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-23-2016, 07:21 PM
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You've learned a number of lessons the hard way....

You indicate the Poly is coming off, this indicates an issue with the surface/prep when it was put on. It's a crap shoot if the remaining Poly will come off, but with your luck, it's likely it will if you coat over it
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-23-2016, 07:43 PM
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Reading through the post, I have just one question;

Why the devil are you leaving nitric acid on a kitchen table? That cannot be safe...

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post #7 of 14 Old 09-23-2016, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't say I was leaving those chems on the table. What I said was with the epoxy you COULD do that with no worry about the finish degrading. Read the post.

The poly isn't peeling. It was the epoxy that I mixed too much of at once that was peeling, because it started hardening before I even started laying it down.

So what I have right now is a table half-coated in poly, the other half which has been slowly eaten away by thousands off times washing the surface after eating.
post #8 of 14 Old 09-23-2016, 08:35 PM
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If you plan to keep this table for a long time, I would strip the poly off and sand the the entire table. Then I would wash the top with lacquer thinner, followed by mineral spirits, and then a final sanding to 220 grit. That should get rid of any remaining solvents that might jeopardize the adhesion of the new top coat. This is based on not knowing what the wood species is of the top. Then two or three applications of thinned polyurethane thinned 10 to 20% with mineral spirits (depending on the brand), scuffed between coats with a non-woven abrasive pad. A possible alternative to poly might be a conversion varnish, but after reading the original post, that product may be "off the table".

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Last edited by Jim Frye; 09-23-2016 at 08:37 PM. Reason: added blather
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-24-2016, 06:08 PM
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If your wanting a finish on your table that will withstand "ethanol" or "acetone" or other solvents, you would need a conversion varnish which is only spray applied. I believe from reading this post, that is out of the question.

I would go for the self leveling epoxy as seen here:

And get this product:
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...eCwaAgQ38P8HAQ

PS....you will have to strip off the poly you currently have on the table and start from scratch.

Matching colors on different substrates is easy. All it takes is patience and beer.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-24-2016, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I didn't say I was leaving those chems on the table. What I said was with the epoxy you COULD do that with no worry about the finish degrading. Read the post.

The poly isn't peeling. It was the epoxy that I mixed too much of at once that was peeling, because it started hardening before I even started laying it down.

So what I have right now is a table half-coated in poly, the other half which has been slowly eaten away by thousands off times washing the surface after eating.
The attitude helps nothing mate, unless you consider pissing off people to be beneficial. If you're judging woodworking finishes based in their abilities to withstand industrial solvents, you're gonna be disappointed no matter what you go with. Nitric acid melts metal, anything you can brush on wood isn't going to last very long.

Youve already got several decent answers posted, if none of those apply to you isn't not the fault of the responders. The quality of the answers depends on the quality of the question, be succint, include the relevant information and discard the unnecessary crap, and above all else it's not the best idea to insult someone's comprehension skills when your original post referenced a finish not standing up to industrial solvents and acids as if it were a serious concern
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-25-2016, 05:10 PM
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At this point the red flags without pictures of top is WHY???? And my next questions in line to ask with the why.

Why did epoxy peel???? Was it due to lack of prepping the wood, the type of wood, the incorrect mixture???? That list goes on

Why did poly fail??? Was it lack of prepping, type of wood, incorrect stripping/rinsing, not properly installed/enough layers/coats??? You mentioned finished stripping epoxy...was that peeling or chemically??? IF it was tough enough to strip epoxy how much damage does it do to the wood and how tough to properly neutralize????


Why as a chemical guru you didn't read NOR expect a chemical reaction??? My opinion is stick with chemicals and let a finisher fix the table properly. Many finishes WILL NOT BOND to other finishes and strippers not thoroughly cleaned and neutralized are another issue...also IF the table had been wiped down over the many prior years with a furniture polish then your raw wood could be saturated with silicones or waxes and a finish won't bond there either.

Show a few pics and the prep details or lack of for better info. These guys/gals here only want to help you and you did ask their opinion(s) with very limited correct info needed.

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post #12 of 14 Old 10-13-2016, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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well I stuck to my guns, and both tables turned out awesome! stripped em down to bare wood and took em to 220 grit, and used a team effort to get a good coat applied with my sister. They aren't perfect, but they are both better than I was hoping for!
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-13-2016, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
well I stuck to my guns, and both tables turned out awesome! stripped em down to bare wood and took em to 220 grit, and used a team effort to get a good coat applied with my sister. They aren't perfect, but they are both better than I was hoping for!
What products did you use???

Matching colors on different substrates is easy. All it takes is patience and beer.
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-14-2016, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

That is the product that I used for both tables. The maple kitchen table used about 40% of the gallon, and the oak coffee table used about 30% of it. So far they've each been subjected-ed to about 5 days of daily moisture contact (daily wide-down following usage), and you can't see a scratch of detriment to the finish on either of them!
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