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Can You Put Epoxy on Stained Wood? (How To)

A completed woodwork is not really done until you’ve put the finishing touches. Usually, varnish is used to give that shiny, finished look, but this can take a lot more time to dry since it requires a lot more coats. A better option is to use epoxy instead.

Putting epoxy on stained wood gives it that finished look, while also acting as a sealant. This is important to protect the stained wood from scratches, stains, and even water damage. And it only takes half the number of coats, and half the time to get it dry than with varnish.

Paint brush to paint epoxy in wood

Another benefit you can get from putting epoxy on stained wood is that it doesn’t wrinkle when cured. This helps ensure that the material’s aesthetic is preserved, even when exposed to outdoor elements.

Should You Put Epoxy on Stained Wood?

Paint brush to paint epoxy in wood

With all the possible uses and application of epoxy, it only makes sense to use it on stained wood as well. The question is, should you?

Yes, you should put epoxy on stained wood.  Epoxy is primarily a bonding agent, known to deliver one of the most durable and strongest bonds around. Apart from this, however, it also works great as a protective sealant with great adherence to various materials like stained wood.

It also comes in very handy for repairs, not only wood but even on metals, and even countertops and floors. Putting epoxy on stained wood is one example of utilizing this material’s versatility in everyday use.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Epoxy on Stained Wood?

Paint brush to paint epoxy in wood

To get the most of the benefits from epoxy, it must be applied correctly on stained wood. To do this, there are specific tools that you should prepare.

The most important tool you need is the epoxy that you will apply on the stained wood. Epoxy resin is produced when a two-part liquid is combined and mixed together. Usually, there is a ready epoxy kit that already provides the materials for stirring and spreading the epoxy on the wood.

You’ll also need protective materials for your work surface, like cardboard, plastic or garbage bag, to prevent the epoxy from dripping on it. Otherwise, it’s going to be hard to get off, and it might ruin your work table.

Raisers or anything that can act as platforms for the stained wood should also help add protection. It also makes the application easier because these platforms create a space between the stained wood and the work surface.

You’ll also need a heat source that can get rid of imperfections like air bubbles. This can be a heat gun or a small kitchen torch. Otherwise, a hairdryer should work just as well.

What Preparations Do You Need to Put Epoxy on Stained Wood?

Paint brush to paint epoxy in wood

The first thing you should do is to prepare your work area. Depending on the size of the material that you’re working on, it can take as little as a few hours to a few weeks.

Put the protective cover on the table, and set the wood slab on the raisers. You can use anything from cups to cans, as long as the wood doesn’t touch the surface. If the wood is large and won’t fit the table, you can set it on the floor. Make sure to cover the area for protection as well.

Take note that the risers should ideally be the same height. This helps ensure that the layers will be applied consistently throughout the material.

To prepare the wood itself, make sure that the entire surface is smooth and even. You can use sandpaper to sand down rough edges if necessary. Wipe off the dust and other impurities on the surface so they don’t get trapped in there when the epoxy is applied.

Put a painter’s tape over the sections that you don’t want epoxy applied on.

How to Put Epoxy on Stained Wood

confused man standing

Applying epoxy on stained wood is rather straightforward. Once you have the epoxy resin mixture ready, you can go ahead and get started.

Pour epoxy mixture at the center of the wood, enough to coat the entire slab with it. Spread the epoxy to the edges of the wooden slab. Clear the edges from any excess drips of the epoxy. Get rid of the air bubbles using a heat source, and wait for it to dry before applying another coat.

Take note that epoxy resin hardens fast. That’s why it’s crucial that you pour it over the wood as soon as it is mixed. Otherwise, don’t prepare the mixture unless you are absolutely ready to begin the process.

When pouring the epoxy, what matters is not how you pour it, but how much. Because of how quick the resin reacts, you need to act faster. Pour as much epoxy as you think is needed to cover the entire slab with that one pour. Otherwise, a second pour will potentially damage that layer because the resin in the other sections would have already set.

Spread it quickly, but consistently. Every layer would have to be dried up first, so if the previous application is not doen well, this can affect the quality of the next layer of coat.

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To get rid of air bubbles, hold the heat source about 6 to 10 inches from the surface of the wood slab. You want to pop as many air bubbles as possible, so you should move the heat source slowly over the surface area. Don’t linger for too long in one section, otherwise the epoxy might burn.

A small slab coated with epoxy will typically take four uhours to dry. While it’s fine to leave it alone, you’d want to also check up on it, especially within the first 30 minutes, just to make sure no air bubbles come up. Immediately get rid of them with the heat source as soon as you find them.

After about four hours, you’ll know it’s time to add the second coat when the board feels a bit to touch. Repeat the process of creating a new epoxy resin mixture, and then pouring it on the center of the wood.

For this next layer, a hard surface material, like spatula, would work better than the foam brush used earlier. That’s because the foam brush won’t create an even spread over the first layer applied as well as the spatula.

You can apply as much as three to four layers of epoxy coat, depending on your project and what you’re trying to achieve with it.

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Hardened epoxy needs about 24 to 36 hours. It’s recommended that you wait for this before finally taking off the painter’s tape, if there are any. Be careful not to touch the surface unless you’re absolutely sure it’s dry, or else you might leave a fingerprint or other marks that can ruin the final outcome.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 11, 2022.

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