lot of hard work goes into creating works of art out of epoxy resin, a material comprised of two components that, when mixed together, solidify into a durable piece of plastic with a glossy surface. However, the process of removing your epoxy creation from its mold can result in a dull, cloudy, and uneven-looking piece. By polishing epoxy resin after it has been removed from its mold, you can achieve a beautiful, glossy finish with relative ease.
Table of Content
- 1 Polishing Epoxy Resin Pieces
- 2 Preparation: Wet Sanding Your Epoxy Resin
- 3 How to Polish Epoxy Resin
- 4 Important Considerations When Using Epoxy Polish
Polishing Epoxy Resin Pieces
Almost all kinds of epoxy resin pieces can be polished so as to achieve the glossy finish that this material is renowned for. The ease with which you are able to polish your piece will depend on its overall size and shape, although the polishing process tends to be relatively straightforward. You can use epoxy polish for the following:
- Polishing cast objects
- Adding a shimmering protective coat to your resin art
- Polishing large surfaces made of resin such as tables and countertops
- Adding finishing touches
- Finely sanding areas that have been fixed with resin
This informative article will direct you to learn how to polish epoxy resin for the glossiest finishes to make your resin piece truly stand out.
Preparation: Wet Sanding Your Epoxy Resin
It is necessary to wet sand your resin so as to improve the performance of the sanding paper. The process of wet sanding helps to flush out additional cut materials that may get in the way of the resin and the sanding paper. The water also prevents the build-up of dirt upon the surface.
It is best to begin with a coarse piece of water-resistant sanding paper of 120-grit that you can increase up to 300-grit whilst sanding in a circular motion. This can be done by hand or with an orbital sander. The sanding process will be finished once the surface of the resin is completely smooth and even, after which you can begin polishing.
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Wet Sand Resin
- You can begin either by using a spray bottle or a bowl of water to wet the sanding paper or by directly wetting the surface of the epoxy resin.
- Start going over the resin with your sanding paper in circular movements.
- After a short while, you will notice that the water on the resin is becoming milky. Use a clean rag to wipe this water away and reapply some water to the surface before sanding again.
- As you increase the grit of your sandpaper, the finer grain will have less of an impact on the surface of your resin. Any leftover scratches at the end of this process will be nearly impossible to remove.
- Be careful and work lightly when sanding the edges of your resin piece. You can finish off by wiping away any excess water from the surface.
You may find that in some cases, your resin piece is already quite smooth. This tends to be the case when using a polishing silicone mold, and will significantly reduce the amount of sanding you need to do. Smoother surfaces will require lighter sanding of a finer grit, although some surfaces may not need any sanding at all!
How to Polish Epoxy Resin
Polishing resin is a fairly simple process, although this does not mean that you cannot make a mistake. You should always work slowly and carefully when polishing so as to achieve the smoothest, shiniest finish possible.
You can ensure a quality finish by choosing a polish that works well with epoxy resin, of which there are many on the market. Generally, you will find that polishes meant for wooden surfaces will work equally as effectively on epoxy resin.
Should You Apply Your Epoxy Polish with a Drill or Polishing Machine?
We recommend that you use a polishing machine for larger surfaces, as the machine is not only much quicker but will provide a professional-grade finish. These machines come with various polishing attachments and sponges to achieve different results and can be adjusted to reach an optimal speed. However, you need to be careful not to overheat the surface as a result of the friction.
Angle sanders should not be used for polishing epoxy resin, as you cannot control the speed of these machines. Thus, the number of times you need to sand the resin surface can result in the resin overheating.
For smaller items made of resin, we suggest using an everyday drill with a polishing attachment. These attachments can come in the form of discs, sponges, and even ball heads to achieve a polished look in even the most awkward of spots.
Applying Polishing Resin to Smaller Areas with a Drill
- Affix the appropriate polishing attachment to the end of the drill.
- Prepare the attachment’s fibers for use by switching on the drill and holding the attachment disc against an item with edges.
- Switch off the drill to put the polishing resin paste on the attachment. Switch it on again and then carefully hold the polishing piece to the resin.
- Use controlled and even movements when applying the polish to your epoxy resin piece. Work slowly and carefully until the entire piece has an even shine.
- Try to use as small an amount of polish as possible at a time, as it is easy to apply too much pressure at one moment and cause damage to the surface of the resin.
- If necessary, go over the polished surface with an extra-fine polishing attachment.
Applying Polishing Resin to Larger Areas with a Polishing Machine
- It is best to use a polishing machine for larger surfaces, as you can cover more ground whilst controlling the speed of the rotation device on the machine.
- Where a drill bit rotates stiffly around a set axis, polishing machines are able to move in circular or more random movements, which allows for more effective polishing.
How to Polish Epoxy Resin Manually
You can also polish smaller epoxy resin pieces by hand instead of using a drill. This method enables you to have total control over the process. You will need a bowl of clean water, a piece of linen or cotton cloth, clear polishing paste, and a hard, rectangular object (such as that made of wood). With these materials at hand, simply follow our instructions on how to polish epoxy resin by hand:
- Apply a small amount of polishing paste onto a piece of cloth and then slightly wet the cloth with some water.
- In steady, circular movements, lightly rub the cloth over the surface of the resin. This process can take some time before any visible progress has been made.
- You can use the block of wood (or a similarly angular item) to polish the surfaces and edges of your piece that are straight. Simply wrap the cloth around the piece of wood and go over the corners and edges until glossy.
Important Considerations When Using Epoxy Polish
There are some factors worth keeping in mind when polishing your piece of resin:
- Do not become discouraged if the surface of your piece does not take to the polish immediately. Oftentimes, the matte look of a surface is due to excess polishing paste. You can rectify this by frequently removing the paste residue with a clean and soft cloth so as to keep a proper eye on the progress of the polish.
- Ensure that you are using clear polishing paste. If your polishing product is not completely transparent, it can leave behind a colored hue or even thicker deposits of color that are difficult to remove.
Polishing your resin masterpiece will result in a beautiful, glossy finish. However, in order to achieve this aesthetic, you need to be willing to put in the hard work. By properly sanding and preparing your surface, followed by careful and precise polishing, you will be left with a smooth, gleaming epoxy resin art piece that would make anyone proud!