If you’re familiar with epoxy coatings, you know that maintaining a smooth finish can be tricky. Pin holes, fish eyes, and bubbles are all common flaws that will appear in your coating if you don’t apply them properly.
This blog post discusses our most effective tricks for preventing these unsightly blemishes from ruining your coating job and ensuring a professional and polished look. Read on to learn how to minimize or eliminate fish eyes, pinholes, and bubbles in your epoxy floor coatings.
What Causes Pin Holes and Fish Eyes in Epoxy?
Substrate contamination is the leading cause of pin holes and fish eyes in epoxy coatings. The surface you want to coat may have dirt, dust, oil, silicones, wax, and other contaminants. These contaminants prevent epoxy resins from laying flat and curing with a flawlessly smooth surface.
Contaminations on the substrate will disrupt the surface tension, causing the epoxy to pit or separate. Consequently, it will “run away” from the contaminated surfaces. Ripples may also develop when you apply resin to a layer already in the curing process.
You should stop the application when the resin becomes warm and begins to gel. Now that you understand the origin of fish eyes and pin holes, let’s look at how you can prevent them effectively.
Top Five Tips to Prevent Epoxy Pin Holes, Fish Eyes, and Bubbles
Proper surface preparation is critical to ensure a beautiful, smooth epoxy seal coat, no matter the coating you use on your concrete floors. You can achieve this by undertaking your epoxy coating job in a clean, properly ventilated environment. Make sure there’s minimal airflow to minimize the risk of introducing contaminants to your surface.
Apply some Denatured Alcohol (DNA) to a lint-free rag and use it to wipe the substrate. The rag will pick up oils and other contaminants that could be on your surface. Don’t apply your epoxy coating until the DNA evaporates completely.
Avoid touching the substrate with bare hands once you clean and wipe it. Instead, you can use plastic sheets, wax paper, or gloves to move or flip your board, preventing oils from fingers from contaminating the surface.
Apply the epoxy coat using a clean bristle brush, squeegee, or foam nap roller.
Ensuring the epoxy resin and the work surface are at a similar or the same temperature is essential. This way, you will prevent thermal shock and shrinking of the resin to create an “orange peel” looking surface.
The sudden temperature change when hot resin drops on a cold substrate will lead to resin rippling, undermining its smooth flow.
Tips to Avoid Contaminating the First Stage Epoxy Cure
Once you prepare your concrete floors or other surfaces for epoxy coat application, avoiding contaminants in the “green” first-stage epoxy cure is critical. You can achieve that by implementing the following tips:
Avoid Touching the Wet epoxy Coating
After application, leave the coating alone for about ten minutes to flow and flatten, then examine the coating for any inconsistencies. You shouldn’t even walk around the newly coated surface. You don’t want to kick up dust and other unwanted particles that can settle into your epoxy coating, resulting in a fish eye or pinhole.
Keep Resin Handy
Even with meticulous preparation and cleaning, your newly applied coating may still develop fish eyes due to uncontrollable environmental factors. If you notice any imperfections in your epoxy coating, drip some resin from your mixing bucket on the affected spot. Leave the resin to flatten by itself, bonding to the surrounding resin molecules.
Avoid Brushing Over Inconsistently Coated Areas
Otherwise, you may reduce the surface tension, causing a large fish eye or separation. Instead of brushing over the surface, just drip some epoxy resin on the area to resolve the inconsistency.
Generally, proper epoxy coating depends on the surface, your preparation efforts, and environmental factors. Implementing the above tips can help you avoid fish eyes, pinholes, bubbles, and other imperfections, ensuring a beautiful, flawless epoxy coating job.
Contact Rush & Reef Concrete Coatings for Quality Epoxy Coatings in Dallas
Now that you know how to prevent pinholes, fish eyes, and bubbles in epoxy coatings, Rush & Reef Concrete Coatings is the company to call if you need top-quality epoxy coatings in Dallas, TX. Our epoxy coatings offer exceptional heat, corrosion, fatigue, and chemical resistance to ensure long-lasting beauty and protection for your concrete surfaces. We also offer a lifetime warranty on our epoxy and flake coatings and a ten-year warranty on metallic coatings.