Bartop DIY's Super Clear Bartop Countertop EpoxyTM is useful for creating a beautiful, elegant countertop, bartop or table top with epoxy resin. By carefully following the instructions below, you will have a beautiful smooth surface that is super thick, scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, UV-resistant, impact-resistant, non-yellowing, food safe, and will last a lifetime. Application is completely odorless, so there is no need to wear a respirator. For natural stone patterns, choose from our Prime Coat Base Colors and Metallic Mica Powders and Glitters to create veins, marbling and other natural stone patterns.
TOOLS & SUPPLIES (Included in ProTops Tool Kit)
2 gallons=40-50 sq ft per coat
STEP 1: PREPARATION & CLEANING
Before you start, make sure that both the epoxy, substrate and ambient air temperature are between 70 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 - 24 Celcius). Clean countertop surface with 409 or a comparable cleaner. Make sure the entire work area is clean and free of dust and clutter, which may contaminate the finished product. Use DAP spackling to fill small holes, cracks and seams. Be sure not to leave any excess spackling on surfaces to be coated with epoxy. Use a sanding block to smooth repairs.
Skim Coat. If applying epoxy over a porous surface such as concrete or wood, a skim coat is necessary before flood coating with epoxy to prevent air bubbles in the finished product. If you're careful you can do this now; otherwise wait until after masking. Mix a small amount of epoxy according to the instructions in Step 3 and use a squeegee to spread a very thin coat over the entire surface. This will seal the surface to prevent air bubbles during the flood coat stage.
STEP 2: MASK & PAINT EDGES
After cleaning, let the countertop dry, then begin masking. Roll plastic onto the floor and under your work area. Place the masking material tightly up to the toe kicks under the cabinets and use masking tape to hold in place. Then run plastic along the front edge of your cabinets at the very top, just under the countertop, allowing it to drape onto the floor which you just masked. This is to allow epoxy to drip off the countertop without touching your cabinets or floors. Once everything is properly masked, paint all vertical countertop edges with Prime Coat Base Color. Make sure that you have enough left over to mix with the epoxy flood coat later on. Let this prime coat dry for at least 4 hours before moving on to the next step.
STEP 3: MIXING EPOXY
NOTE: In this step, it is extremely important to measure epoxy accurately and mix thoroughly, with clean buckets and clean mixing sticks. Hardener (Part B) should always be poured into the mixing bucket first, followed by the resin (Part A) in an exact one-to-one ratio. Mix well with the stirring stick for 5 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bucket often to pull any unmixed part A or B off of the container walls. Most problems encountered are because of failure to follow these instructions or failure to have your ambient air temperature, countertop and epoxy at the required temperature before starting.
STEP 4: ADDING COLORS
This step is equally important. Take the already mixed Bartop DIY Epoxy and pour all of the contents into a second clean container. Then add your Prime Coat Base Color to the mixture, and stir for an additional 4 minutes using a second clean mixing stick. As soon as you are finished mixing, immediately pour all of your product out onto the bar top or countertop. WARNING: If left in the bucket, it will harden much more quickly than when poured out on the countertop, reducing your working time.
STEP 5: FLOOD COAT WITH EPOXY
Spread the epoxy mixture that you just poured onto the countertop with a foam roller, and coat the entire surface evenly and thoroughly, right up to the edges. NOTE: At this point product will start dripping over the edge. Don't try to prevent this by stopping short of the edge. You will waste a little epoxy here, but it's not worth saving material by coating too thinly near the edges. And don't worry about the drips that form; you will take care of them later on.
After you have spread the base coat evenly and thoroughly, you can start mixing small quantities of accent color. One jar of Prime Coat Base Color is enough for up to 2 gallons of Bartop DIY Clear Epoxy. Layer colors on top of each other or apply them alongside each other in random patterns. Use a paint stick dipped in accent color, dragging through the surface to form veins, or create swirls by mixing two colors layered on top of each other. This is your chance to be creative and experiment. Remember that if you're not happy with the results, you can always go over it with more accent color and/or spray-on colored Metallic Mica Powders in Step 7. Use high-quality photos of natural stone as subject matter and try to duplicate on your countertop "canvas."
STEP 6: TORCHING THE SURFACE
Once you are satisfied with your creation, it's time to heat the surface to help level the epoxy and release air bubbles. For this you may use a propane torch. A propane torch will also allow you to create a marbling effect if so desired. Torch evenly, making sure to not torch too close to the edges. Never let the torch stay in one place, but keep it moving in even, overlapping strokes. If you torch too long in one place the surface will burn. This step not only levels the epoxy and releases small air bubbles, it can also be used to give the finished product a marbled effect. Finally, examine the surface carefully using reflected light on the surface to help identify any non-covered or uneven areas.
STEP 7: SPRAYING CONTRASTING COLOR (OPTIONAL)
For a more natural stone-like finish, you can mix colored Metallic Mica Powders with 91% isopropyl alcohol and spray this mixture over your surface. Experiment off of your countertop, spraying on the masking film or a piece of cardboard. Try spraying heavier in certain areas and lighter in others. When finished, you can spray clear isopropyl over the entire surface. This will help to further blend and subdue colors and create an even more natural, stone like finish. This also helps to release any remaining air bubbles that rise to the surface from mixing.
STEP 8: COATING EDGES
Now go over all the edges with your nylon brush, ensuring that the edges are thoroughly covered with epoxy. Natural brushes are prone to leave bristles in the epoxy, so only use synthetic brushes. You can even use your fingers for this step, wearing a disposable nitrile glove. Epoxy will continue to run and drips will form along the bottom edges, which is fine for now. Approximately 2-3 hours after torching, go around all countertop edges with a paint stick or putty knife in order to remove drips from the bottom edge. Once the epoxy is completely cured, if you have any remaining drips, you can remove them with sandpaper.
THAT'S IT, YOU'RE DONE!
Once epoxy has hardened to the point that drips are no longer forming (about 2 - 4 hours), you can start to remove the masking and clean up the area. Wait at least 36 hours before using your countertop, and longer before placing heavy objects on countertop.
Do you still have questions? Please don't hesitate to call. We have the friendliest most experienced staff in the industry, and for no additional cost, we will be happy to walk you through the entire process. Call Now at 970-639-9338 to speak one-on-one with one of our professional installers.
NOTE: All of our products have been specially engineered for compatibility. Use of other epoxy resins and colorants may affect UV resistance and curing. Do not try to cut corners by mixing a cheaper epoxy or using other colorants with our epoxy. If you choose to ignore this advice, do so at your own risk!