Polishing Epoxy Resin – A Simple How to Guide
Polishing epoxy resin to generate a high gloss finish is not difficult to complete. With a simple and effective polish, you finalize your resin work piece and make it shine with brilliance.
In this blog post we will explain how to create a perfectly smooth and shiny epoxy resin surface in just a few steps and what you need to do.
Which Epoxy Resin Surfaces can be Polished?
In principle, all hardened epoxy resin surfaces can be polished. It is especially easy with flat surfaces, such as table tops. With small, uneven castings, polishing can take a little longer. This is the case, for example, with self-made epoxy resin jewellery in a special form. But don’t stress, with our tips and tricks you can get the job done. Depending on the size of the surface to be polished, you can either work completely manually or use a polishing machine.
Polishing with the Polishing Machine
Sanding by hand can be strenuous so take the stress away and use a sanding machine. Suitable for this purpose are sanding machines like the orbital sander, a special sanding machine or a drill. For all machines mentioned, there are special attachments with which you can also polish. Polishing machines can be prices however if you want to polish large surfaces regularly, the investment is worthwhile. You can also rent a sanding machine in many DIY stores or equipment rental shops. This makes sense if you only need the machine once or very rarely. In general, it is much easier and more pleasant to polish large surfaces with the machine. This saves a lot of time and energy. For small surfaces you can also work very well with wet sandpaper and polishing paste. This often works better and more precise. If you want to work with a machine, a drill with a special attachment is the best choice.
Under no circumstances should you use angle grinders for sanding epoxy resin. These usually have no speed control. Therefore, there is a risk that the surface of the work piece becomes much too hot due to the high speed.
How to Polish Epoxy Resin:
Step 1: Sand the Surface
For example, you have coated your table with epoxy resin and the last layer is completely cured? Great – because now we are moving on to the next step, the final touches. The sanding of epoxy resin starts with a wet sanding. All you need is our sandpaper, a sanding block and water.
Before you start sanding, make the sandpaper a bit wet and moisten it again and again during the sanding process. Sanding is done carefully in circular movements. You start with a coarse grit 120, then you use finer and finer sandpaper, up to a fine grit 3000. Wet sanding can be done either by hand or with an orbital sander. Work on the edges very carefully and with less pressure, otherwise too much epoxy resin will quickly be removed. The sanding is completed when your tabletop is smooth and even. Now wipe the remaining water off the table. Now you’re ready to polish the epoxy resin.
Step 2: Epoxy Resin Polishing
The polishing of your epoxy resin surface can also be done again either by hand or by machine. As described above, the size of the surface determines which method is more suitable.
Option 1: Polishing by Hand
If you want to polish your surface by hand, you will again need the sandpaper, sanding block, polishing paste, water and a cotton or linen cloth. Then put some polishing paste on the cloth and moisten it with some water. Then place the cloth over the sanding block. Rub the cloth over the surface in slow, circular movements with little pressure. Your sanding step is completed when the desired degree of gloss is achieved.
Option 2: Polishing with a Drill
If you would like to polish with a machine, for small workpieces we recommend a drill on which you screw a polishing attachment on. There are attachments with polishing sponges or polishing discs and special polishing ball heads. The best polishing compounds are those that are also intended for wood.
Start by screwing a flannel polishing attachment onto the drill. Then apply some polishing paste to the attachment. Now carefully polish the surface in even movements. Be careful with the edges and apply less pressure here. After the first polishing pass you can do a second pass with an even finer flannel attachment. When you have achieved the desired degree of shine, you have completed the job.
Option 3: Polishing with a Polishing Machine
Large areas can be polished to a high gloss in a quick and easy manner with a polishing machine. A random orbit sander with a polishing attachment is the first choice for epoxy resin surfaces. Due to its eccentric movement, you will achieve a perfect polishing result without removing too much resin. To do this, apply some polishing paste to the polishing pad on your sander. Turn the machine on and move it in circular movements with little pressure over the surface until the desired gloss level is achieved.