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Bar Epoxy Clearcoat on HDU signs?

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by mjkjr, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. mjkjr

    mjkjr Member

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    I'm thinking of getting some of the "Bar Epoxy" to experiment with; there are some cool projects using it that I keep seeing on the youtubes.

    I was wondering if anyone has ever thought to try "clearcoating" an HDU sign with the stuff? Do you think it would work? I know the 2-part epoxies cause an exothermic reaction, do you think the heat would damage the material or paint?

    The stuff seams really durable which is my reason for wondering about this application.

    Let me know if you've tried this and what your results have been, or if you've used it on anything tangential, or your thoughts in general about this idea.
     
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  2. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Never used epoxy but we use polyester resin all of the time. If you kick it right, the heat isnt bad and shouldnt hurt anything. Epoxies chalk in the sun so if youre after it for protection, this isnt a good option imo. Clear may yellow too outside but dont know for sure.
     
  3. mjkjr

    mjkjr Member

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    I didn't know about the chaulking issue in the sun. What polyester resin do you recommend? I don't have a spray setup so I have to be able to roll or brush it on unfortunately.
     
  4. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    the main issue with this for outdoor application, is that most epoxies are not UV resistant....so yellowing in the sun will be an immedite factor.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    We usually use regular polyester but it has a gold hue to it. IIRC, surfboard resin is clear and we used that once to make a big sheet to replace a translucent roof on a box truck. It wasn't really clear but it may have been the biax mat throwing it off. There's a place around the corner from us called fiberglass supply depot, they sell online and it would be worth making a phone call to them. I've leaned on them many times for advice.
    The polyester resin is going to have the same issue as epoxy in the sun. Gelcoat is polyester and it also gets beat in the sun. This is why you have to wax and buff a boat all of the time.
    This stuff is cool for a bartop but not really as a protective clearcoat
     
  6. mjkjr

    mjkjr Member

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    I see thanks for the info guys. I'm wondering what would be a good product for clear coating an HDU sign?

    I've used minwax polyacrylic on a wooden sign before, but it's supposed to be indoor only. I've used the Spar Varnish but it has a yellow tint to it that I don't like. I've also done some signs without clear, with the idea that eventually the paint will need to be touched up anyway and it would be easier to do without a clear to deal with at that time. I'd like something that is crystal clear like an automotive clear but that I can brush on.

    I do know someone with a spray booth that does automotive that I might be able to pay to just clear coat a final product for me, what do you guys think of that? Not sure if I use regular acrylic paints if the auto clear will be OK on top. I've talked to them before about renting time in their booth from them but they are too busy and their paints are crazy expensive, he didn't seem interested. He might be OK with grouping up a finished sign to just clear coat while they are already clearing something else and me just paying for that though. Does this seem crazy?
     
  7. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    You don't clearcoat your signs if you are using acrylics. When I build mine, I use an automotive based primer, 2 part color coat and a 2 part clear. May people don't like the glossy look, but there are flat clears out there, too. If you don't feel comfortable either (a) paying to do it with 2 part paints or (b) repainting with acrylics when the time comes, you'll need to reevaluate what investment you are putting into your sign production.
     
  8. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Awlgrip makes a clear coat that can be brushed or rolled. All boating maintenance supply companies sell it. Two part mix and will hold up very well outside.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. johnwon

    johnwon New Member

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    If I need to coat two paints on a HDU sign, it's normally because I have two paints that have different sheens and want to make the sheen match. I normally use the Ronan clear for that since it won't cause any adverse reactions with the latex or enamel paints like if I grabbed the Matthews clear. It is oil based and It's not as hard as an epoxy when it dries, but it levels well when brushed or rolled.
     
  10. geckophoto

    geckophoto Member

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    I use something called Art Resin that has UV inhibitors for some art work pieces I make on glass, mix a/b and pour on a level surface, then take a butane torch to heat out the little bubbles....becomes crystal clear. May work for your needs? Kind of like the bar epoxy resin but better.
     
  11. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I've used the two part marine clear coat like Johnny recommended. Has held up really well.
     
  12. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    Epoxy resin is not a good choice for outside use. Especially in climates that have freezing weather, the film will develop micro-crystalline fractures that appear as a blush. Also, like any clear coating, the UV resistance will depend largely on how much tint (usually amber colored) is mixed with the product. A better choice is acrylic polyurethane paint (such a Matthews), which will require a spray set-up and all that comes with it. If you are doing this kind of work, I can't recommend acrylic polyurethane enough; it is the industry standard for durable finishes.

    I have used "ClearShield" a water-based clear product that can be brushed, rolled, or sprayed to good effect to protect unlaminated digital prints and airbrush work. Also works on flexible substrates. The same company also makes solvent based and UV cured clears , but the ClearShield is the easiest to use if you do not have a spray set-up or specialized application equipment. I've gotten 5 years plus performance hand applying the water based product.

    Note: at least one of the forum members pointed out that no clear coat will equal the performace of a pigmented paint. If you use a quality paint, applied correctly, a clear coat will only shorten the lifespan of the finish.

    https://www.marabu-northamerica.com/products/product-overview/liquid-coatings.html
     
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