Thursday, August 25, 2011

Using Envirotex Lite for the First Time - A Semi Tutorial

I finally got the courage to use Envirotex Lite for the first time.  It had been sitting in my craft desk, calling to me for a month or two.  I had watched videos on YouTube, read the instructions 74893759 times, and still felt nervous.  Why was I so nervous?

I made this mosaic tea tray and as far as small craft projects go, it was rather time consuming.  Unfortunately I did all of this before I had a blog, so there are no pictures of the mosaic process (don't fret, I'll be sure to make plenty more of these so a tutorial will be in the works soon).

Here's what the tea tray looked like before the Envirotex Lite:


A close-up:


So I got the courage to use the Envirotex Lite. 

What is Envirotex Lite you ask?

It is a two part resin and hardener that can be poured on top of surfaces to provide a smooth, glossy finish.  Note:  it is different from Envirotex Easy Cast, in that it is meant for a thinner coating.  Please refer to their website for more on which product to use for your project.

Step 1: Read the instructions.  No really, I'm serious.  This is not a product you can fool around with.  I don't mean that in a "if you don't mix it exactly right it's going to blow up in your face and the world as we know it will end" kind of way, but more in a "do it right so your project doesn't suck" kind of way.

It is absolutely necessary that you understand them before moving on.

Step 2: Prep your area.  Make sure your table is covered with newspaper.  Set up your project on top of some cups, or some other material on top of the newspaper. 

Step 3. Prep your Envirotex Lite.  Okay this is where you start to get nervous.  Don't worry, it will come out fine!  Here's the supplies you need:

Box of Envrotex Lite which includes the hardener on the left and the clear bottle of resin on the right.  You will also need 2 clear cups with measuring marks on the side and a stirrer.

Pour EQUAL parts of resin and hardener into a plastic measured cup.  Mix VIGOROUSLY for 2 FULL minutes.  Make sure to scrape the sides frequently.  Don't worry about bubbles.  Then you are ready to pour, DON'T WAIT!

Secret: two things I did that did NOT follow the insturctions!  I only used one cup, and mixed like mad, and also a spoon instead of a flat stirrer.  From my experience, if you mix like mad, you will be able to avoid the direction of "pouring the resin and hardener into one cup, mixing for one minute, then pouring that mixture into another cup".  Kind of a waste of time, but they tell you to do that so you won't have globs of unmixed resin.  If you have globs that are not 100% mixed, it will come out on your project and leave soft spots that you DO NOT WANT.  Also you are supposed to use a flat stirrer for the same reason.  OH WELL!

Step 4:  Get your pour on.  Pour over the surface of your project, around the edges first in a circular motion coming to the center.  This product spreads very well on its own, but you may need to use a credit card like object to smooth it out.

Step 5:  Blow gently on the surface.  Air bubbles will have risen to the top, so you want to pop them or they will stay there.  Exhale on your project so the carbon dioxide will pop the bubbles.  Very cool to watch.

Step 6:  Watch for drips.  You may want to coat the bottom of your project with masking tape to protect from drips.  In about 20-40 minutes while the drips are still fluid, wipe them off.  If they harden you will need to sand them off.  In the picture below there actually shouldn't be any drips but I mixed and poured a little too much resin so it overflowed out the handles.  Not the end of the world.


Step 7:  Leave it alone.  Don't touch for at least 8 hours.  Keep a cardboard box over your project to prevent dust, bugs, or pet hair from settling into your resin.

Step 8:  Check out that shine! 

Not the best picture, but that's because I was waiting for hubby to bring me some sandpaper home to use on the drip I didn't catch that had hardened. 

Step 9:  Don't let hubby, kids, or pets near it.  Ever.  So after all the excitement, and how it turned out perfectly, here's what I'm left with:

Not so bad, a broken handle...that can be fixed.
This crack in the hardened resin and several others across the surface?  Not so much. 

Hubby knocked it over on accident. 

Step 9 is very important. 



4 comments:

  1. I never heard of Envirotex until now. Thanks! Very pretty tray and I do like the look it gave afterwards; but sorry about your Step 9 luck. :)

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  2. Oh no! I'm so sorry that happened. Can you gorilla glue the handle and then remix a little more resin and pour it into the cracks?

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  3. @Debbie aka Mrs. DP3

    Thanks Debbie! Yeah kind of a bummer,like I said, step 9 is VERY important. Lol. Don't worry though, stay tuned next week to check out a new one I made :-)

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  4. @- Brittany
    Hey Brittany,

    I found some code online and entered it into my html in the blog so I can specifically reply to you. It took awhile for me to figure it out, but I'm so happy now I can reply to individuals and they should be able to directly see it!

    Anyway, I'm not sure if that would work, I know I could fix the handle but I'm not sure the cracks wouldn't still be visible. It looks as if the cracks are almost under the surface, if that makes sense. I'll look at it more closely and see if there's anything I can do. Thanks for the suggestion!!

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