Make Sample Boards to Promote your Epoxy Business
You may have seen people making epoxy sample boards with beautiful patterns, and want to do that yourself, but don't know where to start. The problem might not even be with not knowing how to do a pattern, or what additives to pick, but not even knowing how to make a sample board out of MDF in the first place! If this is you, this blog is here to help you get you started on your epoxy projects.
Cut the Board
First you want to get a sheet of ½” MDF, and cut it down into 12” by 18” rectangles on a table saw. Then, get a router and use a ¼” roundover bit on all the edges. This helps the epoxy to flow over the edges easily, and give the sample boards a clean look.
Sand the Board
Sand the surface of the board using 240-grit sandpaper, to prepare it for painting.
Paint the Board
You're already most of the way there to epoxying! Before that, though, you need to coat the MDF in 2 layers of paint, and sand in between each coat. The three colors I usually use for sample boards is White, Ethiopia Brown, or Broadway Black. There's a reason for using each one. For lighter patterns you need a light background, and white is good for patterns like Carrara marble. For earth tone patterns, Ethiopia is a good base, since it's a pretty neutral color. Broadway black is used for darker patterns, not so dark as to hide any dark crackle effects you might lay down, but dark enough to help guide the colors you put down to a deeper shade. Sanding in between coats is important, since when you paint over MDF, it can cause a rougher surface to appear. Nothing too crazy is needed for this, some 220-240 grit sandpaper will do the job, but you do need a smooth sample board to put epoxy on.
Now you're ready to epoxy with whatever pattern you want, using metallic additives, and dyes to get vibrant effects. Our shop has a variety of epoxy additives, that can help spark ideas for your next project.
Once you're satisfied with your pattern, torch any bubbles out of it while it hasn't cured.
Once the epoxy coat with the effects is done, cover over the board with a clear layer of epoxy the next day. This keeps the board color-fast. Use a square notch trowel (1/8th inch square notch works best) to further mix the epoxy on the surface and spread it out evenly. Use a wooden painting brush to chop the epoxy to further mix it, and brush out the sides using long horizontal strokes. Then, use either a blowtorch or a heat gun to pop any bubbles on the surface. (I prefer the torch for this step, it goes a little quicker).
It's as simple as that! Getting started with sample boards doesn't have to be a daunting process. It can be done with just a few, simple steps. If you want to get started on your epoxy journey today, you can find our many epoxy additive products here, in a variety of colors. Check out our Chameleon color-shifting additives to really take your sample boards to the next level.