Epoxy countertops have become quite popular among householders, especially the DIY-ers. They are a cost-effective way to update your kitchen or bathroom stylishly.
And, if you get it right, the results can be amazing.
Often people refrain from using it because epoxy is unsafe for food. But the truth is epoxy is safe and non-toxic.
After the curing process, it is treated as a surface for food. So you can easily cook without worrying about the safety of your food. You can learn more about epoxy countertops in this guide.
Is Your Epoxy Countertop Food Safe?
Epoxy is made up of numerous chemicals that bond together and cure to harden. Although it may not be hazardous to use the resin on furniture and countertops, the same cannot be said when these chemicals come in contact with food.
On the other hand, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are also a hot topic of debate as these are found in abundance in epoxy resin. VOCs have been related to causing long-term health problems.
So, bear in mind that epoxy manufacturers formulate and produce their products differently. Therefore, not all resin countertops can be automatically deemed safe by checking all its ingredients.
For an epoxy countertop to be considered safe for food, it must be tested as per the food safety standards.
What are the Epoxy Resin Food Safety Standards?
Just like anything, the US Food and Drug Administration tests epoxy resin products to ensure safety. During the testing, the ingredients in the epoxy product are scrutinized to determine how each chemical present in it reacts to each other.
BPA leftover of the epoxy is noted down, and the emission of harmful VOCs is also put under the scanner. These two compounds are often released at the time of curing.
In order to pass the food safety standards, the epoxy should be found with zero or lower trace amounts of VOCs and BPA.
There are companies that have mastered no VOC epoxy resins.
So, not all epoxy countertops are food-safe. You need to do due diligence before purchasing epoxy resin to use on countertops and other kitchen materials. Go with a brand that you trust.
And, if possible, have a professional by your side when you are making a purchase decision.
How To Create A Food Safe Epoxy Countertop Like A Professional?
If you choose to do your epoxy countertop all by yourself, we recommend you only purchase VOC-free epoxy resin that releases zero to little BPA. But it is not just the materials you use, it’s how you carry out the process that also matters.
Here are few tips that will help you:
1. Ensure That Your Countertop is Thoroughly Cleaned
Before starting the process, make sure that the countertop is cleaned properly so that there is no dirt or dust. This is because they will get sealed in your epoxy permanently.
Moreover, if you are using a clear base, they will be visible and make your surface rough.
2. Form a Seal With A Thin Layer Of Epoxy
Combine the resin with a hardener in a container and spread it over your countertop. This layer will work as a seal which is known as flooding.
Make sure to form as little bubble as possible when pouring.
3. Work Quickly
The epoxy mixture will start to harden in about 20 minutes, so you better work quickly – and get rid of the bubbles as soon as possible.
For that, use a dryer or blow torch so that the bubbles rise to the surface.
4. Let The First Layer Harden
Make sure the first layer is hardened properly before you go in with the second layer of epoxy. The first layer should be hard enough, between 4 hours and 20 hours.
Moreover, after 48 hours, the epoxy layer tends to get properly cured.
5. Protect Your Floors And Furniture
The thickish epoxy material can easily flow over the edges of the countertop. So there is a greater chance of the liquid dripping on the cabinet doors or floors.
Therefore, you must spread plastic sheeting to protect the floors and cabinets. This will ensure that things do not get messy and make cleaning easier.
You can also place wood pieces over the edges of the countertop to create a barrier.
6. Use A Primer
If you are doing epoxy on a laminated surface, you should use an adhesive primer. Use a sponge roller to apply an even layer of primer. It will ensure that you get a stronger finish for the epoxy coating.
Moreover, make sure that the primer coating is dried thoroughly before you go on with the epoxy coating.
7. Keep Scraping Off Drips
There is a lot to be done after you think you are finished. Look for divots and fill them with the leftover epoxy. Moreover, use a stir stick to scrape off the drip under the edge.
You can use tweezers or toothpicks to pick out any dust or bugs that might have fallen.
What Are Some Tips To Maintain Your Epoxy Countertop?
If you maintain your epoxy countertop properly, you will have a beautifully shiny surface for years to come.
Here are some essential care tips to make your epoxy countertop durable:
Do Not Let The Spills And Stains Dry
Do not wait for the spills and stains to penetrate the countertop surface. This will make it more challenging for you to clean the surface later.
Therefore, make sure you do damage control immediately. Do not just use any cloth; clean the stains with a clean kitchen cloth or towel. You can also use a camisole cloth to clean the epoxy surface.
Avoid Abrasive Materials
Do not bring any abrasive cleaning material closer to your epoxy countertops. All-purpose cleaners and scouring pads can dull the surface and cause damage.
Using harsh materials on your kitchen surface will only impact its durability.
Additionally, you should not be using wax or polishes that contain wax. You can simply use mild dish soap and mix it with water to clean your epoxy resin countertop.
And you can use Murphy’s oil or mineral oil weekly or monthly to maintain the countertop’s shape. Make sure you do not use too many cleaning products because it makes the countertop look hazy and dull.
And, if you have some tough spills to clean, you can use a bit of paint thinner or acetone to get the job done.
Steaming Is Safe
Mixing water and heat is a safe way to clean the epoxy countertop. It loosens up the stains and makes the surface easier to clean.
Moreover, you can use a different steaming tool when cleaning epoxy or other types of countertops.
The Bottom Line
You can make beautiful countertop designs using epoxy. The low cost, glossy finish, high durability, and easy maintenance all add to the popularity of this material.
This can be a fun DIY project for people who want to re-do their countertop but are on a budget!