7 Common Issues When Applying Rubio Monocoat Over Epoxy

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Rubio Monocoat is a popular choice in woodworking for its one-coat coverage and natural wood finish.

While applying Rubio Monocoat on epoxy can enhance furniture and decorative items, it also presents unique challenges.

QUICK ANSWER:

Yes, you can apply Rubio Monocoat over epoxy. It’s effective for enhancing both the durability and aesthetics of epoxy-coated wood projects, provided proper application techniques are followed.

Understanding Rubio Monocoat

Rubio Monocoat is a unique oil-based finish renowned for its single-coat coverage and natural wood enhancement. It differs from traditional varnishes by penetrating and bonding with wood fibers, offering a durable, water-resistant finish while maintaining the wood’s natural look.

Its common applications include flooring, furniture, and various woodworking projects where a natural and long-lasting finish is essential.

Epoxy in Woodworking

Epoxy resin has become a staple in woodworking due to its strength and aesthetic versatility. It’s extensively used for creating river tables, filling wood cracks, and crafting unique designs.

Epoxy reinforces wood and provides a glossy, often transparent finish that can be colored, highlighting the wood’s natural beauty.

The effectiveness of Rubio Monocoat over epoxy hinges on surface preparation and correct application methods.

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Steps for Applying Rubio Monocoat Over Epoxy

1) Pre-Application Preparation

  • Surface Preparation: The success of applying Rubio Monocoat over epoxy largely depends on the surface preparation. Both materials require a clean, smooth, and dry surface for optimal adhesion and finish.
  • Preparation Solutions: To ensure the best results, sand the surface appropriately (normally to 150 grit), thoroughly clean it to remove all dust and debris, and ensure the wood’s moisture content is suitable for application. This creates an ideal surface for both the epoxy and Rubio Monocoat to adhere to and perform optimally.

2) Mixing and Application Techniques

  • Mixing Rubio Monocoat: Correctly mix Rubio Monocoat with its accelerator as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The typical ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part accelerator.
  • Application Tips: Apply a thin, even layer of the mixture. Ensure the mixing ratio is accurate for optimal results. A consistent, smooth application will yield a uniform finish that enhances the epoxy’s appearance.

3) Drying and Curing

  • Importance of Drying and Curing: Proper drying and curing are crucial for the longevity and appearance of the finish. It ensures the Rubio Monocoat bonds effectively with the epoxy and the wood.
  • Curing Solutions: Follow the recommended drying times and conditions. Ensure the environment is conducive to drying, with appropriate temperature and humidity levels. This will help achieve a smooth, durable finish over the epoxy

4) Post-Application Care

  • Caring for Treated Surfaces: Surfaces treated with Rubio Monocoat over epoxy require regular care to maintain their appearance and durability. This includes gentle cleaning and avoiding harsh chemicals.
  • Addressing Wear and Tear: Surfaces may show signs of wear over time, such as scratches or dullness. Regular maintenance, including light sanding and reapplication of Rubio Monocoat, can restore the original appearance.
  • Maintenance Tips: Use soft cloths for cleaning, avoid abrasive materials, and apply Rubio Monocoat Maintenance Oil as needed, following the application guidelines to preserve the finish and protect the underlying epoxy.

Troubleshooting Common Issues When Applying Rubio Monocoat On Epoxy

1) Uneven Finish

  • Cause: This often occurs due to uneven application or improper surface preparation.
  • Solution: Ensure the surface is evenly sanded and cleaned. Apply Rubio Monocoat in a consistent, thin layer, and follow up with a smooth, even buffing.

2) Poor Adhesion

  • Cause: Poor adhesion can result from applying Rubio Monocoat on an improperly cured or contaminated epoxy surface.
  • Solution: Allow the epoxy to fully cure as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Clean the surface thoroughly before application to remove any contaminants.

3) Cloudiness or Blotching

  • Cause: This can be caused by excessive application or moisture trapped under the finish.
  • Solution: Apply Rubio Monocoat sparingly and ensure the environment is dry with low humidity during application. If cloudiness occurs, lightly sand the area and reapply a thinner layer.

4) Color Mismatch

  • Cause: This usually happens when the Rubio Monocoat color does not align with the epoxy tint.
  • Solution: Conduct a patch test in an inconspicuous area to ensure color compatibility. Consider custom mixing Rubio Monocoat colors to better match the epoxy.

5) Tacky or Sticky Surface

  • Cause: A tacky surface typically indicates insufficient drying time or over-application of the product.
  • Solution: Allow more time for the product to dry and cure. If the problem persists, remove the excess product with a clean cloth and allow the surface to dry.

6) Scratches or Wear Over Time

  • Cause: Normal wear and tear, especially on high-traffic surfaces.
  • Solution: Lightly sand the affected area and reapply Rubio Monocoat. Its ease of repair is one of its key advantages.

7) Difficulty in Achieving High-Gloss Finish

  • Cause: Rubio Monocoat naturally gives a more matte or satin finish.
  • Solution: For a glossier finish, consider using a specific topcoat compatible with both Rubio Monocoat and epoxy or buff the surface to a higher sheen after application.

Bonus: Applying Rubio Monocoat on Your Epoxy River Table

Epoxy river tables are very popular today and can be beautiful to see.  Using pigment powder, mica powder, alcohol ink, resin dyes, or resin tints to color your epoxy and a live edge plank can produce a stunning, one-of-a-kind tabletop.

Clear hard wax and oil is the smart choice for finishing your epoxy river table.  This is especially so if the wood is an exotic species with a lot of character to it or wood with a particularly lovely grain or a live edge.

Putting extra effort into sanding and buffing the epoxy pour is common, which might lead to a higher grit and finer sandpaper to finish the wood. 

As we mentioned earlier, if you’ve gone beyond the 150-grit Rubio recommends or the 180-grit that many woodworkers use, you’ll want to let the Monocoat application linger a bit longer on the wood surface to penetrate the smaller pore opening you’ll have with a finely sanded surface.

That buffing with a soft felt pad on your sander will enhance the sheen on the Rubio Monocoat and allow both the grain of the wood and the color of the epoxy river to show through brilliantly.  

The application process itself is a craft. The process is demonstrated on a table with a striking black epoxy river in our selected instructional video.

The video covers the entire process, from sanding the wood surface with 150-grit paper to the final application of Rubio Monocoat, highlighting the steps of mixing, applying, drying, wiping, and buffing to achieve a satin finish.

The result is a beautifully finished epoxy river table where the wood’s grain and the epoxy’s color shine through.

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