I started out remodeling houses. After a lot of research on the product and the process, I decided to go into the epoxy business.
I watched all those videos, many more than once. I read everything I could get my hands on. I asked questions. I took a training course to become certified and become a distributor.
Because I owned my own remodeling company, I was no stranger to tools and processes.
I really thought I was ready to roll.
I knew I had to practice, if for no other reason than this was a totally different process than anything I'd ever done. I went through probably 20 gallons practicing on design boards, some small, some bigger. I had a blast during this period, and really felt I was ready to take on something *bigger*!
My first attempt at a *practice* project (custom cut whole wall backsplash for my own house)? I was like a fly stuck in flypaper. My shoes and clothes were covered. I had it in my hair, on my face. I was sticking to my masking plastic. And I was sweating and panicking. Pretty sure I cried, too!
But I got through it and learned some things I hadn't learned in my training and research.
I wasn't happy with my practice project, so I did it again, and even though I was still a sticky mess, and I burned the epoxy with my torch (but managed to fix it!), and the cleanup was massive, the practice backsplashes turned out much better.
I practiced some more and did a couple of small projects.
Then it was time to do my first big job for a customer. Things got a little sticky, but I wasn't completely wrapped up in masking plastic. However, I still had it on my shoes, clothes, hair and skin. I had to replace a dishwasher, despite triple masking it - but epoxy will find its way with even the smallest opportunity. If they hadn't been going to replace the floor, I'd have had to replace flooring because of a corner where the tape for the masking plastic simply wouldn't adhere properly.
I had a kitchen that wouldn't maintain a temp below 80 degrees (it was summer), and on the first attempt, I poured 2 buckets just fine, but the epoxy in the third bucket solidified mid-pour due to the heat in the kitchen. It took 4+ hours of sanding with 20-36 grit sandpaper to level out that mess (and a lot of cleanup), and then bondo and more sanding before I could recoat the countertops again.
They also had backsplashes. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say between issues with the actual backsplashes and the tile on the walls that fit flush to the backsplashes, they added a lot of sanding and time to the project (we're talking more than 20 hours).
If I had only known some more *details* about the process and design, I could have avoided at least most of these pitfalls and saved a lot of time and money.
These experiences, coupled with other experiences and practicing, are why I decided to do these classes. To help DIYers who purchase their epoxy from me be prepared for all the things I didn't learn in the class I took, 100+ online videos and weeks of reading, along with at least 60 hours of practicing on design boards before trying an actual project. So DIYers are more prepared than I was, by knowing in advance those little tips and tricks that will help them avoid the mistakes most of us make when starting out and have had to learn the hard way.
The truth is the better your projects turn out, the more projects you'll want to do. And that's good for both of us!