How to Fix Fish Eyes in Your Epoxy Tumbler: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Understanding Fish Eyes in Epoxy Tumblers

Fish Eyes in Epoxy Tumblers

Have you ever experienced tiny craters popping up on your epoxy tumbler? This is commonly referred to as fish eyes. It can be frustrating, especially if you’ve put so much work into making your tumbler look perfect. Don’t worry, though, because there’s a fix for that! But before we dive into the solution, let’s first understand what causes fish eyes.

When applying epoxy on a tumbler, it’s essential to have a clean and dust-free surface. However, even with proper cleaning, you can still get fish eyes caused by surface contaminants you might have missed. Fish eyes result when the epoxy doesn’t wet out on the contaminated area, causing the epoxy to pull away, creating a crater-like appearance.

Small air bubbles trapped underneath the epoxy can also cause fish eyes. When mixing the epoxy, making sure it’s mixed thoroughly is critical to avoid trapping air bubbles. Another factor that can contribute to air bubbles is over-agitation of the mixture. Vigorously mixing the epoxy will only add more air into the mixture and create more bubbles, leading to more fish eyes.

Aside from air bubbles and surface contaminants, humidity can also cause fish eyes on your tumbler. When there is too much moisture in the air, it can create surface tension, and when the epoxy is applied, it does not fully wet out, creating fish eyes. It’s essential to check the weather before applying epoxy; if the humidity is high, wait for a drier day before starting your project.

Using epoxy that has either expired or not stored correctly can also cause fish eyes. Always check the expiration date before purchasing and using the epoxy. Also, store the epoxy in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, to avoid contamination.

In conclusion, knowing what causes fish eyes is essential to prevent it from happening. Some tips to avoid fish eyes are to make sure the surface is free of contaminants and to mix the epoxy thoroughly while avoiding over-agitation. Checking the humidity level before applying epoxy and using fresh and correctly stored epoxy are vital to achieving a smooth finish.

Prepping Your Workspace for Epoxy Tumbler Repair

Workspace for Epoxy Tumbler

Fixing fish eyes in epoxy tumbler requires focused attention and a clean workspace. Therefore, before you start with the repair, it is important to properly prepare your workspace. Here are the steps you need to take to prep your workspace for epoxy tumbler repair successfully:

Clean Your Workspace

Before starting the repair procedure, it is essential to clean the workspace and remove any dust, debris, or other contaminants that might interfere with the repair job. The cleaning process also ensures that the epoxy from the previous repair has been adequately removed, leaving no residue. You can clean your workspace by using a vacuum cleaner, a dust mask, and a damp cloth.

Prepare Your Materials

The next step is to organize and prepare all the tools and materials you will need for the repair job. Some recommended tools and materials include:

  • Heat gun or propane torch.
  • Sanding tools such as sandpaper or a handheld sander.
  • Epoxy repair kit (including resin and hardener).
  • Separate measuring cups for the resin and hardener.
  • Stirring sticks.
  • Latex gloves.
  • Paintbrushes.
  • Plastic sheet or tape to cover surrounding areas.

Create a Safe Working Environment

Once you have cleaned your workspace and gathered the necessary finishing materials and tools, you should create a safe working environment. Some measures you should take to ensure your safety include:

  • Wear protective clothing like latex gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from epoxy fumes and dust.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Avoid smoking, eating, or drinking around the repair area.
  • Place flammable items away from the workspace.

Practice the Repair Procedure

It is crucial to prepare a plan and practice the procedure before commencing actual repair work on the epoxy tumbler. You can do this by practicing on a sample surface before working on the actual tumbler. This will not only help you become familiar with the repair process, but also help you anticipate any potential problems.

Mask Off Surrounding Areas

It is essential to mask off the surrounding areas surrounding the tumbler to prevent drips from spreading and causing damage. Some ideal masking materials include plastic sheeting or tape. The tape can be applied to the sides of the tumbler, ensuring that the area around the fish eye is entirely covered. This precautionary step is vital because epoxy can be challenging to clean up if it spreads to unwanted areas.

In conclusion, to fix fish eyes in an epoxy tumbler, you must adequately prepare your workspace to avoid contamination, injury, or damage. By completing the above steps, you will be able to create a safe and clean working environment, organize your tools and materials, and master the repair procedure, which will set you up for a successful repair job.

How to Fix Small Fish Eyes in Epoxy Tumblers

Small fish eyes are the imperfections that can often appear on the surface of your epoxy tumblers. They are usually caused by air bubbles that get trapped in the epoxy during the curing process. They can be frustrating to deal with, but fortunately, there are a few methods you can use to fix them. In this article, we will go through some of these methods step-by-step.

Method 1: Sanding

Sanding is the easiest way to get rid of small fish eyes. Start by wet sanding the tumbler with a high-grit sandpaper. Make sure the sandpaper is wet, as this will help to prevent any dust or debris from getting into the epoxy. Sand the tumbler in a circular motion, applying gentle pressure. Do not apply too much pressure as this may cause the epoxy to heat up and melt.

After a few minutes of sanding, take a dry cloth and wipe the tumbler clean. You should notice that the fish eyes have disappeared, and the surface of the epoxy is smooth. Repeat the process if necessary, using a higher grit sandpaper.

It is important to note that sanding may leave scratches on the surface of the epoxy. You can use a polishing compound to remove these scratches and bring back the shine of the tumbler.

Method 2: Re-Coating

Re-coating is another method you can use to fix small fish eyes. Start by mixing a small amount of epoxy, just enough to cover the affected area. Brush the epoxy onto the fish eyes, making sure to coat them evenly. It is important to use a small brush to avoid applying too much epoxy, which could create more fish eyes.

After you have coated the fish eyes, wait for the epoxy to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually takes around 24 hours. Once the epoxy has cured, sand the surface of the tumbler with a high-grit sandpaper, making sure to wet sand to avoid dust and debris. Wipe the tumbler dry with a cloth, and the fish eyes should be gone.

Method 3: Torch Method

The torch method is probably the most effective but also the most challenging method. It involves using a torch to apply heat to the surface of the epoxy, which helps to release any air bubbles trapped inside. However, it is important to be careful when using a torch, as it can cause the tumbler to melt or burn.

To use this method, start by heating the torch on a low setting. Hold the flame about an inch away from the surface of the epoxy, and move it back and forth over the affected area. You should notice that the fish eyes start to disappear as the heat releases the trapped air bubbles. Be careful not to overheat the epoxy, as this can cause it to melt. Once the fish eyes have disappeared, let the epoxy cool down before handling it.

It is important to note that the torch method may not be suitable for all types of epoxy or tumblers. Some epoxy may be too heat-sensitive, and some tumblers may be too delicate to withstand the heat from the torch.

In conclusion, fixing small fish eyes in epoxy tumblers is not impossible. With a bit of patience and the right methods, you can easily get rid of these imperfections and create a smooth, flawless surface for your tumbler.

How to Fix Large Fish Eyes in Epoxy Tumblers

How to Fix Large Fish Eyes in Epoxy Tumblers

One of the common problems that epoxy enthusiasts face when creating tumbler designs is the appearance of fish eyes. These pesky bubbles are called fish eyes because they look like tiny fish swimming in the epoxy. They occur when the epoxy fails to wet the surface entirely, causing air to get trapped and creating circular bubbles in your tumbler design.

While some consider fish eyes part of the natural beauty of epoxy tumblers, they can be distracting and ruin an otherwise perfect design. The good news is that fixing large fish eyes is an easy task that can be done with a few simple steps.

Materials Needed

Before we delve into the steps, make sure you have the following materials on hand:

  • Epoxy Resin
  • Epoxy Hardener
  • Heat gun or torch
  • Clear packing tape
  • Plastic spreader

Step-by-Step Guide

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fix large fish eyes in epoxy tumblers

Step 1: Sand the affected area

The first step in fixing fish eyes is to sand the affected area. Use a 400-grit sandpaper to scratch the surface lightly. Sanding the area helps to break the surface tension and create a better bond between the surface and the epoxy resin.

Step 2: Clean the sanded area

After sanding, use a dry cloth to wipe off any loose particles on the surface. Then take a clean cloth and dab a little acetone or rubbing alcohol to clean the area thoroughly. Allow the area to dry completely before moving to the next step.

Step 3: Tape the edges

To avoid accidentally spreading the epoxy resin to areas where you don’t want it, use clear packing tape to mask the edges of the sanded area. This step helps to protect the areas that you don’t want to be covered with epoxy resin. Ensure that the tape is placed securely to avoid the epoxy resin from getting underneath.

Step 4: Mix and apply the epoxy resin

Using a plastic spreader, mix the epoxy resin and hardener according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the mix is ready, carefully pour it into the affected area and spread it using the plastic spreader. The epoxy resin should wet the sanded area completely.

Step 5: Use a heat gun or torch

After applying the epoxy resin, use a heat gun or torch to remove any air bubbles. Hold the heat gun or torch four to six inches away from the tumbler surface and move it in a circular motion. Be sure not to overheat the area, as this can cause the epoxy resin to yellow over time. Keep moving the heat gun or torch until the surface of the epoxy resin is smooth and glossy.

Step 6: Wait for the epoxy to cure

Allow the epoxy resin to cure for the recommended time as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not touch the area or lift the masking tape until it’s dry.

Step 7: Sand and Polish

Finally, sand the cured epoxy resin lightly using a 500-grit sandpaper to remove any unevenness. Use a polishing compound to enhance the shine of the epoxy resin surface. Your tumbler is now ready to use or display.


Fixing large fish eyes in epoxy tumblers is an easy task that can be done with patience and the right materials. Proper sanding, cleaning, and application of epoxy resin can help you eliminate unsightly bubbles and enhance the beauty of the tumbler design. So, don’t let those fish eyes ruin your perfect design; follow these simple steps and enjoy a seamless finish on your epoxy tumbler.

Preventing Fish Eyes in Future Epoxy Tumbler Projects

Preventing Fish Eyes in Future Epoxy Tumbler Projects

Preventing fish eyes in your epoxy tumbler projects is easier said than done. But it’s not impossible. In fact, with a few simple strategies, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of developing unsightly fish eyes in your epoxy tumbler projects.

Before we dive into how to prevent fish eyes, let’s review what they are. Fish eyes are small air pockets that get trapped in the epoxy coating during the curing process. They create a circular pattern on the surface of your tumbler and can be quite unsightly.

So, how do you prevent fish eyes? Here are five strategies:

Avoid Cold Surfaces

Avoid Cold Surfaces

One of the main culprits of fish eyes in epoxy is a cold surface. When epoxy coating is applied to a cold surface, it can take longer to cure and will develop fish eyes. To prevent this, make sure your tumbler is at room temperature before you begin your epoxy coating application. If your workspace is cold, consider using a space heater or warming your tumbler in the oven before you begin.

Use a Sealant

Use a Sealant

One way to help prevent fish eyes is to use a sealant before applying epoxy. A sealant will help fill in any micro-cracks or pores in your tumbler’s surface, which can create pockets for air to get trapped. Use a sealant that is compatible with your epoxy and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Stir Thoroughly

Stir Thoroughly

Another common cause of fish eyes is improper mixing of the epoxy. If you don’t stir thoroughly, you can create air pockets that will show up as fish eyes. To prevent this, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing your epoxy. Use a stir stick or a drill mixer to stir the epoxy until it is fully blended, and make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing container as you go.

Apply Epoxy in Thin Layers

Apply Epoxy in Thin Layers

Another way to prevent fish eyes is to apply your epoxy coating in thin layers. Thick layers of epoxy are more likely to trap air pockets as they cure. Applying your epoxy in thin, even layers will give it more time to self-level and release any air pockets before curing.

Use a Torch

Use a Torch

Finally, a useful strategy to prevent fish eyes is to use a torch to remove air bubbles as your epoxy cures. A butane torch is precise, easy to use, and heats up the epoxy just enough to release any trapped air pockets. All you need to do is gently pass the torch over the surface of your tumbler as the epoxy cures, and watch the fish eyes disappear!

With these simple strategies, you can prevent fish eyes in your epoxy tumbler projects and ensure a beautiful, smooth finish every time. Remember to take your time, be patient, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and use high-quality materials to achieve the best results. Happy crafting!

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