Bits of yellow foam in epoxy

I am currently epoxying the exterior of my Chester Yawl hull. I am using the yellow rollers from CLC, cut in half, as well as their foam brushes. Once I get to about 3/4 of the hull complete the foam begins to breakdown on both end of the roller and a small but very annoying and difficult to remove amount gets stuck in my finish.

I note from the instructions that I should only need two coats to fill the weave and cover the wood, but I have noted in both the Forum and Tips that it is OK, even expected that I require many more thin coats. That is helpful to know. It is taking me well more than two coats. But I would like to understand if it is normal to have trouble with the foam rollers, what I might be doing wrong, and what I might do to make this go better.

Here are some notes on my approach: I mix up batches of unthickened epoxy using between 10 and 15 pumps from each resin and hardner, usually 12. The room temp is between 68℉ and 70℉. I am applying the epoxy high on the overturned hull, spreading it there as I wet the roller in order to work epoxy onto the more vertical surfaces, before going back and fully spreading the more nearly horizontal surfaces.

Maybe I should only expect to get half a hull out of one piece of roller? It is a messy job to pull the roller in the middle, requiring another glove change. Do folks avoid the chines with the roller and just get them with the foam brush? That will result in a lot more epoxy on the chines and difficulty in maintaining a wet edge.

Your thoughts are appreciated as always!

(BTW, if you would like to see my progress you can peak at my album on Google:

6 replies:

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RE: Bits of yellow foam in epoxy

   I usually got one thin coar out of each roller on my Peeler. The little yellow bits are annoying but I found that after the epoxy cures overnight  they can be cleared with a light sanding. If you don’t poke at them when the epoxy is wet they ride on the surface and come off easily with nothing left behind.


RE: Bits of yellow foam in epoxy

Hi Brett, 

I am aware of this problem....  and have seen it before...and have some potential solutions.

in my experience, most of this type of problem arises from the edge of the foam roller where it has been cut in half.  the foam on the yellow foam rollers from CLC does not break down in epoxy and is pretty resilient.  but when you cut that edge, you will often loosen up some of the foam adjacent to the cut from the underlying carboard.... and after a couple rolls, it breaks free.

what i do now is after cutting the roller, i go over the cut edge with a strong vacume cleaner to take off any loose foam.  then i proceed with my work.

the other thing that can knock the foam off the roller is dragging it across or scraping it across a sharp edge.  so its always important to keep it rolling and avoiding anything that can cut into the foam.  chines don't necessarily do that.  but i usually make a habit of ensuring there is nothing sharp.

my final note is to ensure that your epoxy is not kicking (hardening) during the process.....if it starts to kick while you are rolling it....then that can also be a source of pulling foam off.   usually when i am working with a roller i am working very fast this is not typically a problem.  i then tip out bubbles by quickly following my work with the roller with a black foam brush.

hope some of these ideas may help


RE: Bits of yellow foam in epoxy

Thanks folks!

I will stop trying to remove them then while rolling. That will also keep my speed up, though, with my moderate batches, I don't think I have started to kick. That gives me ideas and things to watch for.

RE: Bits of yellow foam in epoxy

   Aren't there multiple materials foam brushes can be made from?  Like Polyurethane vs cheap foam?

RE: Bits of yellow foam in epoxy

���I'd add that there is no need to woory about maintaining a wet edge when applying epoxy. The edge stays wet until it all starts to hardened -- beginning with any in your "bucket".

RE: Bits of yellow foam in epoxy


   But you can delay epoxys B stage if you move it to a shallow pan.  Depth of the cup, and temperature is what gets epoxy to kick.  If you could put a full quart in a cookie tray it will kick way later than a quart in a painters mixing cup.


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