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As an observer, one is sometimes amazed by artistically arranged terrariums. That these are often created by laborious manual work can only be guessed. If you want to build a terrarium yourself, you should invest a little more time to create a stable and above all durable interior for the terrarium. Here it depends especially on the right sealing. We recommend epoxy resin for your terrarium – and we will tell you how to use it correctly.
Table of Contents
- 1 Applications of Epoxy Resin in the Terrarium
- 2 Advantages of Sealing with Epoxy Resin in Terrarium Construction
- 3 Suitable Terrarium Epoxy Resin
- 4 These Materials in the Terrarium can be sealed with Epoxy Resin
- 5 Instructions for Sealing the Rear Wall of the Terrarium
- 6 Tips and Tricks
Applications of Epoxy Resin in the Terrarium
Epoxy resin can be used in many different ways. It can not only be used for various art objects and floor sealants, but also for a variety of terrarium work:
Advantages of Sealing with Epoxy Resin in Terrarium Construction
Sealing the Terrarium with Epoxy Resin offers several Advantages:
Suitable Terrarium Epoxy Resin
Finding the right epoxy resin for the terrarium is not difficult. You can buy a special epoxy for your terrarium; however, this is often accompanied by a price difference to the commercially available epoxy resin. The difference to the normal resin is especially the guaranteed harmlessness of the cured material.
However, we recommend normal laminating resin, as this can also be applied with rollers and brushes and is just as non-toxic as the terrarium resin after curing. In some cases, an unpleasant smell may persist even after curing, but this will dissipate if you place the back wall in fresh air for three to four days before further processing.
These Materials in the Terrarium can be sealed with Epoxy Resin
Epoxy resin can be used in a variety of applications and protects various substrates from moisture and mechanical stress, for example:
Instructions for Sealing the Rear Wall of the Terrarium
Sealing a terrarium back wall with epoxy resin is in principle quite simple. Follow our step-by-step instructions. Whether you want to seal wood or polystyrene in the terrarium is irrelevant, as noted above.
It is important to tape the sides with wide tape before starting work to protect them from the resin. For this purpose you can put the terrarium on the back wall to reach all places better. In this way you can also apply the epoxy very well with a wide brush. Lay out everything you need:
- Resin and hardener
- Two high and wide vessels for mixing and repotting
- A broad brush
- Wide Tape
- Suitable utensils for mixing; this can be a large flat spatula
Mix Epoxy Resin
When mixing epoxy resin, a few basic things must be observed, otherwise the material may not cure sufficiently – the surface does not become hard, but remains sticky. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly and mix the resin and hardener in exact proportion to each other. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Mix the two components in a large vessel with high walls for about two minutes. Afterwards, decant the mixture and stir again thoroughly.
When both components are mixed together, the pot life begins. Now it is important to work quickly so that the resin does not harden before the work is finished. If in doubt, mix less resin, apply it first and mix new material if necessary.
Apply Epoxy Resin
Now the epoxy resin is applied with a brush in the terrarium. Make sure to thoroughly coat all areas, even those that are difficult to access. Nevertheless the resin should not be applied too thickly.
Apply the resin quickly, but not too quickly and take care not to incorporate too many air bubbles.
Observe curing time
Now the curing time must be observed. This is about 24 hours, but depends on the ambient temperature and humidity and any additives in the material. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and give the epoxy resin a little more time rather than too little.
Safety instructions for working with Epoxy Resin
When working with epoxy resin, the user is exposed to potentially hazardous vapors. These can irritate the eyes and mucous membranes. It is therefore essential that you wear a breathing mask and ensure that your workplace is well ventilated. Adequate ventilation should also be provided during the curing phase. Disposable nitrile gloves ensure that your skin does not come into contact with the epoxy.
Tips and Tricks
If you would like to seal three-dimensional forms for the terrarium with epoxy resin, you can put them on a shish kebab skewer and thus easily paint them from all sides. Let the mould dry so that it does not stick to the substrate and can be easily removed after curing.
Especially for heavily used areas in the terrarium a multi-layer application of epoxy resin is recommended. This creates a very reliable and extremely durable sealant.
To give the inhabitants of the terrarium more grip when climbing, you can sprinkle gravel or sand into the still wet epoxy resin.
After curing, the epoxy can be painted. However, as this requires some effort, we recommend to colour the epoxy resin for terrarium during mixing or to paint the surface to be sealed with epoxy already before the treatment. For example, if you design a back wall with polystyrene, you can first
- stick “rocks” made of styrofoam on them and fix them additionally with shashlik skewers
- then coat with a mixture of tile adhesive and brown tint
- then seal with epoxy resin.
Always consider the curing time of the different materials.
A sealing with epoxy resin should be standard in every terrarium, because it protects all surfaces reliably and durably against moisture and excrements. In addition, it also cuts a good figure optically, because it is very changeable and can be perfectly adapted to all needs.