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Can You Put Epoxy On Metal? (How To)

When most of us think about working with metal, the first thing that comes to our mind is something difficult. Metal is a hard material, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t work with it. This includes using epoxy with metal.

Epoxy works well when it is put on metal either for covering it or for adhering metal to another product, such as plastic or another type of metal. There are some things that need to be prepared in advance so that you can work with them properly, but it will work well.

The type of epoxy that works with metal is typically a two-part epoxy. This is a heavy-duty type of epoxy that is a combination of resin and a hardener that are mixed together. When they are put on the surface, they will form a very strong bond.

There are different types of epoxy that may work well with metal for adhering items, such as sticking metal to wood or sticking metal to metal. It is important to make sure that you use the right type of epoxy for this purpose.

Some people also use epoxy on metal for craft purposes or to create a type of art. It can also be used in this way, but you need to make sure that the metal is prepared properly or it will not form a bond.

Can You Put Epoxy On Metal? (How To)

When working with metal, you also need to consider your personal safety and that is true, regardless of the type of metal you are working with.

For example, there may be times when you have to sand down the surface of the metal you are working with so the epoxy will properly adhere to it. You may be creating metal dust at this time, and that can be harmful to your respiratory system, as well as to your eyes.

Wearing a respirator is important. The type of respirator that is generally recommended for this type of work is a disposable N95. It will filter out 95% of all particles that are 0.3 µm or larger.

You can also wear safety glasses, but there may be times when safety goggles are preferred. You should also recognize that your prescription glasses are not going to be the same as safety glasses. You will have to buy safety glasses that fit over your prescription glasses if you must wear them.

Finally, if you’re working with a type of metal that gets rusty, you will have to remove the rust completely before the epoxy is applied. If you try to apply epoxy over rust, it is not going to bond properly and the project will be ruined.

You can generally sand the rust off of the metal but you may need to also apply a primer to allow the epoxy to adhere properly when you are doing the project. As long as you take your time and prepare things in advance, it should work out well for you.

Should You Put Epoxy On Metal?

When applying epoxy to any surface, there are going to be certain factors that can ruin the project if you aren’t careful. This includes applying epoxy to metal, which has some specific problems that need to be considered in advance.

Rust – If you are using a type of metal that rusts, you have to treat the surface to remove the rust in advance. If there is any rust on the surface, it will not allow the epoxy to bond properly.

The biggest problem with this is that the epoxy may seem to bond at first. You might think that you have gotten beyond the problem but eventually, the bond is going to break and the epoxy will be rejected.

There are a number of different ways to remove epoxy from metal. This could include using a solvent, such as WD-40, or sanding down the surface with sandpaper. In either case, you need to make sure that the surface is clean and free of contaminants after the job is done.

Bubbles – One of the biggest problems associated with applying epoxy is the formation of bubbles. These can ruin an art project when using epoxy and they can keep the epoxy from adhering items together.

Bubbles are likely to form on any project that uses epoxy but they are more likely to be a problem if you put a thick layer of epoxy down. Generally speaking, working with a thinner layer of epoxy is better than working with a thicker layer.

You can also use a heat gun or hairdryer to remove many of the bubbles. As they start to appear, blow the hot air across the top of the epoxy and they will be gone. Be careful you don’t hold the heat gun too close or hold it in position too long or it could ruin the epoxy.

Sharp Edges – Metal tends to have very sharp edges so when you’re working with metal and applying epoxy to it, you should wear gloves. Long sleeves are also recommended so you don’t cut your arms in the process.

Cracking – If the metal is solid and thicker, you will not likely have a problem with the epoxy cracking. If there is any flexibility to the metal, however, this could be an issue.

There are certain types of epoxy that are more flexible and you may want to consider using these if you are using a thinner piece of metal. Otherwise, try to use the thickest piece of metal possible.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Epoxy On Metal

There are always going to be tools that are used for any project. This includes applying epoxy to metal. What tools will you need to have available in advance so you can move through the project without delay?

Rags and Buckets




Paint Brushes

Paint Rollers

Foam Brushes

Plastic Scraper or Squeegee

Plastic Sheet

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Cups to Hold Up Metal

Heat Gun

Safety Glasses or Goggles



This basic list will be enough to get you started. You might also want to consider having other tools on hand that may be needed for cleanup purposes.

What Preparations Do You Need To Put Epoxy On Metal

If you’re ready to begin applying epoxy to metal, you need to prepare the surface in advance. This important step should not be overlooked and it is actually more important than the application of epoxy.

1. Clean – The surface of the metal needs to be cleaned and free from contaminants. This is the step in the process that should be done first, even before sanding down the metal.

Some type of solvent should be used to remove as much grease and contaminants from the metal as possible. Acetone or denatured alcohol tends to work well.

After you remove the contaminants, you will need to make sure that the solvents are also completely removed from the surface of the metal. You can then proceed to the next step.

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2. Sand – Roughing up the surface of the metal is the next step. The smooth surface of most metals may make it difficult for the epoxy to bond properly so using some 80-grit sandpaper, make the area where the epoxy will be applied a little rough.

Make sure that you are wearing your respirator while sanding down the metal. Small pieces of metal could be airborne and you don’t want to get them into your lungs. Safety glasses are also important during this step of the process.

3. Prime – Apply a primer that is the right choice for epoxy. A primer bonds to the metal much easier than epoxy directly. It also forms a surface that is going to make it possible to keep the epoxy bonded for the long term.

One other benefit of using a primer is that it covers the epoxy. If you are using epoxy on metal for artwork or a craft project, this makes it much easier to cover the metal color on the first coat.

How To Put Epoxy On Metal

Now that you have prepared the metal properly, it’s time to apply the epoxy.

1. Mix – Use the measured mixing cups and someone mixing sticks to mix the epoxy. Most epoxies are a 50-50 mixture of resin and hardener.

You should mix it by hand and this may require that you stir the epoxy for as long as 10 minutes. Don’t use a drill or any type of automatic stir stick. Doing so would introduce bubbles to the mix.

2. Pour – You should pour an appropriate amount of epoxy for the project. This could be a small dab if you are using the epoxy for applying other items to the metal or it could be a large pour in the middle of the metal for a craft or art project.

3. Spread – Use the plastic scraper or a foam brush to spread the epoxy across the metal. If you are spreading it to the edges, the metal should be propped up on cups or other items that will keep it level and separated from the surface underneath. Doing so allows the epoxy to run off the edges.

4. Cure – This step should not be overlooked. Allow the epoxy to cure for an appropriate amount of time, which may be up to 72 hours.

Epoxy can be applied to metal of any type as long as the surface of the metal is prepared in advance. This preparation would include removing contaminants, roughing up the surface, and applying a primer.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 20, 2022.

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