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Can You Put Epoxy On Steel? (How To)

Epoxy coating is durable, resilient, wear-resistant, and affordable. In addition, it’s environmentally friendly and resistant to chemical degradation. Hence, it has many industrial and domestic applications. But can you put it on steel?

You can put epoxy on steel, but you should thoroughly prepare the surface. Clean the steel surface with an appropriate solvent to remove grease, oil, and mold. Dry and scour it to remove old paint, rust, and contaminants. Remove all dust and debris after abrading.

Man painting steel using epoxy

You can put epoxy on steel to prevent corrosion and abrasion, but the project’s success depends on how well you prepare the surface. Remove contaminants such as grease or mold using acetone or lacquer thinner to avoid contaminating the epoxy. Dry using a lint-free towel or stove.

Use an angle grinder or 80 sandpaper to scour the surface and remove old paint or rust for the epoxy to adhere. Abrade the surface until you achieve a uniform bright metal, and remove excess dust particles or paint flakes from the surface before applying the epoxy.

Should You Put Epoxy On Steel?

Man painting steel using epoxy

Epoxy resin is easy to apply and requires little to no maintenance. However, this does not mean the application process is free of challenges. The following section identifies the major problems you may encounter when putting epoxy on steel and provides solutions to these problems.

When putting epoxy on steel, you will face problems like dullness, resin not hardening or sticking, resin losing its shine, sticky film forming, finishing varnish that does not stick, or formation of air bubbles. Follow the necessary application steps to prevent these problems.

The epoxy may not harden after the manufacturer’s recommended curing time when you apply the second layer if the first has not completely cured. Additionally, mixing the wrong proportions of resin and hardener may affect the catalyzation and increase the curing time. If you are working under low temperatures, use an external heating agent to speed up the curing process.

The epoxy may not stick on steel surfaces due to grease oil or impurities. Avoid this by cleaning the surface using acetone. Likewise, it may lose its shine due to temperature changes. Use a stove to remove excess moisture from the surface.

A sticky film may form on the epoxy surface due to the improper mixing of the hardener with the resin. Avoid this by mixing larger quantities instead of smaller ones to reduce the formation of impurities.

The finishing varnish not sticking is another common problem when putting epoxy on steel. It happens when you apply the varnish on epoxy that has not cured or using the wrong varnish. Therefore, allow an extra 24 hours for the resin to cure and use the manufacturer-recommended varnish.

If you mix the resin hastily, air bubbles may form on the epoxy surface. Additionally, it may develop an orange-peel effect due to sudden temperature changes. Use a roller to smoothen the surface and remove the bumps if the epoxy has not hardened yet.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Epoxy On Steel?

Man painting steel using epoxy

Putting epoxy on steel is a simple DIY process that does not require special skills or experience. However, you should have the right tools to have a successful project. Keep reading the section below to identify the essential tools you need for this project.

To put epoxy on steel, you should have protective clothing, a mixing trough, mixing sticks, painter’s tape, a plastic sheet, plastic spreaders, an angle grinder/sandpaper, a scouring pad, a foam brush, and a blow torch. Purchase these tools from your local hardware store or order online.

Epoxy can stain your clothes and irritate your skin. Therefore, it’s important to have the right protective gear when working with it. You should have goggles to protect your eyes, pair of gloves for your hands, and an apron to protect your clothes.

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You will need a scouring pad to degrease steel and an angle grinder or sandpaper to abrade the steel surface for the resin to adhere. Additionally, get a large trough to mix the resin with hardener and plastic mixing sticks since epoxy doesn’t stick on plastics.

A plastic sheet will be handy when mixing the resin and hardener to avoid messing up your working surface. Additionally, painter’s tape will seal off the edges of your steel surface. You will need a foam brush to spread epoxy across the steel surface and a blow torch to remove air bubbles or speed up the curing process when working in low temperatures.

Check your toolbox to identify the tools you may not have and purchase them from your nearest home improvement store. Alternatively, you can hire some of these tools if you don’t have enough cash to buy them.

What Preparations Do You Need To Put Epoxy On Steel?

confused man standing

The quality of epoxy application primarily depends on its adherence to the surface. Consequently, epoxy adherence on steel depends on the quality of surface preparation before application. Read the section below to discover the preparations to put epoxy on steel.

To put epoxy on steel, degrease the surface to remove oil, wax, or mold and dry using a blow torch. Abrade the steel to remove old paint and rust to increase epoxy adherence. Remove debris and paint flakes and apply the primer before the epoxy application.

You should prepare the steel surface adequately to have a successful epoxy application. Use a solvent and a scouring pad to degrease the surface and remove oil, wax, or mold that could interfere with epoxy adherence. Use a blow torch to dry the surface to enhance quick drying.

Use sandpaper or an angle grinder to scour the steel surface and remove old paint or rust that could interfere with epoxy adherence. Clean the steel surface with a lint-free piece of cloth to remove paint flakes and dust from the abrading process.

Cover the area below using a plastic sheet and apply the etching primer over the steel surface using a paintbrush. The primer prevents rusting, increases the bonding capability of the epoxy, and increases its durability. Allow the primer to cure for four hours before applying the epoxy.

How To Put Epoxy On Steel

confused man standing

Although putting epoxy on steel is a simple DIY process, it can fail if you do not do it correctly. You can eliminate common epoxy application mistakes by learning how to do them correctly. The section below explains the step-by-step process of putting epoxy on steel.

To put epoxy on steel, wear protective gear and mix the resin with the hardener according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the epoxy resin using a paintbrush or a paint sprayer. Allow the surfaces to cure for the time recommended by the manufacturer before applying the second coat.

You can put epoxy on steel in the following steps.

Step 1: Wear your goggles, gloves, and an apron.

Step 2: Measure two parts of resin and one part of hardener and mix them in a trough using a plastic mixing stick. Read the manufacturer’s instructions first to get the recommended resin-to-hardener ratio. Mix the resin and hardener thoroughly for two to three minutes to avoid forming air bubbles.

Step 3: Spread the epoxy over the steel surface using a paintbrush, roller, or sprayer in sweeping or overlapping motions. Allow the epoxy to harden for the manufacturer’s recommended period.

Step 4: Apply the second epoxy coat and allow enough time to cure before applying the varnish.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on November 11, 2022.

You can apply epoxy on steel, but the surface needs to be well-cleaned and prepped. Remove Grease, oil, and mold with a proper solvent and remove impurities, rust, and outdated paint. Thoroughly clean the area after scouring to remove dust particles before applying the primer.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 11, 2022.

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