In order to make epoxy resin an effective adhesive, it’s important to know what it will and won’t stick to. Epoxy resin can be used as a strong adhesive for many materials, including wood, metal, plastic, fabric, and more.
However, there are certain substances that epoxy resin has trouble sticking to (or not sticking at all). If you’re planning on using epoxy resin as an adhesive anytime soon, here are some things you should know:
Table of Contents
What to use to keep epoxy from sticking?
If you don’t want the epoxy to stick, use one of the following products to coat your surface. You can also combine these products:
- Soap or detergent
- Beeswax or wax (candle wax works)
- Silicone spray, vegetable oil, or Teflon tape (you can wrap the surface with this tape)
- Vaseline and petroleum jelly
- Cooking spray and non-stick sprays like Pam cooking spray or Armor-All wheel cleaner (the latter has silicone)
- Parchment paper for wrapping irregular surfaces (this is in addition to any other coating you might apply to your surface first)
Does epoxy stick to aluminum foil?
The good news is that yes, it will! Aluminum foil is a porous material, meaning that the epoxy can travel through the tiny holes on the surface of the material and make a bond. The trick is to prepare the surface properly.
Why is my epoxy sticking to my mold?
The first problem was the epoxy. The substance was not, in fact, glue at all, and it came to us that we had done something wrong. We thought about our first use of this particular product when we used it to make a hole in the bottom of a cup for a flower.
It worked like magic: the hole filled in without any fuss from us or from the mold. But now something different was happening with our resin: it wouldn’t stick together on its own.
More accurately, it didn’t always stick at all—and we were using four times more resin than we had used for that previous creation. We made another test: this time leaving out half the amount of epoxy in order to see if things would stay together better with less bonding agent. They did not: instead, they fell apart!
We took away some advice and began looking online for answers—and while there weren’t exactly clear-cut answers regarding what went wrong or what kind of advice could actually be useful, we quickly found one noteworthy thing: when you make a new mold (or anything that requires any sort of environmental changes), you need to do so outside where there’s air circulation (because air will contaminate your resin). In other words: don’t use your kitchen table as an oven next time you want to get creative!
How do you keep epoxy from sticking to silicone molds?
As long as your silicone is relatively new, you should be able to use any of the following:
- Mold release spray
- Silicone grease
- Barrier coat of wax (wax on, wax off)
- Barrier coat of Vaseline (also called petroleum jelly)
- Barrier coat of PAM cooking spray
Does epoxy resin stick to Saran Wrap?
Yes! It does not matter whether you use plastic Saran Wrap or the paper kind of waxed paper. If it is not a porous material, epoxy resin will not stick to it.
You can also use other thin, smooth materials as barriers between the resin and items like jewelry molds, canvas paintings, or other items that you do not want the resin to stick to. Some people recommend using thin sheets of plastic similar in thickness to plastic grocery bags or heavy-duty cling wrap. Others have had success using wax paper.
If you choose to use Saran Wrap, avoid using the kind with aerosol spray because it has a coating on it that causes oils and resins not to stick to it.
However, those same sprays may need additional work when working with epoxy resin because they do keep these products from sticking.
Does epoxy melt plastic?
Epoxy resin does not melt plastic. Epoxy resin is a thermosetting polymer, meaning that it cures to form a solid when mixed with its catalyst.
It does not adhere to plastic well because plastic is a nonpolar material and epoxy resin is attracted to polar materials.
What kind of tape do you use for epoxy resin?
Painter’s tape, masking tape, and epoxy resin are a match made in heaven. It is true that once the resin cures, it will not stick to any type of tape. That is exactly what makes it so wonderful to use when creating projects such as a river table or pour painting. You can also use tape to create effects such as “negative” space – this is simply an area where you do not want resin to flow using the pour method.
Resin and painter’s or masking tape have one very important thing in common: they both have a weak attraction for other materials (such as wood, plastic, and metal).
This means that they do not like to bond with other materials too well and they are also easy to remove from other materials. The reason why epoxy sticks so well after being cured is that we mix it with hardeners which make the resulting liquid material super sticky.
Does Vaseline work as a mold release?
You can use Vaseline as a release agent, too. It’s easy to apply, cheap, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.
With all of this in mind, the best way to keep epoxy from sticking to a surface is to match the right material to your project.
Don’t put wax on that wood cutting board! Do put silicone on those wine glasses! If you’re not sure what material will work best for your project, play around with some scrap materials and epoxy until you know exactly what will work before starting your main DIY project.