For heavy-duty adhesives, few beat the bonding agents of epoxy.
From repairing cracked flooring to furniture that needs more stability, epoxy is the go-to adhesive for many different jobs.
You can choose between the liquid and putty varieties of this product.
The only big downside is that if you apply the epoxy to the wrong place, it is going to be difficult to remove once it hardens.
However, if you realize your mistake within 24 hours, then you may be able to remove the epoxy easier as it normally takes a full day to cure.
Of course, how you remove the epoxy will determine the condition of the surface where it has been applied.
What follows are a few tricks you can apply to remove epoxy from surfaces without causing too much in the way of damage.
From Concrete or Wood
You often find floor finishers that use epoxy on wood or concrete surfaces.
In such cases, you’ll want to use acetone to remove the epoxy.
Avoid alcohol or paint thinners as they can discolor the surface of the wood or concrete.
Apply the acetone to the surface and let it sit until the epoxy starts to loosen.
If applied properly, the epoxy will peel away rather easily.
Plus, any acetone that is leftover from the application will quickly evaporate.
If you do not have any acetone, then applying heat to the surface can melt the epoxy.
Wear leather work gloves, fire up the heat gun to about 200 degrees F, then move the nozzle of the gun onto the epoxy while avoiding touching the wood.
Once the epoxy is melted, you can use a scraper to pick up the substance.
This should work on wood or concrete, though you will need to be careful not to scorch the material.
Plus, if you have used acetone before and it did not work, make sure it is fully evaporated or removed from the surface before you apply any heat. Acetone is highly flammable.
From Glass and Plastic
From either glass or plastic surfaces, you’ll want to start with isopropyl or rubbing alcohol.
Apply the product to a paper towel and then rub it into the epoxy on the surface.
This should start to loosen the epoxy rather quickly.
If that does not work, switch to denatured alcohol, a product commonly used for fuel in camping stoves and the like.
If you do not have any denatured alcohol, then paint thinner may do.
Apply the paint thinner to a cloth and then rub it into the epoxy.
You can use a scraper to lift the weakened epoxy from the surface.
Just remember to be careful not to scratch the glass or plastic.
When the epoxy is removed, rub the area with a clean, wet rag to pick up any remaining solvent.
The good part about metal is that the material is tough enough to withstand heat and most solvents without undergoing any damage.
You can use a chemical adhesive remover in such cases.
Just remember to protect your skin by wearing gloves and a long-sleeve shirt.
Also, follow the instructions on the adhesive remover so you can be fully protected.
If you do not have any chemical adhesive remover, then you can try an aerosol refrigerant can.
This will freeze the epoxy to make it brittle.
Once frozen, you can use a scraper to chip off the epoxy.
Again, wear all the appropriate safety gear including goggles.
Plus, work outside if possible or in a well-ventilated room.
From Your Skin
Even the most careful people can accidentally spill epoxy on their skin.
This is why wearing gloves and a long-sleeve shirt comes in handy.
But if it does happen, apply vinegar to a paper towel and rub it into the epoxy.
This should help remove it from your skin.
If that does not work, switch to acetone and do the same thing.
Just remember to be in a well-ventilated area or outside.
If you do not have acetone, then a waterless hand cleaner that is citrus-based may do the job.
These are cleaners that remove grease or oil from the skin. It also works on epoxy as well.
Put some on a cloth and rub the area under running warm water.
Once the epoxy is removed, use hand lotion or aloe to soothe the skin.
If you want to remove epoxy from your clothing, then you’ll want to avoid using any chemicals or products since they can discolor or damage the fabric.
Instead, dip the area with the epoxy into a boiling pot of water for a few seconds, lift it out using tongs, and peel away the epoxy.
You will need to wear rubber kitchen gloves to avoid burning the skin.
Plus, only dip for a few seconds at a time. It may take several tries before you succeed.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
Just in case you want to hire pro painters in your local area, you can click here. We can instantly send you free quotes from trusted painters based on your specific requirement.