For heavy-duty adhesives, there are very few that beat the bonding agents of epoxy.
From repairing cracked flooring to furniture that needs more stability, epoxy glue 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 glue to the wrong place and it hardens – it is going to be extremely difficult for you to remove.
The good news is, 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 glue from wood surfaces will be determined by the condition of the surface where it has been applied.
What follows are a few tricks you can apply to remove epoxy from wood surfaces without causing too much in the way of damage. So, without waiting let’s tune in…
Removing Epoxy from Wood Surfaces
The first thing you need to do is to try and remove as much of the epoxy glue from the wood surface as possible.
- You can do this by using a putty knife or chisel to scrape it off.
- Use a back-and-forth motion until most of the epoxy has been removed.
- Be very careful not to damage the wood surface as you do this.
- Once you have removed as much of the epoxy glue as possible, you will need to sand the area where it was applied.
- Use fine-grit sandpaper and sand in the same direction as the grain of the wood.
- This will help to avoid any deep scratches being visible once you have finished.
- Once the area has been sanded, you will need to apply a new finish to the wood.
If you are unsure of what kind of finish to use, then consult with a professional. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
If the above method doesn’t work, and you are still struggling to remove all of the epoxy glue from the wood surface, then you may need to use a chemical stripper.
There are a number of different chemical-based stripping products available on the market. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and always wear gloves and a mask when using them.
Avoid alcohol or paint thinners as they can discolor the surface of the wood, especially if it’s a finished wood you are working on.
Can You Remove Epoxy Glue from Concrete?
You often find floor finishers that use epoxy sealers and even epoxy-based adhesives on concrete surfaces
If you need to remove concrete sealers or excess epoxy glue that has dried on the surface, you’ll want to use acetone.
Avoid alcohol or paint thinners as they are not so suitable for concrete surfaces.
- Apply the acetone to the surface and let it sit until the epoxy starts to loosen.
- If applied properly, the epoxy glue will peel away rather easily.
- Plus, any acetone that is left over from the application will quickly evaporate.
If you do not have any acetone, then applying heat to the concrete surface can melt the epoxy glue.
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 surface.
Once the epoxy is melted, you can use a scraper to pick up the substance.
This method should work on concrete as well as on wood surfaces, 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.
How to Remove Epoxy Glue from Glass and Plastic?
Glass and plastic are not porous.
So, unlike wood, these surfaces are less likely to be damaged when using solvents.
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 the job. Apply the paint thinner to a cloth and then rub it into the epoxy.
You can then 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.
Warning: Plastic materials can be fragile and can easily be damaged if you use more solvents than required.
If you are working with plastic, be extra careful to use the solvent sparingly, do not allow the solvents to sit over it for long, and do not scratch or gouge the surface.
What to Use for Removing Epoxy Glue From Your Skin?
Even the most careful people can accidentally spill epoxy glue on their skin.
This is why wearing gloves and a long-sleeve shirt comes in handy.
But if you haven’t worn the gloves and it does happen accidentally, apply vinegar to a paper towel and rub it into the epoxy glue.
This should help remove it from your hand’s 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 might also 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.
Before doing that, 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.
The Bottom Line
Removing epoxy glue from any surface can be a tricky business.
The above tips should help you to remove it without causing damage to the underlying surface.
If you’re still having trouble, consider consulting with a professional who can assist you in determining the best course of action.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.