We know that epoxy is used for coating things to make them more durable and protected. But is there any epoxy you can use on plastic?
How will epoxy act over different types of plastic materials? Here is a detailed guide about using epoxy over plastic products.
Can you epoxy plastic?
You can use epoxy on most plastic products, but some plastic is not suitable for epoxy. Such as, #5PP plastic will not adhere to the epoxy layer. Some epoxy brands work best on plastic than others, such as Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy and PC-Clear Epoxy Adhesive Liquid.
Generally, plastic does not need any protective layer like epoxy to be durable. Most of the plastic can resist the typical damage that epoxy offers. But in different situations, you may want to coat plastic with epoxy.
The answer is yes. You can epoxy plastic. But you should choose the right type of plastic and epoxy for the best result.
Some plastic does not hold up with the epoxy layer, and after some days of applying, the epoxy layer will come off. As an example, #5PP plastic does not combine well with epoxy.
Some other plastic types are not suitable for epoxy. #3PP and #7PP plastic can produce cancerous chemicals combined with epoxy.
So, when you want to epoxy something like a plastic cup or bottle, you must be sure about the plastic type of the product.
You can get a nice shiny finish if you apply it correctly. But if you need to use the thing regularly, it may lose shine.
One-time plastic and recycled plastic are also not good choices for epoxy. Those plastic are not durable for epoxy projects.
We don’t recommend epoxy plastic cups. If the cup is made of #3PP or #7PP plastic, the epoxy can react to the plastic and release harmful chemicals. Moreover, if you constantly pour hot and cold liquid into the cup, the epoxy layer will get damaged fast. Starbucks cups are also not suitable for epoxy.
Plastic baby bottles:
When it comes to products related to your baby’s health, you must be extra careful. When the epoxy is cured, it is known as a safe material. However, a combination of plastic and epoxy can be harmful to your baby.
Plastic sippy cups:
Plastic sippy cups are also not suitable and safe for your baby. Moreover, it is made of polypropylene (#5PP) plastic which does not adhere to epoxy.
Plastic treys are usually made of High Impact Polystyrene, suitable for epoxy. Those type of plastic does not need any coating. But you can do it if you want to change its appearance.
Plastic tables are made of high-density polyethylene. You can use epoxy to change its appearance.
Plastic radiators are made of glass-reinforced nylon plastic. You can epoxy plastic radiator safely.
You can epoxy your tumbler if the tumbler is made of durable plastic. Following some tutorial videos can help you apply epoxy correctly.
Plastic gas tank:
Plastic gas tanks are made of high-density polyethylene, and you can epoxy it safely.
5 reasons why you cannot epoxy plastic
Can you epoxy plastic? Yes, but there are some conditions you should follow. You can epoxy most types of plastic, and it will work nicely. But in some situations, you should not epoxy plastic products. Check out the points below,
Some plastic is not suitable for epoxy:
Epoxy does not adhere to some type of plastic such as #5PP. Polypropylene plastics are not a good choice for epoxy. Medicine bottles, bottle caps, yogurt containers, syrup bottles are polypropylene plastic.
Some epoxy is not a good choice for plastic:
If you want to coat plastic with epoxy, it is best to choose epoxy brands that work well with plastic. Some epoxy does not combine well with epoxy.
All plastic is not safe for epoxy:
Some plastic such as #3PP and #7PP is not safe for epoxy, mainly when you use it in bottles, cups, plates, etc. Those plastics react with Epoxy and can produce BPA, which can cause cancer.
Recycled plastic is not durable enough to use epoxy on it. Before applying epoxy over some plastic material, get information about the plastic-type and durability.
One-time plastic is not suitable for epoxy. To minimize plastic pollution, avoid using single-use plastic and polythene bags.
Can you epoxy hard plastic?
Rigid and durable plastics are suitable for epoxy. Most hard plastic (except #5PP) combines perfectly with epoxy. You will not have to use sandpaper before epoxy any plastic.
Hard plastics are also known as rigid plastics and are commonly made of #2HDPE and #5PP.
As we mentioned earlier, you should know the plastic type before applying an epoxy coat to it. Epoxy does not combine well with Polyethylene plastic.
After applying epoxy, you should get a glossy finish if applied correctly. Want to be creative with epoxy? You can use glitters between epoxy layers to make it attractive.
Epoxy can be harmful to your health if you do not take the safety steps. Breathing epoxy can cause respiratory irritation and be harmful to your skin.
So you must wear a respirator and hand gloves before working with epoxy. A well-ventilated place is best for working with epoxy.
What plastic does not stick to epoxy?
Polyethene plastic does not stick to the epoxy. If you have a cup made of Polyethylene plastic, you can use it to mix epoxy.
As epoxy does not stick to polyethylene, you can wash it easily. But don’t apply a permanent coat on this type of plastic.
Polypropylene plastic is another type of plastic that does not stick to epoxy well. If you see the #5PP code on some plastic products, it indicates the product is made of Polypropylene plastic.
Usually, containers, reusable water bottles, baby toys, luggage parts, car parts, medical components, outdoor furniture are polypropylene plastic.
How do you epoxy plastic?
First, you will have to collect information about the plastic thing you want to epoxy. If the plastic is epoxy-able, you can start your project.
Then take a flat table in a well-ventilated place. If you don’t have proper ventilation inside your house, you can always go outside.
Get ready by wearing protective gloves, eyewear and a respirator. Now you are prepared to go. Here is a generalized guide to epoxy plastic.
Clean the surface:
First, wash the plastic thing and let it dry nicely. After drying, tape the part you don’t want to use epoxy and leave other parts open where you want to use epoxy.
Mix the epoxy:
Now, prepare the epoxy resin. You should have two types of liquid resin.
You will have to mix that two semi-liquid in a pot. After pouring the liquids into the pot, start staring with a spoon back. Stair until you think the liquids are mixed evenly.
Apply a thin layer:
Then start applying the epoxy to the plastic. Make a thin layer of epoxy. It is hard to apply a thick layer on a non-flat surface.
You can use your hand to apply the epoxy. You can also use a foam or silicone brush to apply epoxy to the plastic.
Let it dry:
Now, you will have to wait for 4-8 hours before applying the second and last coat. You can also add glitters on a newly applied epoxy layer. It is an extra step to add color and glossiness.
Reapply and let it cure fully:
After the first layer is cured, add another layer of epoxy and wait for 72 hours before using it.
What’s the best epoxy for plastic?
Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy is the best epoxy to coat over plastic products. Many craft-related groups and websites recognized it as one of the best epoxy resins for plastic application.
The epoxy comes with a specially designed tube that helps you take out the same amount of epoxy and hardener by pressing one button.
Rhino Glue Pro-Kit is also a great epoxy to coat plastic. It bonds strongly with plastic and is more durable than most epoxy commonly used. It’s also weatherproof so you can use it in outside plastic. However, it is a bit costly and messy to use.
It is possible to epoxy over plastic but not all plastic is not suitable for an epoxy coat, and every type of epoxy is not a good choice for coating on plastic. So, before deciding to coat over plastic, make sure you are using the proper epoxy and layer on the correct type of plastic.