What dissolves epoxy?

How to make removing epoxy varnish easy

If you’ve ever worked with epoxy glue or epoxy varnish, you may know the anguish of returning to a finished project and discovering a previously unnoticed spillage that has now dried out on what you thought was a spotless surface. Fear not: with the following tips on how to remove epoxy glue, you’ll see that it’s actually a simple process.

HOW TO REMOVE UNCURED EPOXY

Of course, you may spill epoxy whilst in the midst of working on a project. Removing uncured epoxy is even easier than dissolving cured epoxy. All you need are gloves, a soft, clean cloth and white vinegar or methylated spirit.

  1. Safety. To avoid getting any of the uncured epoxy spillage on your skin, wear gloves before proceeding.
  2. Dampen. Dampen the cloth with a little of the white vinegar or methylated spirit.
  3. Wipe. Remove the uncured epoxy with damp cloth by wiping it across the spillage.
  4. Dry. To ensure your surface stays blemish-free, wipe the area again with a dry cloth to remove all traces of liquids.  

HOW TO REMOVE CURED EPOXY VARNISH

It’s not just unseen spillages that require knowledge of how to remove epoxy. If you are separating something that had previously been bonded to another surface, leftover epoxy may well be exposed. Or it could be that you are seeking to replace old epoxy with a fresh application. Either way, one of the following methods will complete the task.

  1. Sand/Scrape. If you’re only dealing with a small amount of cured epoxy, using coarse sandpaper, scraper tool or a sharp blade may be all you need. If opting for a blade, wear safety gloves and always scrape away from yourself.
  2. Acetone. If you need to remove epoxy varnish from wood or concrete surfaces, acetone should loosen it enough to be peeled away easily. Ensure that the area you are working in is well-ventilated, soak a clean cloth in the acetone and hold it on the cured epoxy until it starts to loosen. You can then use a scraper tool to remove the epoxy with ease.
  3. Thinner. If the epoxy varnish you want to remove is on plastic or glass, opt for paint thinner instead. Soak a dry cloth in the paint thinner and hold it on the cured epoxy until it starts to loosen. You can then use a scraper tool to remove the epoxy with ease.
  4. Heat. For large amounts or particularly stubborn patches of epoxy varnish, a heat gun may be required. When using a heat gun, always wear safety goggles, work gloves and a protective mask. Set the gun to a heat of around 90 °C and aim at the surface area of the epoxy. Once the heat has caused it to soften, use a scraper tool to remove it.

Begin again with UniBond

Now you’ve learned how to remove cured epoxy, you can press on with applying a new layer to your DIY project. UniBond Repair All Purpose 1 Minute Epoxy provides a strong, durable and permanent repair that can be sanded, painted or drilled when set. Heat and frost resistant and waterproof for use indoors and outdoors, it can be used to repair materials including metal, wood, china, ceramic and most plastics.