Although epoxy primer does offer a decent amount of versatility right out of the canister, we have noticed a number of people reaching out about using epoxy primer on plastic. With the number of people that we see reaching out each month steadily increasing, we have decided to publish this dedicated article with the hopes of helping any of our readers who were looking to use their epoxy primer on metal instead of plastic.
This should be able to get you the most out of your primer while also potentially making your job a little easier depending on the exact situation that you are using your epoxy primer in. We will also be going over how you should apply your epoxy primer as well as offering some recommendations on actual products too.
Now, we know that there are a number of reports out there on various forums and social media platforms going over using epoxy primer on plastic but they usually fail to say that they usually use adhesion promoter first. This helps to add a suitable surface to the plastic essentially priming the plastic for the primer if you will and we would always recommend that you do the same.
Can Epoxy Primer Be Used On Plastic?
Epoxy primer can be used on plastic to great effect and is commonly done so with a wide range of different situations. Although it is rare that it will be done in the general arts and crafts space, it is common for art involving metal as well as car restoration as well as other fields where the user wants the metal and plastic to work well together visually.
You have to realise that there are actually seven different types of plastic and it tends to work well with two of them, ok with four of them but very poorly with ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastics. Due to this, we tend to recommend against using any epoxy primers with any type of ABS plastic as it usually under performs and tends to be a waste of time.
Epoxy primers tend to work the best with HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastics with it being the most common type of plastic that epoxy primers tend to be used with due to the better performance. That said though, we would still recommend the use of an adhesion promoter with HDPE plastics for the best possible performance.
Do You Need To Use An Adhesion Promoter For An Epoxy Primer On Plastic?
As we have touched on above twice, we would always recommend that you use an adhesion promoter on your plastics prior to applying your epoxy primer if possible. This tends to offer you the absolute best possible performance and almost guarantees that the primer will work well unless the plastic in question is ABS plastics.
We know that some of our readers may not know the specific type of plastic that they are working with so a small test area on the plastic is highly recommended. This will give you a better ideas of what you are able to expect and potentially save you time and money due to you not having to do the whole surface.
There are a number of excellent adhesion promoter products on the market these days with the majority of them actually performing very well. Although some do perform slightly better than others, the difference does tend to be minimal for the end result of your epoxy primer on your plastic so we tend to recommend our readers go for the cheaper canisters.
How To Use Epoxy Primer On Plastic!
Due to epoxy primer usually being used on metal surfaces, we constantly see people reaching out asking how to use it on plastic with them often presuming that it is difficult when in actual fact, it is relatively easy. If you know the type of plastic you are working with then the process can be a little easier but unless you are trying to go through this process with ABS plastic, you should have an easy time.
First things first, make sure that you have the correct breathing equipment on and are working in an area that has optimal ventilation as the various chemicals you are using should not be breathed in if avoidable. Depending on your local laws and the size of the plastic surface, you may be able to move the plastic outdoors too.
Once you have your plastic in a suitable area, we tend to recommend that you use masking tape or another suitable product to block off any areas that you don’t want to get your adhesion promoter or epoxy primer on. Although this can take a couple of minutes, it is highly recommended that you take this step unless you want your epoxy primer over the whole plastic surface.
Next up you need to apply your adhesion promoter to the plastic surface to make up the initial layer for the epoxy primer to sit on on top of the plastic. Although some people do skip with when working with HDPE plastics, we usually recommend you still do it. Different adhesion promoter products need to be applied in slightly different ways so always use the recommended application method on the side of the canister.
Next up you simply apply your epoxy primer to your adhesion promoter with the relevant application method. Similar to your adhesion promoter, different epoxy primers do need to be applied in different ways and although the spray products do usually tend to be easier, the brush applied products can sometimes offer a better end result.
Leave your epoxy primer to dry as required and as you may know, different primer products will require different drying times, especially when used in large quantities. Once fully dry, the surface should be ready to use as required for you to go about the next stage as needed.
What Is The Best Epoxy Primer For Plastic?
Thankfully, there are a large number of excellent epoxy primer products on the market that are very budget-friendly while also perform well with plastics, especially if you use an adhesion promoter. Due to this, we usually recommend that our readers spend a little time shopping around looking for the best deal than recommending a specific product.
There is a fair bit of personal preference that comes into play too as most people tend to prefer an epoxy primer that is applied via spraying while some prefer the brush applied primer. In addition to this, the end goal for your plastic surface will also come into play too as some epoxy primers definitely perform better than others as well as offer unique effects.
If you are looking for an epoxy primer for car restoration or work with autos in general and you work at a garage, you can often get bulk deals too helping to save you cash in the long run. Always shop around when it comes to your epoxy primers as there really as some excellent deals available, especially for bulk purchases.
That brings our article on using an epoxy primer on plastic to a close. The process does tend to be considerably easier than the majority of people initially think it will be due to so many people presuming it will be a paint due to the vast majority of epoxy primer use being with metal surfaces.
Thankfully though, over the last few years, the formulas for adhesion promotion products has drastically improved allowing you to quickly, easily, and cheaply spray your plastic surface and usually be good to go. As we touched on earlier in the article, ABS plastic is notorious for having problems with both epoxy primer and adhesion promotors but the other six plastic types do tend to perform much better.