Epoxy, for strength and versatility

Put using epoxy putty on your DIY list

When the going gets tough, the tough get epoxy putty to help them get the job done. Read on to find out how.

What is epoxy putty?

Epoxies are an adhesive consisting of two parts: a resin and a hardener, which, when mixed together in equal amounts, form an extremely strong bond. Epoxy putties are water-resistant, machinable, paintable, and stable under all temperatures, and they can be used for filling gaps. Therefore, it is fair to describe them as a very versatile power putty.

Types of epoxy putty

Epoxy putties are formulated for a variety of uses, so make sure you understand the difference. Here are some tips:

  • All epoxy putty has some heat resistance (up to 120°C). But for anything that reaches higher temperatures over long periods, you need a high heat epoxy putty. Epoxy resin with titanium fillers can resist continuous temperatures of 280°C.
  • Waterproof epoxy putty is designed for use underwater; it’s ideal for pool repairs.
  • You can find speciality wood epoxy putties that are formulated to bond two wood surfaces.
  • Plastic epoxy putties, you guessed it – these are designed to bond a variety of plastics together.
  • For bonds that are tough as nails, there are steel epoxy putties that practically weld metal together.
  • Epoxy putty repair kits are great for small repair jobs. Like all two-part epoxy putties, they have to be mixed, but they come in handy packs.

The choice of epoxy putty in most cases comes down to the cure time, material compatibility and colour of the dried product (although they can be painted).

Epoxy putty uses: Best practices

As with any adhesive, always check the directions first, particularly the safety instructions. With epoxy putties, you are working with two agents, a resin and a hardener, and each has its own safety precautions. But, in general, wearing nitrile or latex gloves and working in a ventilated place when mixing will suffice. Here’s what you do if you want to form a 3-dimensional fix on any object:

  • Tools required: A box cutter or utility knife. You may also need sandpaper and acetone.
  • Prepare the surfaces to be fixed. A light sanding may be necessary to roughen the surfaces.
  • Cut off equal amounts of resin and hardener onto a sheet of cardboard. The amount depends on how much you need to use, but remember, you only have 5 to 10 minutes to work here.
  • Mix the resin and hardener thoroughly by kneading the two elements together between the palms of your hand and using fingers and thumbs. Keep doing this until the colour is consistent with no streaks.
  • Place the mixed putty in your hand to mold and shape. Apply the shaped putty to the surface to be fixed and support if necessary until initial set after approximately 10 minutes.
  • Clean up! Throw away the remaining epoxy putty and cardboard, remove your gloves and wash your hands.

Epoxy putty applications

Being highly versatile and extremely strong, epoxy putty has many uses around the home, garden, and workshop. It can fill gaps and can be sanded, drilled, and painted, which makes it perfect for repairing wooden surfaces. And, because it’s water-resistant, it is great for fixing leaking pipes.