Epoxy clean up - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Epoxy clean up

I installed a step/platform in my anchor well and in the process managed to have some West epoxy spilled on the deck. I still have some brown stains now (well cured...) and wonder if anyone knows how to remove them at this late stage? The "damage" is not too bad, but if a fairly simple solution is available, I would of course prefer to have the deck all cleaned up. Thanks!!
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: Epoxy clean up

for a smooth deck, the judicious use of a sharp, wide wood chisel may work, if the deck was well waxed or dirty when the spill happened, I soap the surrounding glass deck and try to get the chisel to bite a touch off the deck and a sharp rap with the heel of my hand.

antiskid, I use the sharpest corner of the small chisel and pry up, trying to chip the epoxy

Downside risk is the chisel gouges the deck.

best of luck.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: Epoxy clean up

Once epoxy has cured the only way to remove it is what the manuals shrug off as "mechanical abrasion". Grind or polish until you've just got it off without damaging the gelcoat underneath. Or, if you had nicely waxed decks, give it a few days of heat and UV and then you may be able to pop it off, taking just the wax with it.

But there's no miracle cure if the epoxy has done what it was designed to do, bond forever to what it got put on. Polishing wheel, dremel tool, elbow grease, and lots of patience. Or steady application of a UV tanning lamp, which will help break the epoxy down. Eventually.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: Epoxy clean up

In the future you should keep a gallon of white vinegar handy when you are playing with epoxy. Any unintended drips clean right up with a rag soaked in vinegar. 1 gallon of white vinegar in most supermarkets: $2.
If that is too cheap for you then you can always buy Interlux 202 solvent which will do the same thing for around $20/quart.
As the others have said, once the epoxy has cured it is not so simple.
Work clean, sand less.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: Epoxy clean up

heat will soften the epoxy and allow you to scrap it off.

Paul Oman - MS. MBA
A.K.A. “Professor E. Poxy”
Internet Epoxy Confederation (IEC) Homepage
epoxies since 1994
Member: NACE (National Assoc. of Corrosion Engineers) -- SSPC (Soc. of Protective Coatings)
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: Epoxy clean up

Yes, a heat gun would likely make even cured epoxy scrape off more easily.

Re, the white vinegar: whatever is left over from your gallon after your epoxy job can be used to run through:
- your engines cooling system
- your head hoses to remove scale
or
- as a mildew remover, when applied to a cloth and wiped over all surfaces
or
- to make a low class salad dressing

Versatile stuff vinegar.

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: Epoxy clean up

The only time I tried heat on epoxy, was thoroughly hardened epoxy. Two pieces of tempered glass bonded with optical grade epoxy, and 400F for an hour in the oven didn't bother it at all.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Epoxy clean up

Scraping is about the only chance you have without damaging the deck. A razor blade glass scraper is your best bet. Make sure the corners are rounded off to prevent gouges and work slowly and carefully. If it got into a non-skid pattern, dental picks or similar and lots of time are your best bet.

As noted by others - hope you have been keeping your deck waxed.

I learned the hard way (as you now have) to mask off large areas around any epoxy work I do on or near finished surfaces - work like a surgeon does in the opening of the towels.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Epoxy clean up

ON a related note, a previous owner of my boat epoxied the entire deck (antiskid) but did not tape enough and there are some dribbles of epoxy pain running down the side windows of the boat (plexiglass/acrylic type material).

From what I've gathered here and elsewhere, really my only option is to scrape it off carefully or perhaps the judicious use of a dremel. I'm unsure if a heat gun will help because it will also soften the acrylic window underneath?

Any further advice?
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Epoxy clean up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winner26 View Post
ON a related note, a previous owner of my boat epoxied the entire deck (antiskid) but did not tape enough and there are some dribbles of epoxy pain running down the side windows of the boat (plexiglass/acrylic type material).

From what I've gathered here and elsewhere, really my only option is to scrape it off carefully or perhaps the judicious use of a dremel. I'm unsure if a heat gun will help because it will also soften the acrylic window underneath?

Any further advice?
You don't want the heat on plexi - it will distort/bend. Only option there would be a very slow and careful scraping with a razor blade, and then perhaps one of those headlight polishing kits to remove the scratches you left behind.

CS27 #1254 ~ Ravat
PYC, Lake Ontario

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