What Does Epoxy Not Stick To? Will it Stick to Paint or Metal?

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I’ve worked with epoxy resin for years, and I’ve found it to be an incredibly adaptable and sought-after medium for all kinds of art, crafting, and do-it-yourself ventures. Now, it’s true that epoxy has a knack for bonding to a multitude of surfaces, but through my experience, I’ve learned that there are some materials that just won’t cooperate with it.

In the following sections, I’m going to dive into these unyielding materials. I’ll share what I know about their nature, the advantages and disadvantages they bring to the table, and how they fit into different project types.

Materials That Epoxy Resin Won't Stick To

Silicone Molds, Rubber, Vinyl

Silicone molds are commonly used for epoxy resin casting due to their flexibility and ease of demolding. Epoxy resin does not stick to silicone, rubber, or vinyl surfaces, making them ideal for creating intricate shapes and patterns.

Silicone molds come in various shapes and sizes, allowing for endless creative possibilities. Additionally, the flexibility of silicone molds ensures easy removal of the cured resin without any damage.


making silicon molds


Mold Release

Epoxy mold release agents are substances applied to molds to prevent epoxy resin from sticking. They create a barrier between the resin and the mold, facilitating easy demolding.

Mold-release agents can be silicone-based sprays, powders, or specialized liquids. They provide an additional layer of protection and ensure a smooth release of epoxy resin castings.



testing epoxy molds on tapes

Sheathing Tape

I often use sheathing or construction tape when I’m sealing seams in various construction projects. It’s this non-stick, low-adhesive wonder that serves as a reliable barrier between the epoxy resin and any surface I want to keep safe—like the edges of a table or my trusty workbench.

What sheathing tape does is give me a temporary non-stick area that’s a breeze to clean once I’m done. It’s my go-to for keeping those inevitable resin spills or drips from becoming a permanent part of the furniture.



Parchment Paper or Wax Paper

Parchment or wax paper is a cost-effective and easily accessible option for creating non-stick surfaces. They are commonly used as liners for baking sheets, and their non-stick properties make them suitable for protecting work surfaces or creating temporary barriers for epoxy resin projects.

Parchment or wax paper can be cut to size and placed on the work surface to prevent the resin from sticking.

removing epoxy molds on wax tape



Polyethylene Plastics

In my work, I’ve found that polyethylene plastics — think HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) or LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) — are real game changers due to their excellent non-stick properties.

These materials are a staple in my shop because they double as release films or liners for a bunch of applications. Whenever I need a temporary cover for my work surfaces to make sure the resin comes off easily without a fuss, polyethylene sheets are my go-to. They do a stellar job at safeguarding my workspace.


making Polyethylene plastics


Plastic Sandwich Bags

Plastic sandwich bags, typically made from polyethylene or similar materials, provide a quick and convenient option for creating non-stick surfaces. They can be used to cover objects or as a temporary barrier to prevent epoxy resin from adhering to surfaces.



Plastic Containers

Plastic containers made from polypropylene or HDPE offer non-stick properties, making them suitable for mixing and pouring epoxy resin. Plastic containers come in various sizes and shapes, providing versatility in resin project applications.

manufacturing plastic containers



Hot Glue

Hot glue is a versatile adhesive that doesn’t adhere well to epoxy resin, making it an effective material for creating temporary barriers or dams. It can be applied directly to work surfaces or used to create custom shapes for resin pouring. But does hot glue work on wood? Find out next. 



putting epoxy on glass


I’ve found in my own projects that epoxy resin doesn’t adhere to glass, which honestly makes glass an excellent ally in my workshop. Whether I’m setting up a work surface or containing resin pours, glass is my go-to because of its smooth and non-reactive surface. It just makes the resin release and clean-up process effortless.



Greasy Surfaces

Epoxy resin generally does not adhere well to greasy surfaces. If you want to prevent epoxy resin from sticking to a surface, applying a thin layer of grease or oil, such as cooking oil or petroleum jelly, can create a barrier and aid in demolding. The greasy layer acts as a release agent, preventing the resin from bonding to the surface.

What Should You Use for Covering Tabletops & Work Surfaces?

Regarding covering tabletops and work surfaces for epoxy resin projects, several options are available, each with advantages and considerations. One popular choice is a melamine board [1], which provides a smooth and non-stick surface for resin application. 

preparing melamie wood

Melamine boards are known for their durability and resistance to staining and scratching, making them ideal for long-term use. Additionally, they are easy to clean, allowing for hassle-free maintenance.

Another option is the use of HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) sheets. These sheets offer excellent non-stick properties, ensuring easy release of epoxy resin from the surface.

HDPE is also chemically resistant and highly durable, making it suitable for various resin applications. Available in different sizes and thicknesses, HDPE sheets provide versatility and can be easily tailored to fit your specific project needs.

Silicone mats are another popular choice for covering work surfaces during epoxy resin projects. These mats offer flexibility and ease of cleaning, allowing for effortless resin removal. With their non-stick surface, silicone mats provide a reliable barrier between the resin and the work surface, preventing adhesion.

Additionally, silicone mats can be conveniently rolled up for storage, saving space in your workspace. They are also heat resistant, making them suitable for resin projects that involve heat guns or torches.

removing epoxy

Applying an epoxy resin topcoat is a viable option if you want to enhance your work surface’s durability and aesthetics. The coat creates a durable and glossy finish, preventing the resin from adhering to the underlying surface.

It provides protection and adds a visually appealing touch to your tabletop or workbench. However, it’s crucial to note that applying an epoxy resin topcoat requires proper surface preparation and application techniques to ensure a smooth and successful outcome.

Ultimately, the choice of covering for your tabletops and work surfaces depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors such as durability, ease of cleaning, heat resistance, and desired aesthetics when selecting the most suitable option for your epoxy resin projects.

Why Do Epoxy Resins Adhere to Other Materials?

I’ve seen how epoxy resins stick to almost anything because of what they’re made of. They’re a mix of a resin and a hardener, and when these two get together, they go through what we call curing.

Now, during this curing process, that’s when the magic happens — the epoxy resin grabs onto the surface it’s applied to and doesn’t let go, forming a bond that’s both strong and long-lasting. It’s this reliable adhesion that makes epoxy my go-to for creating durable and secure bonds in my projects.

pouring epoxy resin

The ability of epoxy resin to bond to various materials is primarily attributed to its low viscosity and excellent wetting properties.

The resin’s low viscosity allows it to penetrate porous surfaces, while its wetting properties ensure maximum contact between the resin and the surface, enhancing adhesion.


Will epoxy stick to already cured epoxy?

Once the epoxy resin has cured, it forms a solid and non-reactive surface. Subsequent layers of epoxy resin can adhere to cured epoxy as long as proper surface preparation, such as sanding or cleaning, is performed.

How can you keep the resin from sticking to the mold?

Various measures can be taken to prevent epoxy resin from sticking to molds. These include using mold release agents, applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly, or using silicone molds that inherently offer good release properties.

Will resin stick to aluminum foil?

Epoxy resin typically adheres well to aluminum foil due to its smooth and non-porous surface. However, applying a mold release agent or using a non-stick barrier, such as plastic wrap, can help prevent sticking.


Understanding which materials epoxy resin won’t stick to is essential for successful resin projects. Silicone molds, rubber, vinyl, mold release agents, sheathing tape, parchment or wax paper, polyethylene plastics, plastic sandwich bags, hot glue, and glass provide non-stick surfaces and aid in demolding epoxy resin projects.

Covering tabletops and work surfaces with melamine boards, HDPE sheets, and silicone mats or applying epoxy resin topcoats can ensure easy release and protect your work area. You can achieve excellent results in your epoxy resin projects by selecting the appropriate materials and employing the proper techniques.

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You've probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.
Robert Johnson

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