Epoxy resin is an excellent material used in various applications, including woodworking, resin casting, as well as DIY crafts. It cures to become a hard, durable, and clear plastic material that has a beautiful shine.
Unfortunately, that shine doesn’t last, especially if your epoxy resin is subjected to a lot of wear and tear. You’ll find that the resin will become dull or even get scratches after some use. If that’s the case, it’s time to sand down the epoxy and apply some polish to restore its shine.
You can use various types of polishing compounds on epoxy resin, including some types of automotive and metal polish. There are also polishing compounds specifically formulated to restore the look of epoxy resin.
What are the best polishing compounds for epoxy resin? To remove scratches on the epoxy surface, you’ll want to use a coarse polishing compound. To add shine to a dull epoxy surface, a fine polishing compound or even automotive polish will do.
Let’s take a look at some types of polishes for epoxy resin and how you can find the best one for your needs.
Types Of Polishes For Epoxy Resin
How do a scratched-up and dull epoxy resin surface become shiny again? Simple – with abrasion!
The simplest way to remove scratches on an epoxy surface is with sanding, first using coarse sandpaper and then gradually moving towards fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface.
You can also use an abrasive polishing compound that contains very small coarse particles to remove the scratches. This step works similar to sanding, and it works great with a buffing wheel.
In the last step, you can apply either a fine-grit abrasive polishing compound or an automotive polish that’s suitable for epoxy resin, and your epoxy surface will be good as new!
Having gone through the steps to polish a scratchy and dull epoxy surface, let’s take a look at the different types of polishing compounds.
The first type of polishing compound is an abrasive type, which is commonly used to remove deep scratches and big imperfections on the epoxy surface. You’ll usually find it in a paste form.
This type of abrasive usually contains very coarse particles that are designed to ‘sand down’ the surface of the epoxy to smooth it out, and you’ll find that using a buffing wheel is the most effective way to use this compound.
However, this type of polishing compound does not ‘polish’ your epoxy resin, per se. Since the particles are very coarse, they’re very effective at removing big scratches, but the epoxy will still look quite dull after using this type of polish.
To smooth out the surface even further and add shine, you’ll need to use a fine polishing compound. This is the finishing step to restore the shine to your epoxy surface.
This type of polishing compound is usually in liquid form, and it’s usually the last step in the process after you’ve removed the big imperfections. It usually contains very fine particles to smooth out the surface, and the polish will work to add shine to the surface of the epoxy.
Alternatively, you will also find that automotive polish works quite well. This is because they have the same mechanism and can achieve similar effects.
For those who want a one-stop-shop for all your polishing needs, you’ll be glad to know that there are polishing kits out there that can give you all the tools you need for all the steps required for polishing epoxy.
You’ll typically get a cleaning liquid, various types of sandpaper with different grits suitable for removing scratches and smoothing out the surface, and a polish. A kit is a highly convenient solution if you’re unsure of what to get.
What To Consider When Buying Polishing Compounds For Epoxy Resin
Although polishing compounds are pretty straightforward, there are a few things you must consider. Let’s take a look at each of them below.
As we’ve mentioned, there are quite a few types of polishing compounds, each with a different level of abrasion.
The abrasive polishing compounds usually contain very coarse particles that you can feel with your fingers, and these are designed to really chop down on the epoxy’s surface to remove scratches. As a result, these compounds won’t really give you a smooth, shiny surface.
On the other hand, the less abrasive kind of polishing compound will smooth out your surface and add shine to it, but it won’t be effective at removing scratches.
If you are unsure about the level of abrasion that a compound has, you can check to see if it ‘removes scratches.’ Usually, if a compound says that it can remove scratches, chances are it is more abrasive than others.
If you find an old polishing compound in your workshop, you can also feel it with your fingers. If the abrasive particles feel very coarse and big, it’s more abrasive.
Polishing compounds come in a few different forms: paste, gel, or liquid. Paste compounds are usually more abrasive, and gel and liquid compounds are usually less abrasive.
Ease of Use
Applying polishing compounds typically requires a buffing wheel, but we understand that not everyone who wants to polish epoxy will have a buffing wheel.
While abrasive polishing compounds are more effective when used with a buffing wheel, you can also check if the polishing compound that you’re purchasing can be applied by hand to achieve a similar result.
As we’ve mentioned, you can also use automotive polish to polish epoxy. However, not every type of automotive polish will work.
Before you purchase, make sure that the polishing compound will work for epoxy. Usually, if the compound says that it will work on plastic, it will usually work on epoxy.
We know that cured epoxy resin is food safe, which means you can use it to handle food or use it on surfaces that food will likely touch, such as a kitchen table or countertop.
However, this is not the same for polishing compounds. If you want to polish an epoxy resin item that will need to be used to handle food, you will need to use a polishing compound that is rated as food-safe.
Best Polishing Compounds For Epoxy Resin
Depending on the condition of your epoxy resin, you can find a suitable polishing compound. Usually, if the epoxy surface is simply dull-looking, a non-abrasive polishing compound is enough to restore its luster.
However, if you find that there are a lot of scratches and imperfections on the surface, sanding and abrasive polishing compounds are needed to remove the scratches before the shine can be added back to the epoxy surface.
So, keeping all this in mind, here are our top suggestions for resin polish:
|1.||3M Perfect-It Gelcoat Heavy Cutting Compound||Abrasive gel|
|2.||3M Perfect-It EX AC Rubbing Compound||Abrasive liquid|
|3.||Pro Perfect, Pro Marine Supplies Polishing Compound||Non-abrasive liquid polish|
|4.||Premium Resin Polishing Kit||Abrasive paste|
|5.||Turtle Wax T-241A Polishing Compound & Scratch Remover||Abrasive paste|
|6.||PFERD 48769 5-High-Gloss Polish Paste Bar for Plastics||Non-abrasive paste bar|
|7.||Meguiar's M1008 M10 Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Polish||Non-abrasive gel|
|8.||Meguiar's G12310 PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish||Non-abrasive gel|
|9.||Stone Coat Countertops Polishing & Cleaning Kit||Non-abrasive liquid polish|
1. 3M Perfect-It Gelcoat Heavy Cutting Compound
3 M’s Perfect-It Gelcoat Heavy Cutting Compound is a liquid wax, gel, and polish in one. Although this formula is specifically designed to restore oxidized gel coats of boats, many crafters swear by using it to polish epoxy surfaces.
It works beautifully to remove any chalky residue and scratches by lightly working away at the uneven surface. The unique ingredients smooth out the scratches, as well as restore the epoxy’s shine to like-new condition.
This product is epoxy-based, so it will work great with epoxy materials. It’s gentle enough for use on fiberglass and paint, yet it quickly cuts through oxidation and restores luster to the surface.
2. 3M Perfect-It EX AC Rubbing Compound
3M Perfect-It Rubbing Compound is a high-grade compound used for removing fine swirl marks and light sanding marks on various surfaces, including epoxy.
This compound is highly effective at cleaning up dull epoxy surfaces. The abrasives in this compound quickly remove sanding marks and small imperfections.
The formula also reduces powdering and leaves a refined finish. While this rubbing compound is designed to be used with automotive paints, it can also create a shiny finish when applied to fiberglass, plastic, and also epoxy.
3. Pro Perfect, Pro Marine Supplies Polishing Compound
This ultra-fine sealing and polishing compound is suitable for reviving dull-looking epoxy. It’s perfect for adding beautiful shine back to older surfaces.
If your epoxy surface has some scratches that need to be removed, you can use sandpaper to smooth out the scratches and use the Pro Perfect polishing compound to create a smooth and mirror-like finish. It can also be used to restore chalky oxidized gel coats on boats.
The product removes dullness like magic to create a polished, flawless surface while protecting the base coat of epoxy. Although it’s specifically formulated for epoxy, this product can also maintain a superior gloss level on a variety of surfaces, including fiberglass and metal.
4. Premium Resin Polishing Kit
The HOMETINKER Premium Resin Polishing Kit is the perfect solution for quickly removing scratches and restoring the project surface to a high-gloss condition.
The kit includes an epoxy cleaner and a premium polishing solution for epoxy surfaces and epoxy finishes over marble, ceramic, or wood.
You can restore your epoxy surface to a high-gloss surface safely and easily with this convenient polishing kit. The polishing paste is formulated to add a mirror-like luster to your dull epoxy surface.
5. Turtle Wax T-241A Polishing Compound
The Turtle Wax Polishing Compound & Scratch Remover is a heavy-duty paste that cleans dull, oxidized finishes and quickly penetrates through the oxidized surface to remove scratches, blemishes, and stubborn stains.
Formulated to work on automotive, but this Turbo Wax is also excellent for epoxy. It restores faded finishes to a like-new shine while restoring luster to the clear epoxy without damaging it.
This wax can be applied safely by hand or a buffing wheel. This versatile paste can be applied with a pad or rubbed in by hand for the ultimate gloss and shine.
6. PFERD 48769 5-High-Gloss Polish Paste Bar
This Pferd 5-High-Gloss polish paste is designed for use on very hard materials, including plastic. It provides an exceptionally high degree of reflection and clarity on dull epoxy.
The all-in-one formula offers superior glossy brilliance as well as easy application, thanks to the easy-to-hold bar shape of the paste. The paste works its magic on the epoxy surface quickly, adding shine and restoring luster to the clear plastic.
This type of application is easily done by hand, but you can also use small pieces from this bar with a buffing wheel for more efficiency.
7. Meguiar’s M1008 M10 Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Polish
Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Polish is an all-in-one formula for restoring optical clarity to all clear plastics and even epoxy resin.
The non-abrasive formula safely removes any dullness while providing a static-free coating that repels dust, helping to keep your clear plastics looking bright and clean. This is an added layer of protection for your epoxy so that it will stay looking fresh and shiny for longer.
This clear plastic polish is formulated for use by hand or buffing wheel. The polish easily wipes away smudges, haze, and other discoloration from all plastic surfaces, so the results are always crystal clear.
8. Meguiar’s G12310 PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish
Meguiar’s PlastX is the first step for restoring clarity to cloudy, yellowed, scratched, and oxidized clear plastics and epoxy resin.
Meguiar’s super-micro abrasives quickly remove oxidation and surface contaminants from the plastics without scratching the surface.
The water-resistant polymers in Meguiar’s PlastX deep clean and condition the plastics in one easy step, providing long-lasting protection against further damage.
This solution can clean and polish your clear epoxy resin in just one simple step, restoring the surface’s brilliance while adding shine to a dull piece of epoxy.
9. Stone Coat Countertops Polishing & Cleaning Kit
This polishing and cleaning kit provides you with everything you need to restore the shine of your epoxy resin creations. The kit includes a cleaning liquid and a polish that you can apply after sanding.
The cleaning liquid will help remove any stains or dirt on the surface, after which you can use various grit sandpapers to remove scratches on the surface of the epoxy to smooth it out. Finally, the polish can be applied to add shine and gloss to the epoxy’s surface.
This is a non-toxic formula that’s even food-safe, which means you can safely use it on surfaces that will need to touch food, such as your kitchen countertops.
How To Polish Epoxy Resin
Depending on the condition of your epoxy resin, polishing epoxy resin will take a few steps.
Sanding is a crucial step if you want to remove any scratches from the surface of your epoxy resin.
Since resin dust can be toxic when inhaled, wet sanding is recommended when you want to sand down an epoxy resin surface.
An assortment of sandpaper is needed for this step. You will need at least three or four different pieces of sandpaper, ranging from coarse, medium-grit, to fine-grit sandpaper.
Coarse sandpaper is more effective at removing big scratches and imperfections, so you can start with coarse sandpaper.
Then, move to medium-grit sandpaper for a few minutes, and then gradually move on to a fine-grit and very fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface where no scuff marks are visible.
You should clean the epoxy thoroughly after each sanding step to make sure you are on the right track. You don’t want to over-sand the surface, but you’ll also want all the imperfections to be removed before applying the polish.
Alternatively, after sanding with coarse sandpaper, you can also use an abrasive paste with a buffing wheel to smooth out the epoxy surface instead of using fine-grit sandpaper.
Many people prefer this method because it gives a more predictable result with epoxy, and it is also more efficient.
After all the imperfections have been removed, you can use a fine polish, either in liquid or paste form, to apply all over the surface of the epoxy. This step is mainly to restore the shine and luster of the epoxy.
Depending on how big your epoxy surface is, you can apply the polish by hand or with a buffing wheel. If you are applying by hand, you can use a clean cloth to rub the polishing compound all over the resin surface. You’ll see the difference almost immediately!
Take a look at this YouTube video for more detailed instructions on how to polish and restore your epoxy resin: