Epoxy or varnish over automotive paint?

Hi all,

Has anyone applied epoxy resin over automotive enamel paint and clear coats?

By applying epoxy over paint will it adhere?


Will I have to sand down to bare wood and applying epoxy resin then paint?


The best epoxies will stick, but
your query about sanding down to bare wood raises some questions. If you are doing something structural, applying the epoxy to bare wood is best. “Clear coat” and automotive paint can adhere strongly on their own, but there’s always a question when you’re dealing with a boat rather than a car.

On my car’s hood
I amanaged to drip some expoxy and I did not notice until it had hardened. So I just left it there as a couple of large drops. It was barely visible initially as it was clear in color. Soon it turned rather yellow from sun exposure. It did adhere very well - I could not remove it without fear of damaging the paint.

For boats, I would strip the paint first, then use epoxy for repairs/whatever -:wink:

Problems with Epoxy
I’d echo the previous posters in saying that it really depends why you’re doing this. If your goal is to bring back the shine/depth/gloss to the automotive paint, you DEFINITELY do not want to use epoxy. Epoxy will stick and (if you get a “water-clear” epoxy) should give you a pretty decent gloss, but it won’t last at all. The problem with any epoxy is that it has very little UV resistance. Any epoxy coating should be covered by another coating that provides UV resistance (2-part poly clear-coat, varnish, etc.) I’d clean the paint very thoroughly, and either compound/polish/wax it to bring back the gloss. If that’s not enough, I’d go to a 2-part poly clearcoat.

If the epoxy coating you were thinking of applying was for waterproofing the underlying wood, I’d strip the auto paint, apply epoxy, then give it a 2-part poly clear finish. You could skip the paint stripping, but I think durability will suffer significantly since you’d be preventing the epoxy from reaching the wood that you need to saturate.

Best of luck, hope this helps!

I too am interested in why? If you wish to restore the gloss why not use automotive clearcoat. Automotive painters use clear sealers over old paint, dries almost instantly, perhaps using an automotive sealer would assure good adhesion of epoxy.

At the NAPA store they will have the paint manufacturers manual that will spell out the recommended way to recoat.

Why is there automotive paint on wood?
That’s my 1st question.