While epoxy resins were first used in the 1930s, their use in paints and primers took decades to perfect. Today, epoxy paints and primers are used in a wide variety of applications, from industrial coatings to garage floors and even automotive paints, primers, and sealers. Epoxy primers have long been the gold standard of primers. Known for its rock-hard durability, superior adhesion, and surface-sealing capabilities, it stands apart from the rest.
However, for the home hobbyist, using epoxy primers means setting up the spray equipment, mixing the paints, containing the overspray, and cleaning up afterwards. Often if you only have a few parts to spray, the production to shoot epoxies hardly seems worth the effort, and more often than not, lesser options are chosen in order to keep projects moving forward.
A trip to hardware or automotive stores often reveals several spray can paints labeled as “epoxy,” but the truth is it’s merely a marketing gimmick to sell paint, although they claim to be air-catalyzed. True epoxy paints and primers contain two parts: a resin and a catalyst. The drawback is once the catalyst has been added to the resin base paint, there is a limited amount of time to use them; this is referred to as “pot life.” This limitation meant spray cans could not be catalyzed, as they would need to be used almost immediately after being canned.
Fortunately, the manufacturers have created a way to have the best of both worlds with the introduction of a two-part epoxy system in the convenience of a spray can. This innovative product includes a button on the bottom side that releases the catalyst into the primer in the spray can, creating a true two-part epoxy. Yes, you still have to use the whole product before the pot life expires, but the advantage of not having to deal with the mixing mess and cleanup makes this a must-have product in any shop.