How To Make Clear Coat Not Sticky

When you’re working with epoxy, paint or any other type of clear coat, the last thing you want to see is your hands sticking to the surface every time you touch it. Instead of being able to handle it as you like, you can barely even pick it up without sticking to it. That’s when things get frustrating. This doesn’t have to be a common issue when working with clear coats. It is usually just something that happens once in a while depending on the brand and specific formula of the product.

Some formulas are more likely to become sticky because of improper mixing or some other factor that makes them that way. When this happens, here are some ways that may help reduce the stickiness from your clear coat so you can use it again without worrying about getting stuck all the time.

How To Make Clear Coat Not Sticky

Mixing the Clear Coat Correctly

The first thing to check when you notice that your clear coat is sticky is to make sure that you mixed it correctly. During this process, you might notice that there is a lot of bubbles in your mixture. This is a sign that there is air trapped in your clear coat and it needs to be mixed out. If you don’t mix out the air bubbles, that can cause the clear coat to become sticky. Air bubbles trapped in the clear coat will make it thicker than it should be and that will make it more likely to be sticky.

When you mix the epoxy or clear coat, you want to mix it on low speed. This is to help prevent the bubbles from being stirred in. You also want to make sure that the clear coat is mixed in a thinning shade. This will help prevent the bubbles from being stirred in and also make sure that your clear coat isn’t too thick.

Using the Right Tools

If you are using the right ingredients and mixing them correctly, then you can rule out the clear coat being the problem. The next thing to check is the tools you are using. For example, if you are using a roller, you should make sure to clean the roller thoroughly before adding the clear coat to it. If you have recently applied paint to something, you should make sure to clean the roller thoroughly so it doesn’t mix with the paint and ruin the clear coat. This is one of the most common mistakes that people make and it can result in your clear coat being sticky because of the paint.

Applying a Drying Agent

If your clear coat is sticky, you should apply a drying agent to it. This drying agent will help cure the clear coat so that it isn’t sticky any longer. You can pick up a drying agent from your local hardware store in the paint section. It is usually a powder that you add to the clear coat before you apply it to the surface. You want to use a drying agent that is designed for epoxy coatings. If you apply a drying agent designed for paint to your epoxy, it can ruin it. Once you apply the drying agent, you want to wait at least 24 hours before you use the surface. You can scuff sand the surface before applying the clear coat.

Sanding Before Hand-Coating

This is the last thing that you can try if your clear coat is still sticky. This is a more extreme step and one that you want to apply carefully. When you are sanding the surface, you want to make sure to sand it lightly. You don’t want to remove too much material or you will actually be damaging the surface below. Sand the surface just until you get down to the epoxy. Once you have sanded down the top level of the clear coat, you can then re-coat the surface with a new layer of the epoxy.


Whether the clear coat is sticky due to incorrect mixing or because of some other issue, there are some things that you can do to fix it. First, you want to make sure that you are mixing the clear coat correctly. Next, you can apply a drying agent to the clear coat if it is sticky. Finally, you can also sand the surface lightly and re-coat it with a new layer of the epoxy.

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