Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2005

Epoxy vs. Enamel

Q. What is the differance between Epoxy paint and Enamel paint? Our paint vender is telling us that even though the paint can states Enamel, that after we add the hardener, it becomes Epoxy. Is this possible? I thought Epoxy paint was totaly different. Thank you.

A. The word "enamel" is loosely used to designate a shiny, glossy, decorative topcoat. You can have an epoxy enamel, alkyd enamel, acrylic enamel, etc.

Epoxy coatings are based on specific chemical resins that, when reacted form a hard, abrasion resistant, chemical and solvent resistant coating. Usually epoxies provide excellent adhesion to the substrate.

In your case, it sounds as if you are intending to use a decorative, perhaps glossy epoxy topcoat. If you are using a "primer" that is the first coat applied to the substrate for purposes of adhesion and/or corrosion resistance, you would not call it an enamel.

Hope this helps.

Best Wishes,

Ron Joseph

What's New | About PCRC | Compliance Assistance | Regulations | Technical Info | News | Homeowners | Search | Disclaimer | Home

©2012 Paints and Coatings Resource Center