When you are interested in sculpting then Milliput epoxy putty is something you should be interested in. It is a two-part epoxy, that you mix before shaping it in form. You have between 2 and 4 hours of work time before it starts curing. You don´t need to fire Milliput, it will cure on its own once you mixed the two compounds together. Once it has cured it will be very hard, durable, heat resistant, and waterproof. I personally love to use it if I have to sculpt something, that needs to be very durable or if it is a small part of a bigger sculpture, that needs to adhere to the sculpture. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know in order to successfully work with Milliput epoxy putty.
First of all, Milliput Epoxy Putty is very hard, once it is cured fully. It takes between 3 and 4 hours for the epoxy putty to cure fully and once it has cured it will be about as hard as a rock. Epoxy Putty can be sanded and painted afterward. It will not shrink or change its form in any way while curing.
You can buy Milliput Epoxy Putty in some local Craft stores or right here on amazon.
Using Millitput Epoxy Putty in Water or for Outside
Epoxy putty is an amazing sculpting material because of its ease of use and for its amazing durability. I personally love to use it for small integrate details on my sculptures or if I need a sculpture to be very durable. The extraordinary durability is one of the big advantages of epoxy putty over regular air dry clay.
Milliput Epoxy Putty is waterproof and can be used outdoors without any issues. Epoxy Putty will even set underwater because it does not dry out like conventional clay but it instead hardens because two components react with each other to harden the epoxy.
So you can use epoxy putty outdoors however you like and you won´t run into any issues. I have a few sculptures sitting outside in the garden where they have little to no protection against the elements and they are all still fine even after two years.
I even painted a few of them and as long as you seal the paint properly then the paint will survive as well.
The only issue, that I had with one of my sculptures is that the sun can change the color of the epoxy slightly after a few years. The UV-rays will eventually take effect and change the color slightly towards white but that didn´t bother me and my painted sculptures are still fine.
So this is one of the biggest advantages of using Milliput Epoxy Putty over air-dry clay or other types of clay. It is insanely durable and resistant to the elements to a point, that you could theoretically make a water fountain out of it and it would work easily.
Sanding Milliput Epoxy Putty Correctly
Milliput is an epoxy putty, meaning after you mixed the two components together you only have a limited working time before the putty has hardened to an extent, that will make it impossible to work with it anymore. But what if you still wanted to add a few layers of detail to your sculpture before it hardened? Well, not everything is lost. You can still work a little bit on your sculpture even after it dried.
Milliput Epoxy Putty is sandable, so if the putty has hardened fully then sanding paper or a Dremmel can be used to smooth the sculpture or to add an extra layer of detail. The dust from sanding epoxy putty is very fine so a protective mask should be worn when sanding Milliput or other epoxy putties.
Milliput is kind of annoying to sand if I am being honest. While it is quite easy to sand it I often have the problem, that I accidentally take off to much in one go. So it is actually too easy to sand.
So my tip for you is working carefully and slowly when sanding epoxy putty as you can easily take off too much. This is especially true when working with a Dremmel. Don’t use a stone bit on your Dremel, a simple sanding bit will be enough.
A Dremmel is probably the best way to add detail to your sculpture. You have a wide array of different bits, that you can choose from to add detail. And a good Dremmel with a huge variety of different starter bits is not very expensive either. You can get a good and cheap one on Amazon right here.
But you don´t need a Dremmel to sand your sculpture you can also use regular sandpaper and a file to achieve similar results. I would recommend using fine-grit sandpaper in order to get a smooth finish on your sculpture.
So even if your epoxy putty has hardened fully there are still quite a few ways to work with it and add detail to it. So if the limited work time is an issue for you then maybe the fact, that you can still work with the putty after is has hardened by sanding it, will comfort you a little bit.
Painting Epoxy Putty Properly
Epoxy putty on its own is either light grey or yellowish in color which is not the color a lot of people like their final sculpture to be after they are done. So I get frequently asked if it is even possible to paint epoxy putty and if it is how to properly do it and avoid any paint chipping.
Milliput epoxy putty can be painted after it has fully hardened. But it is necessary to apply a primer before painting the epoxy putty and a topcoat should be added after painting the putty in order to avoid any paint chipping and to ensure the longevity of the paint especially if the painted sculpture will sit outside.
Painting Milliput or any other epoxy putty is quite easy if you know what you are doing. I personally did a lot of things wrong, when I painted my first few epoxy putty sculptures which resulted in the paint chipping off, and in some cases, the paint even bubbled before simply peeling clean off of the sculpture.
So to prevent that from happening to you here is how to properly paint an epoxy putty sculpture.
- First, you have to clean the surface of the epoxy sculpture from any dirt and dust by using some soapy water and a piece of cloth.
- Then you have to apply a primer to the surface of the sculpture. I recommend using XIM-Primer. You can get it here on Amazon or in your local hardware store. Apply at least two thin layers to make sure, that every inch of the epoxy sculpture is covered.
- After the Primer has dried it is finally time to paint the sculpture. Simply use the paint of your choice ( I personally love to use acrylic Paint) and paint your sculpture however you like.
- Once you are satisfied with your paint job simply let the paint dry and then finally apply a top coat to protect the paint from the sun, from scratches, and more. I like to use either a varnish or an acrylic sealer as a topcoat.
- And you are done once the topcoat has dried. Your sculpture is not ready to sit outdoors or indoors wherever you like without any paint peeling or cracking.
How Hard is Epoxy Putty After Curing?
Milliput Epoxy Putty is a quite new crafting material compared to clay so it is natural, that people can´t really wrap their head around how it is actually working, how it actually hardens and how hard it will be after it is fully cured.
Milliput Epoxy Putty will be about as hard as a stone, once it is fully cured. But it will not look or feel like stone, instead, it will more feel like plastic when touched. It is a little bit more shock-absorbent than stone as well. Even though it is so hard it is actually very easy to sand.
It will take any epoxy putty about 3 to 4 hours to cure and once it has cured fully it will be very hard.
The process of curing is very different from clay or Sculpey. Any epoxy putty will come with two distinct components, that have to be mixed before forming them. One component is the epoxy putty and the other component is a hardener, that will start an internal exothermic reaction within the epoxy putty to harden it.
So it doesn´t matter if you put the epoxy putty in an airtight container or underwater it will harden regardless once the two components have been mixed.
It is also not influenced by anything outside of it like temperature or humidity.
As you can see, Milliput Epoxy Putty is quite different from other sculpting mediums. It has a lot of advantages but also a few disadvantages. As I mentioned already above, I love to use it for sculpting very integrate small designs or for sculptures, that will be sitting outside.
Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.
2 thoughts on “Working With and Painting Milliput Epoxy Putty”
I am attempting to repair two Doulton figurines that belonged to my mother. My mentally ill sister had them and somehow broke holes into each of them. These figurines are gracious lady-like women in 19th century floor length gowns, with hoop skirts, this is where the holes were– in the bottom of the skirts. I mixed the milliput, then using waxed paper and a soup can sideways I rolled the milliput into very thin sheets, I lubricated the lump of mixed milliput with Elmer’s paste glue, which allowed me to rub the sheet of modeling material into the hole. First I applied a sheet larger than the hole to the open hole, and forced it into the rough surface of the inside of the open hole. Once that was set and cured, I still had to fashion the folds of the skirt. So I cut small strips of clay, and glued it to the rough opening. I wasn’t able to completely fashion the folds by rubbing. Now I want to sand the strips and it isn’t working well. I am at a stand still, I don’t know how to sand them with sandpaper. You mention a dremmel tool, maybe that would work. I have a dremmel for cleaning my golf clubs, I might put a sanding drum on that.
You can use files or a dremmel with a sanding tip but depending on how fragile the figures are I would recommend using small metal files to remove access material and some very fine sandpaper or a very fine file to smoothen the surface. You can then apply a primer and finally paint the figures if you want to.
Hope that helps!