Best Epoxy Resins for Wood 2019 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Best Epoxy Resins for Wood 2019 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to creating a beautiful wooden table top, the epoxy resin is off the chars, period. While there are stains and the like are fairly popular solutions, they are not the most long-term options available, often requiring regular touch-ups. Furthermore, could you create something gorgeous like river table using only wood finishes? I think not. This is where having some good epoxy resin would really come in handy.

That is why I have taken the time to thoroughly list 10 best epoxy resins for wood that I have used, highlighting what each one does the best. I also provide a quick comparison table as well as a more thorough buyer’s guide to help you decide. I personally think that Pro Marine Supplies is the top option, but a DIYer might want to keep reading for a more convenient option.

Best Epoxy Resins for Wood in April, 2019

#Epoxy resinCure time (hours)Cvrg at 1/8 per KitVolume 
1Pro Marine Supplies
Editor's Choice
12-1412.5 sq ft1 gallon kit Check Price
2East Coast 16-2012 sq ft1 gallon kit Check Price
3SRC Crystal Clear 16-2012 sq ft1 gallon kit Check Price
4MAS Clear Table Top >2412 sq ft1 gallon kit Check Price
5TotalBoat Table Top 16-20 12.8 sq ft1 gallon kit Check Price
6RTG Bar & Table16-2012 sq ft1 gallon kit Check Price
7Countertop Epoxy16-2012 sq ft1 gallon kit Check Price
8Versakoat16-2016 sq ft1 gallon kit Check Price
9Primaloc Premium12-1416 sq ft1 gallon kit Check Price
10Superclear Epoxy Resin16-2012 sq ft2 gallon kit Check Price

1. Pro Marine Supplies  – Top Epoxy Resin for Wood

Pro Marine Supplies was a company that started out as Pro Marine Repair a little over a decade ago. During that time, the small business owners realized that too many epoxy resins on the market were not up to snuff.

Like many companies, this led the owners to expand their market, and now the sister company specializes not only in epoxy resins for wood but this particular product exclusively. That said, it does seem a bit odd that a company focused on boat repair would move to the tabletop market, but this is still a solid option.

On top of that, due to being founded in California where environmental protections are more strict, this is also the only epoxy resin for wood that we reviewed which does not contain any VOCs.

Surprising Performance

While the surprise might be a bit oversold, without much experience or a larger parent company to guide them, Pro Marine Supplies has put out one of the best product that I saw.

Aside from the fact that this formula contains no VOCs, which will decrease respiratory issues as well lower your risk of cancer, this is also one of the more durable epoxy resins.

That said, this product also offers one of the greatest coverage areas I saw at 48 sq ft and is naturally blush resistant as well.

Temperature and mixing

The most important part of this product is a temperature inside the room and mixing. Those are two substantial moments. You need to keep your room at eighty degrees which is where manufacturer say to keep it for the Pro Marine. Be careful while mixing it, make sure to pour it into different containers when you’re measuring it out.

I mixed it for about 10 minutes and monitored the temperature of the epoxy the whole time until it reached 92-93 degrees which is one of Pro Marine tips they say on their website. Let that epoxy heat up a little bit so that it cures a little harder if you want a scratch resistant and harder surface.

Pros
  • Cures harder than most
  • Has UV protection
  • No VOCs
  • Covers 48 sq ft
  • Is blush resistant
  • It is water resistant
Cons
  • Requires a quicker application

2. East Coast Resin – Fastest Curing Option

East Coast Resin may not be a company you have heard of, but that only makes sense since they have only recently started having an online presence. Before that, you had to find out about the company with more than 20 years of experience through a specialized distributor.

That said, it seems as if East Coast Resins understands what most of their customers actually want out of an epoxy resin for wood: immediacy. That is why East Coast Resins made sure that their product provides the fastest curing time that I saw, though the race was a close call in the end.

That said, this particular model still provides plenty of other benefits as well, though it is likely not the best option for inexperienced users.

No Time Flat

By far the top quality of the East Coast Resin epoxy is how quickly it cures at every stage of the process.

First, when it comes to the work time, few epoxies on our list can compete with East Coast Resin’s 30-minute window. On top of that, the total cure time of this epoxy sits at under a full day between 16 to 20 hours, depending on how many layers you applied.

That said, the application itself can be a bit of cause for concern for new users as it requires more consistency in its preparation than many of the other options that we saw.

If you do not prepare the East Coast Resin properly, you are liable to suffer from bubbles coming through the finish as well as other potential curing issues.

On the other hand, the East Coast Resin offers solid options across the board in other regards. For instance, this resin does offer UV protection, and though they are not absolute, they are actually better than some of the other resins we reviewed. Also, this epoxy resin does offer solid water resistance, though yet again, this is not a 100-percent waterproof epoxy resin.

Pros
  • Has a high gloss
  • UV protection
  • Odorless epoxy
  • Is self-leveling
  • It’s water resistant
  • Has the quickest curing time
Cons
  • Complicated application
  • More likely to bubble

3. SRC – Top Budget Epoxy

It might seem a bit surprising, but SRC is actually one of the more well-known manufacturers of epoxy resins, though they do not specialize exclusively in this product category like some of the other manufacturers on our list.

That said, this company did still get its start manufacturing epoxy resins and does still focus primarily on this type of product. What is even more impressive is that SRC, due to its popularity and size, has been able to undercut most of the competition in terms of price, easily making this the top budget epoxy resin for wood.

In fact, when you compare this product to the general experience of using an epoxy resin, it may, in fact, be a bit more convenient that some of the others.

Easy Peasy

To be clear, this is not actually the easiest product to use, but it does come with a number of qualities that make it convenient.

For instance, while not the quickest in every category, the SRC Crystal Clear epoxy does at least provide a comparable final curing time as our quickest at 16 to 20 hours in total. Even better, the SRC Crystal Clear also has a solid early curing time of 40 minutes which provides an additional 10 minutes of work time.

While experienced professionals may get frustrated having to wait that extra 10 minutes, new users and DIYers are liable to appreciate the extra time.

When you also consider that the SRC Crystal Clear resin is self-leveling and has a lower odor than most, this might also be the best DIYer epoxy resin for wood too.

Pros
  • Got a high gloss
  • Has a low odor
  • Got UV protection
  • Is self-leveling
  • The least expensive epoxy reviewed
  • Cures quicker than most
Cons
  • Requires a quicker application
  • Not the hardest finish

4. MAS – Great All-Around Epoxy Resin

MAS Epoxies might not be the most well-known manufacturer of epoxies, but they may very well be the best. While they did not get our Editor’s Choice award, that was mostly due to the fact that it is a bit less convenient for most people’s purposes.

However, this is one of the premier epoxy resins if you are looking for a product that can do pretty much everything well so long as you do not need it to be done quickly. That said, they say good things come to those who wait, and the MAS Epoxies resin provides a multitude of good things to those who are willing to wait on it a bit.

That is why we rated this our top all-around epoxy resin for wood. Just make sure that you do not need the finished product any time soon unless you have a curing cabinet.

Like a Pro

One of the top qualities of the MAS Epoxies resin is that it was made by professionals for professionals, but it also understands that DIYers are liable to look their way as well.

To this end, the MAS Epoxies resin has taken a lot of the guesswork out of applying an epoxy resin by providing not only an entire kit but a step by step walkthrough as well.

This makes the MAS Epoxies significantly easier to apply than some of the other products we reviewed, though that might also be because you have significantly more time to apply the epoxy in the first place.

This actually brings us to the worst quality of the MAS Epoxies resin which is that it takes much longer to cure than most of the other products we reviewed.

In fact, this is the only option on our list that suggests you allow for longer than 24 hours for the epoxy resin to cure at room temperature.

Pros
  • Provides the largest coverage reviewed
  • Has a clear coat
  • Is self-leveling
  • It’s more durable than most
  • Has UV protection
  • Easy to apply
Cons
  • Slow to cure
  • More likely to bubble

5. TotalBoat  – Great Indoor Epoxy

TotalBoat Table Top Epoxy may seem like an epoxy resin with an identity crisis, based on its name, but the brand is arguably the best option for most people by far. This is because TotalBoat, which is owned by Jamestown Distributors, has a particular focus on pretty much all finishing products related to mariner crafts.

Basically, if it goes on something that goes in the water, there is a good chance that TotalBoat manufactures a top-tier product for it. While this may seem a bit out of place for our list, it actually ensures that the TotalBoat Table Top Epoxy provides some protections others do not.

Because of this, as well as a number of other great features provided without any real difference in the price, we included the TotalBoat Table Top Epoxy in our list as a good indoor epoxy resin for wood.

Everything Inside

The TotalBoat epoxy is noted for being one of the worst performers on an outdoor workpiece.

This may seem odd considering the brand specializes in working with workpieces that are almost exclusively outdoor products. That said, if you plan to keep the finished product indoors, like with most workpieces that would be described as “table tops,” you will get one of the best results that I have seen.

First, this is the only product that we reviewed which can boast a 100-percent waterproofing protection, though since it might otherwise be applied to a boat, I would hope this to be the case.

That said, the TotalBoat is also one of the best formulas I saw for inherently preventing both blushes and bubbles. On top of that, this is also one of the few epoxy resins that we saw which can handle temperatures well above boiling without leaving a mark on the epoxy’s finish.

Pros
  • Has a clear coat
  • Is self-leveling
  • Is 100-percent waterproof
  • Has great heat resistance
  • Got a fast curing time
  • Is blush and bubble resistant
Cons
  • More complicated application
  • Poor outdoor performance

6. RTG Bar & Table Top Epoxy – Great For Anything Indoors

This is an excellent tabletop epoxy for all-around use. It is marketed as a good epoxy for those who have never used this kind of product before, and the marketing seems to be accurate. This stuff is really easy to mix, as it uses a simple one-to-one ratio (by volume, not by weight) for an easy and simple mix. It bonds to just about anything, including wood, stone, concrete, metal, and ceramic.

Stops further rotting

RTG epoxy is fully waterproof, making it a good choice for projects that involve driftwood or other partially rotted wood. With a piece like that, you do not want the wood to rot any further. As such, you can use an epoxy like this to preserve it for much longer than you normally could.

RTG has a “self-leveling formula,” which is a fancy way of saying that it is formulated to spread itself evenly in all directions. Of course, you should still make sure to level your working surface before applying this product all the same.

RTG has a very tough exterior when cured. Not only does it do an excellent job of resisting scratches, but it can also resist heat up to 125 degrees. This might be very important if you are refinishing a kitchen counter.

Extremely glossy

Now let’s discuss the downsides of this product. Overall, this is a very good product. However, it is not intended for outdoor use. Over time, direct exposure to the sun’s rays will break down this epoxy and cause it to eventually wear away. Thankfully, RTG epoxy is formulated to resist UV decay, so it’s still safe to put the table next to a window.

Another small downside (although it will not be a problem for everyone) is the fact that this is an extremely high-gloss epoxy. While this is very good for most jobs, some people prefer a slightly flatter finish to a high shine. For instance, someone who is going for a primitive and rustic look would probably opt for a low-gloss epoxy.

Pros
  • Easy to mix
  • Bonds with nearly anything
  • Waterproof
  • Self-leveling
  • Tough surface
Cons
  • No good for outdoor projects
  • Extremely glossy

7. Countertop UV-Resistant Resin – The Eco-Friendly Option

This epoxy has a few interesting qualities that make it worthy of a spot on our list. The main selling point of this item is the fact that it resists UV rays better than most products on the market. This makes it a decent choice for outdoor use.

This product is meant to provide a very clear finish and is advertised as being crystal clear. When it dries, it looks a lot like glass. Within 36 hours, it cures completely and is even more clear. The product is formulated to resist staining and yellowing so that it will provide a durable and long-lasting coating.

This product also offers a high safety factor. It contains no volatile organic compounds whatsoever. This means that Countertop resin does not pose any significant risk of toxicity to you, your children, or your pets. In fact, it has been rated by the FDA as being 100% safe for food use.

However, bear in mind that this label only applies when the resin is fully cured. Applying this resin is more pleasant because it has almost no smell at all. There is no need to fool with a facemask or a respirator.

Bonds to any surface

Countertop epoxy bonds well to wood, concrete, MDF board, Formica. ceramic, tile, and most types of stone. Another good thing about this product is that it gets pretty good coverage in terms of square feet per can. It’s not a huge difference when compared to other brands, but it’s a big enough difference to save a little money when buying multiple cans for large projects.

This product does have a few shortcomings, although they are not that bad. First of all, this product does not create as hard a surface as some other products of this type.

If you are filling a large area with epoxy resin, this might not be the best thing to use. You have to be a little more careful about scratches with this finish.

This product also tends to show a lot of bubbles. These can be removed with a heat gun or a hair dryer, but it takes a little longer than you would probably expect. If you opt for this product, be prepared to spend a little more time with the heat gun in your hand.

Pros
  • Excellent UV resistance
  • Non-toxic
  • No odor
  • Good coverage
Cons
  • Scratches somewhat easily
  • Harder to remove the bubbles

8. Versakoat Perfectly Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin – Great 3:1 Epoxy

Versakoat offers several distinct advantages. First of all, it is mixed at a 3-to-1 ratio, which makes a significant difference in terms of the products’ performance. Unlike most epoxies, which are mixed in equal parts by volume (1:1), Versakoat can be mixed very quickly with less stirring and no real need to pour it from one container to the other. This is a great feature simply because it saves time.

Nice mix ratio

3:1 epoxy also has a tendency to level itself a little more quickly. This is also an excellent time-saver. Finally, this type of epoxy will usually produce a harder surface when it has finished curing. The marketing for this product claims that it will become rock-hard and will resist impact, cutting, scratching, and most other forms of damage.

This is an ultra-glossy product, so be aware that it will produce a surface so shiny that it is advertised as being “mirror-like.” Like most of the better epoxy products out there, this one resists UV degradation for maximum longevity. On top of that, Versakoat is made to resist the yellowing that is common for epoxy products as they age. The product also seems to do a good job of resisting stains of most types.

The unfortunate aspect of a 3:1 epoxy is that some people will have a harder time mixing it. A little more precision is required when measuring your amounts, and this is why people sometimes have trouble. Take great care when measuring your two components or you will find that your epoxy doesn’t harden properly.

As a final note, this company does offer a money-back guarantee for those who aren’t satisfied, so that speaks well for them.

Pros
  • Strength and durability
  • Quicker to apply
  • Self-leveling
  • Extremely shiny
Cons
  • More difficult to mix
  • High shine might not be preferred

9. Primaloc Premium Epoxy – Easy To Apply

This epoxy from Primaloc stands out in several ways. First, we should talk about its’ most distinctive quality. This epoxy is not meant to be brushed or stirred, as you would normally do when applying such a substance. Instead, you just pour it on and it self-levels to exactly one-eighth of an inch.

Before you do this, however, you have to apply a thin preliminary layer of epoxy. This “seal coat” is intended to remove any roughness on the object that is to be sealed. This allows the poured coat to level itself more quickly, and to give a more perfectly even surface.

Contains no dangerous compounds

This makes Primaloc a really good choice if you aren’t very good at hiding those brush strokes.

This is also another product that offers a complete lack of volatile organic compounds. To put it more simply, this means that it does not contain dangerous chemical substances that might pose a threat to you or those in your household. There can be no doubt that this is a serious plus.

The makers of this product pride themselves on having created a product that offers maximum clarity. For those who like to get creative with these products, this can be a serious upside. However, it won’t matter a whole lot if you are coloring your epoxy. This product is extremely well-suited to “layering” work. That is to say, the kind of projects that involve layering different object on top of one another.

For instance, you might use some old coins or some printed pictures, or some cool-looking rocks that you found. By applying the epoxy in layers, and adding objects to each layer, a beautiful contrast can be created. Of course, you really do need a crystal-clear epoxy that resists yellowing if you want to get the most out of your work.

Not the best for outdoor

The only problem with this product is that it will not resist outdoor conditions very well. Some users have reported yellowing within a week if the product is left in the hot sun. To be fair, the product is clearly labeled as being “not for outdoor use,” so at least the marketing isn’t dishonest.

Some users also reported that the product dried too quickly for their liking. Thus, you may consider avoiding this one if you are doing something very intricate that requires more drying time.

Pros
  • Easy to apply
  • Self-leveling to 1/8 of an inch
  • No toxic chemicals
Cons
  • Dries a little too quickly
  • No good for outdoor use

10. Superclear Epoxy Resin – Best Deal For The Money

This is a product that comes in two-gallon kits instead of two-quart kits. That makes it a little bit better of a deal. After all, everything is cheaper when you buy in bulk. While this one may be a little cheaper, it seems to get overwhelmingly positive reviews with very few complaints.

First, this product has a very high level of UV resistance. The advertising doesn’t say if this product is suitable for outdoor use, so use caution if you are thinking about using Superclear in this way. The best way to verify that you are doing the right thing is to perform a test. Just coat a small piece of wood and leave it out in the weather for a while. Check it after a week and see how it holds up to the elements.

Scratch-resistance and durability

This product is fully waterproof and forms a hard, scratch-resistant coat. More than one reviewer has remarked upon the hardness of this resin, and upon its ability to maintain good clarity even when creating deeply layered finishes. For the artist who wants to experiment a little bit, this wouldn’t be a bad choice at all.

Superclear epoxy is formulated for use with a large variety of colorants. This gives you a lot of flexibility when you are planning your next DIY furniture build.

I have found that a lightly colored finish over a pale wood such as white oak can have a stunning effect, and can bring out the color of the wood in many subtle and attractive ways.

There are a few problems that we can find with Superclear epoxy, although none of them are particularly serious. First, many have reported that this epoxy will often start to tack up and harden before it can be fully applied. This problem becomes even worse in hot weather, making it necessary to put your epoxy in the freezer to buy more time.

Pros
  • Crystal clear
  • Great depth
  • Doesn’t bubble too much
  • Decent price
Cons
  • Hardens too quickly in hot weather
  • Not certified as safe for food by the FDA

Buyer’s Guide

Coverage

While this may not necessarily be the most important consideration when selecting an epoxy resin, it will definitely impact how much value one product provides over another.

When you account for the fact that the prices within the market are fairly stable and similar, the amount a given product provides in coverage will ultimately determine the overall value of that epoxy resin, all other things being equal.

That said, the coverage area for most epoxy resins follow a similar formula as the price with the majority of the products providing roughly the same coverage area as their competitors. As such, if you find an option provides more coverage than 25 sq ft, you should consider that an excellent deal–so long as there are no other major flaws with the formula.

Curing

This is another quality of an epoxy resin that people will place a fair amount of importance in but is not necessarily the most important for the epoxy resin’s ultimate performance. That said, the curing time will impact how quickly you can use the finished product which can be especially important if you are applying the epoxy resin for a commercial surface.

It is also important to remember that there are actually 3 different types of curing times:

  1. The first curing time is how long it takes for the epoxy to harden to the point that it can be touched.
  2. The second curing time is how you need to wait before applying another coat
  3. The final curing time is the amount of time before the surface can be used in any general purpose.

Application

The application is actually one of the most important considerations for an epoxy resin, especially if you are not an experienced user. That said, even for those who regularly use epoxy resins have a tendency to prefer products that are easier to apply.

This is because an epoxy resin that is difficult to apply increases the likelihood that the resin will not cure properly. Most of the time, difficulties with the application process involves how the resin cures while it is being applied. The most common issues with the application are either the development of bubbles or a condition called blushing.

Self-Leveling

epoxy table topThis can either be one of the most important considerations or simply a nice bonus, depending on the surface and kind of job that you are doing. When it comes to self-leveling the main point is that you no longer have to worry about the streaking or other imperfections that a non-self-leveling epoxy resin may suffer from. Of course, the main benefit of a self-leveling epoxy resin is the ability to fill in cracks, dips, and other planar imperfections.

Keep in mind, if an epoxy resin advertises both a quick curing time and a self-leveling formula, it may not be able to do both equally or at the same time. As such, if you need an epoxy resin to help fill in planar imperfections, you might want to opt for a slower curing formula.

Blush

This is likely one of the most frustrating issues that you can deal with primarily because it does not really appear until after the resin is already well into the curing process. Basically, an epoxy resin blushing creates a waxy bi-product that sits on the surface of the finish.

Aside from the fact that blushing mars the finish, it also prevents an issue for any other application thereafter–whether you are applying another layer of epoxy or some other type of finishing product. While some epoxy resins actually provide some protection against this effect, the fact remains that the better way to prevent blushing is to keep the workspace as dry as possible–including with a dehumidifier if needed.

Bubbles

Bubbles love to appear in the cracks. They can come from a number of different places, both inside the formula and out, but the fact remains that it completely ruins the finish of an epoxy resin. That said, the difference between bubbles coming from within and bubbles occurring on the exterior determines how you should tackle this problem.

If the bubbles are seeping into the epoxy from outside, you should make it a point to apply the epoxy in a warmer place with little to no humidity. On the flip side, if the bubbles come from within the surface material, you will need to apply a hot gun to help get them out. Yes, a blowtorch is surely going to be your good friend.

Similar to a blush, this effect will have a bigger impact on those formulas that cure more quickly than others. That said, this is generally considered an easier problem to overcome since, in the end, a hot gun will ultimately solve the problem either way.

Protections

While the protections of an epoxy resin get plenty of headlines, the fact remains that few of epoxy resins are out and out weak or fragile. The overwhelming majority of epoxy resins will still provide adequate protection from impacts and other superficial kinds of damage.

Instead, the main protections you look for involve other types of damage that can be either incurable or even lead to ruining the workpiece in the first place. Outside of the general physical protections, the most important ones to look for are protections from the elements. In this instance, the two main potential problems lay with the sun’s UV radiation and water seeping through the resin to the surface material below.

Water

This is actually likely the most important kind of protection for the widest range of people. Keep in mind, while epoxy resins might be used for a wide range of objects, materials, and surface, using an epoxy resin on wood that will be used to hold things is the most common.

As such, tables, bars, and other similar workpieces are some of the most common instances where you will use an epoxy resin. These workpieces also often happen to be tasked with holding food and beverages. Even if you do not spill anything on your epoxy resin, simply setting a glass on it without a coaster can leave a watermark.

That said, there are actually a couple epoxy resins that offer 100-percent waterproofing protections–though that is uncommon, with water resistance being far more likely.

UV

There is no real way of getting around the fact that your standard epoxy resin will always suffer from UV radiation. If the resin has to deal with regular UV radiation unaided, it is only a matter of time before the epoxy finish turns from clear to yellow.

Some epoxy resins contain materials that will help stave off the effects of UV radiation, but none of them completely protect the workpiece. As such, if you are simply using an epoxy resin without some additional finish, make sure that the finished product will remain indoors and away from direct sunlight. That said, most epoxy resins are designed to serve as a sort of primer for other finishes–including a clear coat that provides UV protection.

Conclusion

In the end, most of these epoxy resins will actually provide a fairly similar finish and will do so at around the same price. With this in mind, I recommend the Pro Marine Supplies as our Editor’s Choice for one primary reason: coverage.

Of course, there are still some solid budget options on the market, and for our money, the SRC Crystal Clear epoxy resin offers nice solution on a budget.

While it will not provide the hardest finish for a heavy-duty workpiece, it does offer one of the quicker total curing times while still giving you an extra bit of time for the early stages. Ultimately, this is a bit easier of a product to use for beginners, though you do still have to work quickly.

29 thoughts on “Best Epoxy Resins for Wood 2019 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide”

  1. Nice article William. Even though I’m experienced DIYer, I learned some new stuff.

    I’ve done many projects using epoxy resins including dye river tables, top bars and other DIY pieces. There were several brands I’ve tried, all of them gave me pretty nice results but I think Pro Marine required less effort in comparison with other resins: easier application, less bubbles (nevertheless a heat gun is needed). It’s a good choice for those who’s working with epoxy for the first time.

    • Hi, Natalie.

      Glad to hear you found the article useful, appreciate it.

      I totally agree that Pro marine is a good choice for newbies. What’s more, when I was doing my first epoxy resin table top I used that exact brand which as you can guess turned out to be great.

    • Hi, Anton.

      If your project isn’t very big and the surface of your piece has got a few imperfections then >60 grit sandpaper will be a good affordable choice. For large wooden projects with a pretty rough area it’s better to use an electric tool such as sander. It’s much more expensive than sandpapers but it will save you a lot of time and it’s just great for big projects such as river outdoor dining table or something like that. Otherwise, sanding will be taking so much time and eventually you will end up giving up on your DIY idea. Furthermore I think sander make wooden surface much more smooth than sandpaper, so if this isn’t your last project and money isn’t a big deal for you then sander is definitely your choice. You don’t have to be a pro to use this tool. Hope this helps.

  2. Hi there William! Like your article. I’ve wanted to do some DIY for a long time. There was a bunch of articles I read about wood finishes such as stain, polys, lacquer and more other stuff. But river table… As soon as I saw one I knew this is what I’ve been looking for. Endless amount of shapes of the river pattern, I can paint epoxy any color I like. I want to do it! 

    • Nice to see you on my blog, Patricia. Glad to hear that you want to create something beautiful by yourself, really nice. I’ve used a lot of finishes, every one of them creates its own unique look. But yes river tables are magnificent. By the way, there are many other projects made of epoxy resin such as lamps, decorative eggs and other cool things, check it out on youtube 

  3. Gonna do my first project and i want to do it properly. After i pour one coat of resin when can I do the next? And what about bubbles, I suppose they can ruin the whole final effect. Thanks.

    • Hi, Denis.
      You can see the table I composed on top of the article. It clearly shows curing time of each product so you have to wait at least 12 hours for full curing to begin pouring the next level of epoxy. Curing time is very important, do not mess it up.

      Bubbles… Epoxy resins and bubbles go together. Bubbles appear while mixing the epoxy, they appear while pouring and spreading the epoxy across the surface. There is nothing wrong with it but you have to handle it by using heat gun, it’s the best possible solution ever existed. Once you pour the epoxy wait 5 minutes for bubbles to raise up and pop them with heat gun. Do not wait too long otherwise the epoxy will get harder so it’ll be much more difficult to get rid of all the bubbles. It’s very simple: just turn your gun on and hover over the surface, bubbles will start disappearing immediately, not a big deal.

  4. Very useful article, thanks.

    It may sound trite but how can I fix my wooden pieces while pouring so that pieces stand still until epoxy cures completely? Looking forward to your answer.

    • Hi there, Melisa.

      There are times when we need answers to simple questions. If you are doing a river table you can just place some kind of enclosure around your tabletop so that it stays fixed and epoxy doesn’t flow out. You can make it using wooden decks and cardboards, bond enclosure to the surface using glue.
      Have fun doing your project.

  5. Love your amazing review. Is there any conditions wooden piece have to satisfy before applying epoxy? Only certain types of wood acceptable?

    • Hi, Inessa.

      First of all, you can use any type of wood you like, no problems. Unlike wood stains (which can be used only for specific types such as softwood or hardwood) epoxy resins can be applied to any wood since they don’t affect the grain. Choose what you like the most, do not hesitate.
      Before applying epoxy you have to make sure that wood is clean. Remove dirt, flinders, peeling bark and other blemishes. Then sand the wood using sandpaper or sander to make the surface smooth. After you finish sanding it’s very important that you remove all dust, the surface engaging with epoxy has to be totally clear. It would be great if you could use a vacuum for that purpose.

    • Hi David,

      Yes, any epoxy resin can yellow over time, there is no panacea for that. But most epoxy resins have components reducing the impact of UV rays which means the epoxy will stay clear longer but not infinitely. I think it isn’t a big problem since epoxy resins are supposed to be used mostly for interior projects not exterior. Interior projects got no problem with UV rays. But if you really want to get an outdoor project then I suppose you will need some extra top coat finish over epoxy which has strong UV protection. Sorry, I’ve never done anything like that before so I can’t give you comprehensive instructions.

  6. I’ve just finished my river table, it took approximately 20 hours to complete it, very exciting process you know. Now I think I can make the table look even better by applying some finish but actually don’t which to choose. Or maybe it isn’t worth it? What do you think about it? Thanks.

    • Nice to see you, Brina.

      Yep, you can finish the wooden parts of your river table. I think oil is a great choice here; it will seal the wood and give it a polished satin look. Please, check out the article where I listed top oils for different wooden pieces on the market. Hope you will love it.
      If you had wanted to finish your wood before applying epoxy you could have used wood stain. Stains are great since they unfold the natural beauty of the wood. But once you applied epoxy do not use any stain because it may color the epoxy which will ruin the entire project.

  7. About a year ago I poured my first epoxy resin river table. I liked how the result turned out to be. I thought I did everything right but in two weeks I mentioned the bubbles appear in the epoxy. But I did everything right, set proper temperature in the room, mixed thoroughly, removed all of the bubbles using heatgun. What’s the reason? I’d like to do another epoxy resin project but I’m afraid of making the same mistake I did earlier. Appreciate every moment of your time, thanks!

    • How are you today, Rebeka.

      I’m sorry to hear about what happened to your first project. Unfortunately, it’s common mistake newbies make trying to make their first epoxy resin pieces. They pour coat and then remove the bubbles, everything seems to be okay. But there is one thing they forgot or probably even didn’t know about – sealing the wood.

      You see, there are two types of wood: softwoods and hardwoods. Softwoods won’t cause you any problems whereas hardwood will do. Why so? The reason is that hardwoods have got pores that may cause emerging of the bubbles. Different types of hardwoods have a different level of porosity and pore size.

      So if you want to make a hardwood river table it’s better to first seal wooden surface which will come in contact with epoxy. Sealer seals (sorry for tautology) pores preventing bubbles from arising in poured epoxy or even worse – in hardening epoxy. Fortunately, I wrote the article about wood sealers https://woodimprove.com/best-wood-sealers/ that can help you to solve this problem, choose the right option for your situation (ask me if you need some help). Then pick a fine bristle brush and seal the wooden surface you’re going to pour the epoxy on or next to. Wait 30-120 minutes depending on what the manufacturer says, however, I mentioned this information at the beginning of the article. And finally, you’re ready to pour your river table.

      Hope you will find this helpful.

  8. Mr. Stewart I have some questions for you. I have a counter top project (in an Airtream Travel Trailer, subject to sunlight and heat) that the wood is not wide enough for, that I have formed out a box and now need to fill the rest with resin/epoxy where there is lack of wood. Can you advise of a good product that can be poured 3/4 of an inch thick with a color added to it (white)? It needs to have UV protection, non-yellowing, self-leveling, hard finish. I have read all about your top 5 favorites, but want to make sure that the addition 3/4 inch thick is factored in to make my best choice.
    Thank you for your help in advance.
    Tammie

    • Hi. Tammie.

      Sounds interesting. All of the products I worked with require, ideally, 1/8 inch layers. This thickness provides smooth self-leveling, also such thin layer of epoxy resin allows all of the bubbles to go up to the top. Actually I’ve never seen an epoxy which has thicker recommended pour level.

      So if you want to pour 3/4 inch then you better apply several coats of 1/8. Of course you may pour 2/8 layers or even thinker but I’ve never done pouring that way and I don’t recommend that for you. We don’t want you to mess up your counter top, right? So, 3/4 inch will require 6 pours of 1/8, be patient.

    • This is how you do that
      1. Pour 1/8 inch level
      2. Pop up the bubbles using a heat gun or torch
      3. Wait overnight (6-8 hours) until the layer partially hardens, the following morning it will be sticky and jelly to the touch. Yes, you don’t need the layer to fully harder because next layer of epoxy will go nicely on sticky surface of the previous one. If you accidently wait approximately 20-24 hours or longer the epoxy will harden completely. Don’t worry, in this case you just need to slightly sand your hardened layer to make the surface rough so that the next level bonds to it properly. After you finish sanding remove all dust and wipe the surface using acetone or denatured alcohol.
      4. Repeat the previous steps until you reach desired thickness

    • Remember, it’s winter so do your project in warm room only and of course warm up your epoxy resin until it’s at room temperature (80F) or above.

      With regard to self-leveling, all products got this property, there is no difference. The same goes for hardness althought I said that Pro Marines hardens a little bit ‘stronger’, but it’s most likely my personal opinion I formed having used this product several times, I didn’t saw other people say the same.

      Yellowing and UV protection. All listed options have UV protection but I guess they won’t save your work from aggressive sun beams for very long time since epoxy resins are designed for interior projects first. All epoxy resin projects I’ve done so far were intended for interior use and I’ve mentioned no project yellow yet. I think you will need some additional crystal clear UV inhibitor you will have to apply over your project. All I know is that spar varnish could be used for that purpose but I’ve never done any exterior epoxy resin project so you will need to do some research.

      So taking into account all I said above I think Pro Marines epoxy + some great UV inhibitor would be a good choice.

  9. Hi, William.

    Did my second epoxy diy a couple of days ago. It came out very milky although my first river project turned out to be crystal clear, no bubbles at all. I don’t get it, I did all steps the same way, mixing, pouring and popping bubbles. I used SRC epoxy resin both times, first time everything went smoothly so I think the product wasn’t the reason as some other people had the same issue using different epoxy resin brands.

    What are your thoughts on that? Thanks.

    • Hi, Max

      I know that feeling when you’re doing it all right and it turns out to be a mess. I’ve got cloudy epoxy resin several times myself since I started wood finishing. You and I thought we did all properly but in fact we overlooked two important things: temperature and moisture. If you forget about either of them you will get cloudy epoxy.

      To apply epoxy resin it needs to be at optimal temperature of about 75F degrees, but some manufacturers may recommend higher temperature. If epoxy is too cold it goes out of the bottle in a kind of chunks and there are a lot of tiny bubbles beneath the epoxy that you can’t even pop using the torch or heat gun. If you see that happening you just have to stop and warm it up. It’s not enough (but necessary) to warm up the room you’re going to work in using a space heater because the epoxy may have the lower temperature then the room does. More often in happens in winter: you finally have got your delivery and then start pouring it despite the fact that epoxy is still cold because recently it was outside. You simply need to heat it up; you can do it by putting the epoxy in a warm water bath and wait until it’s at optimum temperature. That’s all I’m saying.

      Another main reason for a cloudy epoxy resin is humidity. The optimum level is 50%. High level of room humidity may be a problem if you’ve got no conditioner or dehumidifier. But dehumidifier isn’t as expensive as air conditioner so I suggest you get one if there is no another option available. And of course, you have to use only clean and totally dry mixing sticks and containers you’re going to mix the epoxy in.

  10. Hi there. Finally got Pro Marines and poured my river table. Love it, now I want to protect it from scratches. What can I use for that?

    • Hi Michael,

      You came up with a good decision, it will be disappointing to mess up a beautiful table. Shellac or polyurethane would be a good choice to protect your piece, these are clear top coats which are nicely suited for epoxy resin. It’s worth mentioning that polyurethane is much harder to strip off later, but it gives you the best scratch protection. On the other hand, shellacs is another great option, which can be simply repaired and refinished in time. So for you, I would recommend using shellac since it has a good scratch resistance and you could easily refinish or remove it using a solvent.

      If your table’s got scratches before you finish it you could sand the surface a little bit to get rid of scratches and then finish it.

  11. Τhis site waѕ… how do you say it? Relevant! Finaⅼly I haѵe found something that helped
    me. Finding good epoxy resin was a real headache. Thank yoᥙ!

  12. Great Article! Quick question for you, can coloring pigments be added to all these brands of epoxy? And how about an article showing the worst 10 epoxy’s! I have used Glaze Coat on a few things. My first was a 9ft Farm table I made for my daughter using all hardwoods and most were curly or spalted. Turned out awesome. Going to try doing more live edge tables with color.

    • Hi, Mike.

      Yep, you can add dye to any epoxy from the list.

      Never thought about top worst products, maybe I should try that 🙂

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