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.
|#||Epoxy resin||Cure time (hours)||Cvrg at 1/8 per Kit||Volume|
|1||Pro Marine Supplies |
|12-14||12.5 sq ft||1 gallon kit|
|2||East Coast||16-20||12 sq ft||1 gallon kit|
|3||SRC Crystal Clear||16-20||12 sq ft||1 gallon kit|
|4||MAS Clear Table Top||>24||12 sq ft||1 gallon kit|
|5||TotalBoat Table Top||16-20||12.8 sq ft||1 gallon kit|
|6||RTG Bar & Table||16-20||12 sq ft||1 gallon kit|
|7||Countertop Epoxy||16-20||12 sq ft||1 gallon kit|
|8||Versakoat||16-20||16 sq ft||1 gallon kit|
|9||Primaloc Premium||12-14||16 sq ft||1 gallon kit|
|10||Superclear Epoxy Resin||16-20||12 sq ft||2 gallon kit|
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a final note, this company does offer a money-back guarantee for those who aren’t satisfied, so that speaks well for them.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- The first curing time is how long it takes for the epoxy to harden to the point that it can be touched.
- The second curing time is how you need to wait before applying another coat
- The final curing time is the amount of time before the surface can be used in any general purpose.
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.
This 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.