Being an adhesive agent virtually applicable to any construction work or DIY activity, epoxy resin has gained tremendous popularity everywhere. So it is natural that professional and DIY people will look for the best epoxy resin for wood or any other project such as jewelry, fabric, plastic, metal, or artwork. Our research, followed by a long-term observation, says that Pro Marine Supplies Epoxy is undeniably the best choice for any wood project, though it has some other applications. But if you expect something equally suitable for numerous projects, then East Coast Resin Epoxy should get priority.
Best for Wooden Projects
The UV resistant and FDA compliant crystal clear epoxy resin and hardener combo creates a tough, high gloss, scratch-resistant, water and moist-proof, eye-soothing and super finish coating. Super easy to apply, even by a novice. Mainly applicable to any wooden project; however, also suitable for artworks and some other home projects.
Suitable for Almost All Projects
The high-performance epoxy resin and hardener gives a quick and professional result at the first application, if not applied by a pure novice. It is a clear, safe UV-resistant, and powerful agent that ensures a robust, scratch-resistant, water-proof, bubbleless, and satin finish coating. Virtually applicable to all projects - Pro or DIY.
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Top Selected Epoxy Resin Reviews
Best Epoxy Resin for Wood Tabletop - Pro Marine Supplies Epoxy Resin
You probably hadn't heard of Pro Marine Supplies since it wasn't too long when they started their journey, so it's good to say that it's a boat repair company established just a few years more than a decade ago. From the perceived necessity, the company suddenly turned its attention to epoxy resin production four years after its launch, and we have no hesitation in acknowledging that in such a short timespan, their resins have proven to be the best in the market in terms of diversity, quality and long-lasting impact.
This particular one from Pro Marine Supplies is the best epoxy resin for wood in our eyes, regardless of whether you are using it on tabletops, bars, river tables or any wood finishing. Though it has some other applications, including use at artworks.
Wherever you apply the crystal clear epoxy resin with hardener, you will see a tough, high gloss, scratch-resistant, water and moisture-proof coating. Its UV-resistance will make the layer comfortable to your eyes. You will find no craters, crawling, or fish eyes after getting dried, and there will be a satin finish (credit goes to its self leveling feature) other than an exception where you might see only a few bubbles.
It can be used in objects that come in contact with foods (trays, glassware, tumblers) because of being prepared in an FDA-approved formula. Impressively, it is blush resistant and does not contain any volatile organic compounds, which safeguard against respiratory infections and reduces your risk of cancer.
How many square feet does the 1-gallon Pro Marine Supplies unit cover?
It is a straight question that has a tricky answer. Well, it depends on how thick you put it on your project. We successfully coated up to 48 square feet, having said that we used it on a wood tabletop. You may not be able to cover such an area if you are a novice or if you want extra thickness. The case will, of course, vary in terms of diversity of use. For instance, if you need to pour the resin for a 1/4-inch deep tabletop, you probably can cover a maximum of 8 to 10 square feet there (from a mix of 1-gallon resin and 1-gallon hardener). For covering a large area, you may consider a 2-gallon unit.
How can you mix and pour it?
The most crucial part of getting a perfect result out of the epoxy mold is to mix the resin and hardener accurately, and then pour it with proper care, although in practice it will not be as difficult as it seems in our description. Remember, the best mixing ratio of resin and hardener shall be 1:1.
Before mixing, make sure your room has a temperature close to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the manufacturer. For a perfect ratio, pour the resin and hardener into different containers while measuring. You should mix the solution for at least 10 minutes or until the solution reaches a temperature of 92 degrees to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. You can allow it up to 95 degrees for making it a bit harder if you want a harder and more scratch resistant surface. Don’t forget that resins for wood should not generate excessive heat that can burn the wood itself, and Pro Marine is one of such resins.
Finally, pour the mold according to your desired shape and wait at least 10 hours. Hopefully, you will get an epoxy resin table top as hard as a stone. If necessary, you can wait up to 24 hours, but according to our experience, it will not take so long.
Yes, the best table top epoxy has received some complaints from users, though very few at number. Users have particularly complained about several common facts, such as it goes pink or yellow when poured, or the temperature goes beyond the control sometimes!
Color changes when you leave the mixture for longer than the recommendation, which means you delay applying the mixture. There occurs an exothermic reaction, and you can not prevent that any way other than applying it within a specific time! To control the temperature, you need to ensure the correct mixing ratio and be very time-specific. If you still find things problematic, contact Pro Marine’s support, they are highly-responsive.
Any alternative to Pro Marine Supplies?
Among the existing epoxy resins, we have found MAS Epoxies Epoxy Resin as a notable alternative to the Pro Marine Supplies. You may also consider the to and East Coast Epoxy Resin. We count them the best epoxy resins for wood in any context. Although several other good quality epoxy brands are available in the market, they certainly did not surpass these three, especially our top choice - Pro Marine. According to most tabletop or bar top epoxy reviews from users, this is their first choice! So, despite having very few drawbacks, we have accepted the Pro Marine Supplies as the best for wood.
Best Multi Purpose Epoxy Resin - East Coast Resin Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin
Almost every epoxy resin included in our list is suitable for more than one job. You can use some of those for several purposes. But, resins that you can use for almost all types of work are nominal in number in the whole market. Out of that small number, we have sorted the East Coast Resin Epoxy Resin as the best, and to be honest, we haven't had a multipurpose resin like this one until the day we wrote this article! If something like that comes next, of course, we will consider it!
Let's start with its expertise in the field of wood. Although not like Pro Marine Supply, this resin from the East Coast will give you the closest quality adhesive support.
Pro Marine is very easy to use, but East Coast Epoxy works very fast! This is why many people call it the fastest curing agent for wood, although the word applies to almost all cases where you use the resin!
This resin is equally effective in almost all projects! The company did not claim it to have a specialization in any particular field, and we did not find that too! Instead, it can be used in all projects, starting from wood to jewelry, art and craft, vehicle surface, tile, metal, stone, and other DIY projects. While not a top-notch in all tasks, you can expect reliable results in almost every case.
The high-performance epoxy resin and hardener gives a professional result at the first application, if not applied by a pure novice. It’s a clear, safe and easy to apply agent that ensures a robust, UV and scratch-resistant, water-proof and full-finish coating.
How many square feet does it cover?
It will vary based on the thickness you desire. For instance, if you need to pour the resin for a 1/4-inch tabletop, and you pour 1-gallon resin and 1-gallon hardener (2 gallons altogether), you probably can cover a maximum of 8 to 10 square feet there.
How to mix and pour it?
Anyone can mix and pour it if he is not at the beginner level. This is quite straightforward for professionals or DIY persons (who have some familiarity with pouring and mixing a hardener and resin), as they are aware of the special precautions that may be required in this case. The best mixing ratio for optimal output is 1:1.
But, of course, you have to do the task with proper caution and following proper instructions that will come with the unit. Improper application can endanger you in two ways - firstly, your mix may overheat that can result in the crystal clear resin turning to yellow or any unexpected color, and secondly, excessive bubbles may remain in your coating. If there are fewer bubbles, you can burn them with a blow-torch or hit-gun, but it is not possible if it leaves a substantially large number of bubbles, which can ruin your whole project.
Considering the time of work, it is difficult to find another one that can come close to this resin of the East Coast. Surprisingly, you can finish mixing and pouring in just 30 to 35 minutes. This means that on the same day, you will have the opportunity to complete multiple projects, which is especially useful for professionals!
As said, the resin should not be applied by a novice. So, it is, of course, a complaint from the DIY starter why East Coast does not try to make it convenient for them. Another complaint is yellowing, which is a common complaint against almost every resin. The only solution is not to take too much of the instructed time after mixing. There is some debate as to whether it is 100% water-resistant or not! We think it is reliable, but we don't rule out the possibility that someone might still have such an experience. However, we can not give a clean chit to the East Coast client support system. Here we want to see more responsiveness, and they still have opportunities for improvements.
Any alternative to the East Coast Resin Epoxy Resin?
We have said it earlier, most of the resin can do more than one job, even some of those can do several jobs, but only a very few can be suitable for multiple or almost all purposes. Naturally, we did not find a significant number of resins that could be an alternative to this particular resin. But the East Coast already has another model - CECOMINOD098469, which is specially made to do all kinds of work! But, it is not likely to defeat the particular product that we've been discussing for so long, so the East Coast epoxy resin is our best choice so far.
Best Epoxy Resin for River Tables - Incredible Solutions Casting Resin
Making epoxy tables is very popular now, especially river tables. There are two main reasons behind this -
- they are very attractive, and
- you can make it yourself as a DIY project!
With a combination of epoxy and wood, you can make all sorts of beautiful river tables, and the cost is not too high.
But yes, you will need proper preparation and caution. It will be best if you can learn the basic steps practically from an expert, and do some practice before beginning your own DIY project.
The amount of resin needed will depend on the size, shape, and thickness of the table. For example, if you want a 5cm thick tabletop, you might need to use 2.5 to 3 gallons of resin mixed with half a hardener for a standard size table. Layer thickness is an important issue, and it is even more critical for river tables to get such a thick layer at a single pour.
To ensure that, it requires specially formulated epoxy casting resins that do not produce too much heat when processed in large quantities. The cheap commercial resins can't produce such a thick layer in one pour, as they usually generate a lot of heat through exothermic reactions and also burn the surrounding wood, which can ruin the beauty of a river table.
However, if it is not possible for some reason to achieve a certain thickness in a single layer, pour several thin layers. In that case, you have to wait for several hours after pouring each of the layers until it is tight and hard enough.
Incredible Solutions Casting Resin is one of those resins mainly built for manufacturing river tables, as you can process it in large quantities without much exothermic reaction. You can mostly work with the best epoxy for river tables without any malfunction or system loss. The first thing about it that attracts experts and DIYs is its deep pouring capacity up to 2-inch (5.08 cm). It is quite a slow curing product, permitting maximum work time and minimum heat exotherm.
Epoxies indeed tend to get yellowish over time, but some epoxies can prevent this tendency or at least prolong it. This particular high-gloss and ultra-clear pourable liquid plastic resin from Incredible Solutions is one of those very few that can prevent. Its ultraviolet inhibitors prevent yellowing, but we do not allow you to expose it to direct sunlight, and neither do the manufacturers. Even you should take proper caution when you apply it on any table wood that has white or light-colored surfaces.
Experts mix mica pigment powders with epoxies to make the river tables more impressive, which adds variation too. Different beauties of a flowing river become visible inside the table! The Incredible Solutions Plastic Resin has an excellent chemistry with all kinds of pigment powders except oil paints. Not only is it the best epoxy resin for the river table, but it is also should be your first concern for any epoxy table. Although a new release in the market, experts have expressed their high-satisfaction over it, and we have a similar observation.
How many square feet does it cover?
River table used to be more thick, so it will eventually require much epoxy even to cover a small area. You probably get an idea from our example. Suppose, you need to build a river table layer for around 8 square feet. In the ratio of 2:1, you may require about 16 gallons (10.6 gallons of resin and 5.4 gallons of curing agent) of mixed solution for a 5 cm layer. Now, calculate what you need.
How to mix and pour it?
The best temperature for the working environment is close to 77-degree Fahrenheit, although you can keep the temperature at any point between 75-degree and 85-degree. Ensure the environment is dust-free, clean, dry, and less-humid. The project may not provide the best result if you fail to keep the temperature the same throughout the entire process. Make sure the place is flat and level, so the epoxy can flow accurately and ensure self-level.
Use a 2:1 ratio of resin and curing agent and mix the full amount at a time for getting the layer at a single pour. Applying more curing agents than the recommended ratio will not be applicable for a 5 cm layer. So, be specific with that. Do not pour over a wood that has oil-based stain or paint. This epoxy goes best only with nothing or water-based stain or paint. But if you already have your table painted or stained by the oil-based agent, you should remove it using 320-grit sandpaper and apply 99% Isopropyl Alcohol before applying the epoxy. Alternatively, you can apply a water-based paint or stain over the oil-based one, and let it dry properly before applying the epoxy.
As said earlier, this is a very slow curing agent, and the time may vary up to 36 hours to 48 hours based on the temperature. It has also a slow gel time ranging from 18 hours to 24 hours. However, you can get it curing quickly if the layer has a low thickness, for instance, a 1/4-inch river table layer can bring the gel time down to 30 minutes only instead of 18 hours of 2-inch.
The few times it has been used in the testing process, it has given the best results. In our experience, therefore, we are not able to mention any of its flaws at the moment. And because it is relatively new, verifying feedback at the user level may not be completely accurate right now, although so far users are very satisfied! So, we will take some more time to comment on this, and it will be updated here in due course.
Any alternative to the Incredible Solutions Pourable Plastic Resin?
If you get the Incredible Solutions at hand, we would strongly recommend choosing it, as it is challenging to find a better alternative for standard river tables. But if it is not available, you may consider FGCI DEEP Pour Epoxy Resin. We've found it a decent option, but as our second choice for river table not the first. One thing that is worth mentioning about FGCI resin is that it can offer layers up to 4-inch, while it is up to 2-inches in terms of Incredible Solutions! But, FGCI’s capacity is not beyond question, which we don’t see when it comes to Incredible Solutions. So that is our best choice.
Best Epoxy Resin for Jewelry - Art 'N Glow Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin
Beautiful jewelry can be cast in combination with epoxy and silicone mold. Either by only clean or colored epoxy or epoxy with a combination of wood and/or other materials can be used for casting jewelry in this way. The thickness of the layer is not anyway decisive when it comes to casting jewelry. Instead, maximum UV protection, accurate color separation while casting multiple colors, and reliable workability play vital roles when it comes to choosing the best epoxy resins for jewelry.
Considering all of those matters, we have finalized the Art 'N Glow Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin as the most functional resin for jewelry, followed by Environmental Technology Casting Epoxy. However, we have some other selections too, including the top two for the purpose, given according to their importance:
Best Epoxy Resin for Artwork - ArtResin Epoxy Resin
You've probably heard of Resin Art or Resin Artist at some point. And, if you are a DIY enthusiast, you should have listened. Resin Art is the use of resin to create artwork, mainly decorative or artistic beauties, and those who are involved in it are known as resin artists.
The world of this artwork is huge and varied, where everything from pictures to jewelry, cup mats, or geodes are made of casting resin!
Use of liquid paints and color pigments is inevitable here. These artworks mainly require thin layers of resin (no deep pour ever) mixed with those color pigments or liquid paints (whatever is necessary and as much as in amount). But when you combine all of these, make sure the resin has a standard density (not too liquid), so that the pigments or paint do not create an unmatched and unsightly color tone.
Some special epoxy resins can help you achieve all of these effortlessly, as they are particularly built for artworks.
With excellent UV protection, capacity for accurate color separation while casting multiple colors, non-toxicity, anti-yellowing, and most essentially its artwork specialty, those particular epoxy resins can offer you some of the best artworks you could ever imagine to do! You can go with the ArtResin Epoxy Resin when it comes to artwork, as it combines almost everything necessary for the resin artists. Some other worth mentioning epoxy resin best for artworks, including the top one, are listed as under:
Some Other Top Choices for Other Purposes
Best Epoxy Resin for Countertops
Best Epoxy Resin for Sculpture Mold
Best Epoxy Casting Resin
Best Epoxy Resin for Floors Coating
Best Epoxy Resin for Tile, Concrete, Marble
Best Epoxy for Metal, Stone
Best Epoxy Resin for Fiberglass, Plastic
Best Car Windshield Repair Resin
Best UV Resin
Best Epoxy Resin for Carbon Fiber
What Is Epoxy Resin?
There are several reliable discussions on what is epoxy resin or what is epoxy resin made of. Just as there are scientific explanations, it is also defined in general. Our blog is not a blog of a scientific journal, and our readers prefer simple explanations. But considering all aspects, we have chosen a scientific but understandable definition of epoxy resin.
According to CORROSIONPEDIA, Epoxy resin refers to a type of reactive prepolymer and polymer containing epoxide groups. These resins react either with themselves in the presence of catalysts, or with many co-reactants like amines, phenols, thiols, etc., and produce a solution that you can use for so many purposes. But epoxy resin is different from polyester resins (polyester is from the “ester group” of polymer, not like the “epoxide group”) concerning curing. It is cured by a curing agent called "hardener" rather than a catalyst. Epoxy resin is also called polyepoxides.
Benefits of Epoxy Resin - What is Epoxy Resin Used For?
It (possesses) has higher mechanical properties than other types of resins, along with more heat and chemical resistance. Therefore, it has extensive use in the aircraft industry for making various aircraft components. It is also highly useful as structural adhesives, wood and metal coatings, electrical insulators, electronic & electrical components, fiber-reinforced plastic materials, caulking & casting compounds, varnishes & paints, sealants, and other industrial applications.
Where To Buy Epoxy Resin?
Generally, you will find epoxies from your nearby adhesive stores, wood shops, or metal houses. Not only will you find branded options, but also you will probably get locally made epoxy resins there. As we do not know about the quality of local epoxies, so we suggest getting the branded ones, however, if the local agent is trusted to you and he suggests buying the local ones, you may consider that. But one of the easiest methods is placing an order online. Most trusted online retailers sell epoxy resins.
Polyester Resin Vs Epoxy Resin
What Material Does Epoxy Resin Not Stick To?
Epoxy resins while working as adhesive will bond or stick to a substantially large number of objects, including all woods, glass, aluminum, and various other metals. But they do not stick to or have any bond with polyethylene, Teflon, nylon, polypropylene, and mylar. On the other hand, it can create nominal bondage to polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate and acrylic plastics.
How to Polish/Apply Epoxy Resin?
Epoxy resin has a variety of uses, such as wood, jewelry & craft building. It is also well known for enclosing (encasing and covering) images and various objects. However, proper polishing is essential in these cases, especially when the epoxy coating dries appropriately, to make the project more shiny, durable, and attractive. Polishing takes less time and is not complicated.
The materials needed for this can be purchased at craft and jewelry shops and many home-improvement stores. You can buy those online too. Once you get those materials and find your coating dry, apply the following steps -
- Buy 600 grits and 1500 grits of sandpapers.
- Get your project dried according to the epoxy manufacturer instructions.
- Submerge the project/object into water.
- Start polishing it using the selected sandpaper.
- Polish the submerged object with 600-grit sandpaper.
- After some time, apply 1500-grit paper for finer and smoother polish.
- Bring the object out of water and let it dry.
- Use the hard-felt part of the buffing stick for buffing and polishing the object. Rub back and forth from one side to the other side of the epoxy using the felt for a smoother surface.
- Apply the polishing rogue and rub across the epoxy quickly until you find a clear finish, and that’s the end of polishing.
How to Fix Uneven Epoxy Resin?
Most of the epoxies are self-leveling. When applied or poured, it spreads on the surface and becomes level itself. The problem arises when it is not mixed or applied properly, or when the normal leveling process is disrupted or encountered, and as a result, it ends up uneven. It makes the entire project unattractive or unsafe.
As prevention is better than cure, it is essential to take all preventive measures that ensure a full-level epoxy surface before applying the resin. You should check several times if the flooring (where you will pour the epoxy) is well-prepared, i.e., fixing all cracks and imperfections. Prepare some more epoxy than your estimated amount for the project, so that you can use it further. If anything goes wrong and you find your applied epoxy uneven; don’t worry, you can fix it!
But how to fix uneven epoxy resin? The existing epoxy unevenness can be corrected in a couple of ways, even if it's cured. Take some suitable grit sandpaper and start sanding the entire surface lightly so that they become receptive to a new layer of the epoxy pour. Get sure you have enough solution to level the surface and pour that on top of the surface. But you can directly pour new epoxy without sanding if the previous layer has not been applied for more than that twelve hours.
If you notice that adding another layer will make the top too high, you should avoid doing that. Instead, sand the extra or uneven places on the epoxy top and polish gently using epoxy to bring its shiny and authentic look back.
What if the resin is sticky after curing? How to fix sticky epoxy resin? Similarly, you can follow either sanding and polishing the surface top if it is already high, or add a new layer of the epoxy pour. The processes are similar to those of what we explained above. That’s it, pretty simple!
How Do You Prepare Wood For Epoxy?
The thing with which epoxy makes the greatest bonding is wood, any type of wood. All you have to do is prepare the wood surface to apply the epoxy. You can do that simply just by following the steps as under:
- Make the wood surface free from any contaminants, for example, oil, grease, mold release, or wax. Use lacquer thinner (most common for the purpose), acetone, or any other suitable solvent to get the job done. Wipe deeply with a towel immediately after applying the solvent to ensure the removal of contaminants.
- Let the surface dry as much as possible. You may apply a hair dryer, hot air gun, or heat lamp to accelerate and confirm the drying. However, the easiest way is to apply air fans for a substantial time. Even a bit less dry surface may reduce the adhesiveness of the epoxy over wood.
- Use appropriate grits (40 to 80) of sandpaper and apply over the wooden surface to fix all cracks and imperfections and make it receptive to epoxy pours. But you should remove all the dust and small particles produced from sanding before applying epoxy pour; otherwise, this may result in imperfect coating or polish on the surface.
That’s all done! By the last step, your wood is ready to get a pour of epoxy, which will stick to it for long.
How Much Does it Cost to Make an Epoxy River Table?
Mind-Blowing posts on social media, especially Pinterest and Instagram, may have already made you curious about the use of epoxy in wood-related works. This applies to any fancy or DIY type of person! The use of epoxy in making river tables among all other applications is a significant one! Although it costs a lot of time and money to build such a table. But how much does a resin table cost actually, particularly a river table?
Well, it depends on the size, design, and thickness of your table. Generally, the cost may vary from $50 to $2000 unless it is a luxury table built with many other added facilities. If you need a coffee resin or river table, you can complete it within $300, while a desk table may cost around $400. But if you want a quality river table as a dining one, it may cost you about $500 to $600.
How Much Heat Can an Epoxy Tabletop Withstand?
Neither the epoxies are fully resistant to excessive heat nor fireproof. If you think of bringing a heated frypan and putting it on an epoxy tabletop, you're wrong! It can't withstand that heat. It is essential to know that epoxies used in DIY can withstand a maximum temperature of 150-degree Celsius, whereas the temperature of a heated frypan is at least 170-degree Celsius, which can increase up to 300 degrees.
But yes, some epoxies can withstand a heat up to 600 degrees, being formulated with fillers such as quartz. These epoxies ensure abrasion resistance and extreme heat curing. Only a few industrial extreme heat epoxy, being super thermally conductive, can withstand a heat even more than 1500-degree Celcius. They have some unique curing, flexible rod, and carbon fiber nature, and they are generally used in numerous aircraft components.
How to Deal with Bubbles from Epoxy?
You have to follow all instructions from the manufacturer accurately and mix and pour the resin with proper caution. Improper application can endanger you in several ways, and remaining excessive bubbles in your coating is one of those. If there are fewer bubbles, you can burn them with a blow-torch or hit-gun, but it is not possible if it leaves a substantially large number of bubbles, which can ruin your whole project.
Is There a Cheaper Alternative to Epoxy Resin?
You can use polyurethane as a cheaper alternative to epoxies if you use it for polishing only. But if you search an option less expensive than epoxy for adhesive purposes, you can try polyester resins. However, these resins have less adhesive power than epoxy resins, and you can use them for less-stress or temporary purposes only.
It was the best effort we could make to give you detailed and most useful information about epoxy, regardless of for whatever reason you need it. We do not claim this is the best analysis, but there was no lack of sincerity in our effort to provide you the most accurate information. Therefore, we believe this analysis will be a reliable guideline.