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Whenever you want to turn your wood into a durable and colorful piece of art, epoxy resin is a great tool to have. If you want to see examples of it in action, check out “river tables” online. There are tons of people who have made them, and they are gorgeous.
The question on your mind is whether you can do it with a standard wood finish, such as varnish or stain. No, you can’t. However, this is just one example of how you can use epoxy resins to create something artistic.
Still, the choice for epoxy resins isn’t an easy one to make. In fact, buying epoxy resin is tough because there are various epoxies out there, and each one is slightly different. While you don’t have to get the perfect product, you should at least understand what you’re getting and using.
High-quality resins are more expensive, so it pays to do some research before you buy. However, you may not want to do all of that, and you don’t have to! Just read this guide to learn about the best epoxy resins for wood. It focuses on 13 products and then talks about the essential features and qualities.
Once you’ve learned what the best epoxy resin for wood is, you can then read the buyer’s guide to get a better idea of how to choose the best epoxy resin products! Let’s get started!
13 Best Epoxy Resins Available
- Covers 40 square feet
- No VOCs
- UV-resistance included
- Cures harder than other epoxies
- Provides a durable finish for your wood tabletop
- Needs a thicker application
The Pro Marine Supplies company started as Pro Marine Repair and has been in business for a decade. During this time, the owners realized that many epoxy resins for wood weren’t up to the challenge.
Like other companies, the owners chose to expand their market, so the sister company now specializes in epoxy resins exclusively for wooden surfaces. With that, it does seem odd that it started out with boat repair and then moved to the wood tabletop market, but it’s still a solid option.
On top of it all, the company is located in California, which has stricter environmental protections. That’s a good thing and makes this the best epoxy resin kit available because it doesn’t contain VOCs.
Though Pro Marine Supplies doesn’t have as much experience as its parent company, it still produces one of the best products imaginable.
You learned that its formula doesn’t contain VOCs, so that reduces your risk of developing respiratory issues and cancer. Plus, this is one of the most durable options for epoxy resins out there.
On top of that, the product offers more coverage area, at roughly 48 square feet. It’s naturally blush-resistant, too!
Mixing and Temperature
The most important aspects for these products are the temperature inside your room and mixing epoxy resin carefully. These are substantial moments in the process of applying epoxy resin.
Overall, your room must be at 80 degrees, which is where the manufacturer says to keep it. Be careful when you mix it and ensure that you’re pouring the epoxy into different containers while measuring it out.
Generally, it’s best to mix it for 10 minutes and monitor the epoxy’s temperature the entire time. Wait until it gets to about 92 or 93 degrees (this is what the Pro Marine website says to do). Let your epoxy heat up a little to ensure that it cures harder for a scratch-resistant and hard surface. The curing process is crucial here to get the best results.
- Tough surface
- Durable epoxy resists scratches
- Bonds with almost anything
- Easy to mix
- Not suitable for outdoor projects
- Very high gloss finish
This is a great table top epoxy resin kit for all-purpose use. It’s marketed as the best epoxy resin for people who have never used these products before, and that appears to be accurate. Overall, this epoxy resin is easy to mix and uses a one-to-one ratio (not by weight) for a simple and easy mixture. With that, it bonds to almost anything, including ceramic, metal, stone, wood, and concrete.
Stops Further Rotting
RTG Epoxy is also completely waterproof, so it’s ideal for wooden surfaces like driftwood or partially rotten wood. Overall, the goal is to prevent the wood from rotting further. Therefore, you can use this epoxy resin to preserve the wood for longer periods.
With that, RTG is called a self-leveling product. This is a fancy way to say that it spreads itself in all directions more evenly. Still, you should make sure that the working surface is level before you apply it just to be safe.
When cured, RTG has a tough exterior. It is scratch-resistant and is also heat-resistant up to about 125 degrees. This could be crucial if you’re refinishing your kitchen counter.
Now that you know the benefits, it’s time to focus on the downsides of this epoxy resin. Overall, it’s a good product, but you can’t use the epoxy resin outdoors. Over time, the direct exposure of the sun’s rays breaks down the epoxy, causing it to wear away eventually. Thankfully, this epoxy is formulated to resist decay from UV rays, so it’s safe to put your epoxied table near to a window.
Another small issue is that this epoxy features a high-gloss finish. It can be great for many jobs, but some people might like a flatter finish instead of a high-gloss shine. For example, if you’re trying to achieve a rustic or primitive look, you should choose a low-gloss epoxy instead of this one.
- Cures faster than other brands
- Least expensive
- UV protection included
- Low odor
- High gloss finish
- Doesn’t produce the hardest finish
- Requires a faster application
- Two-part epoxy resin
Most people don’t realize that SRC Epoxy Resin is one of the more well-known brands of epoxy resins for wood, even though it doesn’t exclusively specialize in the product category like other manufacturers on the list. Even so, this company got its start from manufacturing epoxy resins and focuses on that product type.
What’s more impressive is that it can undercut the competition for price because of its size and popularity. Therefore, this is a great budget epoxy resin for wood.
When you compare the SRC Epoxy Resin to others, you find that the general experience is somewhat more convenient, making it the best epoxy resin kit on the market.
Easy to Apply
However, there is a word of note here. This Crystal Clear epoxy resin for wood isn’t necessarily the easiest to use, but it comes with many qualities to ensure that it’s convenient.
For example, it’s not the quickest to apply, but this Crystal Clear epoxy resin provides comparable curing times as the fastest, which is 16 to 20 hours in all. With that, this crystal clear formula features an early curing time of just 40 minutes, so you add about 10 minutes to the work time.
Still, experienced professionals might get frustrated that they must wait for 10 more minutes. Overall, though, DIYers and new users are sure to appreciate that extra time because it does so much more.
Since the SRC brand is self-leveling and has a low odor compared to others, it could be the best option for DIYers around the globe!
- Quickest curing times
- Features a high gloss
- Likely to produce air bubbles
- Complicated application process
East Coast Resin might not be the most well-known company, but it actually has over 20 years of experience with a specialized distributor. However, it only recently created an online presence, so it’s sure to become more popular with time.
With that, it seems as though East Coast Resin Epoxy understands what its customers truly want from their epoxy resin for wood, and that’s immediacy. This is why the brand ensures that its product offers the fastest curing times available, though the race does tend to be close for them all.
Regardless, this epoxy resin kit offers many other benefits, too. However, it might not be ideal for inexperienced users. When you go to buy epoxy resin, it might be better to focus on easier epoxy mixture applications and work your way up to using the one from East Coast.
No Time Flat
The best quality for this epoxy resin coating is just how fast it cures at each stage of the process. Few epoxies can compete with the 30-minute window of work time. With that, the total curing time for this epoxy resin sits at just under a full day (16 to 20 hours), and this depends on how many layers there are.
Overall, the application could be a cause for concern in new users because it requires consistency in preparing the mixture. If you don’t do it correctly, you could get air bubbles in the finish along with other potential issues.
Still, East Coast Epoxy offers a solid option in other situations. For example, the resin provides UV protection, though it isn’t absolute. However, it’s better than others on the list. Plus, this epoxy is water-resistant, though it isn’t 100 percent waterproof.
- Clear coat
- Bubble and blush resistant
- Fast curing time
- Great heat resistance
- 100 percent waterproof
- Poor outdoor performance
- Complicated application process
TotalBoat Epoxy Resin Crystal Clear is a table top epoxy resin, and some people might wonder if it’s got an identity crisis from its name. Still, this brand is the best choice for many people. That’s because TotalBoat, owned by Jamestown Distributors, focuses primarily on finish products related to boating and marine crafts.
Overall, if the item goes on something that’s in the water, there’s a decent chance that TotalBoat has a top-tier product for it. While it could seem out of place on the list, you could also argue that TotalBoat Epoxy Resin Crystal Clear offers protection that other brands can’t.
Because of that and the other features offered with no real difference in the price, this epoxy resin kit was listed as a great indoor epoxy for wood.
The TotalBoat epoxy resin coating doesn’t perform well on outdoor workpieces. That could seem odd since the brand itself specializes in almost exclusively outdoor products. Regardless, if you want to keep the epoxied product indoors, such as most tabletops, you should see amazing results with it.
Overall, this is the only product reviewed that boasts of waterproofing protection of a full 100 percent. Since you might decide to apply it to a boat, that should be the case.
Still, TotalBoat is an excellent formula to prevent bubbles and blushes. With that, it’s one of the very few epoxy resins that can handle temperatures above boiling without leaving marks on the finish.
- Easy to apply
- UV protection
- More durable than some
- Clear coat
- Provides more coverage than others reviewed
- Likely to bubble
- Very slow to cure
MAS Epoxies may not be a well-known manufacturer of epoxy resins, but it could be the very best. While it didn’t get the best-choice award, that was primarily because it’s less convenient for people who use it.
Regardless, this is a premier epoxy resin for those who want a product that can do everything well and quickly. Overall, good things come if people wait, and MAS Epoxies offers many great things if you have a bit of time.
That’s why this could be an all-around good choice for wood. Just ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to complete the product. If you’ve got a curing cabinet, you may use it with this epoxy to speed up the curing time.
Like a Pro
A top quality of the MAS brand is that it was made for and by professionals. However, it realizes that DIYers might use the epoxy resin, too. Because of that, the brand has taken the guesswork out of applying the epoxy resin by offering a full kit and step-by-step instructions.
That makes this brand easier to apply than any other product. However, that could also be because you’ve got more time to use it in the first place.
Overall, that takes you to the worst quality of this resin. It takes so much longer to cure than other products on this review list. In fact, it’s the only option that tells you to wait for over 24 hours to cure the epoxy resin at room temperature!
- Resists yellowing
- Self-leveling formula
- Great reputation for the company and product
- Food-safe when cured and dried
- Formulated for casting
- Misleading advertising about harm
- Very expensive
ArtResin is one of the many casting resins on the market, and it’s designed for the artist. As you might know, epoxy resin has various uses. You can cast it like metal though it’s easier to melt than any metal. Therefore, it’s the natural choice for sculpting and other three-dimensional artwork. Overall, this product focuses on the artist’s needs, but it can be great for other purposes, too.
Great for Casting
Casting resins like this are crucial for casting and coating applications, and it’s not easy to do. You can’t just mix the product and pour it all into the mold. If you do, you’re likely to see terrible results. For one, you must ensure that everything is mixed correctly. Anything left unmixed creates weak spots where there’s no chemical bond. To avoid warping and bubbling while drying, a pressure cooker is necessary.
Because this resin is designed for artists, you can ensure that it’s easier to cast with it. Not all epoxy resin products focus on those needs, so casting resins like this is ideal for amateurs and professionals alike.
Not 100 Percent Safe
ArtResin advertises its products as being non-toxic and safe. While it gets high marks for the safety category, its advertising could be misleading a bit. With no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), this epoxy resin doesn’t present danger to humans. It’s also BPA-free. Bisphenol is a plastic additive that could be harmful to humans and has recently come under fire.
Still, you see a different story if you look at the product’s MSDS sheet. It claims that the fumes might cause serious issues. The bottle also contains a warning next to the label claiming that it doesn’t contain BPA and VOCs. Regardless, this resin is 100 percent safe when it’s fully cured. You can even use it on food-prep areas because it’s food-safe.
- Good coverage (based on square feet)
- No odor
- Crystal clear finish
- Great UV resistance
- Hard to remove bubbles
- Scratch resistance not as strong as other products
Durable epoxies like the one from Countertop often have some interesting qualities to give them a spot on the list. The primary selling point of this UV-resistant resin is that it resists UV rays better than other products out there. Therefore, it can be used for outdoor purposes.
This UV-resistant resin is also meant to give a crystal clear finish and is even advertised as having a crystal clear formulation. Once it dries, it looks very similar to glass. The cured epoxy takes about 36 hours to complete, and then it’s even clearer. The product can also resist yellowing and staining, so it provides a longer-lasting and more durable coating. Epoxy resin products like this have a higher safety rating. There are no VOCs at all, so this UV-resistant resin doesn’t pose risks of toxicity to humans or pets. In fact, it’s food-safe all the way.
However, you should remember that the label only applies once the resin is cured. Still, its low-odor and scratch-resistant formula ensure that you don’t smell anything and can use it for years without fear.
Bonds to All Surfaces
The Countertop brand bonds well to ceramic, Formica, MDF boards, concrete, wood, tile, and various stone types. One great thing about this is that you get good coverage (square feet) per can. There’s not a big difference compared to others, but it’s large enough to save some money when purchasing more than one can for a large project.
There are a few shortcomings with this epoxy resin, though they’re not that horrible. For one, the epoxy resin components don’t create a very hard surface as others on the list.
If you want to fill a big area with resin, you might not want to use this product. It’s not very cost-effective for a coffee table or something of that sort.
With that, the Countertop Epoxy could show many bubbles that must be removed with a heat gun. Some people prefer a hairdryer, but a heat gun works similarly. Still, it takes longer than you might expect to get rid of them all.
Overall, you should be prepared to spend some time on your project if you go with this product, and make sure you have a heat gun on hand!
- Features two sticks, two spreaders, and two cups
- Refund guarantee
- Full UV protection
- Non-toxic after curing
- High gloss finish
- Doesn’t bubble easily
- Good value
- Thin consistency
- Doesn’t mix well when cold
Dr. Crafty is another very well-known brand on the market, and its high-gloss epoxy resin is a top choice among many DIYers. Let’s check it out more thoroughly:
Not Prone to Bubbling
Do you know why you need a pressure cooker for epoxy casting? The answer is to reduce the risk of bubbling. When plastic melts and is cast without pressure, it absorbs air from the surroundings. This causes many bubbles to form in the item. Even if you don’t pour it into the mold, you want a high-gloss epoxy resin that isn’t prone to bubbling. That could ruin your work quickly or require more time to fix later.
Full Protection from UV Damage
There are two types of protection from UV damage: HALS additives and UV stabilizers. The stabilizer delays peeling and yellowing issues that are caused by the sun’s rays. HALS additives prevent them from happening more permanently. Most high-gloss epoxy resin products don’t include such ingredients.
However, this one offers both UV protection options, so it’s ideal for outdoor use. Even if you keep the item outside for many years, there should be no issues. When you use Dr. Crafty resin as a coating, it’s likely to be the last one the item ever requires.
Guarantees and Bonuses
You get a few perks with this epoxy resin, and they’re worth the discussion. First, you’re sure to appreciate the money-back guarantee. That’s not common for these products, so the company definitely went above and beyond here.
Overall, you get a full kit. There’s the epoxy and the matching hardener, but you get two stir sticks, two mixing cups, and two spreaders. In a sense, there’s everything you require to start the coating process!
This epoxy product does seem very good, but there are a few issues with consistency. Most people claim that it’s very hard to mix and might take twice as long to finish that task. Still, the company does give you good mixing tools to offset that problem.
Another issue is that the epoxy seems too thin once it’s mixed. For example, you may use colored epoxy for some tumbler glasses and get frustrating results. The only way to get this epoxy to stick was to put your glasses on a rotary lathe device. Though it isn’t a huge inconvenience, it’s something to think about before you buy anything.
Overall, a thinner consistency means it’s easier to make a mess, but some care and caution can prevent that problem, too.
- More working time
- Doesn’t yellow
- Non-toxic when cured
- Not self-leveling
- No instructions included
- Takes over 24 hours to completely dry
Those who want an inexpensive clear epoxy resin are sure to appreciate the Premium Quality brand. Plus, it offers decent quality, too. As with the other products, this is a two-part pourable epoxy and is made up of two different half-gallon jugs. The epoxy and hardener get mixed at a one-to-one ratio, which makes the measurement process a bit easier to tackle.
Long to Dry
Many people feel that this epoxy resin takes longer to dry. Some say that it never hardens at all. This is confusing, though, because the product has many positive reviews. Overall, they might not have mixed the two containers together appropriately.
This isn’t hard to do because there are no instructions for mixing. Instead, the bottle claims to use a one-to-one ratio. Most people understand that to be equal parts of each, but the manufacturer neglected to tell people if they have to measure by volume or weight. That has definitely led to many problems. On the upside, though, you get more working time with this epoxy.
Food-safe and Non-Toxic
As with other epoxy resin options on the list, this one is food-safe and non-toxic to the environment, people, and pets.
- Decent price
- Doesn’t bubble as much
- Great depth
- Crystal clear coating
- Not food-safe
- Hardens too fast in hot weather
The SuperClear table top epoxy resin comes in two-gallon containers instead of two quarts. Therefore, it’s a better deal for most people. Generally, it’s cheaper to buy in bulk. Though this epoxy resin might be a bit less expensive, it still gets fewer complaints and many positive reviews.
For one, this product combats the UV rays well with a high level of UV resistance. The advertising on the container doesn’t say if it’s ideal for outdoor use, though. Therefore, you should be careful if you’re using it on wooden furniture to keep outside. The best way to verify that it’s suitable for your needs is to test it. Coat a small scrap piece of wood, leaving it in the weather for a bit. In a week, see how it held up to all the elements.
Durability and Scratch-Resistance
You’re sure to appreciate that this epoxy resin is completely waterproof and forms a scratch-resistant seal coat. In fact, the hardness of the resin is amazing, and it even maintains good clarity while you create layered finishes. If you’re an artist who likes to experiment, this product isn’t a bad choice!
Superclear Epoxy is also formulated to be used with various colorants. That gives you more flexibility to plan your next wooden furniture build.
For example, a light color finish over some pale wood (think white oak) could be very stunning and brings out the wood’s color in attractive and subtle ways!
Still, there are a few issues with this brand, though none are very serious. For one, it could harden or tack up before you’ve fully applied it. That’s a problem for hot weather, so you need to put the epoxy in the freezer to give yourself more time to finish the job.
- No toxic chemicals
- Self-leveling to 1/8-inch
- Easy to apply
- Not ideal for outdoor use
- Dries too fast
The epoxy resin from Primaloc stands apart from the crowd in many ways. First, you should focus on the distinctive quality. The epoxy isn’t meant to be stirred or brushed as you normally do when applying these substances. Instead, you pour it on, and it’s self-leveling to about 1/8-inch!
Before you do that, though, you must apply a preliminary thin layer of the epoxy resin. This is the seal coat and removes the object’s roughness before it’s sealed. That way, the poured coat levels more quickly and gives you an even surface that’s perfect in every way! Therefore, if you aren’t good at hiding your brush strokes, this could be ideal!
No Dangerous Compounds
There are no dangerous wood replacement compound issues here, so Primaloc is a great choice. Plus, there are no VOCs. To put it simply, that means there are no dangerous chemicals that pose a threat to people or pets.
The makers of the product pride themselves on creating a something for maximum clarity. If you like to get creative, that’s a serious plus for you. However, it doesn’t matter as much when coloring the epoxy resin. It works well for layering, so you can add as many coats with things in between as you like.
For example, you might have old coins, printed pictures, or cool rocks you found. If you apply the epoxy in layers and add objects to each, you create a beautiful contrast. Plus, it resists yellowing, so you get the most from the product and your work.
Not Ideal for Outdoor Use
The only real issue with this epoxy resin from Primaloc is that it’s not ideal for outdoor use. It’s likely to yellow within one week if you leave it in the sunshine. To be fair, though, the product is labeled for indoor use only, so the marketing isn’t dishonest or misleading.
Still, another problem is that the epoxy dries too quickly. You may want to avoid it if you’re sealing something intricate and need more drying time.
- UV-resistant and heat resistant
- Offers a crystal clear finish
- Longer working time
- Can be used more creatively
- Protects countertops from water
- Must be mixed precisely
When you’ve got an expensive stone or wood countertop, you want to protect it with a water-resistant coating. Epoxy resin is a great choice, and the Stone Coat Countertops UV-Resistant Resin is an ideal option.
Versatile, Waterproof, and Tough
Epoxy resin offers one of the strongest finishes that you can find. It’s resistant to impact and denting (more than standard polyurethane coatings). Plus, the epoxy resin resists heat better. That’s crucial for the kitchen, where you have hot pots and pans, utensils, and more.
With that, epoxy provides a chance to be more creative. It’s quite easy to add dye to the epoxy if you want. That way, you can give the stone or wood a tint of color and make it appear much different than it did when you started. In fact, you can make a full countertop from the Stone Coat brand, though it does require a large mold to get started.
The main goal of this product is to protect the wood/stone countertop from any water damage. It also offers UV resistance, so that’s good if the counter is beside a window. You’re sure to appreciate the self-leveling feature to make the application process easier.
You could find it challenging to mix the epoxy resin and hardener correctly because they have to be measured perfectly.
Now that you have a few different products in mind, it’s time to go deeper into the epoxy resin subject. Clearly, there are more than 13 products out there, so you must understand how to evaluate each one. Here are the factors to consider when choosing the best epoxy resin for wood:
Viscosity is just a fancy word to describe how thick a gelled or liquid substance is. Overall, epoxy resin is somewhere between a gel and liquid. With that, it varies significantly on where it lies, based on the brand and product.
Manufacturers make the best epoxy resins to be in various viscosities because there are different jobs that the product may do. Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all option. High-viscosity epoxies are much thicker, and low-viscosity products are very thin.
If you choose the thicker option, you get a shinier and richer appearance for the finished project. However, you can’t finish the job that quickly. If you end up layering the adhesives too thickly, it’s harder to get the air bubbles out because they can’t escape before that layer is dry. That means you have tons of bubbles in the finish. That said, you shouldn’t add more than a centimeter of your high-viscosity epoxy at a time. Doing so leaves more trapped bubbles, though you might remove them by heating the surface gently with a blow dryer.
Alternatively, choosing a thinner product doesn’t give you the same visual effects. This might not be a bad thing because you may not want the project to shine that much. With that, you can add thicker layers with a low-viscosity epoxy, and that reduces your overall work time. Still, you may want to use the hairdryer trick to get out the bubbles as the epoxy dries!
Viscosity is affected by temperature, too. Most epoxies have certain recommendations for temperature on the label, whether for storage or usage. These are included mainly because the epoxy tends to get thicker when it’s cold. Some products resist this issue better than others, so you must be careful when choosing an epoxy when living in a cold climate.
Curing Time and Drying Time
Generally speaking, the drying time for your epoxy is the measure of working time. Epoxies tend to use many different hardeners, so their curing times and drying times vary. When you choose a product, it’s best to think about how it’s to be used and how much time you require to apply epoxy resin to the item.
For example, you probably want a longer working time if you’re doing something artistic, like creating a river table. Simpler projects may require a faster drying time from the epoxy resin. With that, shorter drying and curing times are crucial for objects with a semi-vertical or vertical plane because you don’t want the resin to drip or run.
It’s also crucial to remember that there are three types of curing times:
- Your first curing time focuses on how long it takes the epoxy to harden so that you can touch it.
- The second curing time focuses on how long you must wait before you apply the next coat.
- Your final curing time is how long it takes before you can use the surface for its intended purpose.
When choosing your epoxy resin, you must think about how your end product should be used. That determines whether you require a food-safe option or not. Things like tables, cutting boards, and countertops should be food-safe. If anyone might eat from the surface of the item or eat something that comes in contact with it, you require the epoxy resin to have a food-safe designation on its label.
Most epoxies get made from Bisphenol-A or Epichlorohydrin. Unfortunately, those substances aren’t completely safe. Epichlorohydrin is toxic for sure, and Bisphenol-A is suspicious, to say the least.
Because Bisphenol-A leaks xenoestrogens, there are a few health concerns about using it in food-grade plastics. Therefore, most products are labeled as BPA-free, and they are preferred for products that come in contact with food. If you read the label and it doesn’t say, flip over the bottle to check the numbers. When you see a two, four, or five, there shouldn’t be any BPA in the epoxy.
You should also watch out for carbolic acid because it’s commonly used to kill weeds. Naturally, it could be harmful to you like it is for plants. Plus, it’s a caustic substance that may lead to chemical burns in its raw form.
Overall, you should check the ingredients in the epoxies you want to try. If you’re suspicious of something, search for it online to get more information. It’s always a good thing to be slightly paranoid about chemicals and safety!
Yellowing is a huge concern for epoxy resin, especially in artistic projects. While most epoxy companies focus on providing crystal clear epoxy resin, they don’t always stay clear. After a while, yellowing could occur, so it’s best to read reviews from other users of the product. That way, you get a better idea of how it might hold up over time.
Unfortunately, manufacturers are not always honest about their products. Some of them claim to use a non-yellowing formula, even if it isn’t. The consensus of the reviews tells the true story. While you shouldn’t only focus on reviews (as companies sometimes pay for positive ones), you should definitely check out the negative ones to see what others are saying.
However, yellowing might not be an issue for you. If the epoxy resin is used for a repair, you may not see it when it’s cured. Therefore, if appearance isn’t a problem, there’s no need to worry about yellowing.
While the protections of your epoxy resin get tons of headlines, the fact is that most epoxy resins are not fragile or weak. The majority of the epoxy resins still offer adequate protection from superficial damage, such as impacts and scratches.
Instead, the primary protections to watch for include other damage types that are incurable or might lead to you ruining your workpiece. Outside of the general protections, the most important one focuses on the elements. In this case, the main issues are on UV radiation from the sun and water seeping into the resin to your surface material.
Epoxies are like other plasticized substances, so they do a good job of being water-resistant. None are very vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the epoxy resin is waterproof, either. Many are called water-resistant, and that’s a relative term. You may get upset to see your glass of water leave a ring on the shiny finish, especially after years of use.
However, that’s not an issue for every person. If you don’t plan to let your surface get exposed to moisture, there’s no need to worry if your epoxy resin offers water resistance. However, if something must be waterproof, ensure that the label specifically states that!
The sun’s rays could cause epoxied substances to break down with time, albeit in the span of years. Still, you want something that can last for decades to come. This subject relates somewhat to yellowing because UV radiation causes the clear epoxy resin to become cloudy and yellow with time.
However, that’s the least of the worries. Yellowing happens because the adhesive is actually breaking down on a molecular level. It could take a long time to come to catastrophic failure, but the material is compromised.
Some resins may only cure under a UV light. They are specialty products, but you might prefer them because they have longer working times. In fact, it’s possible to delay the drying time for a UV-resistant resin like this for as long as necessary because they stay tacky until they’re under a UV light source.
Therefore, you can smooth out the rough areas, work out bubbles, and add decorations like embedded objects, stones, and glitter.
Overall, a UV-resistant resin is the best option.
Most epoxy resins are called self-leveling, but you might not know what that means. Overall, this indicates that the chemical structure of the epoxy resin focuses on a level surface. In other words, it creates its own level surface without you having to do much. Just as with a glass of water, you just leave it alone to help it.
However, this rarely works as it should in reality. A self-leveling epoxy resin still requires a few brushstrokes to spread it evenly along the surface. Still, most people agree that it helps to create a shinier and smoother finish without as much brushing. While this feature isn’t a must-have, it’s preferred for many projects.
Just remember that some epoxy manufacturers advertise a quick curing time and self-leveling formula together. If that’s the case, it might not handle both things simultaneously or well. Therefore, if you’re using the epoxy to fill in planar imperfections, you want a slow-cure formula for the best results.
Blush is a highly frustrating issue to deal with because it doesn’t appear until your epoxy resin is already curing. Basically, blushing creates an annoying waxy bi-product that just sits on the surface’s finish.
Blushing mars the finish, but it can also prevent you from applying more epoxy resin later or handling other finishing needs. While some resins offer protection from blushing, you must do your part. It’s best to prevent it from happening by keeping your workspace dry; use a dehumidifier if you must!
Bubbles often appear in the cracks and come from many places, both inside and outside of the formula. However, it can ruin the finish of your epoxy resin. Still, the difference between the bubbles coming from the exterior or within determines how to fix the issue.
If your bubbles seep into your epoxy from outside, you must apply your resin in a warmer place with less humidity. Alternatively, you should apply a hot gun to the surface if the bubbles form from within the material. Overall, a blowtorch is your best friend here.
Similar to blush, bubbles can affect how long it takes to cure the epoxy. That said, it’s considered easier to fix because a hot gun could solve your issue whether they came from inside or outside.
The application is a crucial consideration for epoxy resin, especially for beginners. Even if you regularly use epoxies, you might prefer options that are easy to apply.
That’s because tough-to-apply resins increase the chance that it doesn’t cure correctly. Most of the time, application troubles involve how your resin cures while you’re still putting it on the piece. Common issues with application include blushing and bubble development.
There’s also the coverage aspect to consider. Most products claim to offer superior coverage, meaning you get more for the money. If a small amount of epoxy resin covers a big surface area, it’s bound to help you save money. Remember that epoxy resins aren’t the cheapest materials, so any cost savings is a big help.
However, many of those claims are just hype, and there’s not much of a difference between them. Make sure that you look at how many square feet per gallon you get to have a better idea. Overall, if the container claims to cover over 12 square feet for each gallon, it’s likely a good deal.
You may now be wondering what epoxy resin is. Is it made from chemicals or a natural source? As far as anyone knows, this is a chemical product, but it’s made from natural sources. While there are many epoxide substances, they can’t all be used as adhesives.
Epoxide refers to a class of chemicals sharing a similar molecular structure.
Many epoxy resins that you see at the store are produced with a mixture of Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Epichlorohydrin. Epichlorohydrin is the epoxide liquid produced through a mixture of hypochlorous acid and allyl chloride. Overall, chlorine is the common denominator tying all of the substances together. BPA is used in many plastics, such as water bottles.
When Epichlorohydrin reacts with BPA, it produces a functional and basic mixture. Manufacturers can then add various adhesives and ingredients to give it specific properties. These touches are what separates each product from another, and that’s why most epoxies don’t differ that much.
While this might be a scientific explanation, it helps you understand what epoxy is and does.
However, an epoxide doesn’t become an adhesive until it’s been mixed with a hardener. Things aren’t as simple here. Acids and amines are likely the common things, but you can use various reagents to achieve the effect. Generally, different hardeners can help to tweak curing times and drying times in individual products.
Is Epoxy Dangerous for the User?
If you use the epoxy resin properly, it is not dangerous. However, as with everything else, it can be harmful if you don’t use it as intended or recommended. For one thing, it can give off harsh fumes while it dries, and they contain volatile chemicals where the epoxy is suspended. Therefore, you shouldn’t breathe them in.
With that, you can’t get the epoxy on your hands because it’s hard to remove. If that happens, you must use a solvent solution very quickly to get rid of it.
It’s important to realize that epoxy produces heat. When the two components are mixed, it creates a chemical reaction, which is exothermic. That’s a fancy way to say that the reaction produces heat as a by-product. Therefore, you must ensure that you don’t mix them in cups that are made of thin plastic or paper. They could catch fire, so you must mix them in something that handles heat well.
Can You Use Epoxy Resins as Wood Sealers?
While an epoxy resin is water-resistant, they aren’t all waterproof. Still, weaker ones could be a good wood sealer. You may have to use multiple coats, but you can get great protection levels.
If you choose to use your epoxy resin like this, you should allow more time between your coats. That way, it seeps into the wood’s pores more thoroughly. Thin epoxies are probably the best choice here. However, you should stay away from crystal clear products because they might be too shiny for your requirements or preferences.
Can You Use Multiple Epoxy Layers?
Yes, you may use multiple epoxy resin layers for most projects. Some people even prefer to do that. If you’re using a thinner product, you might actually be forced to do it that way. Overall, it’s best to apply thin coats when you’re working with a vertical surface. Thicker coatings tend to run, and you don’t want that!
However, there are some things to remember if you use multiple layers. First, you must ensure that you wait for the curing time on each one. There’s a difference between curing and drying time, so understand that. Even if the epoxy seems to harden, you can’t apply the next layer until the full curing time elapses. With that, you may have bubbling problems and may not have a crystal clear finish.
What’s the Difference Between Casting Resin and Epoxy Resin?
Sometimes, epoxy products are referred to as casting resin. That can seem confusing, but know that they’re two types of the same thing. Overall, a casting resin is a special-purpose epoxy that’s meant for easier casting and pouring.
The main difference between the products lies in their viscosities. A casting resin is much thinner, which is crucial for deep pours. This also requires longer curing times, but that’s what you need to fill in the large cavities. A slower curing time also gives the air bubbles a chance to get to the surface, so you have crystal-clear results.
Do All Epoxies Yellow with Time?
When you focus on the strength of an epoxy, it’s hard to believe that sunlight can damage the finish. Overall, though, the biggest yellowing culprit is the sun. Specifically, the UV rays break down the epoxy’s fibers and cause it to take a yellow hue.
Most manufacturers include UV stabilizers to prevent yellowing, but it doesn’t last forever. Overall, a UV stabilizer delays the inevitable. If you want your epoxy finish to last even longer, consider products with HALS added. The Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer is more effective and prevents yellowing before it can happen.
Does Epoxy Resin Always Bond to Wood?
Yes, epoxy resin bonds to wood and does so strongly. It actually creates a near-permanent bond that’s hard to break. However, you should ensure that the wood’s surface is completely prepared before you apply the epoxy.
A dirty surface can prevent proper adhesion. With that, you may want to stick with the same brand throughout. Mixing different epoxy types may have them bond together, but it might not look pretty.
What’s Pot Life?
Pot life on an epoxy label is an industry term. It means the total working time from when it’s mixed until it’s unusable. Many things affect your pot life, such as quantity, formulation, and temperature, so these values aren’t always trustworthy.
It’s crucial for everyone to make smarter decisions when they want to purchase something, whether it’s top-rated epoxy resins or crackers. Overall, this article helped you learn more about epoxy, what it does, why it’s used, and what factors to consider when buying it.
Most of the epoxy resins on the list offer a similar finish and do so for about the same price. Therefore, you can go with any of them and have a beautiful wood surface. However, the best epoxy resin for wood has to be the Pro Marine Supplies version. Its high-gloss formula has more square feet of coverage, so it’s ideal for large wood surfaces.
However, if you need a budget option, the SRC Crystal Clear version is a great choice.
It might not give you the hardest finish for heavy-duty needs, but it offers quicker curing times and gives you something to play around with at the early stages. Ultimately, the SRC Crystal Clear is easier to use than other resins, though you must still work quickly.
Whether you’re tackling wooden floors, resin art, or are in commercial and industrial environments, these two products are ideal and specially formulated to be easy to apply. Overall, they are the best epoxy resins available right now!