When applied correctly, epoxy provides a long-lasting and durable finish for your tabletops. Not only is epoxy versatile, but it also protects your surfaces from heat, stain, and moisture damage while delivering an aesthetic high gloss sheen. Although the application may be challenging at first, the epoxy gives unlimited options in color and design.
The best epoxy for tabletops includes Countertop Epoxy FX Poly for eco-friendliness and Stone Coat Countertop Epoxy for color addition. Crystal Clear Epoxy is excellent on wood, while RTG Bar and Table provides the hardest finish. Pourable Plastic Deep Pour resin is a forgiving mix for newbies.
If you want to bring your worn surfaces to life or experiment with color and transform your table from functional to fabulous, epoxy resin is a great DIY option. If you consider using epoxy to transform your tabletop, read on for our buyer’s guide and our top 7 epoxy resins for 2021.
What Is Epoxy?
Epoxy is an organic compound made up of carbon chains linked to other elements such as nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen. The covalent bonds link the elements which share an electron. The epoxy components react chemically with curing agents to form a rigid yet flexible material that binds strongly to several different surfaces.
Curing is a chemical process in which the material hardens in exposure to air, heat, or chemical additives. Epoxy typically uses a catalyst that is an added chemical that increases the chemical reaction rate. This process results in an exothermic reaction that creates cross-linkage in the polymer. These cross-links give epoxy its strength and durability.
Why Use Epoxy for Your Tabletops?
Epoxy resins are versatile and can revitalize worn surfaces or protect various surfaces from wear and tear. Not only do they provide a gleaming and durable aesthetic, but they can also prolong the life of the underlying surfaces. Although experts do not recommend copper and silicon for epoxy resin coverings, you may use epoxy on a host of surfaces, including:
- A variety of wood surfaces such as plywood, butcher block, and live edge
- MDF Board
High Gloss and Unlimited Design Potential
Epoxy gives a super shiny and high gloss finish that can transform an average table into a design feature. When correctly applied, epoxy gives a genuinely seamless finish and an endless spectrum of colors and patterns limited only by your imagination. The high gloss finish can be maintained over time with mineral oil applications to retain their eye-catching sheen.
Good quality epoxy is durable to heat and moisture and resists the cracking and damage that many surfaces suffer. Epoxy is also scratch-resistant and resists nicks and dents. Epoxy surfaces harden to a durable finish that can last for several years if properly maintained. If a surface dulls over time, you may use a buffer attachment to your electric drill and buff your suffices using polishing paste.
Easy to Clean and Food-Safe
You may use almost any cleaning product on your epoxy surface without damaging the surface or contaminating your kitchen surfaces with chemical traces. The seamless non-porous surface provides excellent bacteria and mold resistance and discourages bacterial growth for food-safe surfaces.
You may use soap and water to clean your epoxy surface or a spray cleaner such as a glass cleaner for extra shine. If it is not a food surface, you may use a thin coat of mineral oil to bring out the surface shine.
Disadvantages of Epoxy Tabletops
Although epoxy advantages are numerous, one should bear in mind that epoxy has its limitations as well. The application process is challenging for the uninitiated, and it may be an idea to have a professional install your epoxy for an excellent finish. However, it is quite possible to apply your epoxy yourself if you pay careful attention to your particular brand’s application instructions.
Here is an excellent YouTube video on how to apply epoxy to a tabletop if you want some expert advice:
Disadvantages of epoxy tabletops include:
- It is challenging to apply correctly. The epoxy resin may be prone to several application challenges such as air bubbles or uneven, lumpy surfaces. It may also be a messy process prone to drips and spills.
- Time-consuming. Epoxy application is a labor-intensive process that takes time to achieve a good finish. Surface preparation can be challenging and involves stain removal and sanding, depending on the underlying material. Curing time may be 12 to 24 hours, so waiting is part of the epoxy process.
- You only get one chance. It is best to make a trial run on a smaller surface before tackling a more extensive, valuable surface. If you intend to create a pattern of colors, you only have one chance to achieve your deserted effect.
- Poor quality epoxy. Some cheaper epoxy brands can be thin and provide a less durable finish that does not provide the proper moisture and heat resistance. Quality epoxy should be thick and glossy, and it is essential you buy trusted names in the epoxy resin market.
- Prone to staining. Epoxy is not forgiving for spills and may stain if surfaces are not cleaned and may leave permanent stains. In households with children, this may spell a disaster with little hands prone to spills.
7 Best Epoxy for Tabletops: Our Top Picks
1. Countertop Epoxy – FX Poxy (Best Eco-Friendly Option)
The Countertop FX Poxy is UV resistant and heat resistant and free from volatile organic compounds. This benefit makes it safe for you, your pets, food, and the environment making it our number one choice for an eco epoxy option.
The FX Poxy provides a crystal clear finish that resembles a glass surface when cured. It also offers excellent stain resistance and is formulated to be non-yellowing. The lack of VOCs also means that you need not wear a face mask or respirator when applying the epoxy or vacate the workspace.
The epoxy takes 36 hours to cure, which is not the shortest time in our epoxy recommendations, but it is worthwhile considering the environment. The Countertop epoxy is versatile and bonds to a variety of surfaces, including:
- MDF board
- Enhanced UV resistance
- Environment friendly and non-toxic
- Low odor
- Good coverage
- You may use it indoors and outdoors.
- Tendency to bubble
- Not as hard to finish as many epoxy products
2. Stone Coat Countertop Epoxy Kit (Best for Color Additions)
Stone Coat Epoxy kit offers excellent durability and the possibilities of creating a color palette and customizing your surface into an artistic platform. Stone Coat Epoxy is formulated to withstand kitchen and bathrooms’ tough wear and has excellent scratch and heat resistance. This epoxy also offers Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers (HALS) for maximum UV resistance.
The Stone coat is also VOC-free and food-safe, so it is slow odor and non-toxic to yourself, pets, and the environment. Although the epoxy is dry to touch in 24 hours and ready for light use in 72 hours, the epoxy only reaches full hardness in 7 days which is quite a long waiting period.
- Great for color options for tabletops
- Easy to clean and scratch-resistant
- Extremely durable
- Enhanced UV resistance
- VOC-free formula and food-safe
- Fairly high-priced option
- Longer curing time
3. Crystal Clear Bar Table Top Epoxy Resin (Best for Wood Surfaces)
Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin is an extremely durable and versatile product that is great on wood. Still, you may use it on almost any surface imaginable, including drinkware, canvas, copper, and artworks. The real advantage of Crystal Clear is its viscosity. Made from 100% solids, it works on wood imperfections seamlessly and eliminates craters, fish eyes, and crawling.
The finish is super hard and durable, with excellent scratch and moisture resistance. The self-leveling formula makes it easy to apply without uneven finishes and bumps. With excellent air release, the epoxy has a low bubble application, saving time with heat drying imperfections.
The VOC-free formula is safe for spaces with food preparation and low odor and free from dangerous fumes. That is why this product may even you may even use it on drinking glassware and plates. The curing time is approximately 12-14 hours to dry to the touch and three days before light use.
- High gloss and scratch-resistant
- Hard, clear, glass-like finish
- Food safe and FDA compliant
- Works on virtually any surface
- No harmful VOCs
- 72 hour cure time
- Will potentially not cure at temperatures under 75°F (23.8°C)
4. TotalBoat – Epoxy Resin Crystal Clear (Best Stain Resistance)
TotalBoat is a trusted name in the epoxy niche and provides high-quality and durable finishes. The Total Boat epoxy cures with a high gloss finish with no blushing. Unlike many epoxy resins, the TotalBoat offers a 100% waterproof surface on full cure, making this an excellent finish for kitchens and bathrooms.
The epoxy is versatile, and you may apply the resin to wood metal, stone, ceramic, and concrete. TotalBoat is also decal and art-friendly for decoupage, casting, and other art and craft projects. The easy 1:1 ratio and self-leveling formula make this epoxy very user-friendly and great for DIY projects.
The TotalBoat uses ant stain technology to provide enhanced stain and moisture resistance and has a non-yellowing formula. The low odor epoxy also contains no VOCs, although they recommend adequate ventilation during applications. The cure time is 16-20 hours at 70°F (21°C), making it quicker than many epoxy resins in its class.
- Enhanced stain and moisture resistance
- 100% waterproof once cured
- BPA and VOC free
- Low UV resistance
5. RTG Bar & Table Epoxy Resin (Best for Hard Finish)
The RTG is a high-quality tabletop epoxy that is kind to beginners with a 1:1 mix ratio that bonds to almost anything. The RTG offers a self-leveling formula that helps prevent imperfections if users ensure they work on a level surface.
The RTG cures fully waterproof and creates an extremely durable finish that is harder than most epoxy resins in its class. This harness makes the RTG extremely scratch and nick resistant, as well as offering heat protection. The RTG has UV resistance to prevent sun damage if your counters are in a sunny position.
The RTG has a quality and high gloss finish and dries up crystal clear on surfaces. The RTG offers one of the highest sheens in its class and suits more modern decor. The RTG is our top pick for impact, scratch, and wear and tear resistance in its class.
- Great value
- Highly durable finish
- High sheen
- Waterproof and stain-resistant
- Easy to use self-leveling formula
- UV resistant
- Dries crystal clear
- The High gloss finish suits a more modern decor look
6. Pourable Plastic Deep Pour Up To 2″ Thick Clear Casting Resin (Best for Beginners)
The Pourable Plastic deep pour resin is excellent for beginners because it is a thick pour. The self-leveling formula cures slowly, giving DIYers extra time to get the application right. The 2” thick pour makes it versatile and suitable for casting and embedding and river tables and live edges. The 100% solids formula forgives uneven surfaces such as wood and concrete and fills imperfections with fewer coat layers.
The low exotherm and viscosity give beginners extra time to perfect their application, and cure times are between 36-48 hours, depending on the existing temperatures. The Deep Pour is also UV resistant and durable and offers minimal shrinkage, which means your product goes further. The UV filters protect your surfaces from sun damage and prevent your resin from yellowing over time.
- Deep pour 2” (5.08 cm) casting layers
- High viscosity covers imperfections
- Longer work time before drying
- Mixes well with Mica pigment powders
- Cures to a crystal clear
- Longer drying time
7. SRC Epox-It 80 Epoxy Resin (Best Budget Option)
The Epox-it 80 is a versatile and durable epoxy resin for a variety of surfaces and art effects. The SRC offers a UV-resistant formula that coats easily and has a self-leveling formula to aid application. The SRC is formulated to resist blush and impact and offers enhanced air release to prevent bubbling during application.
The SRC epoxy is virtually odorless and is food safe for kitchen counters after curing. The formula is kind to novices and provides a quicker than average curing time of 16-20 hours. The demold time is also slightly longer than average, meaning that you have 45 minutes to ensure you even out your application.
- UV resistant
- Longer work time of 45 minutes
- Low odor
- Food-safe once cured
- Durable high gloss finish
- The finish is not as hard as some of the competition
What to Look for in Epoxy for Tabletops
Depending on your tabletop’s position and the nature of the underlying material, you should ensure that your quality epoxy is right for the job. When buying an epoxy, you should ensure that the epoxy has these vital qualities.
If you plan to epoxy a surface in a bright room with lots of natural sunshine, you should consider the UV resistance. Epoxy that does not offer UV resistance may be prone to yellowing, which may affect your chosen surface’s aesthetics. Manufacturers of epoxy precisely formulate UV-resistant epoxy to resist ultraviolet sun damage.
Ensure that your epoxy is top-quality so that it will adequately protect your surfaces in the hardening process. Inferior quality epoxy will not protect your surface properly and will not offer the same longevity as a quality product. Although the most expensive epoxy might not always be the best quality, you should ensure that buying on a budget does not leave you with a poorly covered surface.
DIY epoxy installation is not the most simple of processes, and if you are new to the field, you should consider a self-spreading epoxy for your surfaces. Spreading an even surface of epoxy may leave you with streaks and an uneven finish. Self-spreading epoxy has leveling agents that are more forgiving in the application.
Coverage and Thickness
Ensure that you have enough epoxy to cover your intended surface adequately. If you cover the surface area too thinly, you may end up with divots on your surface. You should ensure that your epoxy has enough coverage for your intended tabletop before you begin your application. Depending on your underlying surface material, you might need an underlying coat to protect porous surfaces such as wood and concrete.
Besides the obvious protective and aesthetic advantages of using epoxy resin to seal your table surface, epoxy offers a food-safe alternative to kitchen counters. More than that, epoxy resins are unparalleled in their versatility and enable diverse artistic expression. Your tabletops may become artworks where you use decals, embed objects such as coins or art pieces. With swirl techniques, your tabletop might become a sort of canvas in which you express yourself.