8 Best Epoxy Resins for Wood | Reviews & Top Picks

You probably can’t even name ten types of epoxy resins. Let alone the best ones for wood. We’re here to help with an unbiased, no-nonsense list.

Epoxy Resins for Wood

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Are you looking for a new adhesive to use on your next project? Epoxy resins are a type of adhesive that will firmly bind wood.

This includes all types of hardwoods, softwoods, or composites, making them perfect for furniture making, cabinet making, and many other home improvement projects. They are also used to repair cracked concrete sidewalks and foundations where water has penetrated the surface before curing can occur. Epoxy resins provide high bond strength, chemical resistance, and durability against moisture or dry conditions.

A suitable adhesive for your project is essential. Whether you’re looking to create a stunning river table or repair your countertop, the type of adhesive you use will determine how strong and durable it will be.

Choosing the suitable epoxy resin for your project is essential because there are so many options to choose from! In this article, we’ll discuss five different types of epoxy resins with pros and cons to help you make an informed decision when deciding what type of epoxy will work best for your project.


What are epoxy resins?

Epoxy resins are a type of two-part resin that is often used in gluing wood together. You can combine them with various types of fillers for different applications. The chemicals and equipment needed to create epoxy resin can seem complicated, but it is pretty straightforward. The two components that make up the material must be matched accordingly for a chemical reaction between them.

Epoxy Resins for Wood

Resin is a material that you can use for many different purposes, and it’s created by mixing two components, which are matched to each other. If you combine the liquid resin with an appropriate hardener- usually called “a cure”- then a chemical reaction will set in motion and usually last several hours! After this has happened, not only does the heat come out, but also there’ll be a conversion from your liquid state into solid/cured form, meaning everything needs just the correct ratios of these ingredients (1:1 or two parts resin: 1 part hardener).

Epoxies have a powerful bond and high viscosity that will hold up under pressure, making them perfect for many home improvement projects requiring high-strength adhesives, such as repairing outdoor furniture or cabinets. However, epoxy resins are not the best solution for every project, so it’s essential to know their strengths and limitations before using them.

The properties of epoxy resin vary depending on what type it is. Some common types include:

  • Viscosity
  • Maximum thickness each use
  • Curing time
  • Durability and rigidity on completion
  • Adhesion to different surfaces

8 Best Epoxy Resins for Wood | Compared

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Best Epoxy Resin for Wood | Reviews

1. Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin One Gallon Kit (Best Overall)

Pros
  • 4-6 hour cure time
  • Strong
  • Easy to apply
  • Full instructions included
  • Superb customer service
  • Auto-levelling
Cons
  • It can turn yellow if left in the bottle

2. Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin Kit Casting and Coating for River Table Tops (Best Value)

Pros
  • Versatile – suitable for most resin projects
  • BPA and VOC free
  • Self-leveling
  • UV resistant
  • Low odor
  • 30 minute working time
Cons
  • 24 hour cure time
  • Thick pour only

3. Pro Marine Clear Table Top Epoxy Resin

Pros
  • High gloss, liquid glass finish
  • Suitable for a host of resin crafts
  • UV light resistant
Cons
  • Indoor use only
  • Will bubble on a deep pour

4. FGCI SUPERCLEAR EPOXY Resin Kit

Pros
  • Extremely durable
  • Easy to apply
  • Self-leveling and cures in 24 hours
  • Non-yellowing formula
  • 30 minute working time
Cons
  • 30 hour cure time
  • Lacks UV resistance for outdoor use
  • Will discolor in direct sunlight

5. TotalBoat Epoxy Resin Crystal Clear

Pros
  • No harmful VOCs
  • Food safe
  • Heat resistant, unlike varnish
Cons
  • It will appear cloudy in cold temperatures
  • Multiple coats recommended

6. EcoPoxy FlowCast Epoxy Resin for WoodWorking

Pros
  • Deep pour epoxy
  • Strong bond
  • It can be worked using traditional woodworking tools
Cons
  • 72 hour cure time
  • Pricey

7. RTG Wood Rot Repair Epoxy

Pros
  • Stops rot from spreading
  • Fast working
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Thin – will run off horizontal surfaces

8. CRAFT RESIN Epoxy Resin Kit

Pros
  • Non-toxic
  • Bubble free
  • Scratch and heat resistant
  • Protection from yellowing UV rays
Cons
  • Misleading volume on packaging

Video: Epoxy Resin Tips


Do you need a casting resin or tabletop epoxy?

It’s easy to get confused about which one to use. since they have very similar uses. Casting resins and tabletop epoxies are used for similar applications. However, river tables require a more durable casting material that can pour off thicker resin pours than bar or tabletop epoxies with thinner coverage requirements.

Cure time

A unique problem with tabletop epoxies is that they can crack when poured into a deeper mold, mainly because their drying time is faster. However, casting resin has a slow curing process which allows creators more time for work and eliminates the risk of bubbles during pouring.

Durability

Casting epoxies are not as durable and can often be dented or scratched. However, the tabletop resin is more resilient to damage than other types on the market due to its ability to withstand impacts from handling while still retaining structural integrity such as light abrasions with no significant effect!

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Fluidity

Casting resins vary in consistency and viscosity. For best results, pour a constricted area such as a mold or frame with the thin pouring type of casting resin. In contrast, other thicker types may behave differently on horizontal surfaces but can still be used without running over edges.

However, you can also find thicker types called tabletop resin which will not flow unless given some extra help from gravity or other forces on its own accord.

Depth

Casting resins are an excellent option for the creation of all sorts of things. You can make pieces like river tables, live edges, or even casts with them! The only thing you need to decide on is how much resin should be used in your casting? A single pour could be anywhere from 2-4 inches thick, while most tabletop resins have just ¼” thicknesses, so keep that in mind when choosing an item type appropriate project idea.

FGCI SUPERCLEAR EPOXY Resin Kit Crystal Clear 2 Gallon Resin Epoxy Kit for Casting Resin, Art Resin, Mica Pigment Powder, River Tables, Live Edge Tables, BAR Tops, COUNTERTOP EPOXY 1:1

Overall performance

With long curing times, you must take extra care to prevent the accumulation of dust and debris. With this in mind, it is easy to remove air bubbles and imperfections from resins with a longer drying time.

There is a big difference between tabletop resin and casting resins. Tabletop finishes are typically only used for horizontal coating surfaces, whereas you can achieve decorative or protective effects through other means by using a deep pour epoxy resin.

You can fill a more profound and broader area with casting epoxy, but you’ll have to wait longer for it to cure and dry. To achieve the same result with a quicker drying tabletop resin, you would need several shallow pours, and the finish wouldn’t be anywhere near as good. It’ll be tough to achieve a consistent finish.

The beauty of an epoxy finish is that you can make it look like anything you want. Some people prefer clear, glassy finishes, while others might add some tint or even glow-in-the-dark minerals for extra shine! It’s essential. However, not just any pigment powder will work when mixed into your chosen formula because many alternative pigments (such as oil-based paints) don’t mix evenly with other types of resin, which could lead to erroneous results during application.

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Chemical mix

Most casting resins have a 2-to-1 or 3:2 mixing ratio, whereas most tabletop epoxies use 1:1 ratios for more straightforward applications like small casts and jewelry settings.

Complicated mixes can be problematic when creating these types of intricate items. Suppose there’s even the slightest mistake during production. In that case, cloudiness may result from undissolved solids settling out at different rates in various parts and curing issues related to excess heat generation during drying periods since less material has been used per unit volume (less surface area). Nevertheless – any project above an inch thickness requires using casting resin.


Buyers Guide

In this section, you’ll see our top considerations when buying epoxy resin for wood projects in terms of performance and durability.

Finish

The best way to achieve mottled antique-like finishes is by implementing different color dyes during the resin’s mixing process or using tabletop resins. Other methods include mixing metallic mica powders into the resin, reflecting light for a shimmering, sparkling effect!

When working with epoxy resin, most people want to end up with a glass-like finish, and so you’ll need to use a product that has protection against yellowing. This is caused by cold temperatures or harmful UV rays, which discolors the piece over some time.

Epoxy Resins for Wood

Ease of use

This question is best answered by the type of resin you prefer. For instance, tabletop resins will typically be easier to mix and pour, but you’ll likely need several shallow pours for an even finish. In contrast, deep-pouring casting epoxy can achieve a more consistent result with one pour.

No matter which you choose, you will face the problem of bubbling. It is a common occurrence when epoxy resin sets. It can ruin the appearance of any project, and even experienced artisans have been known to experience it.

The good news is there’s always an easy solution: choose formulas that allow bubbles to rise or use heat guns/torches at high temperatures, so these pesky slight imperfections disappear.

Long-lasting

Think about the types of projects you need epoxy resin for, and they should be capable of withstanding their fair share of bumps, scrapes, and knocks.

When it comes to furniture, you ideally want epoxy resin that can withstand lots of moisture or dry conditions, so you get the best value for money over time without the need to buy new tables and chairs every few years.

If your models are more fragile, then opting for tabletop epoxy resin is probably the better choice because of its ease of use and low viscosity. On the other hand, it’s important to note that most tabletop epoxies are suitable for interior use only since they don’t have UV protection against harmful rays.

When working with epoxies, most people want a material that provides high stability in terms of chemical resistance so you can be sure your resin won’t dissolve when working with harsh chemicals like acetone and other household cleaning agents. You are likely to wash, wipe, and clean your finished piece with water and polish, and you don’t want them to penetrate the surface.

While being waterproof is an essential factor, it must also be scratch-resistant. Sure, you’re not going to chop vegetables on it, but you may put a sharp coffee mug on it.

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UV resistant

UV resistance is significant for projects in direct sunlight. When you’re using epoxy resin to create tabletop items, you can keep it indoors, but the resin used outside should have UV blockers built-in, especially the top-coat you use.

For examples of uses, consider that outdoor furniture can fade or yellow with prolonged sun exposure over time. Resins that are rated to resist UV rays are an ideal choice.

Working time

Working time is a crucial factor for anyone who wants to make the most of their projects.

For instance, you may have a large table you’re working on and need epoxy resin with a long cure time as it’s relatively quick bonding wood adhesives. In these cases, choose those that offer extended work times or slow-curing alternatives.

If you are a novice, consider working with slow-curing epoxies that will allow you more time to mix and pour the product, but be aware that these can take up to 24 hours to cure. Most products have up to an hour of working time, but in that time, you’ll need to remove any dust, dirt, and bubbles.

One of the essential factors in creating a successful project is proper storage. The epoxy resin must be stored at room temperature and low humidity. To achieve the best results, you must read the product instructions and apply them in the best working conditions possible.

Choosing an epoxy resin for wood is a matter of knowing what kind of project you’re working with and understanding how much time and convenience you need.

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Self-leveling

Self-leveling epoxy resin is fantastic for making the most of your time and creating a smooth, level surface. You won’t have to worry about leaving behind streaks and other surface imperfections with this product.

You can apply it to surfaces, and since the mixture looks just like honey, it’s easy to see where you’ve applied it and how much has been used. It won’t run or drip, and once cured, and you’ll have a good, solid base.

This type of epoxy resin is excellent for filling holes or cracks in wood before sanding and painting. It’s also good to use on vertical surfaces like brickwork, masonry, and even roofs because there’s no need for trowel work.

Cure time

A lot of negative reviews revolve around products that take too long to cure. This makes it difficult to move on to other steps in the process because you’re waiting for the epoxy resin to harden.

Sometimes there are also issues with gels that mix to form a coating instead of being solidified so they won’t hold up over time. Additionally, some dryers can leave behind bubbles or have an ammonia smell which can be off-putting.

You need to consider the pros and cons of every type of epoxy resin for wood before choosing one that will deliver on its promises.

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Safe for food?

Many types of epoxy resin for wood aren’t appropriate for use in the kitchen or around food, but some are. Be sure to read the product label and check if it is suitable for counters before using it on your tabletop project. If they claim it is safe for food to come into contact with it, they must meet all the requirements of the FDA and have it listed on their packaging.

Non-toxic

It’s a good idea to choose non-toxic epoxy resin for wood to avoid unhealthy fumes or an adverse reaction to a person’s skin. Some resins have been known to cause skin irritation and even respiratory issues. If you’re unsure, check the product label before using it on your project. You can mitigate this by choosing a non-toxic, low VOC product.

Apply using PPE

Proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is a must when applying epoxy resin. You’ll need something to protect your eyes and skin from harmful chemicals, including latex gloves and safety goggles. When using some products, masks are also required to avoid inhaling fumes or walking away with irritated skin on your face, ears, and neck.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What timber should I use for an epoxy resin table?

The flattest piece of live edge wood you can find is typically the best material for your epoxy resin table. Elm, Oak, Yew, or Black Walnut are ideal. It should be air-dried so that it does not have moisture levels over 20%, reducing movement and creating a more stable surface when working on projects with this type of varnish finish.

Wooden boards are available in a variety of woods and finishes. You could alternatively use your cut timber to create the desired curve. Still, most opt for professionally-cut pieces with a characterful live edge that more unique designs than one would otherwise get from sawing by oneself.

Which dyes can be used to color epoxy resin?

Most people choose to use natural dyes when working with epoxy resin, but you can add a variety of colorants if you would prefer. One downside is that once the epoxy resin dries, it’s challenging to change the shade or opacity because it becomes transparent over time.


How much epoxy resin do you need for a project?

The amount will vary depending on the desired thickness of coverage and how many coats you apply after the first one has dried. Measure your project area, and you can work out how much is needed. Each product will tell you how far it goes, but there are a lot of variables at play. For instance, how deep you pour, how thick or runny the mix is, and whether you apply it to a vertical or horizontal surface.


How long will your epoxy resin and wood project last?

Epoxy resin is one of the most durable finishes you can apply to your wood, provided it is done correctly. It’s resistant to water and weather damage, chemicals such as oil and acid, abrasion, and knocks or bumps from heavy objects. You will need to maintain the finish regularly by wiping it over with a damp cloth and, if necessary, applying a thin coat of the epoxy finish to keep it looking like new.


Where can I buy epoxy resin?

Do some research online, and you’ll find plenty of places where you can pick up products for your project. If you’re wondering which product is best for your table, chair, or furniture piece, try contacting a local specialist supplier or manufacturer. They’ll be able to tell you precisely what is required and should even have product samples on hand.

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Conclusion

Epoxy resins are a type of adhesive that will firmly bind wood. This includes all kinds of hardwoods, softwoods, or composites, and they’re perfect for furniture making, cabinet making, and many other home improvement projects. They provide high bond strength, chemical resistance against moisture or dry conditions.

When applied to your project, make sure you use PPE such as latex gloves and safety goggles when applying epoxy resin to avoid harmful chemicals from entering your eyes and skin. Additionally, make sure you periodically wipe over the surface with a damp cloth before going back into maintenance mode by adding a thin coat of the coating material if necessary! Just remember – epoxy resin provides long-lasting resistance against multiple factors that can be hard to work with, such as water, heat, and sun damage.


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Walter Snyder

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