Epoxy river tables are a unique, hybrid piece of furniture accessory which the modern-day American absolutely loves and holds as a beloved staple for adorning their space’s interiors. As it may be somewhat self-explanatory by the name, river tables give an illusionary appearance of a flowing river in the middle of two fine-edged wooden planks. The illusionary river is the selling feature which makes this piece of furniture unique and highly desirable. The secret component/ingredient that creates the mentioned river illusion and lies behind its smooth, clear, and crystal appearance is epoxy resins. In other words, epoxy resins are the key component that makes up these luxurious river-themed tables.
Epoxy river tables are typically a commercial product in the furniture domain and crafted by professional woodworkers as part of their bread and butter. However, many art-lovers and self-taught artisans also create these masterpieces as their master DIY projects in their own space as a favorite past-time and to express their love for fine arts and woodcraft.
Apart from having the basic know-how, fine art skills, and style sense, a splendidly crafted epoxy river table essentially requires using the best epoxy resins. If you’re also one of those artistic individuals willing to take on the venture of crafting your own epoxy river tables but a beginner to the trade, this article is the right guide to help you choose the best epoxy resins for your project.
Factors To Consider For Choosing The Best Epoxy Resin For Wood Projects
Before we jump on to listing the best wood resins out there, here is a list of factors you need to consider to make the optimal choice while buying epoxy resins:
Gloss is the primary feature to consider before opting for an epoxy resin, as your goal is to get a clean, crystal clear, bright, smooth, and shiny surface on the wood. Hence, never settle for any product with anything less than a resin that offers a super-high gloss. A high-gloss resin is what will decide the final look and finesse of your river tables.
We recommend you get the ones that offer a crystal clear finish for a brighter finish, but it will be best if you choose a mirror-like gloss.
One of the most crucial factors to consider is the coverage capacity of an epoxy resin, which covers the amount of resin you’re getting per ounce, pint, or gallon. This depends primarily on the formulation. A higher coverage will be achieved, just as much as it will be easy to spread the resin. So, to get a durable and efficient epoxy product, choose the one which offers the highest capacity in terms of coverage.
It doesn’t essentially mean that only a high coverage epoxy is better. However, the application and spread will be easier and more time-efficient when you work with a high coverage resin.
3. UV Resistance
Another trait to actively look for in an epoxy resin for woodworks is UV resistance, which offers enhanced protection against harmful sun rays. If you overlook this quality in a resin, you’ll have your wooden surfaces dry up abnormally fast and end up with gross, yellowish pigmentation on the surfaces.
For river tables, especially for outdoor use, only consider products that offer high UV resistance to enjoy the high durability of the furniture.
4. Water Protection
An ideal formula of epoxy resins should be able to resist moisture and water content. Since all products apparently possess water resistance, some products are just better than others, so the selection may be tricky in this matter. We recommend looking for products that clearly mention water resistance on the product labels. A water-resistant formula offers resilience and high durability to your wooden tables.
5. Scratch Resistance
Another crucial factor in evaluating epoxy resin is a scratch-resistant formula, which reduces damage and impact of scratches. A coat of resin with a formula high in scratch resistance provides your wooden tables and other surfaces the immunity to withstand harsh strikes and scratches from sturdy objects like metal or crystal. This trait adds to the resin’s cost, but is worth the investment for the resulting pleasing finish and high durability.
6. Curing/Drying Process
To get the best results from your epoxy resins, choose the one that allows ample time for application. For instance, an epoxy product that takes 30 minutes to dry will be your best bet if you are working on a smaller area. If you’re short on time and want to get the job done without mistakes, then a fast-drying resin formula will be a suitable option. For commercial use in a large-scale setting, an epoxy resin that dries in 2 to up to 72 hours will be ideal.
Usually, those resins that take a bit longer to harden and dry deliver stronger results. However, both fast and long drying formulas are good and differently beneficial.
Hardeners are supplementary products used to harden the resins more easily. This step accompanies the curing process but comes in a separate pint. It’s beneficial to choose epoxy resins that come with a hardener as it offers multiple other benefits and saves extra effort and dry time, which is not the case while using pure resins.
8. Blush Resistance
Blush is a term used to define a bi-product of the epoxy that alters the surface’s color and creates a grainy texture. An ideal resin formula will be the one that prevents such results. Hence, look for a formula that offers blush resistance and can easily be applied without damaging the wooden surface. The great thing about itis that many resin products offer this quality. However, to be on the safe side, look for labels and product labels to find blush resistance qualities mentioned distinctly.
Usually, fast-drying resins are more prone to blushes than those that take longer to cure. So you may shortlist a suiting option on that basis too.
9. Anti-Bubble Feature
Besides choosing a product that resists blushing, look for anti-bubble features while you shortlist the best options. Resins with insufficient thickness to the formula allow air to penetrate the product and form bubbles. However, to avoid air bubbles, you also need to ensure that the integrity of the wooden surface is not compromised and must not have cracks and unevenness as the product will produce more bubbles in such instances. We recommend you choose resin with anti-bubble properties and extra thickness to the formula.
Self-leveling is an essential property of the best resins out there. This feature helps smoothen out the wooden surface for a better application and overall end results of the epoxy formula. This property helps fill in irregularities and gaps to an optimum thickness level. We recommend resins that provide a thickness level of 1/8 inches. However, those epoxy formulas that offer a thickness up to 1/6 and 1/10 inches are pretty decent too, and may do the job well.
The ten factors mentioned above should get you started, overcome the confusion and doubts, and help shortlist your top picks for epoxy resins. Based on all of the information discussed so far, you can now choose the best resins from the nine best options listed below to make the best epoxy tables, just as you had pictured in your mind.
The 9 Best Epoxy Resins
From experience and scope of use, woodworking experts recommend these nine epoxy resins to achieve the best results for your project, especially when it comes to exquisite epoxy river tables.
1. Pro Marine Supplies Epoxy Resin Coating
This is arguably the best epoxy set that includes its own hardener. This set is best for wooden surfaces and an ideal choice for those who prefer reliable, quick, and durable results.
The hardener that comes with it does make it a highly preferable option but what makes it the best choice is its quality to work for almost all kinds of wooden furniture items like bars, artwork, and tabletops. Hence, it’s an amazing product for epoxy river tables.
As far as the coverage is concerned, one gallon of the product will suffice you for up to 37 square feet, making it the most befitting choice for woodworkers who use epoxy resins most often for their woodworks.
Furthermore, this resin has a special, self-leveling quality that helps save a lot of labor and precious time you’d invest otherwise in achieving a perfect coat over the wooden surface. The formula is quite thick, and the drying process takes up to 72 hours. That allows a leveling thickness of up to 1/8 inches, making it easy for multiple coating rounds if there is a need. The results are fairly good.
Also, the gloss you get with these resins is highly intense and is the best option when you wish to accentuate the charm of any furniture piece without risking its resistance. The formula allows excellent resistance to UV rays and water, which renders a resilient and highly durable product to its core.
The product is so convenient and user-friendly that even beginners can apply it right and enjoy all the product benefits.
- Offers high resistance to water and UV rays.
- It additionally comes with a hardener, making application a lot easier.
- It comes with an excellent self-leveling feature.
- It offers high gloss, which beautifies the surfaces big time.
- It comes with high coverage- thanks to durable gallons.
2. TotalBoat Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin
This epoxy resin from Total Boat is the epitome of quality and one of the finest resin brands to exist. The product is simply superb and delivers a smooth, fine, and luxurious crystal clear finish to your surfaces that look absolutely gorgeous -thanks to its exceptional anti-blush properties and self-leveling capacity.
The thickness that comes on each layer with this product is 1/8 inches which provides solid protection, resilience, and durability. By such a high thickness level, a gallon can easily cover over 12 square feet of the wooden surface, which means many tabletops without any issues.
Furthermore, the high-gloss finish makes it a top choice for its looks and more for its added resistance against scratches, stains, blemishes, heat, yellowing, moisture, and UV rays. The formula is full-proof and reliable and will never disappoint.
- It provides extraordinary resistance against all harsh elements.
- The product gives an extra-smooth finish.
- It comes with a double gallon kit that makes the application effortless.
- You can also use these resins on other surfaces like metals, concrete, ceramics, and stones.
3. Abatron WoodEpox Wood Replacement Compound
Abatron is one of those superb brands that reach expectations and never disappoints. It comes with a wood-replacement compound that makes up the entire experience exceptional. This compound further offers a unique, anti-sagging composition.
For your epoxy river tables, damaged wooden surfaces, and broken tabletops, this is an excellent option if you need to perform any repairs and can fix the hardest woods. Woodworkers often use this epoxy for renovation purposes.
The application is pretty convenient that delivers solid resistance against UV rays and other harsh weather elements. The formula is pretty thick and requires careful application. But nonetheless, durability with this epoxy is guaranteed.
- The end results offer high resistance and durability.
- It’s an excellent option for repair purposes.
- One pint of the product can last for months on end.
- The formula helps achieve a smooth surface.
4. Versakoat Epoxy Resin Crystal Clear
The Crytal Clear Epoxy Resin by Verdakoat is a fantastic option for those who wish to improve their tabletops and other wooden furniture. One of the most appealing benefits of this kit is that it gives a mirror surface. The high intensity of gloss that comes with this formula offers a reflection effect like a mirror, which adds to the quality of the product. The formula is quite perfect and leaves no room for bubbles and uneven surfaces. The application is also a piece of cake. The consistency of these resin levels itself and takes no time to mix.
As for the coverage, you can cover up to 16 square feet of a wooden surface using a single gallon and will suffice for several tabletops easily. The thickness of up to 1/8 inches can be achieved for enhanced protection and durability. It strongly resists UV rays, scratches, and a lot more. The product works equally well with concrete, granite, copper, ceramic, and Formica.
- It offers an excellent coverage capacity.
- This resin delivers a mirror-like finish.
- It avoids bubbles and prevents uneven surfaces.
- It’s a highly resistant formula against moisture, UV rays, and scratches.
5. Art ‘N Glow Clear Casting and Coating Epoxy Resin
The Art ‘N Glow is the best option when it comes to opting for a smaller epoxy resins kit. It offers a high self-leveling function which saves a significant amount of application time. The self-leveling accounts for a thickness of about 1/6 inches, which is not an ideal level but still help the application process, saves time and renders decent results.
A great feature that this resin holds is its self-degassing property, by which you will never have to worry about the presence of air bubbles during the application process or any time after that. This feature will help you save time even more.
Also, the product offers a pretty decent coverage capacity. Despite being a small 16-ounce kit it can cover up to 3 square feet of surface area with ease. This coverage property makes this product the top-pick for people who don’t wish to cover an enormous area and need epoxy to cover and coat small tables. Further, it doesn’t take too long to dry up and harden. It comes with a compact container that is pretty convenient and user-friendly.
Another win for this product is that it offers a decent resistance against yellowing, making it look crystal clear at all times. It also offers a credible defense against UV rays and resists water, letting you enjoy your epoxy tables for years. Its 40-minute drying time and the entire application process is also very reveared.
- It has self-degassing properties to eliminate gas bubbles.
- A single bottle suffices for a single application.
- Offers strong resistance against UV rays and yellowing.
- Offers a lot of convenience with a 40-minute work time.
- It renders decent thickness by leveling itself at 1/6 inches.
6. MAS Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin
MAS Crystal Clear is another amazing product that delivers exceptional results and is a top-pick of professionals. This professional-grade product guarantees fantastic results with a luxurious appearance that is as bright in color as a fine crystal. This trait completely transforms the oldest wooden pieces without any damages.
Such an outstanding outcome comes by virtue of its supreme quality, high gloss formula. It’s an ideal choice if you wish to add a lot more beauty and resistance to otherwise ordinary wood. On top of that, it possesses a great self-leveling function that gives the finest, smoothest and satisfying feel to your wooden table surfaces with minimal effort and no issues at all. The resin offers a high thickness level of 1/8 inches which a great benchmark for epoxy resins. This high thickness level provides added protection to the surfaces making them more durable and resistant. Another appealing benefit that the high thickness level offers a high coverage of up to 12 square feet with a single gallon.
Moreover, the application process is also pretty easy. The formula allows ample time for a careful, attentive application that is made even easier by the added spreader and brush. Such winning features of the formula make it the best option for even those with no experience of the trade.
However, it’s better for you to know that it’s necessary to remove the bubbles using a heat gun after 15 minutes of applying the resin on the desired surface. This step is necessary if you want to achieve a perfect, bubble-free appearance.
The finish you get with this product never disappoints as it offers a luxurious glass effect that puts life into every ordinary, dead-looking wooden surface. This resin formula is an excellent choice for all kinds of artwork and tabletops.
- The high gloss that this product offers is the most outstanding trait that makes this product so exceptional.
- The product offers an excellent thickness level of 1/8 inches.
- The resin is exceptionally good and user-friendly, and the application process is famous for its added convenience.
- The superb self-degassing property prevents bubbles and makes the application process easier.
- Its self-leveling feature makes it extremely user-friendly.
7. East Coast Resin Epoxy
Many people out there believe that East Coast Resin Epoxy offers the highest quality in the epoxy resin category, and we couldn’t agree more. The formula of this epoxy has a crystal-clear look and gives your wooden surfaces a fine, crystalline, bright look. So when it comes down to choosing the right product to make your epoxy river tables, this one should top your list. Its coat delivers a flawless surface that will add an aesthetic appeal to your river tables and other DIY projects.
These results emerge from this epoxy’s strong formula, which offers high resistance against moisture, scratches, and damaging UV rays. So whether you use these resin indoors or for your exteriors, it will always deliver outstanding results that most deffinetly will outgrow your expectations.
Moreover, the formula is completely free of odors and safe for use. Hence, it’s an amazing option for those who are sensitive to odors or resin formulas. You don’t even need to put on a mask (we deffinetly recommend it though no matter what) while working with it. Also you get to rest assured that it wont be damaged while the product dries up and hardens to its finish.
The product further offers exceptional coverage as one gallon of this epoxy resin will cover around 25 square feet, which will suffice for covering many wooden tables and other surfaces. These resins are an ideal match for woodworkers who want satisfying and long-lasting results with enhanced protection- thanks to a thickness of 1/8 inches this product offers per layer.
- It works fantastic with all kinds of wooden objects and surfaces.
- The product offers impeccable resistance against UV rays, scratches, and moisture.
- It gives an exquisite and beautiful finish to your wooden surfaces, making it an ideal option for river tables.
- This epoxy offers excellent coverage and covers up to 25 square feet despite having a thick formula.
- The product comes with a smooth composition, making it super convenient in application.
8. Protective Coating PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy Paste
This epoxy is the best product for repairing wood and other fixing purposes. It’s an excellent option to cover wooden surfaces. This epoxy paste from the highly credible brand Protective Coating is your best bet if you’re looking for a product for protection for your wooden tables and surface corrections. The paste offers five distinct variants starting from 1.5 ounces to up to 96 ounces depending on the amount you need and offers an admirable coverage capacity.
The consistency of the product is pretty thick. Apart from the coating function, it provides more of a protective barrier to the wood, which is why it’s a life-saving product when it comes to repairing furniture and other wooden surfaces. The two-part formula of this paste covers up faulty surfaces and structural irregularities, making it as good as new. So whenever you have rotten, yellowed, and tarnished pieces lying around, use this paste to fix everything in a matter of minutes.
Another pleasing quality about this product happens to be its high-track composition that helps prevent sagging and dripping during the application process, which is hassle-free and pretty much to the point. The epoxy paste is an ideal choice for individuals who abhor restraints- thanks to its convenient application time of 40 minutes.
And now, lets present the winning feature of this product: its ability to allow paint, machine work, and stains over its surface once it hardens. By that, you get to achieve the look you desire.
Furthermore, this formula is reliable, offers durability and resistance to most of the harsh weather complications. You can use this resin anywhere you want, and you won’t find yourself disappointed.
- The formula repairs damaged wood in no time.
- It offers high resistance against all kinds of weather elements.
- The composition of the product makes it a lot easier to apply.
- It offers high durability to your wooden surfaces.
9. SRC Epox-It 80 Clear Epoxy Resin
Among the top epoxy resin brands that are reliable and yield outstanding results is SRC. Epox-It 80 is a highly promising product from SRC that will stand to be the best epoxy for wood out there. The formula of this product is a clear resin and leaves no space un filled when you coat your wood with it. The resin offers a high-gloss surface that wins hearts and minds alike. Apart from wood, you can also use this epoxy for metals, stone, concrete, etc.
The kit has two bottles, one being for the stain and one for the hardener. This combo makes the application convenient, saving a big deal on time and effort. Further, the self-leveling and air-releasing properties stand as the product’s specialties. The resin takes about 40-minutes’ time to level up, which is suitable for urgent projects that call for speedy results.
Moreover, the resin offers 1/16 thickness per layer, which results in a coverage of up to 24 square feet per gallon. Also, the quality formula of this product offers strong resistance against yellowing, UV rays, blushes, and moisture.
- The composition of this formula offers self-leveling and air-releasing properties.
- The product is highly resistant and durable in terms of formula.
- You get a beautiful glossy finish with this one.
- It offers solid coverage of up to 24 square feet per gallon.
The Bottom Line
This article will serve as a roadmap to navigate your options in epoxy resin products. Start with studying the ten essential factors listed earlier in this article to help you decide what you want. Then, place your needs on one side and compare them with these nine best epoxy resins to make the best decision for your river table’s epoxy resin.