BEST Resin for a Table Top | TOP Choices + Instructions
Redefining Elegance with Resin for Table Tops
In the world of interior design, resin for table tops has emerged as a versatile and captivating medium, seamlessly blending aesthetics and functionality.
With the power to turn ordinary tables into extraordinary pieces of art, epoxy resin tables are a testament to the creative possibilities offered by modern craftsmanship. And honestly, anyone can do it with the proper resin, tools and guidance!
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the diverse uses of resin for tables, explore its appeal, assess its ease of use, and give you the best epoxy resin choices for a table top.
If you don't want to read through all of our advice for resin tables, here are the quick links to our top three resin choices for table tops.
Of course, there is more information on each resin choice below in the article and you can read why they are best for tables, this is just your quick shop links if you are in a rush and don't want to read:
Now, let's get into it.
Epoxy Resin Applications
From Dining Tables to Artistic Masterpieces
Using resin on a table top opens the door to a wide range of functional and artistic applications. It goes beautifully on dining tables, coffee tables, desks, and you can even pour a good resin on countertops for a gorgeous look, adding an element of elegance and sophistication to any space.
Beyond its functionality, epoxy resin allows for creative expression, enabling artisans and DIY enthusiasts to not only use it as a seal coat for a glossy surface, but you can also create cherished memories with seashells, dried flowers, or exquisite artwork in it. The result is always beautiful and will draw attention in any space.
The Captivating Allure of River Tables
Among uses of resin for tables is the creation of river tables, and this is where you can embed elements (dried flowers, rocks, etc) into your tabletop epoxy. Although, we recommend a more deep pouring epoxy for this type of project.
These tables feature a distinctive river-like design with a deep pour epoxy by pouring resin into a carefully carved groove in the wood. The end result is a stunning fusion of organic and synthetic elements, embodying the fluidity of water and introducing a dynamic focal point to any room.
The Crystal Clear, Reflective Qualities
One of the most enchanting features of resin for tables is its super glossy, reflective qualities. As soon as any light in the room hits the cured surface, the epoxy resin just shines and looks stunning.
This unique characteristic transforms tables into functional pieces of beautiful resin art, right from a first coat.
Creating Your Resin Table Top
While the visual appeal of an epoxy resin table tops is undeniable, the process of creating them is also gratifying. Engaging in a resin project allows you to immerse yourself in a world of creativity and self-expression.
Creating a resin table top involves a series of steps that, with a bit of guidance and practice, can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Resin Table Top Steps:
1. Getting Started: Preparing the Canvas
The journey begins with the selection of a suitable canvas—a sturdy and well-prepared table top. Ensuring that the surface is clean, level, and free from imperfections sets the stage for a successful resin project.
2. Being Prepared for Resin Safety
There are safety aspects to consider when working with resin, especially when pouring on a large surface such as tables.
When your epoxy and hardener are mixed, they off gas. This off gassing can affect your respiratory tract and is really not good for you, so it is safe to be prepared and get a proper epoxy resin respirator.
Here is the respirator for safe resin work we use and always recommend
What is really nice about the respirator we recommended for you above, is its versatility. This respirator is adjustable on your face so you don't need to look for sizes, it will fit you or anyone in your household.
It also works for most purposes: painting or spray painting, dusting, wood working, sanding and more, so it is a fantastic investment.
We also recommend working in a well ventilated space where prolonged exposure to these fumes will not be a problem.
3. Mixing the Resin and Hardener
Table top epoxy is a two-part compound that needs thorough mixing to activate the epoxy resin and the hardener together.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions and really focus on the mixing process. You are going to want to thoroughly mix the resin and hardener slowly to keep air bubbles out of your resin mix.
If you don't mix well enough, this could result in sticky patches or uneven curing. So it is very important to mix until you think it is ready, then mix some more. This won't affect your desired thickness at all, it will just ensure that it is thoroughly combined for your pour.
4. Adding Color with Pigments and/or Elements
This is where artistic vision takes center stage. Introducing pigments, dyes, or even metallic powders allows for the creation of captivating colors and effects within the epoxy resin.
So you have to decide if you want a crystal clear, glossy look, allowing the wood surface to show through, or if you want to add a touch of color. This is the point where you would add your pigment to your epoxy resin in a plastic cup, adding no more than 10% colorant to the resin.
We do suggest that if you want to add color to your resin, to try it on a different (but similar looking) surface first to see if you like the look. Try it on a cutting board or an old piece of furniture.
5. Pouring your Tabletop Epoxy
Gently pouring the mixed resin onto the prepared surface initiates the transformation of the table top. The resin will flow and covers the area evenly, so long as you are working on a flat surface.
You can mix your resin and hardener according to the brands instructions in a large mixing cup or plastic cups. Again, not to be repetitive, but you will want to mix gently to keep bubbles at bay, but very thoroughly.
The right resin will self level, and you will know how much you need to mix and pour beforehand, as depending on the brand of resin you go with, there will be a maximum pour depth.
In the case of a table top, you won't need a resin that pours very deep; this will be more of a flood coat (a more thin coat) to cover the surface of your table top.
6. Getting Rid of Bubbles
To ensure a flawless finish, the use of a heat gun or torch to eliminate air bubbles is a critical step in the process. After you pour your epoxy, there will be tiny micro bubbles in your epoxy resin. Use a heat gun to draw the air bubbles to the surface and pop them.
Alternatively, you can use a bubble removal machine before you pour, this is an optional tool (but is fantastic) but the heat gun is not optional, you need to have one.
See the bubble removal machine for resin (this is for you to use before you pour)
7. Resin Curing
Following the bubble removal process with a heat gun, the epoxy resin begins to cure. This phase typically spans 24 to 72 hours, during which the resin solidifies and develops its signature glossy finish. You will then have a cured epoxy table.
It will go from a soft cure where it is stable, to a hard cure (hard to the touch) and then a full cure. As the resin cures though, you are going to want to keep it super clean and keep minial traffic away from it. Any spec of dust will leave an imperfection on your table.
Upon completion of the curing process, the table top may undergo sanding and polishing to get a more polished look. This is totally up to you.
What To Look For in a Table Top Epoxy
The Resin Selection
The success of a resin table top project hinges on the careful selection of the right resin. Several factors contribute to the quality and suitability of resin for a table top, ensuring a captivating, durable, and enduring finish.
Heat Resistance and Durability
An exceptional resin must offer heat resistance. Many resin brands will tell you the temperature it is heat resistant up to.
Now keep in mind, this factor is not as important as it would be for choosing a countertop epoxy, and the hottest item placed on your table will likely be a hot tea or coffee cup. So this, although significant, is not a super important factor.
For durability, there should also be an impact resistant number in terms of how much PSI of impact your resin will withstand. Again, I don't think anyone will be taking a sledgehammer to your finished table, but it is something to be aware of when purchasing.
Opting for resins specifically formulated to handle temperature fluctuations and daily use guarantees the longevity of your table top.
UV Stabilizers: Preserving Clarity and Beauty
This is, in our opinion, one of the most important factors when choosing a table top epoxy. To safeguard the clarity of your epoxy resin table top, opt for a resin that incorporates UV stabilizers.
UV rays from sunlight will break down any and every resin over time, so don't let a resin brand fool you into thinking it will never turn yellow.
However, UV resistant stabilizers will slow this process down to a snails pace and will help protect your table from turning yellow quickly, ensuring you have a gorgeous tabletop for years and years to come.
Scratch and Impact Resistance: Enduring Elegance
The ideal resin for a table top boasts excellent scratch resistance, offering protection against the inevitable wear and tear of daily use.
This resilience ensures that your table retains its elegance and remains visually appealing throughout its lifespan.
You can look for an epoxy that says "scratch resistant" on it, keeping in mind that most better quality resins will naturally be very hard once fully cured and will be difficult to scratch.
If your epoxy does scratch over time, the beautiful thing about resin is that you can buff the scratch out and pour another thin seal coat, making it brand new again. And you can pour a new seal coat on your entire table as often as you need to.
This is why we always recommend bookmarking this page or the Resin Talk website for your future epoxy resin needs if you need to find your way back to us.
Choosing an epoxy resin with self-leveling properties guarantees an effortlessly smooth and even surface, and we have already talked about this point generally above.
Resins with self-leveling attributes eliminate the need for extensive manual spreading, resulting in a flawless finish that enhances the overall aesthetic of the table top.
Best Resins for Table Tops
Here are our top 3 TOP choices for the best epoxy resins for your high gloss tables.
1. PROMISE CLEAR TABLE TOP EPOXY RESIN
A long time favorite of many resin artists for wood projects such as table tops is ProMarine (now Promise Epoxy). This is a top quality epoxy resin that has been around for a very long time and has a fantastic reputation in the industry.
The Promise Table Top Epoxy System is a high-performance two-part epoxy resin. It is specifically designed for epoxy table tops, bars, wood finishes, see-through encapsulations, artwork, and other applications requiring a clear, strong, coating. This resin will dry to a high gloss finish for you.
The material has an easy to use 1-to-1 by volume mixing ratio, it maintains its integrity over sharp corners, it has excellent air release qualities and a relatively fast setting time for an epoxy table coating.
Promise Epoxy is:
- Water resistant
- UV resistant
- Cures in 24 hours
- Scratch-resistant after it has fully hardened after three days
- Best for table tops, bars and wood finishes
- Has a maximum pour depth of 1/8" but you can pour several layers to achieve your desired depth of pour
- Best for indoor furniture use
Watch Promise Epoxy's video below detailing instructions for how to use this epoxy:
Table Top Epoxy Resin from Promise features self-leveling properties and it cures to a strong crystal-clear finish.
This epoxy would also be a great choice for a live edge wood table if that is something you are considering with your table top project!
2. LET'S RESIN EPOXY RESIN KIT
Let's Resin makes a tabletop epoxy for coating, casting, bar tops, river tables and more.
Here is a multi-use, 2 part epoxy resin for wood that is highly glossy and made of premium materials, so you can feel confident if you decide to go with this brand.
This epoxy resin is self levelling, is BPA and VOC-free and is considered a low odor resin.
That being said (and this goes for all resin work) be sure to have a proper respirator for resin on whenever working with epoxy, especially larger projects like table work.
This resin has a fast cure time of only 8 hours and is yellowing (UV) resistant. It has a Vickers pyramid number (HV) of 90 (scratch resistance and impact resistance), and this scale is made to measure hardness.
Read more about the Vickers hardness test here and check out their hardness calculator.
3. DIY EPOXY COUNTERTOP EPOXY
Self-levelling, self-degassing and made in the USA, this resin is hard, glossy and is durable. This would be an excellent epoxy resin for a table project.
The DIY Epoxy brand states: Ensuring a crystal clear epoxy table top finish with high resistance to any chemical, heat, and water, making it the most versatile epoxy clear coating formula.
This resin by DIY Epoxy is:
- Is VOC-free
- Has no BPA's
- Is fume-free
- Is non-flammable
- Is UV resistant
- Is certified as food safe
Here is a chart to help you determine just how much resin you will need for your project:
DIY Epoxy is specially designed for countertop, tabletop & bar top epoxy resin pours.
You will be good to go with any of the above three epoxy resin choices for your table tops.
Summary of Essential Insights for Table Top Resins:
- The modern aesthetics and captivating appeal of resin infuses contemporary allure into interior spaces and will draw everyone's attention to your table top
- Working with epoxy resin is a fun and exciting experience that lets out your artistic self-expression
- The ideal epoxy resin for a table top boasts qualities such as heat resistance, UV stability, scratch resistance, and self-leveling properties
- The brand of resin will tell you how much epoxy is needed to make your beautiful table
- Buff out any scratches and pour a new seal coat on your table as needed
- Bookmarking this page will let you come back for advice on your table top if you need it in the future (if it scratches or you need to purchase more of the same resin)
- Anyone can work with resin from beginner to advanced artist as long as you purchase a high quality epoxy resin and follow great instructions
FAQ: People Also Ask
Q: Are resin tables easy to clean and maintain? A: Yes, resin tables are relatively easy to clean. Spills can be promptly wiped away with a damp cloth, and occasional cleaning with a mild solution maintains their lustrous appearance.
Q: Can I create intricate designs using resin for my table top? A: Absolutely! Resin offers limitless creative possibilities. Artisans can embed decorative elements, experiment with pigments, and even create captivating effects that looks like geodes.
Q: Is crafting with resin suitable for beginners? A: Crafting with resin is totally doable for beginners, as long as they follow proper instructions and guidelines. Starting with smaller projects and gradually progressing to larger ones helps build confidence and skills, but also having a high quality resin to work with will be important as well.
Q: Can I use any type of wood for a resin table top? A: While many wood types can be used, it's advisable to choose a stable and well-prepared wood to prevent warping or cracking. Hardwoods like oak, maple, and walnut are very popular choices for their durability and aesthetic appeal.
Integrating a resin table top into your living space will look beautiful and will be a functional piece for you and your family to use and enjoy. That is the beauty of resin: aesthetic appeal and functionality.
By carefully considering the qualities of resin and mastering the right techniques, your journey into epoxy resin for tables promises a rewarding and enriching experience, resulting in a gorgeous piece and possibly a new hobby! Creating resin pieces can be a fun hobby or even a lucrative business.
Just remember, choosing the best resin for your project will make a huge difference in your diy projects. Always follow the step by step tutorial each time and once you complete your first project, your next project will be even better with experience.
Also, always allow your resin to dry completely to maintain that high gloss surface, and next time you could even play with color additives with mica powders and colorants, and remember to finish using a heat gun for a smooth finish.
When you are finished with your resin, tightly reseal your containers for next time. Store them in a cool, dark place. And if they look yellow at all for your next use, it is best to get a new container so your next project goes well. The shelf life of your resin will depend on the brand you use and how well you store it.
I hope that this guide helps you and provides you with valuable insights into the world of resin for a table top.
Here are some other epoxy resin resources for you:
Resin & Wood
Resin Supplies & Purchasing Advice
Best Resin For Your Project
USE RESIN SAFELY
No matter what type of resin you decide to use, always use personal protective equipment (PPE). Take time to carefully go over safety data sheets before making anything with resin, and make sure you have the proper gloves on (not latex) and the right respirator for resin protection.
And please remember, even if your epoxy resin of choice is "VOC-free, odor free" and/or "non toxic", please always wear the proper respirator for epoxy resin.
Here is the BEST respirator mask for epoxy resin: this Full Face Organic Vapor Respirator checks off all of the boxes for resin safety, and comes with
- free 30 day returns
- a 1 year factory warranty
- free US shipping and free shipping on international orders
Here it is:
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