BEST Resin For Countertops | TOP CHOICES For 2023
Epoxy resins have become increasingly popular as a material for countertop surfaces in recent years. Its unique properties offer a durable and visually stunning surface for kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-traffic areas.
But what exactly is epoxy resin and why is it a great choice for kitchen countertops? In this article, we will explore the benefits of using epoxy resin for your countertops, including its stunning appearance, ease of installation, durability, and reflective qualities.
Whether you are a homeowner looking to update your kitchen or a contractor searching for the perfect epoxy countertop material for a client, we have some great advice for you today.
Epoxy Resin As A Refinishing Product For Old Countertops
When properly applied and cured, epoxy resin can create a stunning marble-like effect on a kitchen countertop, both in its reflective quality and in its patterning if you want the marbled look. Resin has come a long way since it was first used and it is a fantastic way to update your existing countertops.
Not only is it a great product for refinishing your old countertops, but you can use it on new MDF or wood countertops and table tops as well.
Faux Marble Countertops
Once of the most popular countertop designs with resin is going for the marbled look. This popular effect can be achieved by adding pigments and other colorants to the epoxy mixture before it is applied, creating unique patterns and color combinations.
The final result closely resembles the beauty of natural marble, with swirling veins and intricate patterns, but with the added durability, versatility and customization that epoxy resin offers.
What is really amazing, is that you can take a paintbrush and literally add your own details and "marble veining" in your diy epoxy countertops yourself if you have an artistic eye. and want to see those fine details. It is actually difficult to tell the difference between real marble and faux epoxy marble sometimes.
Additionally, the glossy finish of cured epoxy resin can give the surface a sleek and polished appearance, further enhancing its resemblance to marble or granite.
Why Epoxy Countertops?
Overall, epoxy resin can be a fantastic choice for those seeking the beauty and elegance of a marble countertop, without the high cost and maintenance requirements of natural stone.
It is important to choose the proper and best epoxy resin for your kitchen countertop so you achieve the results you are picturing.
We are here to share the absolute best resins for your countertop in terms of durability, UV resistant formulas (to avoid harsh yellowing), hardness and durability, food safety and more.
Let's get right into the absolute best epoxy resins to use on your countertops.
Resin For Countertops
We have a short list of the best resins for countertops today. Why such a short list? Well because, we are picky, and we don't want to recommend a product that may not give you a good outcome. We are only sharing our top choices here.
You want an epoxy that is heat resistant, durable, scratch resistant, mixes well, can handle color additives, has a long working time and is UV resistant, and one that can cover plywood, MDF, granite or laminate countertops, bar tops and even your old countertop (and any other countertop materials).
That leaves us with a few top epoxy resin choices for you, which we will list below.
After we list the top choices, we are going to share the tools you will need as well as some of the top tips for pouring epoxy countertops. So if you choose your epoxy from our list, be sure to bookmark this page to come back once it arrives in the mail to sort out your tools as well.
So first, here are the best epoxy resins for countertops.
1. Stone Coat Countertops Epoxy
Check price here of the exact one we recommend
Stone Coat Countertops Epoxy is the brand that has been long used and well trusted for a number of years. It is also long considered to be the best in the industry for professional countertops that are easily applied by anyone.
Here are some reasons why it is so popular for epoxy counters:
- Heat resistant: Stone Coat Epoxy is heat-resistant up to 470 degrees Fahrenheit for incidental contact, making it perfect for kitchen counters or other large surfaces
- VOC-free: No VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) means the epoxy can be used safely, without any harmful side effects! Stone Coat Epoxy resin kits are USDA approved without any harsh industrial chemicals (we still recommend a proper mask)
- Non-Yellowing: Stone Coat's formula is UV stable meaning that it won't yellow easily, as they have very strong UV inhibitors added to the formula.
- *Keep in mind that ALL epoxy will yellow over time. Some companies add UV stabilizers to slow this process, and with proper care, it can look beautiful for years and years without yellowing at all
- Scratch resistant: Stone Coat's formula is scratch resistant and impact resistant
- Self leveling: This countertop epoxy kit mixes at a 1:1 ratio and is completely self-leveling, giving you a perfectly flat and even surface, without any bubbling
- Working time: You get a long working time of 45 minutes with this epoxy, so you can add your swirls and veining easily
- Clear and glossy finish: Stone Coat Epoxy cures clear with a sleek, glossy shine
Stone Coat is also a brand that mixes beautifully with color additives such as mica, metallic powder or a spray paint, and some other epoxies don't mix as easily with those colorants. Just something to note.
It is also very important to know that this epoxy countertop will be fully cured for heat resistance after 30 days, so don't put anything hot on it until then. And even then, we wouldn't recommend putting a hot pan or hot pots directly on your epoxy counter with any brand of resin, just to be safe and maintain it.
Calculating how much epoxy you will need
Stone Coat covers 20 square feet per gallon. Here are some of their epoxy kits for you to consider:
A half gallon epoxy kit will cover 10 square feet
A 1 gallon epoxy kit will cover 20 square feet
Stone Coat also offers some really great products you may want to consider as well, including:
12 pack of 1 quart mixing cups
Top Coat Natural Finish - which will be more of a matte effect
Top Coat Glossy Finish - which will dry to a clear gloss
2. Promise Epoxy
If this is a name in the industry that you are not too familiar with, that's because it is relatively new, but it comes from a few familiar names you might have heard of.
Promise Epoxy is the brand created from the coming together of Pro Marine Epoxy Resin and Incredible Solutions; 2 very prominent US-based epoxy resin companies.
This epoxy is a 1:1 mixing ratio formula making it easy to mix together. It dries clear and glossy and is food safe once fully cured for incidental contact per FDA code 300.
Here is what Promise has to say about their product:
Excellence is a tool at your side with our high-performance Promise Table Top Epoxy Resin. Its proven formula, developed over decades, provides a smooth yet sturdy crystal-clear finish, maintained integrity over sharp corners, and excellent air release properties. These qualities make Promise Table Top Epoxy Resin ideal for numerous home décor and art-related projects.
The formula is self levels and is water, blush and impact resistant.
Here are the important points summed up for your consideration:
- 1:1 mixing ratio
- Water-, Blush-, and Impact-resistant
- High-gloss finish
- Food safe per FDA code 300
- Improved surface appearance
- Eliminates craters, crawling, and fish eyes
- Compatible with pigments and dyes
- Made in the USA!
Calculating how much epoxy you will need:
A one-gallon Table Top Epoxy Kit covers approximately 16 square feet at 1/8″ thickness.
A two-gallon Table Top Epoxy Kit covers 32 square feet at 1/8″ thickness.
Promise Epoxy also offers some other products you may be interested in that are formulated to work with their epoxy:
3. FCGI Superclear Epoxy
This epoxy kit is designed for use in casting, coating, and most importantly, on countertops. The kit includes two parts, a resin and hardener, that are mixed together to create a crystal clear, high-gloss finish.
According to the manufacturer, this particular epoxy resin is self-leveling, which means it will spread out evenly across surfaces without the need for extensive sanding or other finishing techniques.
It is also UV-resistant and heat-resistant, which makes it ideal for keeping the yellowing at bay and holding up to higher temperatures.
Let's sum up some of these important points:
- It is resistant to heat
- UV-resistant: Resin is formulated with UV resistant to keep it from yellowing
- It is self levelling
- It is scratch resistant
- Food safe: Once Super Clear Table Top Epoxy has cured, it becomes safe, per code, 21CFR175.300 which states "Resinous and polymeric coatings may be safely used as the food-contact surface of articles intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding food" and can be used as a "functional barrier between the food and the substrate" and "intended for repeated food-contact and use.”
- and made in the USA!
This countertop epoxy resin kit comes with a set of detailed instructions on how to mix and apply the resin, as well as safety precautions that should be taken when working with the product.
It is important to note that epoxy resin can be hazardous if not handled properly, so it is recommended that users wear gloves and a proper respirator for resin, as well as work in a well-ventilated area when using this product.
Here is what FCGI has to say about their products:
We’ve been in this business for over 60 years and much has changed over that time. Technology always advances and that includes all the materials that help to create those advancements – one of which is resins!
This is a company that takes pride in their product.
Overall, if you are looking for a high-quality epoxy countertop kits, this one is a good option to consider.
What other tools will you need for pouring an epoxy countertop?
There are many tools you will need to consider in terms of tools for prepping your countertop for epoxy, for mixing, for your personal safety (PPE), for pouring and for curing time.
Epoxy Resin Countertop Tools
PREP: Plastic Drop Cloths
Plastic sheeting is necessary to cover your furniture and to separate your kitchen from other rooms. Without these, not only can epoxy get onto other surfaces, but more importantly, dust from other rooms and furniture could settle onto your counter during its curing time and leave marks.
Use a strong tape to tape plastic together and to non-painted surfaces.
PREP: Delicate Frog Tape
You will use this tape for your edges where your countertop meets the wall or backsplash. Before your resin is cured, use a box cutter to make a clean line as you peel your frog tape off.
*Use a regular painters tape for the kitchen countertops on the edges if you plan on letting your epoxy soft cure and then running down the sides to coat.
PREP: Sand Paper
Depending on what you are planning on adhering your epoxy to, you may want to sand it first so they bond together.
If you are epoxying a smooth surface like granite, use a 220 grit to rough of the surface a bit before applying epoxy.
If you are applying to a wood surface such as plywood or a solid wood, you can use 80 - 180 grit to sand it. Just keep in mind, if you are going to be pouring clear epoxy over your wood, you are going to want to start at the 80 and go up from there so you don't leave visible scratches.
Once it is sanded and that is cleaned, you can seal it with a very thin coat of epoxy before pouring your thicker coats.
TOOLS: Mixing Buckets (Proper Size)
These are your mixing buckets where the majority of the resin will go into. We understand that you are likely going to need to mix 2, 3 or more gallons for your pour, but we would like to offer some food for thought here.
You will be lifting those buckets up high over your counter and pouring down onto it, so you may want to have more control of flow for your color placement and not have heavy buckets.
You also don't want to mix in too large of batches because you don't want your resin to flash cure.
With all of this in mind, we would suggest mixing one gallon of epoxy at a time, and then adding some extra in for your color combinations or dirty pours and writing down exactly your color mix ins so you can repeat it.
That is why we suggest a 2 gallon heavy duty bucket, and in that listing you can purchase one or get a multi pack.
TOOLS: A Drill Mixer
This is a tool you attach to your drill. We recommend attaching it to a cordless drill (we use and highly recommend this 20v cordless drill) so you don't have a cord following you around while you are working, but if you have one by all means use it.
But you will definitely need the drill mixer when mixing this much resin.
If the resin and the hardener are not thoroughly blended, it can result in sticky and tacky spots on your epoxy countertop.
TOOLS: Foam Rollers and Paint Brushes
Check price of firm rollers here
The firm foam rollers are for moving your countertop epoxy resin around on your surface and the paintbrushes are for adding veins and color breaks in your design.
It's good to have several of each on hand. You can choose whichever size of paintbrush you would like, we would suggest a few if you are going to try to be artistic with some details.
TOOLS: A Torch
The torch (propane tank is not included) works great for the bubbles, you just have to be very careful not to pause on any spot.
Move it in continuous, fluid circles.
TOOLS: A Heat Gun
We actually recommend having both a torch and a heat gun for countertops.
What these heat tools do is bring any air bubbles from your resin to the surface and pop them, so they don't find their way out during the curing time and leave divots in your surface.
The heat gun works well for air bubbles as well, but in this case, we recommend using the heat gun to blend and move your colors around on your counter. The heat not only pops bubbles but helps the fluidity of the resin and gives an added control of color placement. The one we recommended also comes with a lot of tools and accessories that can be helpful in epoxy countertop work.
SAFETY: Nitrile Gloves
When EVER you are working with epoxy resin, you should be wearing the proper gloves.
Latex gloves will NOT protect your skin from chemically interacting with epoxy.
You need either nitrile gloves or vinyl, and we are simply recommending nitrile because we prefer their comfort. But you can go ahead and get nitrile or vinyl. We also recommend a box set of disposables for convenience. Just make sure you click on the size you need before checking out.
SAFETY: Proper Resin Respirator
We can't even begin to tell you how important it is to have a proper respirator on while working with epoxy resin. You can read all about the reasons in our epoxy resin safety article or more specifically in our article about the respirator for resin we use and why.
The respirator we are recommending has everything a respirator needs to filter out the organic vapors from countertop epoxy and is adjustable to any size of head.
FINISHING: Orbital Sander
When you are finished your countertop or bar tops, you are going to want to pour a clear top coat or flood coat with a thin layer of clear resin.
To make sure the top coat bonds perfectly with your cured countertop, you are going to want to sand it with an orbital sander after it hard cures. This will remove the shine, but don't worry! This step is a necessary step to get to a high gloss crystal clear finish.
Sand it with a 240 grit sandpaper on your orbital sander and change it often through the final sanding process.
Wipe it down with a clean, damp shop rag, paper towel or shop towels (these are super handy to have many on hand throughout your whole process). Let that dry before pouring your thin, clear coat of epoxy on top, and then go over the clear coat with your torch for any bubbles in that layer.
That's about it for the basic tools you are going to need. We didn't talk about color additives undercoat such as micas, paint or spray paint because we are leaving that up to you.
Some of the companies we mentioned for resin will have color suggestions, so go ahead and see what you like in terms of what look you want to achieve.
We hope you found this article informative and helpful! You are going to love giving new life to your old countertops, bar top and other existing surfaces. Your new countertop is going to look absolutely amazing and people will actually thing it is real stone, it's a great way to achieve a luxury look while you save money.
Be sure to bookmark this page and please come back to let us know who you chose out of our recommended brands - we would love to hear your thoughts, advice and how it turned out in the comments below.
We have many other articles you can read to learn more about resin, here are some other resources from our website for you to learn about:
Resin How To's
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.
Here are the exact gloves we always use
This is the respirator we use and recommend for resin work
Read more about resin safety here
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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