Howdy there crafty DIYers and homeowners, are you getting ready to seal your wood, concrete countertops, or laminate countertops with a tabletop epoxy?
How exciting! Or, are you crafting an epoxy countertop with a marbleized finish? Incredible.
We're here to help you get it right the first time. Remember, cleanup is almost impossible once the epoxy has fully cured. Follow our instructions for a successful epoxy countertop job.
In this ProPaintCorner article, you'll learn:
- The best epoxy for countertops/bar tops
- Tips for successful epoxy application
- Ideas for crafting attractive epoxy countertops
- Other helpful facts to help on the way
Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the best epoxy for countertops.
FGCI Superclear Epoxy Resin Kit
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Giani Carrara White Marble Epoxy Countertop Kit
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Stone Coat Countertops
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Pro Marine Supplies Clear Table Top Epoxy
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated On January 27, 2023
Our favorite is FGCI because it's highly acclaimed for success in river tables, bar tops, countertops, etc.
A large number of 5-star reviews on Amazon makes it hard to go wrong with FGCI, plus it's made in the USA.
Another great reason to buy FGCI is that this company has been in business for 60 years. You now know the best product to use the next time you're looking to perform a DIY epoxy countertop.
Our Top 5 Epoxies For Plastic
What Are Epoxy Countertops?
You'll typically see epoxy countertops as a wood-finished countertop that has a rock-hard epoxy finish over the top or a completely epoxied finish with a marble appearance that looks like real stone.
Not only can you apply epoxy to virtually any old countertops/existing countertops to create a lasting version, but you can also create new designs like dyed epoxies that create an impressive and modern look.
Epoxy is typically a two-part mixture that consists of a resin and a curing/hardener agent. Once the two parts of the mixture are combined, the epoxy transforms from a liquid into a rock-solid that is water-resistant. According to New Mexico Tech, some properties of epoxy include:
Epoxy is one of the most durable ways you could finish or refinish a countertop.
Epoxy will stick to virtually any existing surface in your home.
Once the epoxy cures, it is resistant to virtually any cleaning agent or other chemicals.
Hard epoxy won't change shape or warp, so it creates a type of dimensional stability. For example, wood typically expands and contracts with temperatures, but if you apply an epoxy finish over the top then it is locked inside the form of the epoxy.
What Are The Different Types of Epoxy For Countertops?
There are so many different ways you could build or restore an epoxy countertop, so you'll want to do some additional research on your own for the most successful results on your specific project.
Here are some examples of epoxy countertops to help you brainstorm:
Natural Wood Grain Finish (Clear epoxy)
In this process, the carpenter builds a beautiful wood countertop. After the countertop is installed, the master mixes up some crystal clear epoxy in a bucket, and applies it to the top of the countertop either using a paintbrush or paint roller. When the epoxy starts to cure, the excess is typically scraped off using a large putty knife. Once the epoxy is fully cured, the epoxy is then sanded and wet-sanded to perfection.
The advantage of a natural wood grain finish epoxy countertop is that you can enjoy the beauty of the wood without having to worry about water and bacteria seeping into its pores.
You could also simply purchase an epoxy sheet in its solid form that's ready to go. Simply buy the right size for your countertop, and mount it to the cabinets/framing below. Buying an epoxy sheet is a really easy and less-messy solution, and an epoxy laminate is one of the most durable surfaces to use for virtually any application, whether it be the kitchen or a laboratory.
If you're looking to make a big impression on your clients/guests, you'll try a stone/marble appearance by applying epoxy with dye.
Casting resin is where a mold is filled with resin. In this case, the artist frames a countertop mold from wood/masonite, and then fills it in to create a countertop made almost completely of resin.
How Does Table Top Epoxy Resin Work?
The process for making an epoxy countertop is relatively simple, but it takes a true master to create a five-star finish. That being said, any normal person can craft a DIY epoxy resin countertop and make it turn out nice with a bit of sanding. Here are some supplies you'll need to get the job done right:
Epoxy product of choice
You’ll need to decide which epoxy product is best for your specific project. Influencing factors include project size, type, and price.
Use safety glasses to protect against eye injury when applying the epoxy. Remember, epoxy is an extremely toxic liquid that quickly turns into a solid—you don’t want that in your eyes Flush your eyes thoroughly with water if you do happen to splash epoxy in them and read the epoxy label for further instructions on eye care.
Using a cotton mask is a good idea when applying epoxy. Expose your respiratory to as few chemicals as possible.
Sanding epoxy is extremely harmful to your lungs, so you should wear a respirator.
You’ll need 600-grit sandpaper to wet sand the epoxy after applying, and in some cases, you’ll need 120 or 80-grit sandpaper to sand surfaces that are cured with a rough touch.
An electric sander is the best tool for achieving a super smooth finish. You shouldn’t need anything more than a vibrating or orbital sander to do a great job. If somehow something goes wrong and you need to remove excess amounts of epoxy, then you might need to pull out a belt sander.
Flame Torch/Heat Gun
You’ll need to apply heat to the epoxy before it fully cures to remove air bubbles.
Acetone is used to clean cured epoxy off of unwanted surfaces
Paint Masker/Painter’s Tape/Masking materials
It’s more than likely that you will need to cover up surfaces when performing your epoxy job. Your best is to
Using a spreader is how many composites professionals evenly apply epoxy to a surface. In the YouTube video, we’ve linked in this article, the crew first uses rollers to roll the epoxy onto the countertop, and then uses spreaders to even it out after it’s slightly dried.
Nitrile Gloves/Chemical Resistant Gloves
Epoxy is extremely toxic to the skin. Avoid getting epoxy on yourself by using nitrile
Keeping a drop cloth or something to cover the floor is a good idea.
What To Look For In The Best Epoxy For Countertops?
How many square feet does the epoxy product cover? You may want to measure your project before buying the epoxy.
Shopping for the most economic price on epoxy is the best way to complete your project with minimal costs. We suggest shopping online (Amazon is great) for
Before you purchase your epoxy of choice, perform some research about the quality of the epoxy. You'll get better results if you buy an epoxy with multiple five-star ratings on Amazon.
Better quality epoxy is most likely easier to work and has a smooth curing process. Don’t worry, we’ve selected only the best epoxies on the market to add to our list, so you shouldn’t expect any glue disasters when performing your work. Be confident in your purchase by ordering a high-quality epoxy.
Volatile organic compounds have high vapor pressure and low water solubility, meaning they emit gases into the environment. Buying a product with low VOC content is a more conscientious purchase because some epoxy products are extremely harmful to the environment.
Heat resistance is a key trait for epoxy countertops because you can set hot pots and pans on the surface without scarring.
An epoxy might claim to be super heat resistant, but that still doesn’t mean you should touch it with the torch/heat gun.
Certain epoxy kits are self-leveling, which means they apply evenly and are effortless. Let’s be fair, it’s gravity that makes a liquid fall into place. We’re just saying, you need to take extra care planning your lay-up process before applying the epoxy to the surface. The epoxy might be self-leveling, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect—your preparation should still be meticulous.
Scratch-resistant formulas dry harder and stronger than others, so be sure to read the label carefully before buying. Polyurethane-based glues typically make for the most scratch-resistant surfaces.
UV resistance is a good characteristic to look for when applying an epoxy product because it will last longer and not become discolored.
Be sure that the product you're using doesn't contaminate food. We’ve all eaten at those old and classic restaurants with the penny epoxy counter that seems to flake off into our food, but this is the 21st century here, so let’s not be ‘that guy’ that uses an epoxy that isn’t food safe on your restaurant or kitchen table or counter.
Mica Powder/Metallic Powders
Some epoxy kits come with metallic powders/pigments that mix in with isopropyl alcohol. Using a spray bottle, the powder is sprayed onto the surface of the countertop for a beautifully blended metallic finish.
Below is a Youtube video to help you understand how to apply epoxy to your countertops:
Our Reviews Of The Best Epoxy For Countertops
FCGI Superclear Premium Amazing Clear Cast Epoxy Pourable Resin Kit has all the qualities of a great epoxy fit for any job.
Whether you’re going to make an amazingly attractive countertop or freeze a dead bug in time for a science project, this FGCI epoxy has the reviews and ratings to give you the confidence that will turn out perfectly.
Mix up a 1:1 ratio of FCGI for one whole gallon of epoxy that will cover up to 300 feet of flat surface.
Want a marble countertop without the hassle and cost of bringing in the rock? Or maybe you already have granite countertops, but you want to seal them with a water-tight formula.
Whatever the case may be, this Giani Carrara marble epoxy countertop kit will make any Formica, cultured marble, butcher block, laminate--anything you're trying to protect with a rock-hard layer of marble epoxy is ready for Giani Carrara.
Craft Coat brings consumers a reasonably-priced 1-gallon epoxy kit for a quick and easy solution to countertop protection.
With various other possible applications, including concrete and art/craft projects, This Craft Coat 1-gallon epoxy kit comes with everything you need to make a clear and hard protective coat on virtually anything.
Just mix the resin with the hardener in a 1:1 ratio, and create fancy river tables or attractive and elegant marble epoxy designs. This is the cheap and light solution for producing a tabletop built to last.
Pick #5: Incredible Solutions
Our Top Pick
Our favorite is FGCI and for good reason.
This highly-rated and crystal clear epoxy countertop kit is made in the USA and ready to make your countertop durable for many years to come.
With over 60 years of business experience, we trust brands like FGCI to get the job done when it matters.
Final Thoughts On Best Epoxy For Countertops
Read Directions Very Carefully
If you want your epoxy countertop to turn out impeccable, we suggest reading the directions very carefully.
Simple Steps For Applying Epoxy To Your Countertop
You might have to actually build a casting resin form before you apply the resin, depending on the application, but you could theoretically apply resin to almost any type of countertop, including wood (these turn out the best), metal, porcelain, concrete, tile--you get the picture. Here are some steps to help give you an idea of how to properly apply epoxy to your countertops for successful results.
Step One -> Clean the epoxied surface
You'll want to thoroughly clean epoxy surfaces before you apply the epoxy to avoid locking annoying dust specs into the finish for time and all eternity. We recommend using a Shopvac to vacuum up any dust, and at least use a microfiber rag/towel to meticulously clean the surface for the best results.
Step Two -> Measure and mix the epoxy
Before you mix the epoxy, you have to measure both the 'A' resin part and the 'B' hardener part to a certain ratio for maximum adhesion.
Most products on this list are 1:1 ratio, meaning you mix both parts of glue equally together to form the bonding agent. Other epoxies, on the other hand, have much higher ratios, like 50:1 resin to hardener.
There are several ways to mix epoxy, and the simplest way is to use a stir stick. Yes, stirring the epoxy will certainly work if stirred thoroughly, but you may want to actually use something mechanical like a mud mixer connected to a power drill to bring the two compounds together on a strong molecular level.
Read Also: What're Our Favorite Paint Rollers?
Step Three -> Apply the epoxy to the surface using a paint roller and paint brushes
Epoxy application or ‘layup’ is the process of applying the epoxy to the surface of whatever your project is. Typically, the composites professional pour the liquid onto the surface and then use either a paintbrush/roller or a spreader to distribute the liquids evenly across the surface of the project.
Step Four -> Scrape the epoxy as it cures
Flat surfaces are easy to scrape the acrylic epoxy off of after application, about halfway into the application process. Remember, epoxy dries on a linear timeline, so that means it gets harder and harder as time goes on in the drying process.
Step Five -> Sand the epoxy smooth
The sanding process with epoxy is similar to that of sanding wood.
Depending on how smooth the epoxy dried, you'll have to start with either 120-grit and then move your way up to wet sanding with 600-grit sandpaper.
An electric sander will get you much more consistent results when smoothing out the epoxy surface, and be sure not to over-sand your epoxy as you can create weird indentations where water will pool upon later.
Try to avoid using a belt sander--stick with an orbital or pneumatic sander for the best results.