Several years ago, I started noticing a particular YouTube host that would cover existing countertops with epoxy and make them look like stone. From there, I found craftspeople using epoxy to fill large voids in wood slabs and even binding mismatched hunks into one cohesive plank. See-through River Tables, Tinted River tables, and many other pieces were being made using epoxy resin as a binder. I started wondering how much it costs to use epoxy in woodworking.
Epoxy that can be used for woodworking costs under $60 per gallon, but if you want kit bundles, a typical epoxy resin and hardener kit will cost around $60-$150 per gallon. Factors such as the brand name, formulation, and size of the project will affect the overall cost.
Epoxy is one of the most useful materials in any woodworking shop. Usually sold in a two-part mix of resin and hardener, the material often comes in handy in a wide range of applications. How much does it cost?
The rest of the article will look at some of the affordable epoxy products you can choose for woodworking and factors to watch out for when making your decision.
Top Affordable Epoxy Products for Woodworking
Are you looking for some quality epoxy products to add to your workshop? Here are some top options you can go with:
TotalBoat – Epoxy Kit
TotalBoat has been a popular product in the online woodworking community for a while now. It has been around since 2012 and started making products specifically for the boating community. before long, they included products for makers of all sorts.
You can get a gallon of Total Boat for a cost on the lower range mentioned above (Click the header above to see the current price). They have products ranging from epoxy and hardener, to paint, to sealers and fillers.
as an added benefit to their customers, Total Boat epoxy products come with metered pumps so you will not have to buy graduated measuring cups. Simply count the number of pumps of resin then all an equal number of pumps of hardener. It could not have been made easier for the customer.
West Systems Epoxy Kit
Like Total Boat, West systems started in the boating industry – kind of. In 1967 the makers of West Systems Epoxy started out making Ice boats in Bay City, Michigan. During this time, the company earned the opportunity to work with Dow Chemical employees and developed their own resin formula. Then, in 1971, West Systems Epoxy began from that iceboat business. I bring this up only so you know they have a strong background in epoxy.
Also like Total Boat, they offer a metered pump system. West Systems offers so many components that I recommend a kit like the one linked in this section’s header to get the correct products. West Systems offers only 1 resin (105 resin systems) but a variety of hardeners and fillers to go along with that resin. The hardeners have a range of curing times and they offer several fillers.
If you want to try out West Systems on a smaller repair project you have, I recommend picking up one of their Repair Packs. They come with premeasured resin and hardener, gloves, and everything else you will need for that small project.
RTG Bar & Table Top Epoxy
This is one of the most reliable epoxy resins on the market today. Made by ProMarine Supplies, this epoxy and hardener combination is one you can trust for high performance. You can apply the mix in a few easy steps. Once cured, the epoxy resin is very durable. This makes it a good option for hard-wearing surfaces, including those not made of wood.
The mixture is made up of solids, which is why it delivers excellent color stability and air release. It’s also non-toxic and easy to work with indoors. You can get the gallon kit for just over $60, but there’s a quart kit for around $50.
Crystal Clear Bar Table Top Epoxy Resin
This resin and hardener kit is one of the best to go with if you’re looking for epoxy that is reliable, durable, and delivers excellent results. It works well on all kinds of wood surfaces, so you can trust it in most of your woodworking projects, and its self-leveling formula helps you save a lot of time during the application process. The formula needs 72 hours to cure fully, but it delivers one of the thickest results you’ll see.
This product is good value if you use a lot of epoxy in your woodworking, costing just over $60. You’ll get one gallon (3.79 liters) that can effectively cover up to 37 square feet (3.44 square meters) of any wood surface. So, for small woodworking projects, you can use it up to 10 times before you run out.
East Coast Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin
This is a highly-rated epoxy and hardener combination, and it only takes one application to see why. For a little under $70, it delivers a very clear coat for your wood surfaces, and it is formulated to withstand water, scratches, and UV rays.
The formula is great for working indoors as it is completely odorless and spreads quickly, hardening in less than half an hour. This is another value purchase as one gallon (3.79 liters) can cover up to 25 square feet (2.32 square meters) of a wood surface.
PC-Woody Epoxy Paste For Wood Repair
Of course, epoxy is not only used for river tables or filling large voids. This product is a great filler for smaller chips and dings that you might get in your project. This 2 part epoxy will even fill the toughest damage such as missing or rotted wood. If your project involves repairing some wood, this is the best epoxy product to consider. The paste is perfectly formulated to cover and fix most wooden surfaces. You get a thick paste that also doubles up as a coating and protective layer to the wood for under $15.
The product’s high-tack composition means you don’t have to worry about sagging or dripping during the application process, and you get up to 40 minutes of application time to work with. Most importantly, you can machine, paint, or stain this epoxy paint when it hardens.
MAS Table Top Pro Epoxy Resin & Hardener
This is a professional grade epoxy-resin that guarantees you exceptional results. You can trust it to transform your woodworking projects, thanks to the high-gloss formula, and like other top options in the market, this is also a self-leveling epoxy. It starts leveling at 1/8 inches (3.18 millimeters), delivering some of the thickest finishes you can find.
One gallon (3.79 liters) of the product costs just over $65 and can cover up to 12 square feet (1.11 square meters) of the wood surface before you run out. The manufacturers throw in a spreader and a brush specifically made for this product.
Factors That Can Affect the Cost of Epoxy
Not all epoxy brands are made equal, and some will offer additional features that make their product a step up from the competitor. The top factors to keep in mind when choosing epoxy for woodworking include but are not limited to:
- The finish
- The surface coverage
- The protection offered
- Off-gassing (bubbles)
- The curing time
- Depth of fill (layers required)
Let’s take a look at some important factors to consider when shopping that can affect the product’s overall cost.
One of the first things you should keep in mind when picking an epoxy resin is the level of gloss it provides. This is the brightness and clarity the product brings to the surface of the wood. Gloss is the main reason many people use epoxy in woodworking, so it makes sense to only choose products that offer high gloss. Crystal clear epoxy products are best in this regard.
An epoxy product that comes with a hardener can make the curing process a bit more straightforward, saving you time and energy. Many manufacturers sell this combo by default, but some others don’t, meaning you need to purchase the harder separately. Look out for that second gallon or pint (and the hardener labeling) when reviewing products to buy.
This is what determines how much epoxy you’ll get for every gallon (or ounce) you buy. The size of the package matters, but the formula is a lot more important here.
Epoxy products that are easier to spread tend to have more coverage capacity. So, if you’re looking for a product that will last long enough, go with options that have a high coverage capacity. One gallon (3.79 liters) should ideally cover around 35 to 70 square feet (3.25 to 6.5 square meters) of a wood surface.
If you are filling a deep area, the coverage time will vary with the product. Many products are formulated for no more than 1 inch (25.4mm) per pore. Each layer will have to set firmly before the next layer can be applied. Read the manufacturer’s recommendations before mixing the epoxy so you can plan accordingly.
The Curing Process
The best epoxy product for any woodworking project is one that allows enough application time. If you’re working on a small surface, a product that can cure in an hour or less is a better fit than one that will require up to 72 hours. The more time you waste waiting for drying or curing, the higher the possibility of mistakes happening.
On the other hand, if you’re working on a fairly large surface, it doesn’t make much sense to work with a product that will dry up too quickly while you’re still working.
Blush Resistance Capacity
Resin tends to change color and create a grainy or uneven effect on the surface, and blush-resistant options can prevent this from happening. You can apply them easily without worrying about any side effects, and products from most of the top brands have this feature – but always check the label to confirm.
Generally, you’ll get blush if you apply the resin on a wet wood surface. Epoxy products that dry too fast are also prone to this problem.
The self-leveling feature is important when it comes to epoxy for woodworking. Products with this feature can save you time and energy as there’d be no need to spend time wiping the epoxy to get a level result. It’s best to go with products that level at around 1/8 inches (3.175 millimeters) in thickness. Options that level out at 1/6 or 1/10 inches (4.23 or 2.54 millimeters) can also work well.
UV and Moisture Protection Properties
The whole purpose of applying epoxy on wood is to strengthen it against the elements (apart from the aesthetic side of things). You need to ensure you’re getting a product designed with this purpose in mind. Most epoxy products claim water resistance, but some better at it than others.
Similarly, you need to choose a product that offers protection against UV rays. This way, you can avoid sun damage to your wood designs. This is especially important if you’re working on pieces meant for use outdoors.
You also need to ensure you’re choosing an epoxy product that actively doesn’t allow bubbles to form on the surface while you work. Bubbles form when you use epoxy products that are a bit lighter than normal. This will cause air to enter the surface while in use, producing bubbles.
If you have an epoxy formula that has a thick enough composition but still find bubbles in it, then you’re probably working on an uneven surface or one with lots of splinters and cracks. If you’re not working on a smooth surface, it’s best to get products that are bubble resistant.
Woodworking epoxy is typically affordable, with lots of good bargains available for less than $100. Putty epoxy is usually the cheapest formula, but you can also find liquid formulas under $50. The cost will vary greatly depending on the scale of your work.
However, the cost of the epoxy product is not the only factor to consider before choosing a brand. Compare the properties of the product against some of the features vital to your project’s demands.