A live-edge wooden epoxy river table, with an epoxy seal coat, a blue-tinted UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy vein, and an UltraClear Table Top Epoxy coating.

Epoxy resin is a strong and beautiful finishing material often used for furniture and fixtures. It's highly durable, transparently clear, and easily customized, making it a particularly excellent choice for table tops.

When planning an epoxy table top project, a common question is "how many coats should I apply?"

In this article, we'll explain how many coats you should use depending on the type of table top you're planning for. We'll start with a standard example then consider other factors that may change the recommended number of coats.

How many coats of epoxy should I put on a table top?

The first thing you need to determine is what type of epoxy table top you want to make.

Is it a typical epoxy table top—no frills? That's a common choice because it does exactly what many users want—it protects their substrate material while allowing it to be seen clearly for its inherent beauty.

Perhaps instead you'd like to create an epoxy river table; these are marvelous if done right. River tables do require more effort and planning than conventional table tops, but the end result is almost always worth it.

And of course, there's always the option to embed objects or tint/color your resin finish, which may affect the total number of coats you need—though not always!

And finally, if you're doing a themed table top (e.g., an ocean-themed coffee table, you might use multiple partial coatings with different tints at first, for aesthetic reasons, before finally applying a full, self-leveling topcoat to smooth out the finish and seal in your art.

Let's discuss each of these project types, one by one.

A standard live-edge wooden epoxy table top.

How many epoxy coats for a standard epoxy table top?

Generally, just one flood coat, plus a quick seal coat. If you're using a high-quality table top epoxy, you only need one flood coat layer of epoxy most of the time.

Our premium UltraClear Table Top Epoxy self-levels to 1/8 of an inch thick. This is enough layer thickness to provide a high-strength seal that will safeguard your table top substrate effortlessly. If applied properly, you can expect it to last a minimum of 7 years with regular use.

Additionally, a coating like this can be easily refreshed at any time. A light sanding, followed by another topcoat of epoxy will restore it, bringing it back to like-new condition.

Conclusion: For a standard epoxy table top, you'll need:

  • A quick seal coat of epoxy; this uses up very little resin.
  • A single flood coat layer of epoxy. Our UltraClear Table Top Epoxy will preserve your table top with a low-maintenance finish that is durable, crystal-clear, and easy to clean.

How many epoxy coats for an epoxy river table?

Typically, an epoxy river table will need multiple coats, at least a minimum of two.

The first coat you'll apply, as with almost any epoxy project, is the seal coat. This is a thin brushed-on coat of epoxy that seals any pores or small crevices in a substrate surface, pushing out the air within them and preventing air bubbles from forming in your finish.

The second coat you'll apply is your deep pour coat. This is the coat that makes up your epoxy river vein. We recommend using our Deep Pour Epoxy for this, which is less viscous and can be poured in layers of up to 2-inch thickness. It's slightly less resilient than our Table Top Epoxy, so we recommend using that for the final topcoat.

The third requisite coating is the flood coat. This goes over your entire substrate, including the river vein after it has partially cured.

The flood coat will give your substrate full protection, while providing a smooth, clean resin surface that showcases the river vein and any substrate materials preserved beneath.

For a flood coat we recommend using our Table Top Epoxy for this part, as it's the most durable and longest-lasting of our resins, while also being just as crystal-clear as the others.

To learn more about the different epoxy coating types, click here!

Conclusion: For an epoxy river table, you'll need:

  • An epoxy seal coat—to remove air and prevent air bubbles.
  • A deep pour coat, made from Deep Pour Epoxy—this forms the river vein, which many users elect to tint with epoxy pigments.
  • A flood coat, made from Table Top Epoxy—this is your topcoat that will protect the entire project.

How many coats for a table top finish with embedments or a theme?

The requirements for a table top with embedments, pigments, or a distinct theme can vary greatly.

If you're just using pigments, dyes, or small embedments (e.g., paper mementos), you should do just fine with a single flood coat of our Table Top Epoxy, plus the usual seal coat.

For a project involving thicker embedded objects (e.g., figurines, marbles, etc.) or something with an elaborate theme, such as an ocean-themed table top, you may need multiple layers.

Thicker finishes can be achieved with multiple layers of Table Top Epoxy, or you can use Deep Pour Epoxy to fill things in, then Table Top Epoxy to topcoat the project at the end.

Conclusion: Customized finishes may or may not need multiple layers:

  • For thin object embedments, pigments, and dyes, a single epoxy layer will suffice.
  • For bulkier objects, a deep pour coat or multiple flood coats will be necessary for proper coverage.
  • For themed table tops, it's a case-by-case thing. Just take your time and measure the necessary thickness after affixing any objects to your substrate to determine the total finish thickness you'll need.
    A wooden epoxy end table.

Have questions? Want advice? Contact us!

We hope the information in this article has been of help to you. If you have any questions about epoxy table tops, or if you'd like assistance in planning an epoxy project, please reach out to us at UltraClear Epoxy—our epoxy experts are ready to assist!

You can contact us via phone or email here. During business hours, you can also text chat online with one of our resin specialists by clicking the Help button at the bottom of your screen.

In our online store, you'll find a variety of useful tools and supplies, ideal for resin projects, plus our award-winning UltraClear Bar & Table Top Epoxy and our UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy.

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