A wooden epoxy countertop

When constructing furniture or art using epoxy resin, people often choose wood to serve as a bonding surface, also called a substrate. Wood comes in numerous varieties, many of which are considered attractive, but most of which have a few particular weaknesses.

Below, we'll explain how epoxy helps make up for wood's natural flaws while preserving wood's strengths and enhancing its beauty.

Wood makes an excellent substrate for epoxy resin

When the components of epoxy resin are mixed together and poured onto a surface, the mixture attempts to bond with that surface, slowly hardening through chemical reactions, a process called curing.

Epoxy adheres best to dry surfaces that are porous or textured, such as wood. When mixed epoxy resin is added to a porous surface, first in the form of a seal coat, it seeps into these tiny holes and slowly cures. Though these porous surfaces require just a little more attention and care during the crafting process, the end result is a sleek, seamless epoxy coating with a tight bond to the substrate it is bound to.

Epoxy resin is great for filling holes and grooves in wood

An epoxy bar top with a live edge

Some types of wood are particularly striking. Their natural forms are usually desired for their aesthetic qualities; in lumber form, wood like this tends to have knots and other peculiarities that contribute to its unique appearance. The downside is that these characteristics tend to give it an uneven shape and can be a structural liability without support. Thankfully epoxy can resolve these issues and make such wood safely usable for heavy furniture and other goods.

Covering wood with a layer of epoxy allows you to fill in any voids it happens to have while also smoothing out the roughness of its surface area. Small spaces can be covered with typical table top epoxy, and for larger spaces, you can use deep pour epoxy to fill them in neatly. Deep pour epoxy can even be used between large, irregular chunks of wood. This premise is how river tables are constructed.

The epoxy enables less common wood to be used in projects such as epoxy countertops, table tops, benches, etc., with the goal being to display the wood's inherent beauty while also being sturdy and functional.

Epoxy is very protective of wood surfaces

Quality wood that has been processed can be treated in different ways (e.g., with lacquer) to give it some level of protection, but with most of these, the wood will still be vulnerable to water damage, scratching, or even accidental impact damage from dropping something sharp or heavy on it. Applying epoxy to the wood provides a higher level of protection than other options, while still showcasing its appearance.

Some of the benefits epoxy brings to wood:

  • High impact and scratch resistance - Good quality epoxy has a very high hardness rating. For table top epoxy, this hardness is tested using the Shore Type D hardness scale. Our own UltraClear Table Top Epoxy received an extremely high 98 out of 100 rating on this scale.
  • Water protection - It's no surprise that wood can be damaged by water. The porous, organic nature of the material is quite absorbent. Water softens it and can introduce decay and rot. Coating dry, clean wood with epoxy will safeguard it from this moisture damage, as epoxy is linearly smooth and prevents liquids and water vapor from permeating its surface.
  • Stain resistant and easy to clean - After hardening, epoxy becomes very stain resistant. Spills and residues are easy to remove from the smooth surface even with basic, gentle cleaning supplies.

Epoxy embellishes the natural beauty of wood

A wooden epoxy dining table

There are two common types of epoxy resins used to coat wooden furniture: table top epoxy and deep pour epoxy. Both of these epoxies are clear epoxy resins. After their components are mixed and have finished curing—provided that they were handled properly per their instructions—they will have a transparent, glasslike finish; anything directly behind or beneath them will still be visible, unobscured.

This is ideal for attractive materials like wood. Epoxy also enhances the look of such materials; colors will appear less faded and more vibrant, and the epoxy itself can optionally have its inherent glossy finish altered to a matte finish to suit the owner's preference.

Have questions or want project planning advice? Call us!

Here at UltraClear Epoxy, we strive to provide the best possible customer service.

If you have additional questions not answered above, or if you need help planning an epoxy project, you can call or email us through our contact page here. You can also text chat with one of our experts directly on our website by clicking the help button at the bottom right of your screen.

Epoxy project planning

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