A closeup view of an epoxy bottlecap table top, made using UltraClear Table Top Epoxy.

With so many different epoxy brands, and so many different types of epoxy, it can be tough to sort through the noise of it all to find the right products for your goals.

Epoxy resin exists in a variety of different variants, each tailored to specific use cases to provide an optimal finish. Addtionally, there are many different brands that cut corners on their epoxy resin production process in order to offer it at a lower price by compromising on quality or safety.

In this article, we'll talk about which epoxy resin to use for various types of tables, so that you can make the right call with confidence.

What is the best epoxy to use for a table top?

The first thing to consider is what kind of epoxy table top you intend to make. Here's a list of common epoxy table projects:

  • Standard tables—just a regular table with an epoxy coating.
  • River tables—a table top with an epoxy river vein sealed by an epoxy topcoat.
  • Tables with embedments—an epoxy table containing embedments
  • Layered epoxy table—an epoxy table with dynamic layers (often tinted)

Let's take a look at each one.

A wooden epoxy table top with a flower vase resting on the surface.

Table Top #1: A standard epoxy resin table top

The most common type is simply an ordinary epoxy table top—such as a conventional dining table.

For this type of table, the process couldn't be simpler; simply apply a seal coat of epoxy, then a flood coat, remove any air bubbles, and let it cure. It's the shortest process with the fewest steps.

For a standard epoxy resin table top, the best epoxy to use is our UltraClear Table Top Epoxy.

This epoxy is the most durable and longest lasting finish you can get. It's highly receptive to colorants during mixing, allowing you to imbue the epoxy with beautiful shimmering hues. Otherwise, it can be left clear for a pristine glasslike appearance to go with its rock-solid surface.

Table Top #2: An epoxy river table

An epoxy river table is similar to a typical table top, except that it has at least one epoxy "river" vein. Generally, a river vein is a thick layer of epoxy poured into a deep groove or open space within the substrate. Most river veins run the full length of the table, from one end to the other, but this isn't necessary.

The most common example of a river table includes using two large slabs of wood with a live-edge space between them which is then filled with epoxy to bind them together.

For a river table, you'll likely want to use two epoxy resins—deep pour epoxy and table top epoxy—however, you can get away with one if you don't mind slightly lower durability and a little more maneuvering.

The first, and most essential, is deep pour epoxy. This resin is used for creating epoxy "river" veins. These river veins are often tinted with colorful pigments, though they can also be left clear or filled with embedments.

For a river table top, our UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy is an exceptional choice. You can then apply a topcoat of our Table Top Epoxy to your river table, which will give it unmatched durability and longevity.

Click here to learn more about Deep Pour Epoxy.

Table Top #3: Tables with embedments

A table top of any sort can also include embedments within the epoxy resin finish, and the size of these embedments can affect which type of epoxy you use.

For thin, small embedments, such as coins, bottle caps, and paper memorabilia, you can probably stick with a good table top epoxy, whereas to include larger embedments into your finish, you'll likely be better off with our UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy, which can be applied in layers, up to 2 inches in depth.

Embedments are a great way to decorate your table top by taking advantage of epoxy's distinct features, which allow you to preserve mementos, souvenirs, coins, and many other types of objects within the epoxy coating.

For instance, with a typical epoxy table top, many users like to create what are called bottle cap table tops. These are table tops with a layer of bottle caps that get affixed to the substrate prior to the pouring of epoxy resin.

These bottle cap embedments can be arranged in distinct patterns or be arbitrarily placed for a less structured look.

Ultimately, you can make this type of table top with almost any type of object. The key factors are understanding size limitations, and—if you wish to go beyond a typical table top epoxy thickness—considering the use of a deep pour epoxy, which will make it much easier to submerge the embedments without issue.

Table Top #4: Layered (themed) epoxy tables

Our final table top concept in the list is the layered epoxy table. This type of table can be made with either epoxy type, depending on what you choose as a theme (if any).

For a layered epoxy table, you generally want to choose a theme, and then follow through on that theme using multiple layers of epoxy—often tinted with pigments or dyes—and likely some relevant embedments to add extra flair or flavor to the theme.

Some easy examples of a layered table are ocean-themed tables, which use layers of differently colored epoxy batches to present the image of ocean waves. These ocean-themed tables often incorporate sand and seashells to imply a beach setting.

A layered epoxy table top has a tremendous amount of potential, with the catch being that they take some extra time and effort.

See more epoxy table top ideas in our Table Top Suggestion Box article!

An epoxy river table with embedments and an aquatic nature theme.

Additional Resources

We hope the information in this article has given you some ideas on how to proceed with an epoxy table top project.

Here are some additional resources you may find useful:

Have questions? Want advice? Contact us!

If you have any questions about which epoxy to use, 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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