Although this will be an incomplete list, I want to give a couple types of epoxy to be used for different projects. I am going to order the list by project (river tables, table tops, art/jewelry, garage floor) so you know what to do for your specific pour. Below are the best epoxies for each type of project.
Best Epoxies for DIY River Tables:
- EcoPoxy Liquid Plastic
- Chill Ice 2
- West System
Best Epoxies for DIY Table Tops:
- Pro Marine Table Top Epoxy
- Incredible Solutions Table Top Epoxy
Best Epoxies for DIY Art and Jewelry:
- Art Resin
- Art ‘N Glow
Best Epoxy for Garage Floors:
- Colored Epoxies
Below I include information and reasoning for why I chose each type for this prestigious list. Having experimented on many projects and other types of epoxy, I want to share some knowledge for those searching.
Best Epoxies for DIY River Tables
EcoPoxy Liquid Plastic:
If you’ve been following epoxy river tables for a while, you know without a doubt that EcoPoxy is one of the top performers and most popular to be used.
Pour thickness: this is a large part of any DIY river table, nothing is more annoying than mixing and pouring every few hours for a long period of time, that just leads to more possible mistakes and issues. EcoPoxy Liquid Plastic has a pour thickness of 1.5″. This is a good depth for a lot of tables and at most you would need to do a second pour to reach desired thickness.
Durability: EcoPoxy Liquid Plastic is commercial grade. Assuming you’re doing a wood project, you should expect the wood (in most cases) to break before the EcoPoxy will.
Cost: EcoPoxy is definitely not the cheapest on the market. Their store on here on Amazon has it ranging from $170 for 4L to about $290 for 12L.
Extras: EcoPoxy, as its name suggests, is probably the most bio epoxy on the market. This means it’s more natural, and safer than probably any which is why it takes the top spot on this list. On top of that, you can find it in local stores using this finder which may save you some time and money.
Chill Ice 2
One of the other leading epoxies, particularly among many national brands, Chill Ice 2 may need no introduction.
Pour Thickness: The best on the list, Chill Ice 2 allows for pours up to 2″ thick. This may be able to even be stretched at the right temperature with some fans – but at 2″ you are likely to not need a second pour anyway.
Durability: Chill Ice 2 is on the level of the most durable epoxies out there, expect a well-built table to be able to last you 20 years if you make it correctly. There won’t be any issues on this front.
Cost: It is sold mostly by people who use it, which makes it more difficult to find and more expensive. Despite this, it can be found here on Etsy at a pretty reasonable 3L for $155. I suggest searching, however, I know there are some better deals out there for larger volumes.
Extras: One of the top features I like about this epoxy is the fact that it is essentially bubble free. It is made to allow all the bubbles to escape quickly and without the use of a torch like is commonly done.
West System is a little less popular and I would argue underrated. I’m not really sure why, because it is a great option, but a little more option-heavy when deciding what you need. There is a great chart here that explains on the hardeners that go with the base resin, but you will probably just want the 105 and 205.
Pour Thickness: This is the main downside of West System, it should not be used for thick pours like the other two epoxies on this list. I believe this is what causes it to be used less for table projects. If you don’t mind pouring multiple times, this may be the best option.
Durability: Very durable. This was created for major repairs, boats, floors, etc… you won’t have that issue.
Cost: It is about the same price (slighly cheaper) than the other two before it. Pricing at the time this was written at $145 for about 1.2Gal (4.5L) which makes it a better option on a budget for a smaller project.
Extras: Pumps. This is such a nice feature. You just do equal pumps of the hardener and base resin and you have no mess, no cleanup, just the right ratio. This is genius. Also having all the hardener options is great for allowing this resin to be super versatile on projects.
The Best Epoxy Resins for DIY Table Tops
For these two I won’t compare as drastically all the differences since they are so similar, but just give a little info on each one and why I like them.
Pro Marine Table Top Epoxy
Pro Marine is a super reputable brand, and they have put out a great table top epoxy. I have enjoyed seeing this create great coffee tables, bar tops, and embedding objects in table tops.
One of the best features about Pro Marine is how well it fits into divots and knots in the wood, self leveling well to make these appear great without ruining the top. I also love how it is UV resistant – this is huge if it’s in a room that gets a lot of direct sunlight! As for cost, you can get this pretty affordably on Amazon for about $60 a gallon.
Incredible Solutions Table Top Epoxy
This was my first ever epoxy I used. In more recent times, it was used on this coffee table. I love how clear it is, and it self-levels super well. It is very similar to the Pro Marine but I think has a little higher gloss to it. It is right on par for costs, costing just about $65 for a gallon.
Best Epoxy Resins for Art and Jewelry
Art Resin is a little higher-end. It has a VERY clear finish which makes it super great for embedding things into jewelry and arts and crafts. I love using this for clear coasters, paperweight, and other items that hold things like flowers in them. You can still get it affordably in lower quantities here.
Art ‘N Glow
This is a very affordable art resin, though it still works great. In my experience it is not quite as clear as Art Resin, but works great for if it will be colored you won’t see a difference at all. One of the things it boasts about most is the ability to have glow-in-the-dark pigments and work well. This is a super affordable and low quantity resin.
Best Epoxy Resin for Garage Floors
Hands down, this is the way you want to go. It is not only affordable, but top rated, super durable, and currently I don’t know of any that come close to this product.
I love that it is colored already, so you don’t have to worry about coloring it, you can pre-purchase the type of floor you want. Although, you can get clear and customize it – check out my resources page on pigment powders for my recommendation for that.
It has a ton of help, videos, tutorials, instructions and more to get you going.
Cost-wise, you can get gallons on gallons of this at fractions of the cost of the others discussed today. Currently the going rate is $180 for a 3 gallon kit, and $900 for a 15 gallon kit.
I haven’t taken pictures or videos of me doing a garage floor, but I intend to do another soon and will make a full-length post about that soon.
For other common questions about these DIY projects, check below and my other posts.
What Does it Cost to Make a DIY Epoxy River Table?
Depending on the size of the project, type of epoxy, and type of wood, there is a range of $50-$2000 to make a good table. Smaller projects, such as end tables and coffee tables, will cost about $50-$200. If you are doing a large dining table or conference table, expect a minimum of $500 to do it well. The in-between cost of $200-$500 would be for making something like a desk.
Of course, this is a rough estimate. You are going to want to consider a lot more factors when thinking cost of a table, this article can help you figure it out to a better extent.
What Does it Cost to Coat a Surface with Epoxy?
Coating a table, desk, or bar top is surprisingly affordable. On average, at 1/8″ thick of a pour, you can cover about 12 square feet per gallon. Each gallon of table top will cost about $60-$70 making it very affordable for such a job.
Using something like Pro Marine or Incredible Solutions table top, this means you could do most tables with a gallon, and a decent sized counter top with 2 gallons. Just remember, if you want to do a second pour, do it while the surface is still slightly ‘tacky’, this will allow for bonding with the pours for a seamless 1/4″.
How Much Does it Cost to Epoxy a Garage Floor?
The average garage floor will cost about $200 to cover with epoxy. Of course, this is assuming a standard 2 car garage. A gallon of Colored Epoxies will typically cover 150 sq. ft. of a floor.
Using the Colored Epoxies I mentioned earlier, the 3 gallon kit very easily covers a standard 200 sq. ft. garage with plenty left over for any counter type surface you may want to match it.
I hope this was helpful. Picking out an Epoxy for your next large project can be daunting. Always remember to get a little extra and do a small pour first – to test and see for yourself how it goes. Feel free to drop a comment with any questions!