Resin produces heat when the two parts are combined. That’s a fact.
While heat can be a good thing when eliminating bubbles, too much can lead to excess shrinkage and cracks when making river tables.
The trick for success is to stick with a well-known resin product perfectly suited to your planned project and explicitly following the package directions.
Here are some favorites for river table projects of different sizes:
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- Best Overall Epoxy Resin for River Tables
- Best Value Epoxy Resin
- Best for Small Tables
- Best for Large Tables
- Best Epoxy Resin for Top Coat
- Best Epoxy Resin River Table Kit
- Best Colorant for Resin
- Related Questions:
- To Conclude
Best Overall Epoxy Resin for River Tables
A river table makes for a beautiful addition to any space. But that’s only if you get the effect just right.
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Deep Pour’s Epoxy Resin Kit comes with viscosity for effective thinning. It does so through bubble releasing that assists in ensuring a defect-free finish.
Fit for a variety of casting applications, expect quality UV additives and premium components that protect surfaces.
Deep Pour promises less yellowing due to its specific top-grade formulated additives.
- High resistance to yellowing.
- Takes a variety of pigments well.
- An ultra-clear finish – not prone to bubbles.
- Superior wet-gloss effect.
- Adding too much pigment will negatively affect the cure.
- When not used exactly as directed, cracks or shrinkage may occur.
Best Value Epoxy Resin
Your best epoxy resin makes the job easy. From moldability to self-leveling, you want a high ROI with an easy production.
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FGCI’s SUPERCLEAR Epoxy Resin Crystal Clear kit is a go-to for mica pigment, casting resin, river tables, live-edge tables, and varying countertops.
The process promises to be water and scratch resistant.
The product is mass-dependent. That means the hotter the solution gets, the faster it will cure. That’s less time you have to work.
When mixing, be sure to apply one part curing agent and two parts basin resin and measure by precise volume.
Pour into a mixing bucket and mix by hand for no less than three minutes and no more than five. Scrap the sides while you mix.
When pouring don’t scrape the sides. This will have an unwanted impact on unincorporated, unmixed portions that cling.
- Water resistant.
- Scratch resistant.
- May harden prematurely.
Best for Small Tables
Smaller projects won’t require larger and more expensive epoxy products.
That’s why we recommend another SUPERCLEAR product for perfecting small tables.
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This is a compact version of the above product at less price. Expect an easy-to-implement dispersion of liquid or mica powder pigments, alcohol dyes, and inks.
SUPERCLEAR’s Resin is the answer for a nice light finish with a pale wood, like white oak. It brings the color out of a material in interesting and subtle ways.
Before using this epoxy, be sure that your material is sealed and dry.
Max thickness in casting will vary based on material temp, shop temp, mold material, project dimensions, and mix quality.
Do a thorough review of your project before you buy an epoxy.
- Works with most pigments and dyes.
- UV resistant.
- May fail to set for larger projects.
Best for Large Tables
The bigger the surface, the more you have to pay attention to the application of your epoxy.
That’s why I’m suggesting a familiar epoxy as the best for large tables.
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No, this is no error. The Deep Pour Epoxy Resin Kit managed to land two spots on this list.
For large surfaces, you have to speed up the process, spreading your epoxy with a foam brush or trowel.
On average, epoxies level between 1/16 of an inch to 1/8. You don’t want to go thinner. Once spread, leave it to dry.
When it’s hardened, if you still want a thicker layer, apply another coat of epoxy. The next layer does not require waiting until it’s completely cured.
Typically, surfaces become hard to the touch after a few hours. That’s the time to add fresh layers. In the end, you’ll be pleased with the final results.
- Pours up to 2 inches.
- Easy mix ratio.
- May take longer to set depending on the environment.
Best Epoxy Resin for Top Coat
Your top coat makes your surface shine. This is especially true if you’re dealing with decals, art, or embedded objects.
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TotalBoat is an epoxy coating for wood, concrete, and art. It provides a clean finish, a foundation for everything from external elements to beautification.
TotalBoat cures smoothly and requires no blushing. Upon full cure, it guarantees 100% waterproofing and will be yellowing, scratch, and stain resistant.
You’ll get professional results on:
It’s a simple four-step process:
- Prepare the surface.
- Pour the mix.
- Spread the mix evenly.
- Remove bubbles.
The results will impress professionals while the ease of use is great for the DIY-er.
For the pesky bubbles, the manufacturer suggests a butane torch or heat gun set low. Do a slow sweep over the surface until bubbles dissipate.
- Scratch, stain, yellowing resistant.
- Clear, high-gloss finish.
- Temperature sensitive, don’t mix in a cold environment.
Best Epoxy Resin River Table Kit
For the DIY-er checking out the benefits of epoxy, you want a kit that’s simple and versatile. Here are two perfect solutions.
Beginners: Epoxy Resin Kit for Beginners
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The Epoxy Resin Kit for Beginners comes with 15.5 ounces of crystal clear casting and coating epoxy resin.
Safe and odorless, these resources are self-leveling, nontoxic, and self-degassing. They’re UV resistant, nonflammable, and nonhazardous. T
he kit is high gloss and long lasting. Once cured, you’ll have a solid foundation and exceptional color stability.
- Includes all you need, including 32 mica colors.
- Easy mix ratio.
- Not suitable for deep river tables.
Larger Kit: TotalBoat DIY Epoxy River Table Project Kit
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For this one, TotalBoat took the “Total” seriously. This is a DIY kit for the consumer who wants to get right to work.
TotalBoat puts everything you’re going to need to create a river table in one package.
Your project can be a live-edge around a single piece of wood or one that runs between two pieces of wood.
TotalBoat’s kit really has everything. Pumps, microfiber towels, heat gun, packing tape, mixing cups, a pack of assorted colors, and more are all included.
- Includes all you need (specific for river tables).
- May have a strong odor.
Best Colorant for Resin
One great aspect of using epoxy kits is the ability to personalize your projects with unique colors.
Whether you use dyes or pigment powders, it can be fun to play with hues to get the perfect looks.
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With the Epoxy Resin Pigment Set from Limino, you can alter the direction of a project with a single drop of dye.
Each color (15 in all) comes with no-leak features and a nozzle for no-mess distribution. The nozzle gives you full control of your color’s saturation and gloss.
These solutions make brilliant colors while remaining crystal clear (not including white and black color dyes). You can experiment, blending hues to achieve new colors.
- Fifteen colors.
- Easy control nozzle.
- May require more product to get vibrant pigmentation.
Pigment Powder: Soap Shop Mica Powder Set
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Soap Shop mica powders give a superb finish to all your handmade projects. Their Epoxy Resin Dye promises an organic and natural return of vivid colors.
You get an even two dozen (24) powders. These powders are made with soap-making quality in mind, so the pigments are fast melting and won’t migrate.
The products do not absorb in the skin and leave no traces, so you don’t have to worry about being too hands on with your river table project.
Once applied, they do not fade or lose brightness.
- Opaque and shimmery options.
- Only need to use small amounts.
- Can get messy.
Here are some commonly asked questions.
How Much Epoxy Resin Do I Need for a Table Top?
It’s not written in stone, but the general rule is your coats should cover 12 square feet per mixed gallon.
That’s 1/2 gallon Part A and 1/2 gallon Part B for a 1/8 inch thickness.
Is Table Top Epoxy the Same As Resin?
Both are applicable to the same types of projects for the most part.
The biggest difference is the intended usage. Resins are for coating. Epoxies are for molds.
As gorgeous as river tables are, they really aren’t that complex to create, even if you are a complete beginner.
As long as you have the right resin and are familiar with the basics, like how to remove air bubbles (explained here) and which pigments to use (see your options here), you are more than capable of creating something magnificent.
Just carefully plan your project first before buying your resin so you’ll know which one will work the best.