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Do you want to have a bar top that is long-lasting, beautiful, and unique? Why not create your very own Epoxy bar top. Epoxy is formulated to last a lifetime and is extremely strong and resilient, which is why it is perfect for a surface that will have food and liquids spilt on it. The epoxy will not absorb any drinks or food, as it is completely non-porous. Therefore, it will not stain or provide a breeding ground for bacteria, mold or mildew. Another benefit of Epoxy is that it is quite easy to keep clean and maintain. In this article, we will be revealing the most popular Bar Top Epoxy you can use on your next project.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Bar Top Epoxy Resin
- 2 What to think about when choosing the Best BarTop Epoxy?
- 3 What Type of Materials can you coat using Bar Top Epoxy?
- 4 How to make your Epoxy Bar Top?
- 5 Points to consider when applying your Epoxy Resin
- 5.1 The Surface of the old Bar Top needs to be thoroughly cleaned
- 5.2 Protect your Floor and Furniture by using some Protective Material
- 5.3 The first Layer of Epoxy needs to be thin as it forms a seal over the Surface
- 5.4 Your Epoxy Mixture will harden fairly quickly
- 5.5 Allow your first Layer of Epoxy Resin to harden before applying a second Coat
- 6 Advantages / Disadvantages for Epoxy Bartops on Kitchen Surfaces
- 7 How to keep your Epoxy Bar Tops clean
Best Bar Top Epoxy Resin
PRO MARINE Tabletop Epoxy
A popular and trusted brand of Epoxy Resin for most DIY fans is Pro Marine Supplies. Although they are one of the newer suppliers of Epoxy Resin on the market, they have already gained the trust of their consumers for the quality of their products. In this article, we will be concentrating on one of Pro Marines most popular products, Crystal Clear Bar Table Epoxy Resin.
This Epoxy Coating Kit is perfect for any coating needs you may have. It is supplied with a hardener, which when applied onto your wood surface leaves you with a lifelong durable coating.
Not only is it suitable for bar tops, but with its high-quality, it can be used on any wood surface or furniture including artworks. Once properly dried the high gloss appearance brings beauty and life to your furniture.
To add to all these excellent properties, this product gives your wood UV protection and is also water-resistant. Because of its UV protection, it makes it possible to use on any outdoor equipment or furniture. Also, it allows you to display your artworks anywhere you like.
Being extremely durable, the epoxy becomes scratch proof and as such is the perfect product to use with families that have pets or small kids. So, by using the ProMarine product you can expect to have amazing lifelong results.
There is the added advantage for those who want to use the product where food is involved, the FDA has approved it as food safe. So, you can easily use this Epoxy Resin on your dining room table, trays, or any other type of furniture you use in your kitchen. There is only one exception, it is not recommended you use on any wooden spoons in the kitchen.
EAST COAST RESIN Epoxy Resin Crystal Clear
If you are in a hurry and you want to do a quick DIY project, then East Coast Resin is the product to use. The resin cures must faster than other resins and only takes 16 to 20 hours to cure completely.
Do keep in mind, the more layers you apply the longer it will take to cure. Nevertheless, it still cures faster than the other resins. When you are coating any outdoor equipment, it is advisable to apply several layers.
The East Coast Resin can be used for any outdoor or indoor equipment, and it gives you a smooth and crystal-clear finish as well as covering up any crawling, craters, fisheyes, or trickling. Also, the East Coast Resin will bring out the life and vibrancy of your countertop surface or any other wooden surface and leave you with an extremely transparent finish.
- Flawless crystal clear super gloss coating for table tops and bar tops
- UV, scratch and water-resistant
- Safe and odorless, extra easy to apply
One main advantage of this resin is that it is nearly odorless. The East Coast engineers recommend that you can use this resin without having to wear a mask, even when used in a confined space. This means that you can work with this product all day without it affecting you.
The East Coast manufactures have a committed Research and Development Team that guarantee the quality of the product. They make sure the product meets all the required standards, and as such is a better product than all other types of resins.
On top of all of this, the product is UV, scratch and water-resistant and is more versatile and superior to all other resins. East Coast Resin is also food safe and can, therefore, be used for any of your DIY projects in the kitchen, such as tabletops, coffee tables, countertops, and bar tops.
RTG Bar Top Coating and Table Top Epoxy (Gallon Kit)
Are you a supporter of durability alongside beauty? Then RTG Bar & Table Top Resin is for you. There is not another resin that can produce the type of polished finish like RTG can. The effective finish RTG has, makes the surface appear wet even although it has dried properly. This resin is pourable and produces an ultra-clear and super-hard finish that can resist stains, scratching as well as yellowing.
When you use RTG Epoxy Resin you will be able to modify your countertop or tabletop by embedding whatever you like. This includes magnets, money, bottle caps, or whatever souvenir or keepsake you choose, as they will all look amazing underneath the RTG Coating.
Another main advantage of RTG Resin is that it is easy to use, even a novice will have no difficulty in using it. You simply take the resin and hardener and mix them at a 1:1 ratio and pour onto your prepared surface.
When you pour your RTG Resin you may find some bubbles forming, but most of them will pop on their own. If some of the bubbles remain under the coating, you will have to use a hot air gun or hairdryer to remove them.
Because the RTG Resin can repel heat, it is an excellent coating for using on surfaces that are in your kitchen. You can put any hot food on it, as it is capable of withstanding up to 125° F or 52° C. It is not advisable to put a cup of hot coffee or a really hot saucepan directly onto its coated surface.
What to think about when choosing the Best BarTop Epoxy?
Maybe repairing the wooden surfaces of your furniture in your home is new to you? You need to be aware of certain things before you purchase the best quality of epoxy to use. There are a few especially important factors to think about, which will help in choosing the best epoxy for your needs.
When buying your Epoxy Resin, one thing you need to keep in mind is the coverage capacity of the Epoxy. This calculation will show you how much epoxy resin you will need in ounces, gallons, or pints, to cover the total surface of your project.
There is a general rule for this calculation that states 1 Gallon mixed (1/2 of resin and 1/2 of hardener) will cover 12 square feet when applied at a thickness of 1/8 inch. However, different brands, as well as manufactures, will differ, so read your manufacturing instruction carefully. The ultimate coverage for the resin is 25 square feet, however, this is very rare.
Most of the resins on the market give you approximate coverage, and by using this you will be able to work out how much you need for your project.
If you have ever worked with resin before, you will know that sunlight can damage your epoxy surface if it is not UV Resistant. It does not take exceedingly long before your beautiful crystal-clear epoxy surface turns yellow.
Most of the epoxy resins are supposed to be UV Resistant, so please make sure when you buy, it says so on the label. Already purchased an epoxy resin that is not UV Resistant. You can still use it, but your project will need to remain indoors away from the sunlight.
To create a glossy finish on your project is a personal preference, but it does make the wood more appealing. The gloss also brings out the clarity and brightness of the wood and is one of the main reasons why artists and DIY enthusiasts use epoxy for their projects.
The crystal-clear resins provide a great finish, but there is also the glass finish resin that gives you a mirror finish, which may also be something you are looking for.
Ease of Use
When you are a DIY enthusiast working with wood, then something easy to use is always appealing. The ratio of mixing your products not only assists the DIY person but also the professional, so the 1:1 ratio is what is important. If the mixing is not done correctly then the resin will not cure properly, and your project will be a failure.
Water damage is one the worst things that can happen to your wood, even a small amount of water can be detrimental to your wood surface or furniture. Therefore, when buying your epoxy resin, make sure that it is water-resistant, especially if you are going to coat furniture that is to stay outdoors. Not only will it save your furniture, but the glossy look will last for a very long time.
When you see scratch marks on your newly finished epoxy coating, it spoils the whole project. This becomes an even greater risk when you have small children or pets in your home. No need to worry, as there is an answer to this dilemma. You can use an epoxy coating with a scratch-resistant property, this will prevent the possibility of your furniture suffering this type of damage.
When applying your epoxy, you need to end up with a blush free finish. What does this mean? Blushing is a surface defect that appears on your epoxy coated surface and is caused by a chemical reaction taking place with your epoxy resin. The effect on your epoxy coating; it leaves a white hazy or spotty appearance, which naturally gives you an extremely poor gloss finish and will also cause discoloration.
Ensure that the epoxy you buy is completely blush resistant. Most manufactures these days produce epoxy that is blush resistant. Another tip to help you when you are applying your epoxy resin is to ensure that before you start, the surface you want to coat is completely dry. This will guarantee that you end up with a beautiful blush free finish on your wood.
What Type of Materials can you coat using Bar Top Epoxy?
Epoxy coating is largely used for refurbishing or renovating a product. Once coated, your kitchen bar top, bathroom tabletops, as well as your floors, can look like new again. Nobody can just go out and purchase ready-made epoxy bartops, laminated bar top, or marble or granite slabs. They need to be fitted into place in your bathroom, kitchen, or wherever you want it to be.
It is interesting to mention that Corian is described as a resin-based bar top material, which is supplied in solid sheets. Just so, epoxy is also described as a solid-surface bar top material. However, epoxy resin is a far more popular choice for reconditioning your furniture, as it is long-lasting and robust.
Laminate bar top epoxy has the ability to resists scratches and can give you years before it starts to fade or grow dull. Not only that, but epoxy resin can also stand up to most of the cleaning materials on the market today without losing its shine or gloss.
Some bar top materials you can coat with epoxy:
You will very seldom find that epoxy bartop is used on granite, laminated bar tops or marble bar tops, as these materials make use of a far better process to refurbish their surfaces. Another advantage of using epoxy resins is that they can recreate the same look like marble or granite, but at a fraction of the price.
Many people have concrete bar tops and epoxy resin is extensively used for sealing the surface. On the market today there are a lot of different types of resin epoxies as well as many different brands available, but you need to know which one to buy that will be perfect for your bar top projects.
How to make your Epoxy Bar Top?
If you are a DIY enthusiast, then making your epoxy bar top clear coat will be quite simple. All you need to do is mix your resin with your hardener. Your resin, as well as your hardener, are both liquids and after mixing they turn solid.
The two main disadvantages of DIY epoxy bar tops are that it is a fairly messy job. Also, the epoxy hardens quite quickly so you need to work fast. We will be discussing the pros and cons of this process in greater depth later.
Apart from this, once your epoxy bartop has been installed, you will have a beautiful smooth bar top clear coat. The coating can either be crystal-clear or textured, using an epoxy product of your choice. Depending on how many layers of epoxy you have used, there is the option of applying a 1/8-inch protective coating. This will make your project glossy and smooth.
There is always the option of hiring an epoxy resin professional to do the job for you, or you could also buy a complete epoxy bar top kit. By doing the job yourself, you will save a lot of money and will be able to do your one-of-a-kind designs, transforming your kitchen or bathroom bar tops. However, it is a lot of work and the final results are not always as you predicted.
Points to consider when applying your Epoxy Resin
The Epoxy Resin Bartop process requires careful preparation, proper mixing, and then correct application of the resin onto your bar top.
The Surface of the old Bar Top needs to be thoroughly cleaned
Dust or rubbish on the surface can be sealed into the epoxy resin. This could be visible or even cause your bartop surface to be rough and uneven.
Protect your Floor and Furniture by using some Protective Material
When your epoxy has been mixed, it flows like syrup and may run over the edge of your bar top onto the floor or your furniture. Many epoxy resin artists use a wooden barrier around their bartop surface, which will prevent the epoxy from flowing onto the floor or damaging your furniture.
The first Layer of Epoxy needs to be thin as it forms a seal over the Surface
After you have mixed your epoxy resin with the hardener, you pour it on to your bar top surface. This first layer is fairly thin and seals the surface, it is referred to as ‘flooding’. It also assists in reducing the risk of air bubbles.
Your Epoxy Mixture will harden fairly quickly
Once you have mixed your epoxy resin you will have around 20 to 30 minutes to work before it starts to cure. If you find some air bubbles appearing on the surface, remove them straight away with a blow torch or dryer. Applying the heat will cause the air bubbles to come to the surface.
Allow your first Layer of Epoxy Resin to harden before applying a second Coat
The hardening of the epoxy layers will take a couple of hours before you can add the next layer. Wait 24 hours, your epoxy should properly cure in this time, and you will then have a beautiful new finish on your epoxy bar top.
Advantages / Disadvantages for Epoxy Bartops on Kitchen Surfaces
It is a great idea to apply epoxy resin to the bar top surfaces in your kitchen. However, there are some disadvantages you should consider before you decide to go ahead with this project.
Pros for Epoxy Bar Tops
It provides a long-lasting Resin Finish
Once your epoxy has cured properly, you will have a solid smooth durable surface. Epoxy finishes always provide a shine that lasts forever, whereas varnish and other different types of coatings will always need to be refreshed to keep up the appearance. The Epoxy Resin finish always keeps its shine and gloss, which is not the case with many other bartop coatings. The epoxy does not crack, scratch, get damaged or lose its shine easily.
Has a high-glossy Finish
If you are one of those people that love a glossy, shiny high polished finish on your surfaces, then Epoxy Bar Top is for you. You cannot get a better smooth and lustrous finish. You may find after a long time that you need to revive the high-gloss appearance, which is easy to do by applying some mineral oil.
The Design Possibilities and Appearances available are unlimited
When using epoxy bar top resins, the design potential is limitless, as it is a very versatile material. This means that any color or any pattern you envisage, you will be able to create it.
Provides a seamless Surface
Epoxy Resin is the only bar top material that can provide you with a seamless finished surface, for uninterrupted patterns and colors.
It is quite safe to put a hot cup of coffee or a hot pot on your epoxy bar top surface and it will not damage it. However, remember if you leave it there for a long time, it will damage your surface, as epoxy resin is heat-resistant, but it is not heatproof. You can always make use of coasters for your hot coffee or pot to prevent any damage to your bar top surface.
Food-safe and non-toxic
Most of the epoxy bartop products are food safe, as well as non-toxic once they have cured properly. When you are mixing your epoxy resin, it does contain certain chemicals that are called VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), so be careful and only work in a well-ventilated space.
Remember, these chemicals still has an effect a couple of days as it slowly evaporates. All of the trusted epoxy resin brands try to limit these harmful chemicals in their products.
Extremely easy to keep clean
You will not cause any damage to your epoxy bartop surface when you use any of the cleaning products on the market. You can also be assured that your bar top will be free from bacteria and mold, as it has a non-porous surface.
The cleaning agent we recommend is Puracy Cleaner as it is non-toxic, natural, and very effective in removing any type of grime or grease from your bar top surface.
Cons for Epoxy Bar Tops
It is messy and not easy to apply
Applying Epoxy Bartop is a very tricky and difficult task, making it the main contender as a con. Many people look at photos of epoxy bar top resin, but it is not as easy for you as a DIY artist to produce those same results. If you are new to this type of project and have never worked with epoxy bar top resin before, but you want to redo your existing bartop, understand that it is going to be a difficult and messy job.
We recommend that before you start with such a major project, do a little practice first on a surface that you do not mind messing up. When you start to apply your epoxy bar top resin, you need to apply it evenly, otherwise, you will end up with an uneven bumpy surface and lots of air bubbles.
So, take care or else you will find that you need to remove the whole epoxy material you poured and will have to start over again, costing you time and money.
Most of the epoxy bar top resins are supplied as ‘self-levelling’, which means they flow over the whole surface of your bar top and then flow over the edge, which is how your epoxy levels itself. As you can imagine, this means the epoxy drips off the edges of your bar top surface making a lot of mess.
Applying Epoxy Bartop is very time-consuming
Not only is it a messy and difficult task, but it also requires a great deal of time and effort. At the outset, it requires a lot of time to first prepare your bar top surface, if you want to create a perfect job. You will need to first remove all the marks and stains on your bar top surface by sanding it down.
You will also need to cover your whole working area around your bar top with plastic or some other type of protective sheeting. Also, you need to protect all the surrounding furniture like your kitchen sink, cupboards as well as floors and walls. You can put wooden boards all around the edges of your bar top surface, as the epoxy will flow over the edges when it levels itself.
We do suggest that you buy plastic sheeting that is pre-taped, as it makes it a lot easier to apply over your cupboards, furniture, and walls. This type of plastic sheeting has a pre-taped top edge, so you can quickly and easily apply it. When it comes to protecting your floors, we suggest you use something a lot heavier like a tarpaulin, as it does not tear easily.
When you pour your epoxy bar top resin, try to avoid air bubbles and any flaws. Remember, it will take about 24 hours for your epoxy to cure properly. As you can see, making your DIY epoxy bar top surface is not as easy and quick as you would have imagined.
The Process does not give you a second Chance
When you apply your epoxy bar top resin, you have the opportunity to create many patterns and colors, but you need to take time to first prepare. Think it through, what do you want it to look like when it is finished. Otherwise, when it is completed, you might be disappointed with the outcome.
Your efforts of epoxy coating your bar top can be considered a pro and a con. A pro, as you find yourself creating amazing and individual designs and works of art. A con, because you might not be satisfied with the finished work and it is not what you had in mind in the beginning.
If this happens to you there is always the option of redoing your project, but it will cost you more time, money, and effort apart from the mess you created in the first place. So, if it is your first attempt, we suggest you keep to plain and simple colors, patterns and designs.
Some of the epoxy products on the market today give you varying and unreliable results and surface finishes. As soon as you start to pour your epoxy bar top resin, you will see the defects in the quality of the epoxy.
For example, the epoxies that are cheaper tend to be runnier, whereas the more expensive epoxies are a lot thicker. When you use a cheaper product, it will result in a thinner layer of epoxy and may cause you problems later on.
We suggest you learn more about the epoxy finish you want before you buy your product. Then be sure to read all the reviews regarding those particular products and whatever other information you can find.
Epoxy tends to stain
We all know that epoxy is long-lasting, but it can form stains quite easily if you fail to clean it satisfactorily. Whenever drinks or food is spilt on the surface, clean it straight away or else you run the risk of permanent stains.
How to keep your Epoxy Bar Tops clean
The surface of your epoxy bar top is one of the easiest surfaces to keep clean. The majority of the cleaning materials available can be used without fear of damaging the surface, but you need to keep a few details in mind.
Avoid any abrasive Cleaning materials
If you use materials of this nature you could be in danger of scratching, marking the surface, or causing it to leave a dull look. Therefore, we suggest you do not use waxes, polish or scouring pads to clean your epoxy bar top surface. An excellent cleaner that we suggest for use on all epoxy bar tops, is Puracy Cleaner.
Keeping its brilliant shine or gloss
Performing an easy maintenance task is recommended. Take some quality mineral oil and apply it to the surface of your bar top on a weekly or monthly basis. The oil will help to keep the shine or gloss on your surface but be careful not to use too much or it will have the reverse effect.
Using too much oil gives you a cloudy appearance, if you have put too much oil on, simply wipe it off with a clean cloth. We have stated earlier that epoxy finishes can easily stain, which will depend largely on the quality of the epoxy product itself. This mainly applies to the cheaper epoxies, as the more expensive or top brands do not have this problem.
How to avoid staining on your Epoxy Bartop Surface?
As soon as you see a spill on the surface clean it up with some paper towel or a wet washcloth. By applying a baking soda paste to the surface, you can assist in preventing stains from forming on your epoxy bartop surface. If you notice a stain after it has been there for some time, you may still be able to remove it before it causes any permanent damage.
Take 4 parts of baking soda and mix it with 1 part of water, then apply the baking soda paste directly onto the stain and leave it for about 5 minutes. You can then wipe the paste off with a clean cloth and hopefully, the stain will be gone.
If this method fails to remove the stain, then there is still one more option that may work. Take some acetone or paint thinner which can help to remove coffee, berries, and wine stains. Wet the cloth with the acetone or paint thinner and gently rub over the stained area in a circular movement. Not successful with the first attempt, simply rub it again but use a little more pressure.
Warning: never use Bleach
When trying to remove a stain never use bleach, as the bleach will create its own stain on top of your original stain.