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Published Sep. 11, 2021

Epoxy resin is a synthetic resin that, when mixed with a suitable curing agent, changes from a liquid to a solid. The curing process causes the resin to heat, and then to harden. Three primary uses for epoxy resin include adhesion, coating (sealing), and casting. 

Artists, crafters, and DIYers use the resin to cast jewelry and to preserve artifacts or items from nature by encasing them. In addition, some epoxy resins are suitable for sealing and coating concrete or stone garage and patio floors. Artists use epoxy resin to seal and coat paintings and other works of art. Additionally, the resin is a useful medium for creating a hard, high-gloss, water-resistant surface on table tops, countertops, bars, and river tables.

Most epoxy resins cure to a clear, hard state resistant to UV rays and water. Many artisans introduce color pigments to the material by adding mica powders, liquid dyes, or alcohol inks. We’ve researched the options available and these are our recommendations to get you started.

How We Chose the Products

Methodology

Epoxy resin is used for a wide array of projects that range from home maintenance to creative and artistic applications. With versatility in mind, we examined epoxy resins that are formulated to pour into casting molds for creating three-dimensional art objects and jewelry as well as products intended for coating artworks, furniture, and surfaces around the home.

  • Durable Finishes: Durable qualities of the cured resin, such as UV resistance, scratch resistance, hardness, and clarity scored high on our list of desirable characteristics. 
  • Beginners vs. Experienced Users: We considered epoxy resins that are suitable for use by beginners as well as experienced artisans. For beginners and children, we recommend easy-to-mix, non-toxic, odor-free, and food-safe options.
  • Kits with Included Tools: Many epoxy resins and hardeners are available in kits that include tools such as measuring cups, stir sticks, spreaders, and rubber gloves. With convenient kits, beginners can get started quickly with resin art.
  • Manufacturer’s Reputation: We looked for reliable epoxy resin products manufactured by companies with strong reputations for quality and customer support.
  • Size and Value: Most epoxy resins and hardeners are available in size options ranging from 8 ounces to 1 gallon. While we did not look for the least expensive choices, we did consider the value of the products with cost related to size.

The Best Epoxy Resin: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Naked Fusion Art Resin

Safety and High Performance

Naked Fusion epoxy resin is odorless and non-toxic for use pouring into molds or coating surfaces, It yields a hard, scratch-resistant, food-safe, final product. NAKED FUSION

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Why It Made The Cut: Safety and reliable quality are high priorities for the chemists who have developed and improved Naked Fusion epoxy resin over the past 40 years.

Specs: 

  • Work Time: 45 minutes
  • Cure Time: 72 hours
  • Suggested Uses: casting and, coating artworks, resin jewelry, tabletops
Pros:Cons:
  • Hard, clear, high-gloss finish
  • Needs to be warmed before use to reduce bubble formation
  • Non-toxic
  • Food-safe
  • UV-resistant
  • Artists, craftspersons, and everyday DIYers turn to Naked Fusion epoxy resin because it’s suitable for multiple projects, safe to use, and yields consistently satisfactory results. According to the Naked Fusion website, their chemists have continually improved the formula over 40 years to produce a high-quality formulation that’s user-friendly and high-performing.

    Easy to work with, this epoxy resin is odorless, non-toxic, and doesn’t contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or Bisphenol A (BPA). There’s no health hazard to breathing in fumes when working with Naked Fusion.  

    Naked Fusion produces a finished product that’s crystal-clear and rock-hard. The product also mixes well with mica pigments and pastes as well as alcohol inks to produce stunningly vivid colors. Pour it into molds for jewelry, coasters, keychains, and other small objects. Naked Fusion also works well for creating river tables and coating artworks, countertops, tabletops, and more. With a food-safe level of non-toxicity, it’s an optimal choice for coating cutting boards and other kitchen surfaces.

    After a 45-minute work period with the self-leveling liquid, Naked Fusion cures to a hard, high-gloss, solid state in 72 hours. The final product is resistant to scratches and fading or yellowing from ultraviolet (UV) light.

    Best Value: DR. CRAFTY Clear Epoxy Resin, 2-Quart

    Budget-Friendly and Reliable

    Available at an economical price, the DR. CRAFTY epoxy resin kit includes everything needed for a successful DIY resin project. DR. CRAFTY

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    Why It Made The Cut: Priced at the lower end of the scale for epoxy resins, DR. CRAFTY offers value with this versatile product that receives positive reviews from thousands of users.

    Specs: 

    • Work Time: 45 minutes
    • Cure Time: up to 72 hours
    • Suggested Uses: Seal paintings, make river tables, coat tabletops, make  jewelry
    Pros:Cons:
  • Suitable for coating and casting
  • Heat gun needed to eliminate air bubbles
  • Non-toxic
  • Not food-safe
  • Kit includes necessary accessories
  • Not odorless
  • Hard, crystal-clear finish
  • With a 1:1 mixing ratio and easy-to-pour consistency, DR. CRAFTY epoxy resin is a favorite of many craftspersons, artists, and at-home DIYers. Available in large quantities at reasonable prices, users can stock up on this epoxy resin for numerous future projects. Each kit includes one bottle each of resin and hardener as well as two 16.9-ounce measuring cups with pouring spouts, two large mixing sticks, and two plastic spreaders. 

    After mixing equal parts of resin and hardener, users have approximately 45 minutes of work time at room temperature. When the pouring and spreading steps are completed, DR. CRAFTY recommends using a heat gun to eliminate air bubbles and imperfections. The self-leveling liquid cures to a hard, clear, and UV-resistant solid state in about 72 hours.

    Although this epoxy resin is non-toxic, it does have an odor. Users who are sensitive to the smell may use respirators. Additionally, the company states that this product has not been tested for food safety. Avoid using it on kitchen countertops, cutting boards, and other items where it might come into contact with food.

    Best for Casting and DIY Jewelry: Puduo Epoxy Resin Clear Kit

    Casting Resin for Artists

    Especially formulated for artists, Puduo resin for casting boasts an 8-hour curing time before jewelry pieces and art objects can be released from their molds. Puduo

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    Why It Made The Cut: Formulated with artists in mind, Puduo epoxy resin mixes and pours easily into molds to create jewelry and art objects. 

    Specs: 

    • Work Time: 40-50 minutes
    • Cure Time: 8 hours to de-mold, 24 hours full curing
    • Suggested Uses: Create jewelry, home decor items, art objects
    Pros:Cons:
  • Quick cure time
  • Not tested for food safety
  • Crystal clear, hard finish
  • Some users report more than eight hours needed before de-molding
  • Kit comes with all necessary tools
  • Easy to mix
  • Formulated especially for artists, Puduo epoxy resin works well when it’s poured into casting molds. It boasts a shorter-than-average cure time, so creators can enjoy their finished projects in record time. Art pieces can be de-molded after only eight hours, and full curing is accomplished in a mere 24 hours. 

    Beginners as well as experienced artists can achieve satisfactory results with this easy-to-use epoxy resin. It mixes with a 1:1 ratio of resin to hardener, and the kit includes all the necessary tools to get started. With four measuring cups, three stir sticks, and a pair of rubber gloves, artists and crafters can jump right into the imaginative world of resin art.  

    This epoxy resin cures to a clear, hard finish that measures 90+ HV on the Vickers hardness test. Puduo manufactures the resin and hardener in a facility registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) although that doesn’t mean that the product is food-safe.

    Best for Kids and Beginners: ArtResin Epoxy Resin

    Odor-free and Non-toxic

    ArtResin epoxy resin ticks all the boxes for safety around children, and it’s equally useful for adult beginners as well as experienced artists. ArtResin

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    Why It Made The Cut: Thanks to its non-toxic, odor-free, food-safe, and non-flammable characteristics, ArtResin epoxy resin promotes peace of mind when it’s used by children or inexperienced artists and crafters.

    Specs: 

    • Work time: 45 minutes
    • Cure time: 72 hours
    • Suggested uses: Casting jewelry and small objects, coating artworks
    Pros:Cons:
  • Non-toxic and food-safe
  • Tendency to produce air bubbles
  • Odor-free, no fumes
  • Not suitable for large applications such as countertops
  • Non-flammable
  • Stays clear, doesn’t yellow
  • Parents, teachers, and caregivers are cautious about allowing children to use potentially hazardous materials. ArtResin epoxy resin is formulated with safety in mind, and children, as well as beginners and experienced artists, can achieve stunning results with this product. 

    ArtResin contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and no Bisphenol A (BPA). It’s odorless and doesn’t exude harmful fumes. Additionally, this epoxy resin is non-flammable and food-safe. Anyone (including children) can work with the material safely while following instructions. 

    With a self-leveling capability, ArtResin produces a hard, clear, high-gloss finish that lasts a long time. Hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS) protect the cured epoxy resin from photo-oxidation that might otherwise result in brittleness over time. Additionally, the cured material is resistant to ultraviolet (UV) light, so it stays crystal clear and doesn’t yellow. 

    Mixing is simple with a 1:1 ratio of resin to hardener, and this epoxy resin pours easily into molds for jewelry and small art pieces. It’s equally useful for coating artwork, sealing paintings, and forming a hard, clear surface on wooden art pieces.

    Best for Tabletops: Pro Marine Supplies Clear Table Top Epoxy Resin

    Champion for Coating Wood

    Known for producing a hard, water-resistant, UV-resistant finish on wood, this epoxy resin also works on many other surfaces. Pro Marine Supplies

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    Why It Made The Cut: With roots in the boat-repair world, the folks at Pro Marine understand how to produce a high-quality epoxy resin that seals and coats wood, resulting in a strong, hard finish.

    Specs: 

    • Work Time: 45 minutes
    • Cure Time: at least 72 hours
    • Size: 2 quarts each, epoxy and hardener
    Pros:Cons:
  • Coats multiple surfaces
  • Exudes a mild odor
  • Self-leveling
  • Not intended for casting
  • Minimal air bubbles and imperfections
  • UV resistant, scratch resistant
  • Although Pro Marine Supplies clear tabletop epoxy resin is well suited for coating wood, it’s also effective for coating many other surfaces, including laminate, ceramic, porcelain, cork, acrylic paintings, watercolors, and more. This versatile product is best used for large projects rather than for casting small pieces like jewelry. 

    Originating as a boat repair company in 2009, Pro Marine Repair soon realized that the public wanted high-quality epoxy resin for applications extending beyond the world of boats. Pro Marine Supplies was established in 2013, and offers technical assistance, detailed instructions, and video tutorials to help users achieve expert results with their resin projects.

    Pro Marine crystal clear epoxy resin exhibits self-leveling capability that minimizes the formation of air bubbles and other surface imperfections. After a 45-minute work time, the resin cures to a clear, high-gloss finish in 72 hours. It’s water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and resistant to ultraviolet (UV) light. 

    Use this epoxy resin for all types of wood applications, including countertops, bars, furniture, plywood, reclaimed wood, bamboo, and butcher block. Pro Marine also covers hard surfaces such as ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, copper, and marble. Additionally, it works as a sealer coat for paintings, photos, and puzzles.

    Things to Consider Before Buying an Epoxy Resin

    Epoxy resin is a versatile medium that serves multiple purposes for crafters, artists, and home maintenance achievers. Anyone who is considering a purchase of epoxy resin should first take into account the job at hand along with their level of expertise.

    Type of Project

    Artists and craftspersons who plan to pour epoxy resin into molds for making jewelry, coasters, plaques, keychains, and art objects will want to purchase casting resin. Its low viscosity (ability to flow freely) makes this type of resin especially suitable for casting projects. On the other hand, those who plan to coat and seal paintings, wooden objects, and other surfaces will want a coating resin whose higher viscosity facilitates those processes.

    User’s Experience Level

    Inexperienced users may want to purchase epoxy resin kits that include all the tools necessary to get started. Additionally, beginners might look for easy mixing instructions with a 1:1 ratio of epoxy to hardener to minimize the chance of errors.

    Safety Precautions

    Work areas should always be well-ventilated. Even so, those who plan to work with epoxy resin indoors may want to investigate odor-free options rather than products that exude a strong smell. For projects that involve coating kitchen surfaces (such as countertops or tables) or items that come into contact with food (such as cutting boards), a food-safe epoxy resin is a necessity.

    FAQs

    Q: What’s the difference between casting resin and coating resin?

    Casting resin is formulated for pouring into molds, and coating resin is generally thicker, intended for applying to surfaces. Some epoxy resins may be used for both purposes.

    Q: Can I use epoxy indoors?

    Yes. Make sure your area is well-ventilated and follow manufacturers’ instructions. When sanding the cured epoxy, use a dust collection system and wear a mask.

    Q: Does epoxy resin have an odor?

    Some epoxy resins are odorless, but many do have an odor that can linger for 24 hours up to several days. Always provide ample ventilation when working with epoxy resin.

    Q: Is epoxy smell harmful?

    Inhaling fumes from epoxy frequently or over long periods of time may result in irritation to the airways. However, when epoxy resin is used according to manufacturers’ directions in a well-ventilated environment, the smell should not be harmful.

    Final Thoughts

    From small projects to big ones, epoxy resin offers a versatile medium for artists and DIYers to fabricate 3-D objects or to create hard-surface coatings on existing objects. Safety is always an important consideration, and users should carefully follow manufacturers’ instructions when working with epoxy resin. Used appropriately, epoxy resin is a functional medium for both utilitarian and artistic projects.

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