Three Things to Know Before You Buy Epoxy for Your Bar or Tabletop

Adding a clear-coat surface to a bar or tabletop with epoxy can be a straightforward process, as long as you know what to expect going in.

Lights in the distance
Two coats of epoxy resin will make almost any bar or tabletop smooth and shiny again.Photo by biDaala_studio on Shutterstock

Applying epoxy to a table- or bartop isn’t terribly complicated, but there are a few things to know before you get started. With the ticking-clock factor that comes with working with epoxy, there can be a tendency to rush and possibly do something wrong. However, if you’re prepared going in and take your time but work deliberately, the whole process should be relatively painless.

Ratio & Coverage

EPOXY Resin Crystal Clear 1 Gallon Kit
One gallon of mixed epoxy should cover between 12 and 16 square feet with a 1/8-inch coating.East Coast Resin

By their nature, epoxies are a two-part compound, consisting of a resin and a hardener. They come in separate containers and are mixed prior to application. Most epoxies used for surfacing a bar- or tabletop have a 1:1 ratio but be sure to take note of the ratio before buying. Also note the recommend coverage area for the amount of epoxy you’re buying and make sure it’ll be sufficient for the task at hand.

Two Coats

Crystal Clear Bar Table Top Epoxy Resin Coating for Wood Tabletop
If you want a surface coat that’s thicker than 1/8 inch, multiple flood coats will be required.Pro Marine Supplies

Most epoxies require a two-coat application. The first coat is called the seal coat and the second is the flood coat. The seal coat is just as it sounds and is meant to seal the surface. After applying, you’ll typically wait 4 to 6 hours (this can vary depending on the product) before applying the flood coat, which self-levels the seal coat for a smooth, uniform surface.

Tiny Bubbles

Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin One Gallon Kit
When popping bubbles that form in the epoxy, hold your heat gun or torch approximately 6 to 10 inches above the surface.MAS Epoxies

Be aware that it’s perfectly normal for small bubbles to form in your epoxy as it cures, usually in the first hour or so. You’ll need a heat gun or small propane torch to pop the bubbles for a smooth, clear finish.