Epoxy resin is a remarkable finishing choice for a variety of projects. Furniture like tables and benches, fixtures such as countertops and bar tops, and an endless variety of artistic concepts are all well suited to a high-quality epoxy finish.
But making a choice on how to finish your countertops or table top isn't one to make lightly, and it's good to have all the facts before deciding. One thing people often ask us about is how long the epoxy resin finish will last.
And it's an important question. How long does epoxy last? In this article, we'll explain what affects an epoxy resin's longevity, and give you our recommendation of the best epoxy resin for sturdy, long-lasting results.
How Long Does Epoxy Resin Last?
We consider there to be 4 essential factors which determine the effectiveness and longevity of an epoxy resin finish.
These 4 factors are:
- The brand of epoxy. A good epoxy brand will not compromise on ingredient quality or the time it takes to make a pure and strong epoxy resin.
- The environmental conditions. Where the epoxy is mixed or left to cure has a heavy influence on the resilience of the finish.
- The handling of the resin. During an epoxy project, it's important to perform each step properly. While the steps are not complicated, they do require the user to adhere to some guidelines to achieve an optimal outcome.
- Exposure after completion. Epoxy handles most environments very well. That said, there are some aspects that can affect the ultimate longevity of your epoxy finish, such as being left outside and consistently exposed to the sun.
Factor #1: The Brand of Epoxy
There is a tremendous amount of epoxy resin brands these days. Many of these are low-tier copies of the same product under an assortment of different brand names, and oftentimes, they're sourced from overseas, where they are subjected to far less safety regulation or quality assurance.
Unfortunately, this relatively recent development has made it much harder for newcomers to epoxy resin to find a clean, high-quality brand of epoxy that holds up long term. That's why it's so important to choose an epoxy resin from a credible source with a trustworthy reputation.
For most epoxy projects, your best bet will be a premium Bar & Table Top Epoxy. This type of epoxy has the strongest resulting finish, and lasts the longest in most situations, estimated to be at least 7 years.
Additionally, because a good epoxy resin will be made with good ingredients, you won't have a problem refreshing it with a new coat when the time comes, and their surfaces tend to be far easier to clean and maintain.
Factor #2: The Environmental Conditions
The environmental conditions that you perform your epoxy project in will have a significant effect on the epoxy's final state. Generally there are 3 aspects you need to control for:
- The temperature of the room.
- The humidity of the room.
- The cleanliness of the work space.
For temperature, we strongly recommend you keep the epoxy environment at 75°F or higher during the process. This will ensure the epoxy can cure adequately. If you're having trouble maintaining these temperatures, you can construct a temporary enclosure around the curing area with painters plastic, pvc, and duct tape; then just place one or a few space heaters within to keep that space warm.
For humidity, we suggest no higher than 60% during curing. This will prevent moisture from getting trapped in and allow you to avoid a murky, subpar finish. You can use a dehumidifier in many cases to reduce high humidity levels as needed.
For cleanliness, we just recommend that you keep the surfaces clean and prepare your work space ahead of time, by removing dust and other particles as best you can. This will help prevent such things from contaminating the epoxy batches or surface during mixing, pouring, and curing.
Factor #3: The Handling of the Resin
An epoxy resin project typically has 4 major phases to completion, and each one needs to be handled in certain ways for to ensure an ideal finish.
Step #1: The Seal Coat Phase
The seal coat phase is applicable for most projects in which you coat furniture or fixtures; these are things such as countertops, bar tops, and table tops.
A seal coat is smaller batch of epoxy that gets applied manually using a brush. It goes on thin and is just there to "seal" any porous surfaces. As the epoxy enters the pores, it pushes any air out, releasing it and preventing it from causing issues during the flood coat step.
Click here to learn more about epoxy seal coating.
Step #2: The Flood Coat Phase
During the flood coat phase, a larger batch of epoxy resin is measured and mixed. This batch is either big enough to cover your entire surface, or up to gallon in volume (the maximum volume we recommend for a single batch) if more than such is needed.
Once the batch has been adequately mixed, you'll carefully pour it onto your substrate surface to fully coat it in epoxy resin.
Step #3: The Air Bubble Removal Phase
After you've applied your flood coat, the next phase is to remove any air bubbles that manifest. This is done by holding a heated heat gun a few inches away from the resin surface and moving smoothly back and forth over the entire epoxy coating. The heat from the heat gun will be enough to burst any air bubbles, thus releasing the air, without damaging the epoxy resin itself.
While doing this, you'll need to avoid lingering. In other words, don't keep the heat gun hovering over a singular spot for more than a second, as the heat builds up rapidly and can reach a point of causing damage to the epoxy. Generally, the air bubble removal step doesn't take long at all.
Step #4: The Curing Phase
The curing phase is mostly hand-off. Once the epoxy resin has been poured and any bubbles removed, your next task is simply to allow it to cure on its own. Maintaining proper temperature is most important during this phase.
Typically epoxy projects, especially countertops and table tops, will require about 72 hours to cure adequately.
Be sure to follow the instructions written for your chosen brand of epoxy to achieve the best finish!
Factor #4: Exposure After Project Completion
Once the project is completed, there's still the matter of where it will be placed. Most indoor projects will have no issues whatsoever. They'll be fine in any room, and temperature or humidity are unlikely to bother the resin finish beyond extreme ranges.
However, for an outdoor epoxy project, there are additional considerations.
Direct sunlight, for one, can cause epoxy resin to gradually yellow over time. This doesn't necessarily weaken the epoxy's integrity, but most users find it offputting aesthetically. You work to prevent this by changing your clear resin to a tinted resin using epoxy powder pigments.
You can protect your epoxy from the sun by placing it in locations where direct sunlight won't reach or by giving it a shelter that blocks the sunlight.
Additionally, inclement weather can wear epoxy down gradually. Outdoor projects may be exposed to extreme temperatures and weather events that can affect the finish in different ways, usually starting with its appearance.
Most rough weather won't damage the epoxy, but it can make it dirty. You can easily clean your epoxy finish with just warm water and mild soap. Sometimes a hard surface cleaner may be needed for tougher grime.
Click here to learn more about cleaning epoxy surfaces.
So, how long does epoxy last?
Pretty long, in fact!
At a minimum of 7 years, a good epoxy that's well taken care of will last longer than nearly any other finish/sealant. It can also be easily refreshed with a light sanding and new coatings as desired, and it will preserve your substrate material from many types of damage, thanks to its highly durable surface and waterproofing, as well as moderate heat resistance.
If you want the best protection for your surfaces, you can't go wrong with an epoxy resin finish.
Primaloc Epoxy: Premium Epoxy for Premium Results
When it comes to epoxy resin, Primaloc Epoxy gets the job done. Our epoxy resin is premium-grade, with high performance in every category.
Epoxy resin can be beautiful, strong, and long-lasting—which is why you shouldn't compromise on quality. With Primaloc Epoxy Resin, you get the ultimate finish in durability and visual appeal.
Protect your surfaces by giving them a rock-solid epoxy finish. Choose strong. Choose reliable. Choose Primaloc.