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Primaloc Answers: Table Top Epoxy and Regular Epoxy—What's the Difference?

Epoxy resin is a remarkable substance that transforms from a liquid to a solid state once its individual components are mixed together to initiate a curing process.

Epoxy as a category represents a variety of different types and variants, each tailored to specific applications, and among these variants is the iconic table top epoxy. This is the most common type of epoxy resin and also the type we at Primaloc specialize in with our premium Bar & Table Top Epoxy.

Table top epoxy is specifically designed for coating and protecting surfaces like furniture (e.g., coffee tables), fixtures (e.g., bar tops), and it's even used in creative endeavors like resin art and crafting jewelry.

For this Primaloc Answers article, we'll be focusing on the differences between Table Top Epoxy and what some mean when they say "regular epoxy".

Table Top Epoxy and Regular Epoxy—What's the Difference?

To begin with, it's worht noting that table top epoxy is often what people mean when they talk about "regular" epoxy. This type of epoxy is self-leveling by nature and exhibits thicker viscosity and higher durability than most other epoxy types, making it perfectly formulated for finishing surfaces that call for sturdiness, such as bar tops, table tops, and countertops.

However, not all table top epoxies are created equal. The quality of a table top epoxy can significantly vary depending on the ingredients' quality, which is frequently linked to the product's sourcing and manufacturing standards.

A wooden epoxy table top in a dining room.

Primaloc Bar & Table Top Epoxy: Top-Tier Epoxy Resin with Unmatched Strength and Clarity

At Primaloc, we pride ourselves on offering premium bar and table top epoxy. Our Primaloc Bar & Table Top Epoxy is engineered for superior performance, boasting remarkable strength, excellent chemical resistance, and complete waterproofing. It's crafted to endure various forms of wear and tear, ensuring lasting durability for your projects.

On the other hand, the market also features "budget brand" epoxies, which many buyers find appealing due to their lower initial cost. However, while these might serve as a decent practice medium for resin art enthusiasts, they often fall short in durability and clarity once cured—and may even carry health or safety risks as a result of subpar production standards.

When shopping for epoxy, then, it's important to choose your brand carefully. Many imported products are sourced from locations that have weak health and safety regulation, and since they're imported to the U.S., they're not subjected to the rigorous safety and quality assurance that epoxy fully made in America is.

For long-lasting quality and ease of maintenance, especially in projects that demand longevity like table tops, bar tops, or countertops, steer clear of lower-grade epoxy options. Choosing a premium product like Primaloc's ensures that your creations stand the test of time with both functionality and aesthetic appeal intact.

A wooden epoxy table top in a restaurant.

How Does Epoxy Compare to Other Sealants?

As a sealant, epoxy is well-known to many professionals as one of the best options for a high-strength, low-maintenance finish. Still, there are certainly other sealants worth considering in most situations, some of which have their own unique appeal, others of which are simply lesser alternatives—both in quality and cost.

Below, we'll list some of the other common sealants, and explain a little about how they differ from epoxy resin.

Other Types of Sealants:
  • Hardwax Oil - This is a lighter option, suited for wood surfaces. Hardwax oil gives moderate chemical and moisture resistance to wooden substrates while retaining the tactile feel and natural look. It's lower in cost but requires routine reapplication and usually multiple layers.

  • Tung Oil - This sealant for wood provides very little protection outside of water resistance. It has a matte finish in appearance and also retains the tactile feel of the wood. Proper application involves multiple coatings and is best performed by an experienced individual.

  • Polyurethane Varnish - This varnish is similar to epoxy in that it cures to a hard smooth surface. It's tough, though not as tough as epoxy, and the resulting finish can also be sanded, polished, or buffed as desired to achieve a particular look. However, it tends to not bond as strongly and is more susceptible to delamination.

    Many polyurethanes have a tendency to yellow as time passes, though the rate of this and when it begins varies. Polyurethane is also better suited to indoor environments, away from the light of the sun and certain types of inclement weather.

  • Lacquer Varnish - Lacquer is a spray-on varnish typically applied to wood or metal substrates. It offers moderate protection to moisture and heat, and also provides a glossy look to the substrate material.

    There are multiple types of lacquer, though pre-catalyzed lacquer is preferable in most situations. It's cheaper than epoxy, but lacks the hardened surface and requires reapplication on a routine basis for optimal protection.
An epoxy table top in a dining room, surrounded by chairs.

And Still, None of Them Are Epoxy

At the end of the day, no sealant can protect from the wide array of damaging sources as well as epoxy does. With few weaknesses, epoxy is one of the best possible sealants for when the goal is to preserve your substrate for as long as possible while still allowing it to still be showcased for its inherent beauty.

Here are the advantages epoxy has over other sealants:
  • Durability: Epoxy provides an exceptionally hard, protective layer that is far more resistant to scratches, impacts, and general wear and tear compared to hardwax, polyurethane, or lacquer finishes. This makes it ideal for high-traffic surfaces or areas prone to heavy use.

  • Waterproofing: Epoxy creates a waterproof barrier that is impervious to moisture, unlike hardwax or lacquer that can allow moisture to penetrate, potentially damaging the underlying material. While polyurethane also offers good water resistance, it typically doesn't match the complete waterproofing capabilities of epoxy.

  • Chemical Resistance: Epoxy is highly resistant to various chemicals, making it suitable for environments where spills might occur, such as kitchens or workshops. Polyurethane and lacquer can provide some level of chemical resistance, but they generally fall short of the protection epoxy offers.

  • Aesthetic Clarity: Epoxy cures to a clear, glossy finish that enhances the appearance of the underlying material without yellowing as quickly as some lacquers and polyurethanes. While hardwax provides a natural look, it doesn't offer the same level of clarity or shine that epoxy does.

  • Longevity: Once cured, epoxy finishes are long-lasting and do not require frequent reapplications, unlike hardwax or lacquer, which may need to be reapplied periodically to maintain their protective qualities. While polyurethane is also durable, it may not last as long as epoxy in demanding conditions.

  • Ease of Maintenance: Epoxy surfaces are easy to clean and maintain, requiring only simple wiping to remove spills or debris. In contrast, hardwax finishes can require special care, and polyurethane or lacquer finishes might need more meticulous maintenance to prevent damage or wear.

Overall, while each sealant type has its place depending on the specific needs and desired aesthetic, epoxy often provides a superior balance of durability, protection, and visual appeal, making it a top choice for a wide range of applications.

A close-up view of a wooden epoxy table top.

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.

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