Leaseman

Epoxy As A Topcoat

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Most of you guys and gals probably know the answer to this question but I've never seen it anywhere. Can you use epoxy resin in the same way you might use polyurethane as a clear top coat after applying a wood stain? Poly is a common way to protect after staining a project but it would seem applying epoxy with a brush would offer more protection when building things with soft wood like pine, Douglas Fir, etc. As I mentioned I've never seen this suggested before. Is there any reason this would be a bad idea?

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Epoxy has very poor UV resistance unless it specifically states that it's been formulated to be UV resistant. I wouldn't even use it indoors if there was a chance that sun shining through the window light will hit it. I think application would be difficult unless it's flooded on horizontally, and then it will just make it look like plastic, and who wants that?

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Epoxy is going to create a very thick plastic looking layer. Assuming an interior project most woodworkers don't like that sort of look and prefer a closer to the surface finish.

As far as adding more protection, I'm inclined to say generally not. For epoxy applications where strength increase is desired fiberglass is generally applied with the epoxy for strength and then top coated with a marine or UV resistant finish. Epoxy would add some strength but with out the fiberglass a thin layer of epoxy won't add much strength compared to a thick layer of poly.

With pine I've had luck with some thick brush on poly adding enough strength to withstand light daily use. If you want something to last a hardwood should be used. There is little that can be applied to a surface that will compensate for a weak substrate. The applications that can be added are going to be more expensive than the proper substrate.

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2 hours ago, Chestnut said:

Epoxy is going to create a very thick plastic looking layer. Assuming an interior project most woodworkers don't like that sort of look and prefer a closer to the surface finish.

As far as adding more protection, I'm inclined to say generally not. For epoxy applications where strength increase is desired fiberglass is generally applied with the epoxy for strength and then top coated with a marine or UV resistant finish. Epoxy would add some strength but with out the fiberglass a thin layer of epoxy won't add much strength compared to a thick layer of poly.

With pine I've had luck with some thick brush on poly adding enough strength to withstand light daily use. If you want something to last a hardwood should be used. There is little that can be applied to a surface that will compensate for a weak substrate. The applications that can be added are going to be more expensive than the proper substrate.

Good input, thanks.

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I'm in the camp that doesn't use epoxy for a finish.  And because I don't like the plastic look, I don't try it.

However, I have a friend that does like epoxy finish (and bars often do) and his stuff seems to hold up well as an indoor (and out of the sun) finish.

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