Deep pour epoxy resins, also known as casting epoxy resins, are used for creating unique crafts, jewelry, and other novelty items from molds, as well as clear encasings over items and “suspending” items.
Casting epoxy resin is distinctly different from coating resin which is used for enhancing objects made from materials such as wood, metal, and concrete.
River tables consist of two pieces of live edge wood with epoxy resin poured into the gap in between the two wood slabs, effectively giving the tabletop the appearance of a flowing river.
To successfully create a great-looking river table, it’s essential to use one of the best epoxy resin options.
Summary: Our Top Picks
Don’t have time to read? Click the links below to view our top picks:
- Deep Pour Epoxy Resin Kit Crystal Clear Liquid Glass
- Epoxy Resin Crystal Clear Art 1 Gallon Kit
- Upstart Epoxy 2″ Deep Pour Epoxy Resin Kit DIY
- Super Cast 1.5 Gallon Epoxy Kit (Stone Coat Countertops)
- Pourable Plastic Deep Pour Up to 2″ Thick
- EcoPoxy FlowCast 3L Kit Clear Casting Epoxy Resin for Wood Working, Tables, Counters
- Promise Epoxy – 3 Gallon Kit of Deep Pour Pourable Plastic
- Epoxy Resin Art Resin Crystal Clear Formula- The Artist’s Resin
Buying Considerations for the Best Epoxy Resin
There are several significant factors to consider before you choose which deep pouring resin is best for you and your epoxy resin casting needs.
Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned expert with epoxy or want to use epoxy for the first time, the same considerations must be taken into account if you want to buy the best epoxy resin.
Further, if your aim is to build a river table, there are additional considerations to think about before picking your deep casting resin (all of which we cover throughout the following sections).
Read on below, and explore the most important buying considerations for purchasing the best epoxy resin:
What is the Viscosity?
The viscosity of epoxy resin describes its resistance to flow.
In other words, the viscosity of a deep pour epoxy resin indicated how fast and smooth it pours and flows.
This factor is absolutely crucial to think about when picking the right casting epoxy for projects.
Viscosity is extra-crucial in choosing the best deep pour epoxy for river tables, as the outcome of this particular creation is meant to resemble an authentic flowing river.
How Heat Resistant is it?
The average deep pour epoxy resin melts at temperatures of 150F to 300F. However, products rated “heat resistant” may remain in solid form until they reach temperatures closer to 600F.
The exact degree to which any given deep pour epoxy is heat resistant often directly impacts the answers to some of the other primary considerations to make about epoxy resins before buying one.
For example, the temperature at which an epoxy resin melts, dictates its viscosity, its thickness, curing time, and more.
How Thick is it?
The thickness of epoxy resin, especially deep casting resin, is an essential factor to include in your purchasing decision.
Thickness is referring to how thick the resin is while pouring, as well as once it solidifies (in this case, as “flowing” rivers on your river tables).
There are few to no factors that make such a huge difference in which arts and crafts a resin is proper for, and help determine how long a proper curing process is than its thickness once poured.
The thickness of finished epoxy resin ranges from under .2 mil to over 250 mils.
What is the Hardness?
The hardness of the epoxy resin is determined by several other factors, including its primary ingredients, it’s viscosity, and thickness.
Hardness also helps determine what type of frame or mold may work best with any particular epoxy resin, or if one is even needed.
The hardness of epoxy resins is measured with the same scale as the scale that measures the hardness of wood (the Janka Hardness Scale).
The average hardness of epoxy resin rates 1450 on the Janka scale, including deep pour epoxy resins.
Resins with UV resistant materials added to them tend to rate softer, while many coating resins are rated much higher.
How Long is the Curing Process?
It is crucial to be fully knowledgeable about any potential resin you may want to work with, including how long the curing process is.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t experience different resins, of course, but that you should read the product’s description instructions, packaging, and labels thoroughly before attempting even basic projects (let alone something like river tables).
Exposing your poured epoxy to too much heat, for example, speeds up the curing process. But, with too much heat, the resin cures with a slightly yellowish-colored tint (rather than looking like clear liquid glass).
Is a Frame or Mold Needed?
If you are building river tables, you don’t need to worry about setting up a traditional mold or frame, because the live edge wood surface acts as the frame/mold for the epoxy resins flow.
That said, if you are purchasing a large amount of epoxy resin at one time, and plan to use it on more than just river tables, you want to read up on the product and make sure it is casting resin, not finish resin (or coating epoxy).
Whether or not a product is intended for deep resin molds is another factor you may want to look into (depending on the types of projects you plan to work on). Just check the label for “deep pour epoxy resin”.
Is it UV Resistant?
Most epoxy resins are not UV resistant on their own, which is it is so common for finished products made with poured epoxy resins to turn yellowish over time.
However, some products are made with extra ingredients that lend them UV-resistant qualities.
UV resistant epoxy resin typically has a low chemical heat reaction and slower cure time as well (but, don’t quote us on those facts, because they vary from epoxy brand to brand).
Just keep in mind, even epoxy resin products with “UV resistant” and claims like “resists stress cracking” aren’t guaranteed to hold up to prolonged exposure to sunlight and heat.
Is it Coating Epoxy or Casting Epoxy?
A huge mistake that is easily avoidable, for both experts and first-timers, is purchasing a coating resin rather than a casting resin.
So, make sure to double-check the product description and/or label for “coating” or “deep pour” epoxy.
If you are casting resin to make a river table, you may want to buy some extra resin for a finish coat in addition to casting resin.
The casting resin is used to create the “river”, but a coating of clear finishing resin helps give river tables a nice and shiny “finished” look.
Best Deep Pour Epoxy Resin for River Tables
Skill and intent alone are not enough to create great end results when you pour epoxy.
The quality of the epoxy resin you choose to use is one of the main determining factors of the quality of your final products.
Below, we discuss some of the current best epoxy resins available on the market for making a river table of your own:
Superclear Liquid Glass 2.0
This particular product sits at the top of our list of the best deep pour epoxy resin for making a river table for many reasons.
First and foremost that the manufacturer has been in the epoxy industry for over half a century.
Superclear Liquid Glass 2.0 is the newest version of FGCI’s most popular (and specially formulated) epoxy resin. It is made for working with everything from metal and wood to silicone molds and plastics.
Even more, thanks to the new crystal-clear formula and HALS stabilizer, this liquid glass is rated with the highest UV yellowing resistance on the market.
Crystal Clear Art Epoxy Resin
The Crystal Clear Art Epoxy Resin kit is designed for working with wood, concrete, silicone, canvas, flowers, and more.
The manufacturer has been making epoxy resin for over 40 years.
The product is not suitable for most metals, however, it is perfect for river tables.
This epoxy resin is odorless and formulated without any VOCS, so it is classified as a “naked” product.
In addition to pouring the epoxy also works amazingly with alcohol inks and for mixing epoxy resin with luminescent paints and pastes.
Upstart Epoxy Deep Pour Resin
The third epoxy resin on our list is another product that is perfect for river tables. The kit includes epoxy resin, an instructional video, a brush, and mixing sticks.
This Upstart Deep Pour Epoxy resin is designed primarily for wood and foam, it is not suitable for metal or ceramics.
This high-quality epoxy resin utilizes nano-crystal tech, giving your projects an ultra-glossy finish. It never fades, cracks, or fades into yellow.
Best of all, for those making river tables, Upstart Resin is one of the easiest to layer without bubbles.
Super Cast Epoxy Resin Kit
The Super Cast Epoxy Resin kit is another great product for a DIY river table.
It is also perfect for thick pours and filling large voids on wooden surfaces and table tops.
Super Cast Epoxy Resin finishes with a crystal-clear water resistant coating with little to no air bubbles.
However, you can create a colorful epoxy mixture by adding various mica powder pigments, liquid pigments, resin dye, or alcohol ink.
That said, it is suggested to add a final layer of stone coat epoxy resin to add an extra layer of protection.
Otherwise, your finished product may eventually yellow (at least a bit) if exposed to excessive amounts of direct sunlight.
Pourable Plastic Clear Casting Resin
The next epoxy resin, Pourable Plastic Clear Casting Resin, is designed almost exclusively for making a river table.
The product is ideal for all skill levels, includes zero VOCS, has low viscosity, produces low exothermic heat buildup, and is even food safe.
It is great for thick pours and if any air bubbles show up, a few minutes with a well-aimed heat gun quickly solves the problem.
Further, it also works well in general casting and embedding items and has a very low odor.
If you want to pour epoxy resin and build a river table, you can’t go wrong with this epoxy resin kit crystal pourable plastic.
EcoPoxy FlowCast Clear Casting Epoxy Resin
The EcoPoxy FlowCast clear casting resin is more than ideal to use as a table top epoxy resin (including for crafting a river table).
The epoxy is as transparent as high-end liquid glass when it dries, and requires no heat gun because it rarely produces bubbles (even for an extra thick pour).
But, if you prefer colorful epoxy table ideas, it is also possible to mix it with other ingredients (like metallic epoxy pigment, mica powder, and epoxy resin color pigments) to make superb colored epoxy with either a solid color or a glitter finish.
Another great aspect of this particular deep pour resin is that you can work the final product with basic woodworking hand tools.
Promise Epoxy Deep Pour Epoxy Resin
Incredible Solutions produces our next pick for the best resins for deep pour applications like epoxy river tables; Promise Epoxy Deep Pour Epoxy Resin.
This pourable epoxy resin is made in the USA.
It is truly a deep pour resin, making it ideal for various epoxy projects that require thick pours.
Promise Epoxy is also great for mixing with mica powder pigments to create different colors (perfect for art, crafts, and various projects like river tables).
If you choose to pour it without mixing mica powder in first, this slow cure epoxy resin cures with the same transparency as high-quality liquid glass.
The Artist’s Resin Diamond Clarity Epoxy Resin
The last item on our list, The Artist’s Resin Diamond Clarity Epoxy Resin, is perhaps our favorite pick to use for river tables and table top epoxy resin projects in general.
This expertly formulated self leveling epoxy resin lacks any volatile organic compounds and produces a practically bubble less finish.
That means epoxy pouring is rarely easier than it is with this particular deep pour resin, even when attempting extremely thick pours.
Even more, it allows for a 2-inch maximum casting thickness and works well with mica pigment powder or concentrated liquid pigments, making it perfect for river tables and other table top epoxy resin crafts and projects.
Common Questions (View Our Other Guides)
Below, we discuss all of the most significant questions people commonly have about deep pour epoxy resin (and how to choose the best epoxy resin for your river table):
- How Deep Can Table Top Epoxy Pour?
- What is the Deepest Pour Epoxy Resin?
- Can You Pour Epoxy 2 Inches thick?
- How Much Deep Pour Epoxy Do I Need?
- Deep Pour vs Table Top Epoxy Resin
- How Long for Deep Epoxy to Cure
- Can You Use Deep Pour Epoxy for a Top Coat?
- How Do You Get Bubbles Out of Epoxy Before Pouring?
- Do You Need Deep Pour Epoxy for a River Table?
- Should You Let Epoxy Sit Before Pouring?
- How Much Does a Gallon of Epoxy Cover?
- How to Pour Deep Epoxy (Step by Step)