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I have a dining table that I refinished with a tabletop epoxy product. I have one layer on it now and it is very glossy and I'm planning on putting another layer on top of it soon. I've been using it a while and noticed that because it is so glossy, I've noticed scratches and the like just dragging cups or plates on the table. Is there a coating that I can put on the epoxy after I put on my final coat that you would recommend that might either resist those scratches better or not cause them to be as noticeable? Would something like Odie's wax be good for this application?

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  • There's pretty much nothing you can use on top of epoxy that will be more resistant to scratching. Except perhaps a tougher epoxy. Epoxies are known for being tough (right up there in maybe the top three of all clear finishes) but obviously formulas vary. A really good one is nearly unbelievably resistant to scratching and minor scrapes. BUT this is with correct mix ratio, thorough mixing, and of course COMPLETE curing. So, how long ago did you apply? From the plan to apply a second coat it sounds a bit like you used it the table as soon as you could, which is never advisable.
    – Graphus
    Apr 6, 2023 at 17:05
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    "Would something like Odie's wax be good for this application" No. No wax product should be tougher than an epoxy, assuming the epoxy is even halfway decent. Wax polish do provide 'glide', which can help a little in reducing a tendency to scratch, but bear in mind two things 1) it's the toughness of the underlying finish that's most important, and 2) the unglazed rims of plates, mugs and other ceramic items are about the most abrasive things you have in your house because ceramics are so hard — harder than some commercial abrasives!
    – Graphus
    Apr 6, 2023 at 17:14
  • I think I used the table maybe 2-3 days after pouring the epoxy coating. I chose epoxy because I did think it would be the hardest and most resistant to damage. I think the high gloss finish just makes the scratches easier to see than many tabletops. I did see a product Stone Coat Countertops Ultimate Top Coat that both reduces the gloss and they show resistant to scratching with a penny, but Youtube can convince you any product is amazing.
    – dissonant
    Apr 7, 2023 at 1:23
  • "I think the high gloss finish just makes the scratches easier to see than many tabletops." There is an element to that yes, but it's not really what's going on here — like I say above, the right epoxy is nearly unbelievably tough. "maybe 2-3 days after pouring " That is not nearly long enough to resist direct wear from unglazed ceramic rings on plates and mugs! Take that as gospel. Did the product directions not say something about waiting a given time before light use and then give an indication of when it will be fully hardened? That would be normal for any well-documented product.
    – Graphus
    Apr 7, 2023 at 10:09

1 Answer 1

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There may be other things going on here (more on this below) but it seems clear that the main issue was that not enough time passed before the table was put into service.

A couple of quotes from epoxy manufacturers about curing and usage:

Best practice to wait until epoxy is fully cured before putting into use. [5-7 days]

Hard cure will take 72 hours depending on air temp, pour depth, width, length and overall epoxy mass. Sanding and shaping can be done after this time. Wait 7 days for light use. Product will continue to harden up to 30 days for a full hard cure.

I think any reliable product will actually state the final hardness you can expect (given as a Shore D number) e.g. 75 for Smooth-On Tarbender, 82 for both Total Boat TableTop Epoxy and MAS Table Top Pro Epoxy, 80-85 for Polycraft ClearTop 35 Epoxy Water Clear Resin System, 98 for Ultra Clear Epoxy Premium Epoxy.

I've noticed scratches and the like just dragging cups or plates on the table

The unglazed rims of plates, mugs and other ceramic items are about the most abrasive things you have in your house because ceramics are so hard — literally harder than some commercial abrasives — so you do need a good product if you hope to get a long service life, although you can expect that eventually some marring will result.

Bear in mind that there are factors which affect hardness and the speed of curing.

Factors that affect curing time include:

  • Mix ratio.
  • Thoroughness of blending.
  • Pour thickness.
  • Temperature.

Factors that affect final hardness include:

  • Mix ratio.
  • Incomplete blending.
  • Temperature.
  • Humidity. High humidity is not friendly to epoxy.
  • Moisture content of the wood.

So the key part of your Q is probably this:

Is there a coating that I can put on the epoxy after I put on my final coat that you would recommend that [will] resist those scratches better

A harder epoxy? Note that if you do choose to go this route you'd use this other epoxy as your final coat, since you'd be pouring on a full coat of it.

But I suggest the first thing to do is wait out the full cure time for the product you've used and see how it stands up to use then.


Just in case it's not made absolutely clear in the instructions for the product you used, it is now far past the natural recoat time. So you must sand/scuff up the surface lightly but thoroughly to prepare it for a second coat (regardless of which epoxy is used).

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