Woodworking By LPI - does epoxy resin make wood projects waterproof

If you are creating a wood project in your woodshop for outside display you will need to consider how to protect it from the elements of weather. Rain, snow, or humidity can take its toll on your wood project over time affecting the finish and eventually penetrating the wood. To prevent the penetration of the wood you may want to consider sealing with an Epoxy Resin.

Coating your wood project with an Epoxy Resign will permanently seal the wood project and make it waterproof. Most Epoxy Resin products are a two-part solution when mixed together dries to a high gloss finish providing a beautiful finish for your wood project. It is expected when completely dry, it will protect your outside wood project for approximately two years before needing to be reapplied.

Epoxy Resin is a wonderful product and can be used in many ways as well as a total wood project sealer. It can be used with color to add more features to your wood project or also as an inlay to create an affect which compliments the wood project.

To best answer does resin waterproof wood, can epoxy be used as waterproofing, or is epoxy resin weather resistant we need to understand what Epoxy Resin is, as it can be confusing and overwhelming.


What Is Epoxy Resin

Woodworking By LPI - Applying Epoxy Resign

There are many different types of Epoxies and they come in a variety of products for different applications. However, during my research, I found that the term Epoxy means many different things. For example, there is Epoxy, Epoxy Resin, and an Epoxy Resin with an accompanying hardening agent.

It really can be very confusing. For woodworking projects, we recommend the two-part Epoxy Resin and hardening agent which are the safest, simplest, and easiest to use.

Not to go into the scientific aspects of what Epoxy Resin is, understand it is an agent which generally can be used as an adhesive and/or coating. If you want to know more about the specifics of what Epoxy Resign is you can check out the Wikipedia link here.


Recommended Epoxy Resin

Epoxy Resin

ArtResin – Epoxy Resin – Clear – Non-Toxic – 1 gal (0.5 gal resin + 0.5 gal hardener) (3.78 L)

  • Non-toxic when used as directed. (1 gal kit = 0.5 gal resin + 0.5 gal hardener)
  • No VOCs. No BPA. No fumes. Non-flammable. Certified food is safe.
  • UV and HALS stabilized for unparalleled yellowing protection
  • Easy to use 1:1 mixing ratio; 1 gal covers approx. 32 sq ft
  • High-gloss. Self-leveling. Formulated specifically for art. Made in USA.

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What is Epoxy Resin Used for?

Woodworking By LPI - Man With Question

Epoxy Resin is very versatile and can be used for different types of woodworking projects. The following examples are only a small sample from the multitude of possible applications with wood projects.

  • As an overall sealer – covering the entire wood product
  • As an inlay to create a spectacular effect
  • Can be colored to add the extra effect
  • As an edge – to create more options for style and effect
Woodworking By LPI - Epoxy Resign Table

Epoxy Resin has become very popular especially for its crucial use in the creation of wood and furniture. It is popular due to its unique characteristics, such as durability, adhesion, and other characteristics. With Epoxy the sky is the limit on what you can create.

Although Epoxy Resin is an excellent sealer and makes your wood product waterproof, you can get very creative with it. Inlays, edging and various color patterns for example are popular choices when using Epoxy Resin. So it is easy to say that Epoxy Resin is not just for waterproofing, but for visual effect as well.

Epoxy Resin Versus Polyurethane

When it comes to the choice of waterproofing your wood projects which is better Epoxy Resign or Polyurethane. When you get right down to it, it really depends on the purpose and personal opinion. Each of these has their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Thickness: When you use Epoxy Resin they typically build a coating thickness of 8 to 15 mils per application. Additionally, using the Epoxy Resin it is easier to level the application as it is a liquid and is self-leveling. Polyurethane will take several applications to build up a greater thickness and take a lot more time on your wood project.
  • Installation & Performance: Once you allow the Epoxy Resin to cure it provides a very durable, hard, and impact-resistant surface that protects your wood project. It is easy to install with the two-part Epoxy Resin and hardener and once applied and cured you are good to go. Polyurethane is about the same in ease of installation and the cure time is approximately the same.

Disadvantages

You may or may not know it but Epoxy Resin applications also have a downside. Although Epoxy Resin can protect your wood project from weather such as water and humidity, it is susceptible to UV light. Polyurethane coatings however are not as suspetible to UV light.

  • UV Stability: Polyurethanes provide great UV resistance. When used as a top coat over epoxy, they protect the underlying epoxy from yellowing over time. However, it may be noted that Polyurethane coatings, approximately 6 months to a year when exposed to direct weather, don’t last as long as Epoxy Resin and should be a consideration when choosing the Polyurethane coating solution.
  • Finishes: Epoxy Resign offers a great high gloss look when completed. However, you don’t have the options that Polyurethane does. Polyurethane finishes can provide a wide range from satin to semi-gloss to high-gloss.

Of course, the choice is yours, but I wanted to provide options for you to consider. Both with sealing and waterproof your wood project if your intent for your wood project is to be placed outside in the weather elements, but both have advantages and disadvantages.


Waterproof Epoxy Paint For Wood

Woodworking By LPI - Epoxy With Color

Are you looking to waterproof your wood project with color? There are many Epoxy paint options. As mentioned above this is a two-part Epoxy Resin solution but with color expanding your options to protect and be creative with your wood projects.

To affectively use the Epoxy paint solution there a couple of extra steps to consider.

Adding Color To the Epoxy

Epoxy Primer – You will need to add an Epoxy Primer as the paint cannot adhere directly to bare wood. Knowing this you will need to first prime your wooden surface with an acrylic latex primer prior to applying any paint. They come with the option of darker and lighter shades which allows you match to your wood project.


Recommended Epoxy Paint Primer

Adhesion Primer

Rust-Oleum Corporation 256261 Maximum Adhesion Primer, 1-Gallon, White

  • Water-base primer-sealer
  • Interior and exterior
  • Use with any topcoat, including solvent-based and epoxies
  • Outstanding wet adhesion in moist or humid environments

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Add Paint – This is where it gets exciting as you can use any color you want to either match your wood project or create a new wood project. Other options include mixing more than one color for a greater effect. Look at this as you would any paint project and how you would approach it with the consideration of color. You will want to use an oil-based paint as it mixes well and adds more protection to your wood project.

Once you have your color picked you can mix it with the Epoxy part of the two-part solution. Once you have your surface prepped for accepting your Epoxy add your hardener then apply to the wood project.


Recommended Epoxy Paint Products

Epoxy Paint

Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint, White


Sealing Wood Wood With Epoxy

Woodworking By LPI - Applying Sealer

Generally speaking when you want to seal your wood project with Epoxy it is straight forward. Much like when you apply a stain and sealer, such as Polyurethane, there are steps you need to perform first.

Let’s look at the steps you need to perform.

Prepping Surface With Sanding – Most wood projects and species of wood are not conducive to accepting Epoxy Resin applications right off the bat. You will need to prepare the wood surface to accept the stain, paint and eventually the Epoxy Resin. Sanding your wood surface to a smooth finish is crucial. If you want to know the details on how to sand your wood project you can get all the information here.

Once you have sanded your wood project you will need to clean off the surface with a vacuum and a microfiber cloth to ensure it is clean of debris and dust.

Priming (If You Are Using Paint) – If you are using paint it is a good strategy to use a primer for the best adhesion of your Epoxy paint. This will prevent penetration of the weather elements, such as water and humidity. More importantly it will prepare your wood project to accept the Epoxy Resin you are going to apply.

Apply Epoxy Resin – Once you have the surface of your wood project prepared you will need to mix the Epoxy Resin with the hardening agent. This is typically in a 1:1 measure method. Please note that when you mix your hardener into the Epoxy Resin you will have a limited amount of time to apply before the Epoxy Resin is no longer workable.

You can apply with a brush or a roller with provides the best results. Additionally, you will need to look at the surface and ensure that you have a consistent and level application so when the Epoxy Resin dries it provides the best affect and protection.

If you need help knowing how much Epoxy Resin to mix and apply here is a Resin Calculator which will help.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does a Waterproof Wood Finish Take to Dry?

There are many different finishes that dry at different rates. Things that impact the drying rate are outdoor temperature, and humidity and will play a part in the drying process. Oil finishes usually take longer to fully dry (24 to 48 hours), but sealants can usually dry faster. Drying times vary from 24 hours to 14 days.

Is Waterproof Sealant for Wood Long Lasting?

Generally, two years is the rule of thumb when you look at a sealer on wood projects. There are factors to consider, such as the location of the wood project and the amount of weather or exposure to the elements they may get.

Is Wood Oil Waterproof?

Wood Oil provides water resistance, not waterproofing. If you are wanting to place a wood project less exposed to the elements such as an outdoor structure where it will not be directly exposed this may be a good solution.

Are Wood Waterproof Sealants Safe?

In general, they are safe to use as long as you take precautions such as a well-ventalated area and the use of Nitro gloves. Some of the products can be a little more toxic and contain VOC’s which may require the use of a mask. Consult the directions and manufacture instructions prior to using.

Are Interior Sealers Good for Use Outdoors?

The general rule of thumb is interior sealers are not for outside use. The primary thing to consider is UV protection. For example a Polyurethane is a good solution for outdoor use, however will require another application within a years time. Take into consideraiton the weather elements your exposing the wood project to and use exterior products when possible for best results.

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