Easy Steps to Apply Resin on Wood - Guide for Beginners

  • Resin Art 101
  • Posted by: carson-rutz
  • Nov 1, 2023

Resin on wood is a popular trend in the field of DIY enthusiasts and home decoration. The combination of the glossy, translucent resin with the natural beauty of wood creates a stunning and unique piece of art.

However, how to apply resin on wood? In this article, we will explore the process step-by-step and provide tips and tricks to help you achieve successful results every time. Let's dive in right now!

Step 1: Selecting Wood

Choosing a suitable kind of wood for your project
Choosing a suitable kind of wood for your project (source: etsy)

Can you put epoxy on wood table? The answer is definitely yes! Before starting your project, you have to choose a wood type that is suitable for your project.

  • Hardwoods with gorgeous grain patterns and longevity, such as walnut, maple, and oak, are preferred options. These hardwoods can withstand the pressure and weight of the resin without getting damaged easily.
  • Softwoods like pine or cedar can also be used, but it is important to note that they may be more prone to dents and scratches. 
Wood Type Characteristics


High durability and hardness, beautiful grain pattern


Durable, strong, long-lasting wood, 

uniform color, good resistance to decay



Deep color, good durability, diverse grain pattern


Lightweight, easy to work with, simple grain pattern


Naturally resistant to rot, decay, and moisture absorption

Doesn't warp or split 



Soft, flexible, and relatively durable

*Note: Before applying epoxy resin to wood, make sure that the wood has a moisture content below 12%. Excessive moisture can cause problems such as bubbles, mold mildew growth, or delamination when it comes into contact with epoxy resin.

Besides, you should thoroughly examine the wood for any cracks, impurities, or defects that could potentially hinder the resin application process. These flaws might have a major impact on the result and overall quality of the resin project.

Step 2: Preparing the Wood Surface

Preparing the wood surface before applying epoxy resin will help you do your project faster and more efficiently. We highly recommend 2 ways below: 

Sanding and Smoothing the Wood

Prepare the wood surface to ensure optimal resin application
prepare the wood surface to ensure optimal resin application (source: mirka)

Sanding the wood surface is necessary to provide a smooth and consistent surface for the resin to adhere to. This step helps remove any rough edges, imperfections, or previous finishes that may hinder the resin from adhering properly. 

  1. Begin by removing any rough areas or defects with coarse-grit sandpaper (about 80 - 100 grit).
  2. Progressively advance to sandpaper with a finer grit (such as 220 grit) to attain a smooth surface.

*Note: Always sand in alignment with the natural wood grain to avoid scratches. The video below will guide you on how to properly sand wooden surfaces

Cleaning and Removing Dust and Debris

Cleaning and removing dust and debris from wood surfaces
cleaning and removing dust and debris from wood surfaces (source: the handyman’s daughter)

After sanding the wood surface to remove dust and debris, you wipe it with a microfiber cloth or vacuum to ensure the surface is clean and dust-free before applying resin. Besides, you also should wipe the corners and crevices to ensure a completely clean surface. If you opt to dampen the cloth to remove the dust, let the wood be completely dry before applying a coat of epoxy to avoid mold.

Step 3: Choosing the Right Resin

Selecting the appropriate resin for your projects
 selecting the appropriate resin for your projects (source: amazon)

How to Choose the Right Resin for Your Project

To select the correct type of resin for your project, there are three main factors to consider: clarity, curing time, and UV resistance.

  • Clarity: You can pick between clear and colored resins depending on the desired effect of your project. Clear resins enable the inherent beauty of the wood to come through, whilst colored resins can provide a distinctive touch or conceal flaws.
  • Curing Time: Different resins have varying curing times, which is the duration it takes for the resin to fully harden and become durable. Some resins cure within a few hours, whereas other resin may take some days. Consider the project timeframe and select a resin with a curing time that meets your demands.
  • UV Resistance: If your wood project will be exposed to sunlight, it's important to choose a resin with UV resistance. UV rays can cause yellowing or discoloration over time, so selecting a resin that can withstand UV exposure will help maintain the integrity and appearance of your project.

Best Resin For Wood

Are you looking for the best resin for your woodworking projects? Check out this list of 5 top-rated resin brands for wood below: 

Epoxy Resin Curing Time Rating Price
Promise Table Top 2-Part Epoxy Resin

Promise table top 2-part epoxy resin

12 - 14 hours 4.4/5 $67.99/Gallon Kit
SRC Crystal Clear Epox-It 80

Src crystal clear epox-it 80

16 - 20 hours 4.3/5 $49.95/Gallon Kit
TotalBoat Table Top Epoxy Resin

Totalboat table top epoxy resin

16 - 20 hours 4.5/5 $73.99/Gallon Kit
MAS Clear Table Top

Mas clear table top

> 24 hours 4.6/5 $73.09/Gallon Kit
Superclear Table Top Epoxy Resin

Superclear table top epoxy resin

16 - 20 hours 4.5/5 $62.04/Gallon Kit

*Note: Price updated from October 25, 2023.

We have analyzed in detail the 5 epoxy resins above as well as the other best epoxy resins for wood in terms of their special features, pros, and cons. You can look through our article to choose the best product for your project.

Step 4: Following Safety Precautions

Stay safe while working with resin by following precautions
stay safe while working with resin by following precautions (source: youtube)

When applying resin on wood, you should follow the safety guidelines to make sure an effective and safe application.

Wearing Protective Gear

You need to wear gloves because epoxy resin contains chemicals that can cause skin irritation, rashes, or even chemical burns if they come into contact with your skin. In case the resin accidentally gets on your skin, read our article about how to remove resin from skin and hands quickly and effectively.

Besides, you should wear safety goggles and a respirator mask to keep yourself safe from any possible injury or toxic fumes.

Working in a Well-Ventilated Space

Resin can emit fumes that could be dangerous to inhale in large quantities. To prevent this, you need to work in an area with enough ventilation. Allow fresh air to circulate by opening windows or doors and using fans or ventilation systems to assist in removing any smells from the room.

Preparing the Surrounding Area

Get the surrounding area ready for the resin application. Remove any objects or materials that you don't want to get resin on. Wrap the work surface with plastic or cardboard to collect any spills or drips that may occur throughout the process.

Apply the painter's tape along the edges of the back of the wood

To prevent epoxy drips from forming on the underside of your wood piece during pouring, it's crucial to attach painter's tape to the back. By placing painter's tape along the perimeter of the back and pressing down firmly, you create a protective barrier that ensures the epoxy won't leak underneath. 

Step 5: Mixing Resin

Properly preparing resin ensures optimal results for resin projects
properly preparing resin ensures optimal results for resin projects (source: instructables)

Measuring Resin and Hardener Proportions

Accurately measuring the ratio of resin to hardener is part of the success of keeping your project free from problems like sticky or tacky surfaces or uneven resin coating.

Separately measure out the resin and hardener into measuring cups. The ratios for mixing resin are typically labeled on the package and can be either 1:1, 2:1, or 4:1. This means that you will need equal parts of resin to hardener, two parts resin to one part hardener, or four parts resin to one part hardener.

Pour the hardener and resin into the same plastic mixing cup once it has been measured. To remove all of the resin and hardener from each container, scrape the cup's edges with a wooden or plastic rod.

Proper Mixing Techniques

Properly mixing resin and hardener
properly mixing resin and hardener (source: youtube)

Stir the two materials together for 3 - 5 minutes with a plastic or wooden rod. To avoid forming air bubbles, avoid stirring too violently or rapidly

The resin will often look wavy when you first start mixing it. But the streaks will disappear and the resin will turn transparent as you stir more. This is the stage at which you may add whatever colored paints or dyes you like.

So, how to use colored epoxy resin on wood?

Adding pigments to epoxy resin is a fantastic way to add color. To create multiple colors, use smaller, clean mixing cups. Start by pouring a small amount of premixed epoxy into these cups and stir slowly until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Next, you add smaller quantities of pigments and increase progressively until the desired color is reached. This allows you to have control over the intensity of the color.

Add pigments to mixed epoxy resins
add pigments to mixed epoxy resins (source: aleene’s)

As you can see adding pigments to mixed epoxy resin may be time-consuming. So, can you use epoxy paint on wood to make your project faster with many color options? The answer is yes! Our guide on how to paint on resin will help you easily personalize the appearance of your epoxy resin creations with beautiful and vibrant colors.

Step 6: Applying a Layer Resin on Wood

To achieve the best results when applying resin on wood, follow these 3 steps for a flawless finish.

Pouring the Resin onto the Wood Surface

Pour resin on wood to create a glossy finish
pour resin on wood to create a glossy finish (source: pinterest)

After preparing the resin mixture, carefully pour it onto the center of the wood surface. You need to start with a small amount and progressively add more resin as needed. This approach allows you better control over the resin application and eliminates overflow or waste.

Spreading the Resin Evenly

Use a spreader or brush to spread the resin evenly
use a spreader or brush to spread the resin evenly (source: ampersandtm)

It is advisable to use a spreader or brush to thoroughly disperse the resin throughout the whole surface of the wood to achieve an equal layer of resin. Besides, you also have to spread epoxy resin to the edges and corners to ensure that they are fully coated completely.

Removing Air Bubbles

Proper techniques for removing air bubbles from resin
proper techniques for removing air bubbles from resin (source: resin expert)

Bubbles can appear on the epoxy resin wood surface due to trapped air or moisture, which both inexperienced and experienced individuals could encounter when doing resin projects. As a result, these bubbles give the wood an uneven, less glossy finish on the surface. 

You can use either a propane torch or a heat gun to remove bubbles on these wood projects. Simply switch on the heat source and position it about 6 - 10 inches away from the epoxy's surface. Next, you need to gently move the flame back and forth slowly on the resin's surface.

*Note: Avoid prolonged exposure in one area because you can burn the epoxy.

Step 7: Curing and Drying

Let your project cure and dry
let your project cure and dry (source: pinterest)

Curing Process

The epoxy coating must be given enough time to cure, which normally ranges from 24 to 72 hours. However, the actual time depends on various aspects, and particular resin items may need up to a week to cure properly.

Drying Process

To protect the curing surface from any external contaminants, you should cover it completely with a suitably sized board. This board can be made of either cardboard or plastic, as long as it fully covers the epoxy surface without coming into direct contact with it. This precaution helps to maintain the purity and integrity of the surface throughout the curing process.

Step 8: Removing Tapes 

Effortlessly removing tapes from wood projects for a flawless finish
effortlessly removing tapes from wood projects for a flawless finish (source: youtube)

When the resin has reached a rubbery consistency, it is time to remove the tape from the wood surface. This normally happens 4 to 6 hours after the resin has been blended. 

By removing the tape at this point, you will get a cleaner and sharper edge. if the resin completely sets before removing the tape, you may need to carefully cut it with a sharp blade.

After waiting for twenty-four hours, you can safely touch the epoxy. However, it is recommended to allow it to cure for a full seven days for maximum hardness before using it.

This video below will guide you through the process step-by-step of how to use epoxy resin on wood for beginners. Watch now!

Common Issues When Using Resin on Wood

We have already gone through all the steps of how to use epoxy resin on a wood table or other wood items. Now, we continue to explore the potential obstacles we might face during resin projects and gain insights on how to handle them smoothly.

Sticky or Tacky Surface

Sticky or tacky surface when using resin on wood
sticky or tacky surface when using resin on wood (source: etropy resins)

When using resin on wood, one common issue that can arise is a sticky or tacky surface. Here are some potential reasons: 

  • Firstly, an incorrect mixing ratio can lead to an imbalance of resin and hardener, which affects the curing process. In this case, you carefully measure and mix the components accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. 
  • Insufficient stirring is another factor that can result in a sticky surface. When the harder and resin are not thoroughly mixed, there may be inconsistencies in the curing process, causing the surface to remain tacky.
  • Low temperature can also slow down the curing process and cause stickiness. The resin cures best within a specific temperature range between 21 - 24°C or 70 - 75°F, so it's essential to work in a suitable environment or use a temperature-controlled curing chamber if necessary.
  • Lastly, incompatible additives on the wood surface may disrupt the curing process and cause stickiness. So, you have to ensure that the wood is thoroughly prepared and cleaned before applying the resin.

If your wood surface continues to appear sticky and tacky even though you have applied the above methods, you should allow the resin more time to cure and try some of our expert techniques on how to fix sticky resin. The recommended curing time varies depending on the specific resin product used, so refer to the manufacturer's instructions for guidance. 

Uneven Resin Coating

The uneven resin coating appears on the wood surface
the uneven resin coating appears on the wood surface (source: reddit)

This situation happens when the resin is not spread evenly on the wood surface, resulting in areas with thick or thin resin layers. This might be due to incorrect resin mixing, uneven application, or insufficient spreading tools.

To avoid this issue, it is crucial to mix the resin thoroughly and use a spreader or brush to ensure even coverage. Besides, you should work the resin toward the edges and corners, covering the entire wood surface.

Resin Does Not Stick Well to Wood

Resin does not adhere effectively to wood surfaces
resin does not adhere effectively to wood surfaces (source: totalboat)

This can be due to various factors such as the type of wood, its moisture content, and the surface preparation. Some woods may contain natural oils or moisture that can prevent the resin from properly bonding to the surface. Therefore, you should ensure that the wood is clean, dry, and free from any contaminants or finishes so that resin sticks well to wood surfaces.

Additionally, roughening the surface of the wood through sanding or using a primer can help improve the bonding strength. Properly preparing the wood and choosing the right type of resin can help mitigate this issue and ensure a successful resin application on wood.

Resin Overflow

Resin overflow is a common issue when using resin on wood. To prevent this, you can use painter's tape on the edges of the wood or elevate the wood to create a barrier. This will assist in keeping the resin contained and prevent it from leaking onto unwanted surfaces. If resin does spill or overflow, it is important to clean it up immediately to prevent it from curing on unwanted surfaces and becoming difficult to remove.

Dust or Debris in Resin

Potential issues caused by dust or debris in resin
potential issues caused by dust or debris in resin (source: the epoxy resin store)

When using resin on wood, one common issue is dust or debris getting trapped in the resin during the curing process. To prevent this, it's crucial to work in a clean and dust-free environment. Additionally, it's advisable to cover your resin projects with cardboard or plastic while they are cured to protect them from any external dust or debris. 

Air Bubbles

Air bubbles can ruin the beautiful surface of your projects. To address ugly air bubbles, it's important to stir the resin gently, avoiding vigorous stirring that may introduce more bubbles. 

Additionally, before the resin starts to cure, you can use a propane torch or heat gun to remove air bubbles on the surface. Simply pass the flame or heat source lightly over the resin, causing the bubbles to rise and pop. This technique ensures a flawless result for your resin and wood creations.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips For Resin on Wood Projects 

If we want our resin on wooden projects to last a long time, we have to know some tips and tricks to properly clean and preserve it:

Useful advice for preserving the appearance of resin-coated wood
Useful advice for preserving the appearance of resin-coated wood

Cleaning Resin-Coated Surfaces

If you want to preserve the beauty of your wood projects with resin coating, you need to clean them regularly. Dust particles can scratch or dull the resin surface over time, so it's important to use a soft cloth or a feather duster to gently remove any dust or debris. 

Additionally, you can use some soap and water to clean tough stains or dirts. Gently clean the surface by wiping it with a wet cloth or sponge soaked in a mild soap and warm water solution. Don’t scrub too hard or you could damage the resin.

Even though the resin is waterproof, we still need to avoid moisture for epoxy wood surfaces because prolonged exposure to moisture can cause the epoxy to weaken or delaminate from the wood surface over time. Moisture can seep into cracks or imperfections in the epoxy and make your wood moldy.

So, you should avoid soaking the resin-coated surface and only use a damp cloth or sponge for cleaning purposes and dry the surface thoroughly afterward.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Sunlight can cause the resin to yellow or fade over time, so you can put your epoxy wood project in indoor spaces such as living rooms, bedrooms, or home offices that receive minimal sunlight throughout the day. Besides, placing epoxy wood projects away from windows or using blinds or curtains to block out sunlight can help preserve their appearance and ensure their longevity.

Soft Underlays

Use soft underlays to prevent scratches to your wood projects
use soft underlays to prevent scratches to your wood projects (source: aliexpress

When you have decorative items on top of your resin-coated wood, they may need to be moved or rearranged. Therefore, you should place soft materials like felt or fabric under decorative items. It will create a buffer that prevents direct contact between the object and the resin surface to prevent scratches that may affect the aesthetic appeal of your wood projects.

Avoid extreme temperatures

Another important tip is to avoid exposing resin on wood projects to extreme temperatures. Extreme heat can cause the resin to soften or even melt, altering its shape and potentially damaging the wood underneath. 

Similarly, extreme cold can cause the resin to become brittle and susceptible to cracking or chipping. It is best to keep resin projects in stable temperature conditions about 70 - 75°F to ensure their longevity.

Bottom Up

In conclusion, applying resin on wood may seem intimidating at first, but with the easy steps and helpful tips provided in this guide, even beginners can achieve stunning results. While there may be some common issues to watch out for, proper cleaning and maintenance can ensure the longevity of your resin on wood projects. So grab your materials and apply epoxy on wood and unleash your creativity today!


Can you put resin on wood?

Yes, you can. When resin is applied to wood, it creates a protective and glossy coating that enhances the wood's appearance and durability. In addition, resin can repair cracks on your wood surface. 

What types of resin can be used on wood?

There are two primary types to choose from: TableTop Epoxy Resin and Deep Pour Resin. TableTop Epoxy Resin is specifically designed for thinner pours of around 1/8 inch, making it perfect for sealing tables or completing smaller projects. On the other hand, Deep Pour Resin is ideal for creating a live edge river table or filling in larger gaps, as it can handle pours up to 2 inches deep.

How do I prepare the wood surface for resin application?

Sand the wood to get rid of any rough spots or imperfections before applying resin to the surface. Then, carefully clean the surface to eliminate any dust or dirt.

Can I add color to the resin on wood projects?

Yes, you can add. There are some methods to do this, involving using resin dyes, acrylic paint, or even mixing in pigments. Adding color to resin allows you to personalize your wood crafts and create colorful, one-of-a-kind patterns.

How long does it take for resin to cure on wood?

The curing process for resin can vary from 24 to 72 hours up to two weeks. Several factors like the type of resin, temperature, humidity, and exposure to sunlight or UV rays affect the curing time.