This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you. You help to support resin-expert.com
When you reach the end of creating an epoxy floor, you can choose to add an epoxy clear coat on top. This step is not entirely necessary, and some people decide to just leave it out. However, a clear coat epoxy floor coating will provide many benefits to the end result. When the rest of the work is already in place, adding an epoxy clear coat is also a pretty easy step. This process will significantly increase the durability of the floor, as well as add a beautiful clear finish to make it look great. Adding an epoxy clear coat can also be done over various other surfaces, such as tabletops, artworks, or counters. We will explore some of these different applications below, and outline the best products for the job.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is an Epoxy Clear Coat?
- 2 The Best Epoxy Clear Coat
- 3 Why Apply an Epoxy Finish
- 4 Epoxy Clear Coats for Wood
- 5 Adding an Epoxy Clear Coat Over Paintings
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Epoxy Clear Coat?
A final epoxy clear coat is the layer you add at the end of a project to provide a protective, shiny finish. This coating is made using epoxy resin, which consists of two different parts. These parts are the hardener (to let the resin set) and the epoxy resin. You mix both together thoroughly in order to get an epoxy clear coat resin that you can work with.
Adding a clear coat over epoxy garage floors is a great idea, as you get a much better level of durability and scratch resistance. An epoxy clear coat is also a good idea to apply over a color coat on countertops. Doing this will protect the underlying color, creating a finish that lasts longer and looks beautiful with a glossy finish. If you are making a resin surface in a busy area, such as the kitchen, adding a protective coat is recommended for maintaining the surface against daily use.
An epoxy clear coat can also be used to seal artworks. This is popular with the acrylic pouring technique. A protective final coat of epoxy will bring out the colors and add a layer of shine. It will also protect the artwork, adding a layer of resistance against things like moisture or scratches.
You can add an epoxy clear coat to various surfaces in order to finish off a range of different projects. If you want to achieve a stronger and more resistant finish, as well as enhance the beauty of the surface, then this process should definitely be considered.
Can You Add a Second Epoxy Coat?
Yes, epoxy can be applied in various layers and coats. If you prepare the surface properly, you can continue to add coats in order to reach the exact type of finish that you are after. If there are any scratches or issues on the initial coating, then a second layer can help to cover these up. Adding more layers is also just a good way of creating a thicker, stronger finish.
A clear epoxy floor coating will protect the surface against contact with hot tires, scratches, and everyday wear and tear. Adding a garage floor epoxy clear coat is also a good idea to protect the surface against oil spills or chemicals.
Whenever you apply a layer of epoxy clear coat, be sure to check out the manufacturer’s guidelines on mixing the resin and getting the right consistency. This can differ between products and the type of surface you will be finishing.
Epoxy is not always the easiest medium to work with. However, with a basic understanding of how to mix epoxy and prepare the surface below, pouring a second coating should not be too difficult. Getting the underlying surface ready before pouring on the new layer is important for adhesion purposes, so this is something that should be done quite carefully.
The Best Epoxy Clear Coat
There are many different epoxy products out there, so we have narrowed down the list to a few of the best coatings available. While an epoxy clear coat is a popular choice, you can also add a durable finish with other types of coatings. We have added an alternative to epoxy as well for anyone wanting to consider a different product.
Overall Best Topcoat: STONE COAT Countertop Epoxy
Stone Coat has formulated the ideal epoxy pouring resin for a wide range of applications. This resin is specially formulated for use on countertops. However, it also provides the perfect epoxy clear coat over just about any surface.
The finish is durable, heat-resistant, food-safe, and clear. It is also free from VOC’s and offers complete scratch resistance. If you are after a user-friendly resin kit that provides an amazing attractive finish, then Stone Coat is the brand to consider.
Anyone wanting to pour their own epoxy clear coat will love this product. The DIY-friendly formula provides a high-quality finish that works over various surfaces. The clear coating looks great while still being strong and resistant.
Best Clear Epoxy Floor Coating: RUST-OLEUM EpoxyShield Floor Coating
If you want to do a garage floor epoxy clear coat, then this kit by Rust-Oleum offers the ideal solution. This premium coating kit works over bare concrete or any interior coated surfaces. The formula offers a low-odor coating fr easier, safer use.
- Low odor, low VOC formula is ideal for use on interior coated or bare concrete surfaces including garages, basements, workshops and more
- Two part, 100% solids epoxy coating provides excellent adhesion, durability, chemical resistance and resists hot tire pick up
- Each kit covers up to 500 sq. ft. on painted surfaces, 250 sq. ft. on bare concrete
- Heavy duty coating is walk ready in 24 hours, vehicle ready in 72 hours and comes in an easy to use burst pouch that reduces waste
- High-gloss protective finish provides a show room quality floor that lasts
Something to note about this floor coating is its excellent durability. The coating is completely made up of solids. This gives it superior resistance to chemicals, water, and oil. It is also highly durable against general wear and tear. Beyond long-lasting protection, this floor coating also provides a beautiful high gloss finish.
If you are after a seriously shiny and clear epoxy floor coating, then this is a great product to choose from. The finish is very durable and holds up well against all kinds of abrasions that a busy floor faces each day.
Best Alternative to Epoxy: SUPERCOAT Waterborne Urethane Glazed Coat
Anyone interested in an epoxy alternative will love the results that you can get from this durable urethane topcoat. It can be used over epoxy floors, providing a protective, attractive finish. The finish is UV-protected to make sure that it won’t yellow. This makes it a good choice for outdoor use. The high-gloss finish can be enjoyed for many years.
- Breathable two component waterborne urethane, clear topcoat for Supercoat epoxy floors, non-yellowing
- Industrial grade, Good chemical resistance, High gloss finish, Resists damaged caused by gasoline, brake fluid, standing water and battery acid
- Protects epoxy floor from scratches, Encapsulates decorative flake, easy to clean
This topcoat also provides a layer of chemical resistance and can withstand water spills, gasoline, brake fluid, and battery acid. It is also scratch-resistant and has a good level of heat resistance. Thanks to the smooth and strong coating, it is also very easy to clean and maintain. Each gallon of this coating should cover an area of around 500 square feet.
Anyone searching for an alternative option to epoxy will love this urethane coating. It provides a high level of resistance while still offering a stunning, shiny finish.
Why Apply an Epoxy Finish
Whether you are adding a clear coat over epoxy garage floors, countertops, furniture, or other surfaces, there are many benefits to enjoy. We have outlined some of the clear advantages to applying an epoxy top coat.
Protection of Color
If you have a color coating underneath, adding an epoxy top coat will help to preserve this color. Epoxy finishes are crystal clear, so they won’t affect the color of the final finish. Instead, an epoxy clear coat will provide protection against spills, chemicals, and general use. This helps to preserve and maintain the color underneath. If you use a garage floor epoxy clear coat, the additional layer will also protect the floor against hot tire marks.
An epoxy floor looks great by itself, but it can also be enhanced with decorative flakes and chips. If you add an epoxy clear coat on top, these decorative pieces are protected against peeling out or becoming dirty. Of course, a clear topcoat is also useful for busy garage floors where a layer of scratch-resistant epoxy will help to maintain a smooth surface.
An epoxy clear coat provides a finished surface that is smooth and durable. This makes it seriously easy to clean up with a vacuum or mop. Just be sure to wipe up any spills straight away in order to avoid long-lasting damage.
A Glossy Finish
A final layer of epoxy does more than just protect the underlying floor. It also adds an attractive shiny coating. Doing this provides additional depth to the floor which makes it feel thicker. The glossy finish looks smooth and shiny – enhancing the overall look of the room.
A clear epoxy floor coating can also be enhanced with anti-slip additives. This helps to conceal the additives and makes the surface of the floor safer to use. The additives can be added to the epoxy without a top coat, but they look much better when used with a topcoat.
Images: Chinnabanchon9Job, Bannafarsai_Stock / shutterstock.com
Garage floors experience a high level of foot traffic and abuse. For this reason, you will need to finish these floors with a tough coating that is easy to maintain. No matter how durable your epoxy top coat is, it will still require renewal every couple of years. An epoxy clear coat makes this process easy.
All you need to do is roughen u[p the surface with sandpaper, clean it properly, and reapply a new coat. This makes the floor look brand new. Besides its resistance, an epoxy clear coat will vastly enhance the appearance of any floor.
Epoxy Clear Coats for Wood
Wood finishes can also be enhanced and protected with an epoxy clear coat. This helps to highlight the wood’s natural beauty, as well as create a layer of resistance against damage. With a few basic steps, applying a topcoat like this is pretty simple.
Preparing the Surface
The first important step for using an epoxy resin, no matter what the situation, is in preparation. A great finish can only really be achieved if the underlying layer is suitable. The wooden surface should be sanded down a bit to provide a texture that the epoxy can adhere to strongly. Make sure that the wood is completely cleaned first, without any dust, dirt, or oil present.
For wood that has a higher level of oil, acetone can be wiped over it to eliminate this oil. It is very helpful to work in an environment where there is no dust present, and with a stable temperature. Ideally, the temperature should sit between 72 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. For safety reasons, you should have the appropriate protective gear available (gloves, mask, goggles, and so on). Working in a space that is well ventilated is best, as there can be some strong fumes involved.
Applying the Epoxy Top Coat
When the wooden surface is prepared and ready, you can start to add the epoxy clear coat. Before starting, always check the label of your product for specific instructions to follow. Mix the two parts of the resin together at the right ratio. This needs to be done thoroughly until they are well mixed. Once mixed, you will have limited time to work with the resin before it starts to harden.
Start to apply the epoxy in thin layers with a roller or spatula. If any air bubbles form, remove them with a hairdryer or blowtorch. Usually, around two to four coats of the epoxy will work well. Only apply a new layer when the one underneath is starting to get tacky. You might need to leave the first coat to fully cure though, as this could require complete sanding and smoothing. Make sure that each layer is clean before adding a new coat.
Applying Epoxy to Other Surfaces
Epoxy clear coats work well on wood, but they also add a brilliant finish for various other surfaces. This includes things like kitchen countertops. There are many different epoxy resin products available, all suitable for different uses. Make sure to choose one that has the right properties for your application.
Adding an Epoxy Clear Coat Over Paintings
An epoxy clear coat can be used to cover paintings for a stronger, highly protective glossy coating. This will protect the artwork from water damage and scratches. To begin, make sure that your workspace is ready. As mentioned above, you will need the right air temperature, ventilation, and equipment ready.
Any surrounding surfaces should be covered with plastic sheeting to avoid the resin from spilling onto them. Also, make sure that the painting you are coating is lying on a completely even and balanced surface. This will allow you to get perfectly even coverage, with any excess resin simply dripping off. Make sure to seal any artworks that are made with a porous material.
For a thicker resin application, a technique of damming the edges can be used. This is when you create a kind of mold using tape sticking up over the edges of the painting. Once the resin is fully cured, you can remove the tape.
Be sure to stick to the instruction provided on the epoxy resin, and create the correct mixture of resin to hardener. Apply the resin as you would over any other surfaces, with a spatula, brush, or roller. Make sure to smooth out the surface so that you get a nice even coating. Remove any potential air bubbles.
Air bubbles can be removed with a hairdryer or hot air torch. Simply wave the heat over the surface to get rid of these bubbles. A toothpick can also be used to poke the bubbles. Make sure that no hairs or dust have settled into the resin before it cures. To help prevent this, try to cover the resin with something while you leave it to cure. This depends on the resin and size of the project, but will generally take between 24 to 72 hours.
If the items will be exposed to sunlight or placed outside, you should use a UV-resistant spray to offer additional protection. This will help to prevent the resin from yellowing, maintaining a clear finish. When the resin has cured properly, the artwork will look beautiful and last ages. This is a very strong finish that will serve you well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an Epoxy Clear Coat be Applied Over a Layer of Epoxy?
This type of coat works very well over existing layers of epoxy and offers a protective, glossy finish. Epoxy coatings are often used to finish off epoxy surfaces.
Can You Apply an Epoxy Clear Coat Over Polyurethane?
Epoxy does not mix very well with polyurethane, so this is not recommended. You could rather use a clear polyurethane top coat for this purpose.
Why Apply a Clear Coat Over Epoxy Garage Floors?
An epoxy clear coat is a protective finish to help maintain the floor surface. It will improve the floor’s level of durability, and help to resist scratches, water, and chemical spills. It also looks great.
Why Apply an Epoxy Coating Over Painting?
Epoxy is a shiny, clear, protective finish that helps to maintain the artwork. It enhances the colors, protects the artwork, and helps to add protection against moisture and scratches.
Are Epoxy Clear Goods Good on Countertops?
A clear epoxy finish will enhance and protect countertops. This coating will make the surfaces look brand new, and sparkle with new life. Epoxy works over many surfaces and is a great way to revamp an old kitchen.
When working with floors, countertops, or various other surfaces, an epoxy clear coat can do wonders. Be sure to consider adding this final finish if you want to enhance the appearance and durability of your surface.