Epoxy is a popular material used in DIY projects as well as home improvement projects. It has so many different applications that it can sometimes be difficult to know what to look for!
So what are the best fast-set epoxy resins? It depends on the application. The setting time allows you time to fix your mistake, so ‘fast-setting’ epoxy sealer for outdoor wood can be 30 minutes, but for casting epoxy resin, that may not be enough time for you to actually work with the epoxy.
This article will give you an overview of the main things to consider when buying fast set epoxy and recommend you some of the best fast-set epoxies currently available on the market.
Best Fast Set Epoxy – Buyer’s Guide
Epoxy resin is incredibly versatile: you can use it as a sealant for your flooring counter or add a layer of waterproof protection to wooden furniture.
For DIY projects, you can use the casting method with a mold to create anything you can think of, from jewelry pieces to decorative trays and even artwork!
Depending on your application, there are a few things to consider when buying fast-set epoxy. Let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider below.
Epoxy resin is compatible with various materials, including flooring, metal, and glass. However, not all types of epoxy resin can be used for everything. Epoxy resin can be formulated for one specific application.
For example, if you want to waterproof outdoor wood or protect your garage floor with an epoxy sealer, it should be quick setting and quick curing, and the epoxy will need to be extra durable to resist scratches and other elemental factors.
If you are using epoxy as an adhesive, then having something that sets quickly can make the application more convenient.
Choosing the right type of epoxy for the right purpose is an important consideration when you need to find a good fast-setting epoxy for your project. If you have the purpose figured out, let’s take a look at some other important considerations.
The viscosity of an epoxy resin is the thickness of the resin after it is mixed but before it is completely cured. The viscosity of epoxy can range from runny to very thick, which makes it suitable for a wide range of applications.
High-viscosity resin has a thick consistency that can add depth and glossy to the resin. However, it can take a longer time to apply, especially with a pouring or casting application, because the thickness can trap air bubbles inside, so you must go slowly to prevent this issue.
Low-viscosity resin is generally thinner, which means that it doesn’t provide the same depth as high-viscosity resin, so you’ll need to apply it in thick layers to achieve the same effect. However, this type of epoxy is friendlier to beginners because it’s easier to work with.
‘Thickness’ refers to the height of the application after the epoxy is poured. For example, epoxy sealants are designed to have a 1 – 3 centimeter thickness after it’s poured, which is suitable for sealing floors and countertops. This type of epoxy usually has a shorter set time.
However, if you are hoping to use it in a casting application or DIY projects, you’ll need to get a deep-pour epoxy resin that can take longer to set and cure but will make it easier to pour several layers to a greater depth and thickness.
4. Set Time & Curing Time
The curing time and the setting time of the epoxy resin are both important factors to consider when choosing a type of epoxy. These are two different indicators, so it’s important that you don’t confuse them together.
The set time (sometimes referred to as the working time) is how long the epoxy will remain liquid. This can range from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the type of epoxy.
The set time allows you to release bubbles, adjust the objects encapsulated inside the epoxy, etc., so if the set time is too short, you can’t fix mistakes too easily.
This is where the definition of ‘fast-setting’ gets confusing because the definition of ‘fast’ depends on the application.
A fast-setting epoxy adhesive will set within a few minutes (allowing you time to adjust the bond), but a fast-setting high-viscosity epoxy designed for a pouring application may take 40 minutes to set completely, allowing you time to release bubbles trapped inside.
The curing time of an epoxy resin is how long it takes for the epoxy to harden completely, at which stage you will no longer be able to smell any strong fumes. Usually, it takes about 24 hours for the resin to completely cure, but that also depends on the type of epoxy you have.
Some high-viscosity epoxy designed for thick pours may take up to a week to cure completely.
The chemicals found in epoxy resin products can have harmful effects on the human body. They can release harmful, toxic fumes after the epoxy are mixed, and when the liquid epoxy gets on your skin, it may cause burns and skin irritations.
There are newer epoxy formulas that are designed to be odorless and non-toxic, so if this is important to you, you should opt for one of those brands.
If you are working with a traditional epoxy, it’s important to work in a well-ventilated space and wear proper protective equipment (gloves, safety glasses, masks) to minimize harm to your health.
Although every type of epoxy will cure to become a smooth, clear, and hard ‘plastic,’ epoxy can be formulated to have a varying degree of durability.
For example, if you are using an epoxy sealant to protect your countertops or flooring, you’ll want the epoxy to be scratch-resistant and have some impact strength so that it doesn’t look worn out after just a few days.
If you are sealing outdoor furniture, then opting for a UV-resistant epoxy sealant is recommended; otherwise, the clear coat can become discolored after a few months of being left out in the sun.
7. Application Method
Because epoxy is so versatile, there are also many ways to apply it. For epoxy sealers, you can use a spray application or use a brush or roller to apply it.
For thicker applications, you can also pour it straight on the surface or into a mold for the epoxy to take the shape of the mold.
The varying methods of application work with a wide range of skill levels, so whether you’re working with epoxy for the first time or you are already an expert, you can find something that works for you!
8. Additional Considerations
Due to the increasing popularity of epoxy resin, its manufacturers regularly improve their products with a lot of added features that you may enjoy.
One of these is the self-leveling formulas, which are designed to create a level surface automatically. This method works as an automatic water leveler, so you’ll always get even layers no matter how you apply the epoxy.
One of the most frustrating parts of applying epoxy resin is the bubbles, so manufacturers have also created bubble-release epoxy to automatically get rid of bubbles after applying.
These are just some of the added features, and epoxy products are constantly improving, so if you see new features that you enjoy, you should definitely opt for those formulas.
Best Fast-Set Epoxy
What is the best fast-set epoxy? That depends on your application method and personal preference.
For sealing and adhesives, fast-setting formulas can be set within a few minutes. However, for pouring and casting applications, fast-setting epoxy can still take 30-40 minutes to set, allowing you time to release bubbles and fix mistakes as needed.
Let’s take a look at some of the best fast-setting epoxy resins on the market.
|Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy
|Strong, long-lasting bond, 5 min set
|Bob Smith Industries BSI-201 Quik-Cure Epoxy
|Clear drying, 5 min set, easy to mix
|Counter Culture DIY Ultra Clear Fast Set Epoxy Resin
|5-10 min set, UV stabilizers, VOC-free
|AQUASEAL 64oz Marine Epoxy Resin Kit
|20 minute set, durable and reliable
|SmartArt Epoxy Resin 1 Gallon Kit
|30 min, 100% waterproof, no yellowing
|ArtResin - Epoxy Resin
|Low bubbles, yellow-resistant, non-toxic
|DR CRAFTY Clear Epoxy Resin
|Super clear, high gloss, 45 min working time
Fast-Set Epoxy Adhesives:
1. Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy
If you need a handy, convenient quick fix, Gorilla 5-minute set epoxy is definitely the way to go!
This Two-Part Epoxy can work as an adhesive that creates a strong, long-lasting bond on wood, metal, plastic, and other materials. You can use this epoxy to fill in gaps in your woodworking projects.
It dries hard and clear, so you can sand it down after it’s completely cured to blend in with the rest of your project. In addition, it sets in just 5 minutes after mixing, which is perfect for a quick fix, but you still have some time to adjust the bond to get a precise application.
The best part is this easy-to-use clear epoxy comes in a convenient syringe with separate barrels of resin and hardener, so you can dispense the perfect amount of each every time.
It’s so accessible and convenient yet still provides a strong, permanent bond that is unmatched by any other type of adhesive.
2. Bob Smith Industries BSI-201 Quik-Cure Epoxy
Bob Smith Industries Quik-Cure, 5-minute epoxy, has a flexible consistency that’s easy to mix and apply. It sets in 5 minutes and dries to the touch in 15 minutes, curing in an hour.
It’s delicate enough to work with small objects like jewelry or models, yet it can fill gaps or bond wood, metal, glass, or ceramics. It will dry clear to create a strong, lasting bond that can handle high vibration or stress.
The squeeze bottles make this adhesive really easy to mix and apply in a precise manner, which makes it quite a handy adhesive to have in your workshop.
Fast-Set Epoxy for Sealing:
3. Counter Culture DIY Ultra Clear Fast Set Epoxy Resin
Counter Culture DIY Fast Set Epoxy saves you time right out of the gate. This epoxy sets in as little as 5-10 minutes and dries to the touch in 2 hours.
Beginners will definitely have an easy time working with this epoxy because it pours smooth and cures to become crystal clear. Its added UV stabilizers make it resistant to yellowing from sunlight.
In addition, the final cured epoxy is also scratch-resistant and heat resistant (up to 500°F), making it perfect for a wide variety of applications, from decorative trinkets to protecting countertops and outdoor furniture.
This epoxy is free from VOCs, which means there are no strong fumes that can be harmful to your health. This is a significant advantage that this formula has over other types of epoxies,
4. AQUASEAL 64oz Marine Epoxy Resin Kit
AQUASEAL’s fast set epoxy resin is a two-part epoxy that is the most durable and reliable epoxy on the market.
Set to medium hardness in 20 minutes and fully cured in just 24 hours, this fast-setting epoxy resin offers enough time to spread easily for a smooth finish yet quick enough for multiple coatings in a single day.
The crystal-clear formula is ideal for creating river tables, preserving photos, artwork, and much more in an ultra-clear, long-lasting finish that will never yellow or cloud.
With this epoxy, you’ll achieve a clean finish with a high-gloss shine that’s also waterproof and highly resistant to damage over time.
In addition, this formula can even withstand chemicals, abrasion, and water damage, so you can even use it in home improvement projects as well!
Fast-Set Epoxy for Deep Pour Applications:
5. SmartArt Epoxy Resin 1 Gallon Kit
SmartArt’s Epoxy Resin creates crystal clear, flawlessly transparent epoxy coatings that set within 30 minutes. It also has an odorless formula that cures to become food safe.
Uses for this crystal clear, superior quality epoxy resin is almost endless: use it to coat bar tops, fill cracks in woodworking projects, seal wooden serving trays, create jewelry, make resin paperweights, coat river tables, cast with molds – the possibilities are quite endless.
This 100% waterproof and scratch-resistant product is also highly resistant to UV rays, harsh chemicals, and other elements that can damage your epoxy project over time. This non-yellowing formula ensures your project will look crystal clear for years to come.
6. ArtResin – Epoxy Resin
ArtResin is the dedicated resin used by Artists and DIY-ers to achieve the beautiful finish they desire.
It is specifically designed for art projects and thicker pours, and because of that, the set time is around 40 minutes to an hour, allowing you time to work with your project to achieve just the desired effect.
ArtResin is a high-gloss, clear epoxy resin that creates a gorgeous, durable finish. It is easy to use, self-leveling, and virtually bubble-free, perfect for artists and crafters who are working with this media for the first time.
This epoxy has the highest resistance to yellowing due to UV and HALS stabilization, meaning that its crystal clear quality will last forever.
You’ll also be glad to know that this is a BPA-free, non-toxic, safe-for-home-use formula that will cure to become food-safe, so you can safely use it without the toxic fumes!
7. DR CRAFTY Clear Epoxy Resin
This DR CRAFTY epoxy resin kit has a super clear, high gloss formula that is perfect for pouring into molds, making jewelry, decorations, paperweights, and more.
The total working time is 45 minutes, and bubbles can be released with a heat gun for a flawless application. This is perfect for a deep pour application that would look beautiful for a river table or decorative pieces.
You can use this clear epoxy resin on all of your projects for the ultimate glassy, liquid-like finish. This two-part epoxy is formulated to be easy to use and cure with a beautiful, non-yellowing, and durable finish that is resistant to sunlight and smudges.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use resin that’ll give any project a professional finish, this is definitely a worthy consideration.