Epoxy vs Resin: What’s The Difference?

Sep 12, 2021 | Home Improvement Repair

Epoxy and resin are two of the most popular adhesives for do-it-yourself projects. But they’re not interchangeable, so you need to know how to use them properly.

Many people think epoxy and resin are basically the same things, but that’s definitely not true. They have different properties and work differently in certain situations.

This post will explain how each adhesive works so you can choose the right one for your project needs.

Epoxy Coating Resin vs Casting Resin

Most people use epoxy or resin interchangeably, but they’re really two different types of adhesive with their own unique properties.

For the most part, you’ll be using epoxy coating resins when you want to fill in cracks and gaps in your project before coating it with something else.

Typically, these projects are not supposed to be clear so the color of the adhesive won’t matter too much when choosing epoxy or resin. That’s why many people prefer to use white glue instead – because it is cheap and easy to find.

However, if you’re looking for something that will bond well while remaining very clear after curing, then you should opt for a higher-quality acrylic epoxy resin like this one here.

Epoxy coating resins can be used for many different things such as:

  • Filling in cracks and gaps that need to be filled
  • Priming surfaces before painting or coating with something else
  • Adding a decorative touch to furniture by filling in the wood grain first then adding another coat on top. As long as you choose epoxy resin that’s clear, it will remain stained glass-like after curing.

Casting resins, also called mold-making materials, are specifically designed for casting objects like molds and figurines. For the best possible results, you should be using a casting resin that cures completely clear.

A lot of people use these types of resins for making unique custom molds to cast concrete countertops.

You can also use this type of resin to make decorative objects like knickknacks or figurines.

Casting resins are much thinner than epoxy coating resins so they are easy to pour into small spaces without making a mess. But on the other hand, some people think they do not bond as well as epoxy coating resins.

This is mostly because curing time is much faster – sometimes just 5 minutes is all it takes. And since most projects require more than one, it is important to apply the resin in a way that will not trap bubbles underneath.

Casting resins are great for making molds but they do have limitations, so epoxy coating resins are usually better for most DIY projects.

Is Epoxy Resin Stronger Than Casting Resin?

Epoxy and casting resins both bond well to a variety of surfaces but neither one is stronger than the other. That’s because their overall strength depends on how you use them and what surface you’re bonding together.

Casting resins generally bond faster when compared to epoxy coating resin due to it being thinner, but epoxy coatings tend to bond pretty well too when used correctly.

Working with any type of adhesive requires patience and practice since there is a learning curve for every product. However, you should always make sure to test the adhesives first before using it on your final project (unless you want to fail).

Some people like to stick with epoxy coating resins because they believe that they are stronger, but this isn’t necessarily true. It just comes down to what type of situation you’re trying to fix or bond together.

Viscosity (Thickness Of The Material)

An epoxy coating is usually more viscous (thicker) than a casting resin due to its higher viscosity. After all, you want an epoxy or resin that can be used for filling in cracks and gaps without running everywhere.

Conversely, the viscosity of a casting resin will depend on its curing time. The longer it takes to cure, the less viscous it becomes.

When choosing between an epoxy coating or casting resin, consider how thick you need it to be before using it so you don’t waste your money on something with low viscosity.

You can always use both products interchangeably but just know that they work differently even though they’re both adhesives.

Cure Times

Another reason why some people prefer epoxy coating resin is that it has a longer cure time. But this isn’t always a good thing because that means you will have to stick around until the material dries completely.

In most cases, you should be applying your adhesive in multiple stages anyway, especially when working on large surfaces. In fact, adhesives with a long curing time may be susceptible to damage as they dry.

Casting resins only take 5 minutes or less to cure so this is probably one of their biggest benefits since you can work faster and get more done. However, there are some types of epoxy coatings that also have a fast drying time too if you don’t want to wait.

A suggestion for those of you who are just getting started with DIY projects is to get both types of resin so you can compare them for yourself.

Be sure to buy each material in small quantities since they’re only good for one project. After all, epoxy coating resins and casting resins usually come in very different size containers.

Working Time

The working time of epoxy coatings is usually longer than that of casting resins. This means you can simply pour it into its designated container, wait for it to thicken up, and then apply it.

Conversely, with a casting resin, you will have to work quickly before it cures. That’s why these types of resin are always sold in small containers – because they don’t last very long.

A general rule of thumb is that epoxy coating resin has the upper edge when working on large surface areas since it takes more time to cure. But if you need something fast with quick drying times, then go for a casting resin instead.

Maximum Pour Depth

The maximum pour depth for casting resins is usually much higher than that of epoxy coating resin. So if you want to make a deeper container, then you should use an epoxy coating instead (unless the container will be used for decorative purposes).

Also note that some epoxies can’t be poured over because it will ruin the surface. But there are other types of epoxy coatings that can withstand any material without problems.

When filling in cracks and gaps, most people prefer a casting resin since it’s more viscous so they won’t have to worry about getting adhesive everywhere or it dripping.

On the other hand, a good way to cover large gaps would be with epoxy coating resin which has a longer working time. Just make sure you place a barrier or something underneath it since this stuff can get messy.

Working Temperature Range

Epoxy coating resins have a wider working temperature range than most casting resins. So if you live in an environment with high heat or low temperatures, then go for epoxy instead.

However, there are some types of resins that can withstand extreme weather conditions so don’t worry too much about the working temperature when choosing between these two adhesives.

That’s because resin is more responsive to hot and cold environments than epoxy. That’s why resin is especially popular in industrial settings where the temperature changes frequently throughout the day.

Casting resin has another benefit when it comes to extreme climates – they’re easier to clean up. That’s because epoxy coatings will harden when exposed to water or other solvents so you’ll have a tough time removing it from your hands if it gets on there.

Stain Resistance

Since casting resins are often used in kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoors, these products have excellent resistance against stains.

That means they won’t yellow or deteriorate when exposed to sunlight – but you should still keep them away from moisture since that’s the only way resin can be damaged.

Even though epoxy coating resins don’t have a problem with UV rays, these adhesives may become degraded over time due to weather changes. So again, always make sure your epoxy coating is protected from the elements.

Environmental Impact

Both resin and epoxy work about the same in this area, but you should know that some resins may release a foul smell when mixed. So if you’re sensitive to these types of irritants then go for an epoxy coating instead.

However, there are many types of casting resins that don’t cause any bad odors so keep your options open. You can always try a few different materials to decide which one works best for you.


When cured, epoxy coating resin has a higher hardness than casting resin. That’s why many people use it to cover surfaces that require maximum durability like garage floors.

On the other hand, there are some types of resins that may be more durable than others so you should always look at product labels before using any material.

This especially matters when choosing between different casting resins since they can all have vastly different levels of strength.

Also, keep in mind that epoxy coatings will usually be tougher than glue, but it still depends on the type of adhesive so don’t rule out castings just yet.

The only types of adhesives that can surpass both epoxies and resin in terms of unyieldingness are plastics and rubbers.

Speed of Application

If you need something in a hurry, then resin is definitely the way to go since it will dry in about 10 minutes while an epoxy coating will take an hour or two.

That’s why resin is great for small projects that need to be done quickly like masking the legs of a table.

Epoxy coating and casting resins can both be used multiple times (it just depends on what you’re trying to construct) so you don’t have to worry about wasting your material when building with either adhesive.

No matter which one you choose between epoxy coatings and castings, always wear protection. In addition to gloves, I would recommend safety glasses since resin may cause irritation in some people.

All in all, both materials have their pros and cons but it’s up to you to decide which product is best for your needs. Experiment with a few options until you find the right material, and remember that this type of project will require a lot of patience.

UV Resistance 

Resin doesn’t have a problem with UV rays, but epoxy coatings may become degraded over time due to weather changes. So again, always make sure your epoxy coating is protected from the elements.

Susceptibility To Bubbles

When it comes to bubbles, resin is actually more susceptible since epoxy coatings are thicker. But don’t worry. There are simple techniques you can use to make sure the adhesive will be bubble-free.

You should first apply a proper primer to your surface before adding an epoxy coating or resin adhesives. This helps the material stick better and also provides protection against various external elements like water.

Don’t worry about spending too much energy on priming either since this step usually only takes 5 minutes – especially if you’re using a product that’s specially made for priming.

Next, always stir your product very well until all of the solids are incorporated into the liquid base. Resin may have some tiny particles floating around, but these won’t cause any problems as long as you’re diligent about stirring. For best results use an electric mixing tool like a power drill to mix your epoxy coating thoroughly.

Once your adhesive is mixed properly, apply it slowly in a thin layer and let it dry for the designated amount of time. You’ll notice that bubbles usually start forming when the coating is still wet so do everything you can to avoid applying too much product at once.

You should be able to cover about 15 square feet with one quart of resin or epoxy so don’t try to use too much. Wasting this type of material is a bad idea since it’s not exactly cheap, so always read product labels before you begin working on a surface.

When using epoxy coatings, keep in mind that they might take even longer to dry than resin adhesives. This is because epoxies do not form a skin as quickly as resins do so it’s much harder to see when the adhesive has cured.

This means that you may need to leave your surface-exposed overnight or until you notice a slight change in color. If there are any small cracks or crevices on the material you’re working on, then expect these areas to be especially vulnerable to moisture. That’s why epoxy coatings should always be applied over a primer – this will protect the adhesive from water damage and make sure it lasts for years.

All in all epoxy adhesives actually work very well when applied correctly, and they offer a more durable long-term solution than resin.

But if you need to make your surface faster, then resin is the best option for you… And if epoxy is still what you’re looking for, then make sure you use a primer before applying the adhesive since this will prevent water damage. You should also apply epoxy coatings in several thin layers instead of one thick one – otherwise, bubbles might be more likely to form during the drying process.

Heat Tolerance/Resistance

Heat is actually not that much of a problem when it comes to resin, but epoxy coatings may start to deteriorate when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations.

But once again, keep in mind that the resin you’re working with should be mixed very well before applying. If there are any tiny particles floating around or if your adhesive is too thick, then these may cause bubbles and other problems later on. So always make sure you mix thoroughly and apply the product in thin layers until you get the desired results.

Last but not least, never ever pour leftover resin (or epoxy) down the drain. This will result in clogs and can even damage your septic tank so just let this stuff dry out and throw it away afterward.

Price Comparison Between Epoxy And Resin Adhesives

This is where it gets tricky since prices vary from product to product – even within the same category. But overall, I’d say that epoxy coatings have a slight edge on most resin adhesives.

But of course, there are always exceptions to the rule so don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your choices. Just make sure you get something good since it will depend on how everything comes out in the end.

That’s because resin is more responsive to hot and cold environments than epoxy. That’s why resin is especially popular in industrial settings where the temperature changes frequently throughout the day.

Even though epoxy coating resins don’t have a problem with UV rays, these adhesives may become degraded over time due to weather changes. So again, always make sure your epoxy coating is protected from the elements.

Epoxy vs Resin: Which One Is Best For Me?

If you’re working on a project where appearance isn’t too important then white glue is probably fine since it’s cheaper and easier to find at most hardware stores. Unfortunately, there are times when both epoxy coatings and casting resins do not work well… especially if the adhesive needs to be useful in underwater applications.

If that’s the case, then you’ll need to find out which type of adhesive is best suited for your specific project before buying anything.  For example, waterproof epoxy resin can repair cracks in fiberglass boats while marine-grade epoxy adhesive can bond wood together underwater.

Once you’ve made up your mind on what type of adhesive or resin you need, it will be much easier to choose between an epoxy coating and casting resin because they both serve very different purposes. Epoxy coatings are thicker but thinner coatings may work better when trying to fill small gaps since they generally take less time to dry compared to other adhesives.  On the other hand, casting resins are much thinner but they’re also a lot more likely to trap bubbles if you don’t pour it the right way.

The only way to find out which works best for your specific needs is to test each one first, so always make sure that you do your research before shopping around.


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