Some kinds of epoxy are not suited for any storage or work surface. There are special products marketed specifically for the purpose of coating counter tops or tables. The problems listed below are mitigated as much as possible in these specialized products, but they might be much more noticeable in any epoxy not specifically designed for counter tops.
Epoxy is prone to staining. It looks as smooth and clear as glass, but it can be stained permanently, especially by acidic substances like coffee, wine, fruit juice, mustard or ketchup. Some people recommend acetone (nail polish remover) or a paste of baking soda with water to remove these stains, but the deeper they seeped into the epoxy, the harder they are to remove. A simple workaround is to use dark colors for your projects where stains are less noticeable.
Most epoxies are not food safe. Please make extra sure that you use a food safe epoxy for your kitchen counter or make sure to never put food directly onto the epoxy surface. If you didn't mix the correct ratio of resin and hardener there remains an amount of uncured chemical in the finished surface that will never stabilize and get inactive. So if you made a mistake with the mixing ratios, you might have to scratch the epoxy from the surface and start over again.
The shiny smooth surface is prone to scratching. More precisely: It's prone to micro scratches that aren't very noticeable to the naked eye but dull the surface. You must avoid abrasive cleaners (including abrasive sponges). You can place coasters under any objects like glasses, dishes and pots to prolong the shiny finish, but ultimately it's unavoidable that the surface eventually becomes dull. You can also polish a dull epoxy surface to restore it's gloss.
Some epoxies are prone to yellowing. Epoxy becomes yellow when it's exposed to UV light. Since natural sunlight contains UV light, eventually all epoxy objects will yellow over time. How quickly that happens mostly depends on the chemical composition and thereby the product you buy. A workaround is to use dark or warm colors like yellow, gold, orange, red and brown.
Here are some honest reviews of peoples epoxy counter tops several months after finishing:
- Bronte's Life: Some yellowing, one big stain, some slight chipping
- Magda Molina: No yellowing, one stain, several micro scratches
- Colorado Mountain Living: Lots of micro scratches, some big scratch, one chipped corner. No yellowing or stains visible due to the dark base color