Everyone has got an old table that they just can’t seem to throw away. It’s functional, it’s useful, but it just isn’t attractive. (We won’t use the term butt ugly, but… just sayin’.) Well, Protective Coating Company hates waste. We like to do things the old fashioned way – with a bit of flair for the dramatic, thrown in. We like to fix and create things ourselves, where the end result is something sturdy and original – WITHOUT the “Made in China” stamped on the bottom.
Do you have an old wood table that could use a lift? Even different table surfaces can use this approach. All you need to do is cover the table surface with decorative items like: shells, beads, interesting rocks – whatever, and then coat with epoxy to seal in your own unique design. Here’s how.
7 steps to DIY Epoxy Tabletops:
1. Sand your tabletop. Work with the grain to avoid scratches. Remove as much of the old finish as you want. You can leave most of the scratches, gouges, and traces of the old paint on the surface for a rustic look, or you can sand until the surface is smooth for a more cultured look. Pick your own style. Wipe the table down to remove sanding dust, and then apply a coat of stain or paint.
2. Measure each side of your table, including the thickness. Cut sheets of wood veneer, or a similar lightweight material, to correspond to the length of each side, making the width of the board the thickness of the table plus the depth you want your coat to form. For example, a 4-foot long table with a surface 1 inch thick would require a strip 4 feet long and 2 inches wide.
3. Apply a layer of epoxy adhesive (Pc7 epoxy would work nicely) to the edge of the tabletop. Position the strip along the edge of the tabletop and flush with the bottom of the tabletop base. Press the strip firmly and hold for a few minutes to ensure it is secure. Repeat with all the strips to form a mold. Allow it to cure for the appropriate length of time (as listed on the adhesive packaging)
4. Rub the inside of the form down with grease, such as petroleum or shortening. This will keep the epoxy from bonding to the form. If you choose to decorate the top with a pattern or decorative items, now is the time to get as creative as you want. Fill objects that can trap air (such as bottle caps and sea shells) with glue, silicone or a similar substance. Trapped air can ruin your final finish. Use epoxy paste to secure every object to the original tabletop surface.
5. Brush on a thin seal coat of clear epoxy — less than a 1/4 inch thick — over the entire tabletop, including any embedded objects. Make sure you follow product mixing instructions precisely. We recommend PC – Clear. This coat will seal the pores of the table and any porous objects, preventing them from releasing air into the epoxy. It also helps smooth irregularities in the surface. Allow the tabletop to dry completely according to the epoxy directions! Appropriate cure time is essential.
6. Pour an additional layer directly from the bucket into the mold. Lay a coat about 1/8 inch in depth. Gently distribute the epoxy, moving around the table to help the epoxy level out. Allow it to dry for another four hours, then sand and wipe with rubbing alcohol once more.
7. Continue pouring layers of clear epoxy until the finish is as deep as you desire. Maintain drying times to avoid bubbles or irregularities. Remove the forms and sand down the tabletop edges again to complete your new epoxy tabletop.
Photo courtesy of colorcopper.com