How to pour resin table tops

Written by patti perry
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How to pour resin table tops
Bar and restaurant table tops are often coated in resin to protect and embed interesting items. (bar image by apeschi from Fotolia.com)

Resins are the consistency of honey and create smooth and durable table tops. They are poured in two stages. The seal coat is a thin layer that fills any pores to prevent air bubbles and the flood coat self-levels to build up the surface. An air temperature of 15.6 to 21.1 degrees Celsius (-8.88 to -6.11 degrees C Celsius) and humidity of below 60 per cent is preferred when using resins. Resin table tops take three days to cure to full hardness.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Duct tape
  • 3 small plastic buckets
  • Paint mixing paddle
  • 3 paint brushes, 1 to 2 inch
  • White glue
  • Propane torch
  • Acetone

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Level the table surface before using resins.

  2. 2

    Place duct tape on the bottom of the table top over any cracks. This will keep the resin from flowing out of these areas.

  3. 3

    Measure the two parts of the resin mix in separate small measuring buckets. One part resin to one part hardener is the standard ratio. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. 4

    Scrape the sides of your measuring containers with a paint stirring paddle to assure accurate measurements. Precise measurements safeguard against a tacky surface that never cures correctly.

  5. 5

    Stir for three to four minutes to thoroughly mix the two parts of the resin together in a disposable plastic bucket. Scrape the sides of the bucket to ensure complete mixing. Only mix the amount of resin that you can use in 20 minutes of working time.

  6. 6

    Apply the first light seal coat with a brush. Wait 12 hours for it to dry before proceeding.

  7. 7

    Glue any items you wish to embed in the table top in place with white glue. This bond is only to hold the items in place while the resin is poured.

  8. 8

    Mix another batch of resin to use in the flood coats.

  9. 9

    Pour the resin over your table top and spread with the paint stirrer. Use a brush to move the resin into hard-to-reach corners.

  10. 10

    Apply flood coats in 1/8-inch layers and allow to dry for six hours between applications. One to three coats is average for most table or bar coatings, but if you have thick embedded items, you may need more coats.

  11. 11

    Eliminate little bubbles that come to the surface after the resin is poured using a propane torch. This will get rid of cloudiness caused by these bubbles. Hold the torch six inches from the surface and move quickly back and forth. Permanent waves may be created on the table top if this is done too close to the final curing time.

  12. 12

    Clean up with acetone.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful not to get any water into the resin.
  • Any thin paper being embedded in the table top needs to be sealed first with white glue to prevent the resin from penetrating and causing the paper to turn transparent. Seal porous objects with a coat of epoxy to prevent air bubbles in subsequent coats.
  • Do not use a hair dryer as the air will move the surface.
  • Two people working together may be necessary on a large item to help speed work time.
  • Adequate ventilation is necessary when using epoxy resins. Wear a mask.
  • Wear safety glasses.
  • Protect your skin while using these compounds.

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