Have you seen those resin and wood coffee tables making the rounds on social media lately?
These stunning creations look fantastic and could help to spruce up just about any room – but buying one pre-made can be a seriously expensive endeavor. The good news is that if it’s too expensive to buy the perfect table, you can always make your own with some tips from Pinterest and plenty of patience.
All you need to do to get started is sketch up a design idea and follow the steps we cover below. Keep in mind that your design should be relatively simply to start with – particularly if you’re a beginner.
The first thing you need for a great table are the right supplies. Check out some live edge wood slabs in your area to see what kind of options are available. Then you can research the different resins that are designed to work with wood. If you’ve used a certain resin before, then it might be helpful to pick that instead of trying something new.
When you’re finished researching, you should have a supply list that looks something like this:
- Piece of wood (cut to size)
- Masking tape
- Nitrile gloves
- Resin (2 gallons)
- Orbital sander
- Fluid Acrylic (for color)
- Sand paper
- Wood stain
- Wood conditioner
- Legs for your table
- Wood screws
- Primer spray-paints
- Handheld torch
- Disposable cups
If you’re worried about being able to fix any mistakes in your table, make sure you grab a heat gun, chisel and some acetone too.
Prepping the Resin
Decide what kind of color you’d like your table to be, this will help you to choose the right acrylic for your mixture. It’s helpful to create a couple of test pucks that you can use alongside the wood for the best effects. Generally, about one drop of acrylic for around 4 ounces of resin is a good mixture. You can always add more drops as you continue with your pour.
Once you’re ready, create the pen for your table. This will make the shape of your finished product. Remove any backing on your acrylic sheets and use your clamps to keep the acrylic pieces together in a five-sided box. You can balance the bottom over the wood pieces you bought.
Make sure that the acrylic is level, so you don’t have a wonky table. When you’ve got the right shape, cut your wood to fit within it, and make sure that you decide what kind of look you want to go for. You might have resin down the middle, on both sides of a piece of wood, or to one side of the wood.
Pouring and Waiting
Once everything is properly set u, the next step is pouring. Make sure you measure your resin mixture properly and mix it as thoroughly as you can. Ig you don’t mix properly, your layers won’t cure properly. Once you’ve got the resin set up, you can add your color. Remember that a little bit goes a long way. If you add too much, then you won’t be able to see through the resin and enjoy the impact of the wood inside.
If you’re worried about the epoxy sticking to the bottom of the acrylic piece, you can always line the acrylic with tape first – but it’s not essential. As you pour, mix the epoxy well, and apply it in 1/8 layers for consistency. Following each pour, go in with your hand-held blowtorch and heat any areas where there might be trapped air bubbles. Don’t leave the heat in one area for too long, as this will lead to burning.
When you’re done, cover the table completely and wait for about 48 hours for it to cure. Remember to leave it as long as you can between each layer. It will take a while, but it makes sure that your layers are properly cured.
Releasing and Sanding the Table
Ideally, for your last pour, you should probably keep the resin clear, as this will help you to keep the color and style of the wood. When your final layer is finished curing, you’ll need to remove it from the acrylic mold, which you can do using a hammer and chisel. The sides should come off easily enough by themselves.
Even if you managed a perfect pour, and you don’t have any bumps because you didn’t like the acrylic with tape, you’ll still need to sand your new creation. The good news is that you can do this with a relatively simple orbital sander. Make sure that you have grit or sandpaper options in 60, 100, 120, 150, 220, and various other sizes. The smallest grit will remove material from the top of your table, which is essential for getting rid of any mistakes.
If you wanted a perfect table to sell online, then you might need more of a hardcore sander. However, if you’re using the table yourself, you should get by perfectly well with an orbital sander. Just make sure that whatever you do, you don’t forget about wearing protection. You should have both your safety goggles and respirator masks on at all times during this part of the process. By the time you’re finished sanding, you’re likely to be covered in dust.
If you’re worried about an extensive cleaning up process, a good way to simplify things is to wear long sleeves. Remember, sanding isn’t exactly the best part of making your table, and it requires a lot of patience. However, if you stick with it, you should have a fantastic finished product.
A good way to make sure that your sanding goes as smoothly as possible is to take some time feeling over the resin before you start standing. If you notice a soft or sticky spot, tape of the side, and pour a thin layer of resin onto the spot. This will help to encase the sticky spot. If you accidentally sand over one of these spots instead, you’ll have to heat up the spot manually and chisel the smeared resin out of the layer. Acetone can be a good way to remove any sticky residue until you get to a solid layer in your table, or you can try nail polish remover instead.
Once you’re finished chipping out and removing your mistakes, you can sand down the entire table until everything blends properly together. Some areas will require a lighter touch than others, and it’s important to be careful as you go. You can always finish any problem spots with an extra layer of resin.
Finishing and Adding Legs To the Wood and Resin Coffee Table
To complete the table, clean the surface with a vacuum and tack cloth, then use wood conditioner and stain to finish the wood. Once everything is dry, you can go over the table again with a polyacrylic base. Ideally, you’ll want a spray finish, as this will help to give you a more balanced look throughout the entire table.
Based on the type of table design you’re trying to create, you may not want to be able to see the legs of your table through the resin. This might mean that you choose a three-legged table or something else entirely. Whatever you decide to buy for your legs, make sure that you clean the pieces before you attach them to your table, then place them to wherever you want them and screw them in carefully.
Though it’s not too difficult to make a table like this one, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of things that can go wrong when you’re working with wood and resin. The good news is that if you do have some space to practice, you’ll find that it’s incredibly easy to learn plenty of new skills. Additionally, as you’re working through making your table, make sure that you double check every instruction you need to follow, so you don’t have to go back and try and fix your mistakes in the future. Additionally, if you do have access to a plantar sander, it makes sense to use it.