DIY: How to create a resin table.

 

hidden forest table

By now you have probably seen these tables taking social media by storm.

Each table or resin ring has its own unique features and flare. Part of what makes this project so exciting is the fact that no 2 pieces are one alike. Often starting with a large section of tattered walnut or split willow for dramatic effect.

These tables are sure to draw attention to any room and screams -this was not bought at Ikea! So let’s dive into this project that is sure to test your patience but well worth the reward. Once you’re done check out our unique lamp options for the finishing touch.

Step 1: Map out your resin table design

table blueprint

Get to the drawing board. Here is where you can draw out our ideal visual end game. This includes dimensions that will best fir your living space. Whether you want it to be a side table or coffee table and the types of legs you plan to use. This section may seem a little unnecessary but will truly help when it comes to picking out your selection of wood. This is where you combat buyer’s remorse since you will only be looking for wood that fits your planned design.

Step 2: Getting all the materials.

Now that you have your plan set in place it’s time to start gathering what you need. The first thing to look for is your wood slab. A quick google search for “live edge wood slabs” will help bring up some useful places to purchase from.  These range in price from $50-$300 depending on the size and variety of wood you want to use. Next, it’s time to get some resin. Envirotex is a popular brand trusted and used by DIYers alike. It’s best to buy this stuff in bulk as one project will likely lead to another. To play it safe and grab 2 gallons from Amazon or your local craft store. Finally, you will need some legs to bring this project off the ground. Due to the weight of the table, I recommend going with something solid like steel or iron.  For these, you can check thrift stores or swap meets to upcycle something destined for the trash into something new. Here is a list of all of the nitty and gritty gear you’re going to need before getting started.

  • The wood you are using, cut down to size
  • Table size pieces of Acrylic
  • Clamps to secure
  • Masking tape
  • Resin (Envirotex )– 2 gallons
  • rubber Gloves
  • Golden Fluid Acrylic
  • Electric Hand Sander
  • Sand Paper in coarse, medium and fine grit
  • PolyCrylic
  • Wood Conditioner
  • Wood Stain
  • Chosen Legs
  • Wood Screws
  • Rustoleum Paint and Primer Spraypaint
  • Degreaser
  • Handheld Torch with extra Can of Butane
  • Disposable cups and popsicle sticks
  • Respirator to save your lings from the dust!

Step 3: Prepping and pouring the resin

resin mixture

Photo credit: Skinner studio

Start building your pen to hold the wood and liquid mixture. This will depend on how large your wood piece or pieces are. Use the acrylic sheets to form the 5 sides of the box and clamps to keep it all in place. To keep the box level use some scrap pieces of wood to raise and lower the box until it is set to level in place.

Get your resin into a disposable cup. For this project blue or green dyes tend to look the best. Some like the hidden forest look while others aim to build a blue stream running through the middle. We’ve also seen these tables that look really good with red and orange dyes so it really depends on the look you are going for. One company that specializes in this created a lava-like formation with chunks of shattered glass.

To ensure the resin properly sets make sure you closely follow the instruction on the label. Typically it calls for a 1:1 ratio of the solution but this may differ depending on the brand you use.

Pro Tip: Not mixing the resin properly will stop the solution from setting. This is a pain to take off so make sure the most time is spent during the mixing process.

While mixing the dye we recommend using 1-10 drops of color per resin solution. This will ensure the resin sits properly otherwise it will dry cloudy (which cannot be smoothed out in the last step )

Patience is key during the pouring since the resin will need to be applied in multiple steps. Each pour should be no thicker than 1/8 of an inch. This will allow the air bubbles to be released without burning the resin. To remove the trapped air bubbles apply some heat to each layer before it dry’s. You can use a small blowtorch or heat gun – Do not use a hair blower. Repeat this step for each 1/8” layer until the desired thickness is achieved.

The last resin pour should contain no coloring as this will change the appearance of the wood below. Some people like to have the wood come through the table. In this case, you can dye each layer to keep the color consistent.

 

Step 4: Removing the table from its mold

This part can be a little tricky so be careful! Use a chisel to take off the acrylic borders.  If you’re not careful you can shatter the resin throwing away hours of hard work. If you start with the bottom the sides should come off easily.

If you are really nervous about taking this mold off try taping the bottom of the acrylic sheet to ensure there is not sticking. If the epoxy sticks it is often the result of not mixing the solution properly. Extra sanding can remove the lines left behind from the tape. If you are confident in your mixing skills then save some time and skip the tape.

 

 

Step 5: Sanding the wood and resin

sanding resin table

Photo credit:Do daddy Resin table

To keep the sanding smooth and consistent use an orbital sander. A belt sander even with a fine grind will take off more than you are looking for and can create divots and bumps. For this project, you will need sanding paper in coarse medium and fine grounds. Start with the course and work your way down to the find. Before you start running your hand along the resin to look for sticky spots. These areas cannot be sanded and will need a thin layer of clear resin to seal the spot.

Sanding a sticky spot will leave that section cloudy and you will need to remove it before the finishing process. Save yourself some time and cover the sticky parts in another coat. If you decide to sand one of these sticky sections you can remove it with a heat gun and a chisel or some acetone. CAREFUL when using Acetone it is highly flammable.

 

Step 6: Finishing and polishing 

Wipe down the wood with a clean cloth and vacuum up the debris. You can use a spray on polyurethane finish or wipe on a Polyacrylic. Here is where a testing block comes into good use. Having a section you can test different applications on will save you the hard work of sanding off the unsuccessful first coat.

Now that you have your tabletop ready grab your legs and screw them into place.

Congratulations!

You have now created your first resin table. Sit back with a hot cup of tea or coffee and take marvel at your new creation. It’s sure to be the talk of any social gathering you conduct. Be sure to follow each step carefully and take your time. Any misstep in the process can add an hour or 2 to the finished task.

Be careful and have fun. :D