DIY Epoxy Resin Coffee Table

Diy epoxy coffee table by A Beautiful MessDiy epoxy coffee table by A Beautiful Mess  During the last six months we've added a new family member to our household, a sweet beagle puppy we named Mrs. Bananas. Trey's sister, Michelle, had a beagle with a litter. Mrs. Bananas was the very last puppy still in need of a good home, and Trey and I just couldn't resist! Anyway, the first few months she went through a bit of a chewing phase, to say the least. We are through that now, but some of our furniture is a little worse for wear. One item that suffered more than others was our coffee table. Mrs. Banana's just loved chewing up the legs of that table! It had been a hand-me-down from Rachel to Elsie to me, so I guess it was just its time to go. I've been wanting to make an epoxy resin table for some time now, so I figured this was my opportunity. So as a part of our Canon USA collaboration I created this photo-heavy epoxy resin coffee table.

Diy epoxy coffee table by A Beautiful Mess Most of the time when I see these types of tables, people will add pennies or bottle caps to a tabletop and seal it with epoxy resin so the surface is smooth and hard. I've also seen a few with old (vintage photos) or with sealed-in menus (I saw one like this at a bar in Nashville last year). I decided to use personal photos along with some thin-sliced geodes I purchased locally. Since these photos would be highly visible on a coffee table in our living room, I decided I wanted to use personal photos with an abstract feel. I used a few photos from our engagement and wedding as well as some from different places we've visited together (including San Francisco, Hawaii, and even our hometown). I printed my photos on 13" x 19" paper using our Canon PRO-100

We created a video of how we made our epoxy resin tabletop. I watched a lot of different videos online while I was researching different types of epoxy resin products and procedures. Most of the videos I found either didn't explain the process well (usually they felt too vague and left me with a lot of questions), or they were exceptionally long and made the process seem way more difficult than I found it needed to be. Once I tried it I found it really wasn't that difficult! So I kept this in mind as we worked to create our video.

DIY Epoxy Resin Coffee Table

Supplies:
-table with 1/4" (or less) lip around all the edges (I wanted to use an older, found table but I never found one that fit our space AND had a lip around the edge. So Josh made me this super simple table over a weekend so it's the exact size I wanted to fit our space.)
-photos and objects you want sealed in the table (make sure the objects are not taller than the lip of your table)
-spray adhesive or glue
-glaze coat pour-on high gloss epoxy resin* (the brand we used was from Famowood)
-disposable paper, plastic cups, or small pitchers
-disposable stir stick (I used part of a leftover dowel rod)
-disposable gloves (you may also want to wear an apron and safety goggles)
-drop cloth to cover your work area, in case of spills or drips
-masking or painter's tape
-small, handheld propane torch (I used a kitchen torch)

*The amount of epoxy resin you'll need depends on how large and deep the area you are covering is. My coffee table is 4' x 5" x 16" with a 3/8" depth (from the tabletop to the top edge of the lip). I used 1 gallon and 2 quarts of the epoxy resin coating.

How to make an epoxy resin table topStep One: Prepare your tabletop. If you're using a found table, make sure to lightly sand and clean the surface where the epoxy will be poured. You'll also want to tape off the edges. The tape will prevent the epoxy resin from oozing out of any cracks or edges while it hardens.

Pringing with a Canon PRO-100Step Two: Print photos. As I mentioned above, I printed my photos at 13" x 19" and trimmed them to fit my surface area.

How to make an epoxy resin table top  How to make an epoxy resin table top   Step Three: Plan design. Move your photos and objects around on the tabletop until you have a design you love. For any photos or papers use a light coat of spray adhesive or glue to set them in place. You don't want them to float or bubble up during the epoxy resin pouring process, so make sure they are securely in place now.

How to mix epoxy resinStep Four: Mix the epoxy resin. Follow the instructions, as some products will differ from others. The instructions from the brand I used had me mix the resin and hardener together in two disposable containers for four minutes, in each container. Whatever mixing duration your instructions include, be sure to follow them. During this stage you'll want to wear gloves, apron, and possibly safety goggles (or glasses) to protect yourself from these chemicals. You also need to work in a well-ventilated space. I worked near two large windows that I opened during this step, as these chemicals give off a strong smell. Be careful if it's a windy day since you don't want particles floating into your epoxy once poured.

How to pour epoxy resin Step Five: Pour the mixed epoxy resin over the countertop, taking care not to add too much; otherwise it can overflow the edges. My instructions suggested only mixing one to two quarts at a time so I had to repeat this process multiple times. If you are adding more epoxy resin (in layers), try to pour in circles or lines and avoid pouring in large clumps over one area; this will help the mixture to ooze into the proper place. If you find you don't have enough epoxy resin, allow your first coat to cure overnight before adding more the next day. Do not add more to a coat that is only partially cured as this can result in uneven drying, causing imperfections in your surface. If in doubt, call the technical support listed in the instructions (I did!).

How to remove bubbles from an epoxy counter topStep Six: Use a small propane torch to remove any bubbles in the surface. You might feel inclined to skip this step because you don't want to buy a torch. As I mentioned above, I used a kitchen torch, and it made a HUGE difference in the final look of my table. You could also use a heat gun instead of torch. Any of these options will do, but don't skip this step!

Diy epoxy coffee table by A Beautiful Mess   DiyepoxyresincoffeetableOnce the surface has cured for at least 24-48 hours (although 72 is recommended), you're ready to start using your new table! Be sure to keep it free from dust or other particles while it's drying. And it's a good idea to press your finger into an edge of the table before placing anything heavy on it, just to make sure yours is, indeed, fully dry. Not too bad, right? Thanks for letting me share our new coffee table with you. xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography and Video by: Sarah Rhodes. Video music by: Jeremy Larson. Coffee table structure built by: Josh Rhodes. Photos edited with Imogen from the Folk Collection.

 

  • Very nice. Really cool idea using photos. I made a tv tray using good ole’ bottle caps spray painted orange, blue, lime, and white using the epoxy resin to seal it. Super cute. Turned out awesome. Did everything according to directions, etc. About a year later it began to turn yellow. Hope this doesn’t happen to your table – but just a heads up.

  • It looks so easy to make with such a fantastic result! Excellent job!
    We moved into a smaller space and now our pallet table seems much too big, I was looking for a smaller, nice alternative and this might be just what I was looking for.

    Thanks so much for sharing
    The Appleberry

  • Wow… i love this table esp the photos to give it a personal touch.. Love it!!! Thanks for sharing, emma..

  • so pretty! i want to try this so bad! maybe i’ll start with something small to test out the process.

  • Awesome!! Do you think a hair dryer would work or is that not hot enough! Loving the new table!

  • I love that you just came out with this DIY project! I had decided to try using resin on an old table and was searching for tutorials on how to do this when I saw your blog had just posted this. Thanks for the great step by step on the process! I love how your table turned out!

  • Oh my gosh I am so going to try this!! Thanks so much Emma, video and instructions are really clear πŸ™‚

  • Sounds like a great way to take advantage of a bad situation and make it into a good one!

  • Thank you for such a wonderful DIY idea and fab step-by-step guide. I am a tiny bit scared of such a massive (for me!) project, but at the same time so tempted to give it a go – love the result! x

  • Girls, you are amazing!
    Every time I pop in, I love what you’re up to!
    And here you go again!
    Good job! Keep it up.
    And by the way, I am just about to finish a kitchenette inspired by your design.
    Thank you!!!
    (sorry for all the excl. points. Normally, I am not that enthusiastic. But I just needed to get it off my chest πŸ˜‰

  • So creative! I love the idea, of taking something that has a use and making it personal. My tiny little place (I share a 600 square foot condo with my two children) doesn’t have room for a coffee table, but I’m thinking of doing something similar for a catch-all tray in the entry.

  • What a fun project–it looks amazing! This may be a dumb question, but it appears that the epoxy spreads out on its own? You don’t have to brush it over the whole surface? Just pour on in circles and lines? Thx!

  • This table is so freakin’ beautiful! I will most definitely be trying this someday!
    Katelyn // Relatively Offbeat

  • This is a question regarding your knowledge of Canon and your printer. I am looking for a printer that can print on fabric, cardstock, photoes, etc. I am so frustrated in my search. Most of the info I read on various printers stresses the photo printing side, but I am a crafter and also need to be able to print on heavier paper. I like to make cards as well, and that is a whole process in itself with the pitiful Epson that I have. Do you have a recommendation? Thanks and I love your blog.

  • Do you mind me asking where you got your beautiful yellow sofa?!? I am in love with it!

  • What a cool idea for an awesome table! Now though…it is time to share a few puppy pictures maybe? πŸ™‚

  • This table is really cool, but what I really want to know is the name of the wall color in your living room. Its gorgeous.

  • this is really gorgeous. i’ve always thought bars looked super cool with this but this modern take on it is rad too.

  • Lovely! Really like that but my partner would bark (pardon the pun!) at something like that – my taste is better than his though! Speaking of bark, can we see a picture of your new dog? I’m getting a pug soon too. Super excited but any tips would be massively appreciated! Xx

  • Looks awesome! So after you pour the resin, do you have to do anything to even it out or spread it to cover empty spots? I noticed when you poured it you did it in circles but it didn’t cover everything, does it just naturally spread out?

    Can’t wait to see pics of Mrs. Bananas! πŸ™‚

  • Questions! After you pour the epoxy onto the table, do you have to spread it out? Or does it spread out by itself? Or you keep mixing and pouring until the surface is covered, and then the heat gun evens/spreads it out?

  • I had read a few sites that mentioned using a hairdryer. To be honest I don’t think it’s the best idea because I think the blowing action would move the liquid too much, causing more ripples. I’d stick to a torch, kitchen torch or heat gun if it were me.

    -Emma

  • No, it spreads on it’s own. I did tip my table once just to give it a little extra push in the right direction for one corner. This only works if your table/surface is level, FYI.

    -Emma

  • Honestly the printer I used in this project (it’s linked in the post so you can read more about it) is really really good on thicker papers. We often use a watercolor paper and also high quality photo papers with it and it’s excellent. I’ve never used it to print directly onto fabric, I’m not sure that would work as typically you print onto fabric transfer paper and then iron it onto fabric. We’ve done that with our smaller Canon printer (Pixma MG 7120) and it worked really well.

    Good luck in your printer search!

    -Emma

  • I’ve read that it can but after doing this project I doubt it would work well. I think the blowing power of the dryer would cause the liquid to move/ripple. Personally I’d stick to a torch, kitchen torch or heat gun. I especially recommend a kitchen torch as they are cheap, super safe feeling she you use them, and then you can make creme brΓ»lΓ©e later as your reward. πŸ™‚

    -Emma

  • It’s from Macy’s. And thanks for saying that as it’s actually looking quite dumpy from when we first bought it. Again, the dogs have gotten to it. πŸ™‚

    We’re a three dog household so no furniture is ever truly safe.

    -Emma

  • Nope. It spreads out on it’s own. But, you’re surface must be level. If you notice it not spreading evenly I’d recommend tipping the table to help ooze it into place before it sets.

    -Emma

  • Yes, it naturally spreads. But it’s more of a slow ooze. So you don’t want to pour it all directly in the center, it may not ooze out quick enough. Circles or parallel lines while pouring is best.

    -Emma

  • I love this project! I’m wondering if you made the table or got it from somewhere? I hardly ever see tables with a raised edge that way which would be perfect for this sort of project. I almost want to attempt MAKING the table too.

  • Brilliant! But I’m a tad sad there’s no instructions on how you built the actual table πŸ™ I love you guys, though- keep up the work! ABM Forever!

  • So the dimensions of the table are 4′ x 5″ x 16″? The the width only 5″? Or is the width 15″ and the height of the table 16″? Do you mind clarifying? πŸ™‚

  • Oh, I love this one! had a friend of mine that did something similar but it was nothing like this. I love it and you did such a nice job! I hope to give this one a try soon πŸ™‚

    Love and Luck,

    Laurali Star

    http://www.the secretsurprisinista.com

  • Oh, I love this one! had a friend of mine that did something similar but it was nothing like this. I love it and you did such a nice job! I hope to give this one a try soon πŸ™‚

    Love and Luck,

    Laurali Star

    http://www.the secretsurprisinista.com

  • SO COOL! I am nervous since I’ve never worked with epoxy resin, but this looks simple enough! My only question is, if I use an existing table with no lip, do you think I could make a lip out of some narrow wood myself? Also, would you happen to have instructions for building a table like Josh made?

  • Great tutorial, the table looks lovely!

    Any idea if the end result is food safe? As in, if a piece of fruit fell on the table and curious kids ate it, would that be ok?

  • Wow, it’s a great idea to convert a simple glass table into a stylish designer table using this easy method. I will try to make my old glass table stylish by using this process. Also, the way you have described it is really amazing, it will definitely help me in changing it.

  • I think I’m in love. We have a lot of time this summer and I’m hoping to do lots of home renovation and DIY projects throughout the months. This is definitely getting added to the list! Thank you.

  • Can you share the cost of doing your table? I am wanting to add a project like this to my DIY list, but I was wondering what the ballpark budget might be. (I know it can go up or down depending on the size of the surface.) Thanks!

  • That looks really great. I’ve always been terrified of resin. I’ve heard it was difficult to get even and dry and clear, etc., etc. Maybe I’ll give it a try!

  • It is a lovely result, but it is more messy than it looks, and you can not stress out enough the importance of the lip on the table! Also drying process around 72 hours, and while it is drying you have to make sure that no particles of dust, or hair, or pets πŸ™‚ will get in it!!
    But you managed to overcome all of it with a beautiful outcome. Congrats

  • I love your blog and was super psyched to see you working with resin. I work with epoxy resin with my artwork on a regular basis. I would strongly recommend doing this is a well ventilated area with a respirator, gloves and glasses! please please please πŸ™‚