Epoxy tables are a promising direction that can diversify the interior of the kitchen, living room, study. Having the necessary tools, materials and drawings at hand, you can create real masterpieces yourself. It cannot be said that it will be very easy to do this, because you will have to follow certain technologies, but you can work with epoxy even at home.
Designs from furniture salons or online stores are also made by hand. It is the desire to realize their artistic ideas that motivates novice craftsmen to make a table or countertop with their own hands.
Polymer resin allows you to restore old pieces of furniture that have long lost their former luster. The use of various decorative elements will allow you to create an unusual style. Later they are filled with transparent resin.
One desire to update the interior of the room will not be enough. It is necessary to clearly understand the purpose of the table, the features of surface care, how the decoration of the countertop will be provided. But the most important point is to take into account all the advantages and disadvantages of the product related to the physical properties of epoxy resin.
Tables, which include areas of epoxy resin, contribute to the overall design of the room a certain exclusivity.
This is perhaps the most striking advantage of the material used. But it is necessary to emphasize some more useful properties of epoxy.
- Transparent resin allows you to convey the natural texture of decorative elements, which can be wooden trimmings, metal objects, plant flowers.
- The solidified resin remains safe for human health, although safety measures should be observed when self-pouring.
- Provided that high-quality material is used, epoxy resin products have a sufficiently long service life.
- Despite the need to comply with a number of requirements in the manufacture of countertops, the technology itself is considered quite simple.
Epoxy resin provides a wide field of activity for designers. They can realize all their fantasies, create exclusive masterpieces with a combination of natural textures of various materials. The polymer material itself consists of two components. One of them is resin, and the second is a hardener. When the components are mixed, a chemical reaction occurs with the formation of bound polymers. The resin hardens and retains its transparency. The material can be painted, just add a color to the main composition.
The peculiarity of working with epoxy allows you to obtain smooth horizontal surfaces without the use of complex equipment.
From the properties of the epoxy, you can go to the properties of the product. When pouring, the flowing resin takes a “horizon” under its own weight, this greatly simplifies production. The table top has high strength. But shock loads and the use of tables for other purposes should be avoided. You can strengthen the countertop by pouring resin on a wooden or plywood base. The frozen resin is resistant to moisture. Tables can be installed in rooms with high humidity. High-quality formulations are not afraid of ultraviolet radiation.
Some types of epoxy under the influence of direct sunlight turn yellow. A thin layer of transparent varnish can protect the surface from yellowing.
For all its amazing properties, resin has a number of disadvantages. You need to know about them. Resin “does not like” sudden temperature changes. In some cases, white clots may occur throughout the flooded volume. Many craftsmen, trying to avoid the formation of bubbles and speed up the drying process of resin, work in a room with a high ambient temperature. But at the same time there is a significant problem – the resin becomes toxic at elevated temperatures. The epoxy is fluid, so when pouring it is important to ensure the tightness of the mold.
Three options for self-manufacturing
Immediately it is necessary to determine the type of countertop. This stage can be called design. A drawing of the table is being developed here. Any step-by-step instruction focuses on the filling of the countertop. It is also necessary to assemble the frame of the table or provide for the fastening of the legs.
- Countertops with a base. The lower part of the countertop is a rigid canvas made of plywood or chipboard. During the reconstruction of an old table, its countertop serves as a base for subsequent filling. Resin is poured on the base in several layers. Their number depends on the manufacturer of the material. The base can be laid in a frame. It is welded from metal corners. In a more simplified version, a formwork is constructed along the perimeter of the base and resin is poured into the resulting space.
- Countertops without a base. Such countertops are filled in if there is one formwork. The shape of the plate can be round, oval, square or rectangular. Adherents of modern styles make countertops of irregular shape. The variety of design is realized by adding dye, zoning or adding decorative elements. It is important to understand that countertops without a base are not as strong as those with a base. Basically, coffee or coffee tables are made in this way, which will not experience serious loads.
- Combined countertops. Due to the fact that there is no strict separation between products of the first and second type, combined countertops have also appeared. They are not poured onto the base, but decorative elements are present in the resin thickness, giving the structure additional strength. Such elements include slab slabs, plaques, decorative stone tiles, metal sheets. They are located in different layers. They can form the lowest layer, like a base, or be applied in layers, forming a three-dimensional picture.
Depending on the selected type, the sequence of actions is determined. It is impossible to describe all possible options. Let’s give as an example the filling of a slab, which is decorated with a wooden array. Here the reader will meet both the preparation and processing of the material, and the basic methods of pouring resin. Based on the knowledge gained, everyone will be able to create their own masterpieces. Wood can be replaced with metal, fabric, cork.
Tables made of wood and epoxy resin differ in the manufacturing principle. Wood contains a lot of air. It will start to come out and bubbles will form in the thickness of the epoxy. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to provide reliable “protection” by blocking the surface of the array from escaping air or moisture.
It is advisable to select wooden tiles from a slab or an array that are not too thick. This will allow the resin to be poured from the bottom and top of the plate. The ends of a wooden slab or plank can be processed or remain in its natural form.
When grinding with sandpaper, it should be remembered that processing with coarse-grained paper promotes the penetration of resin into the pores. As a result, the color of the tree will darken. If you sand the surface with fine sandpaper, the pores will be closed and the array will retain its natural color.
After cutting the wood and processing it, it is necessary to blow the surfaces with compressed air. If this is not possible, then fine sawdust and dust are removed with a soft brush. The remnants of small particles will form suspensions in the resin, which will spoil the whole picture. Resin has a negative attitude to moisture. Small water bubbles may occur. After the resin solidifies, it will remain in it. The exception is the space-themed design, when water droplets simulate clusters of stars. After preparing the wooden products, they are sent to dry. In summer, it is enough to stay in the sun during daylight hours, and in winter – the location at the heater for two days.
The next stage is the production of the formwork. Its main purpose is to retain the resin in the form of a tabletop shape. The walls of the formwork should be smooth. In addition, after solidification, you will have to process the ends of the countertop with a coarse-grained abrasive. The formwork can be made of chipboard, plywood, wood or plexiglass. The resin will probably leak through the seams. Therefore, the joints of the walls are treated with a sealant. In order for the epoxy to easily come off the walls of the formwork, the latter are treated with wax, vaseline or a special separating compound.
There is the easiest way to prepare the form. The formwork is being assembled. Its inner space is covered with a plastic film. The film does not allow the resin to leak out of the sides, it separates well from the resin.
Decorative elements are placed inside the prepared form. They are laid immediately or after pouring the next layer. It all depends on the master’s imagination. Light parts should be secured. If it is decided to fill in one layer, and the resin composition allows it to be done, then wooden or metal elements are laid out in a mold.
The assembled pyramid of wooden planks will have to be disassembled. It is necessary to cover each product with a layer of resin. The resin is diluted according to the same principle, according to the instructions. When processing with resin, safety precautions should be observed and gloves should be worn. Uneven surfaces are impregnated with special care. You cannot proceed to the next stage until the tablets are dry. Pre-coating is necessary to eliminate the formation of air bubbles. A thin layer of resin will harden for about 8 hours.
When preparing the epoxy, it is necessary to make the correct calculation. Beginners are recommended to prepare a little more than the norm of the composition. It is necessary to eliminate its shortage. The resin is diluted in the ratio according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The resin should be prepared in a clean container. It is also unacceptable for small particles to get into the prepared resin. The main composition and the hardener are thoroughly mixed, turning into a homogeneous mass. If there are areas in the resin that are uneven in density, then zones with liquid resin are formed during pouring. Before pouring the epoxy into the mold, it is allowed to settle for 15 minutes.
The further filling procedure depends on the material. The instructions indicate the thickness of the epoxy layer. Some types of polyester compositions are filled with a thick layer once. But there are materials that will have to be applied in layers, with the expectation of drying each layer. The resin is poured into the mold evenly until it reaches the planned level.
Bubbles will form during the filling process. Some of them will come to the surface on their own. The remaining part will have to be forcibly “kicked out”. To do this, the resin area is heated with a construction hair dryer. Additionally, you can use toothpicks, pierce the largest bubbles. You can disassemble the form in a day, but the countertop is not yet considered frozen. It may take about a week.
The final stage of manufacturing the countertop is grinding. The ideal ends of the plate will be only if the formwork is made of plexiglass and pre-coated with a separating agent. In all other cases, the edges will have to be processed. The grinding machine will help greatly facilitate the work. Manually leveling the surface is also realistic. The horizontal plane after the resin has completely solidified may turn out to be matte. It needs to be additionally polished with a fine-grained abrasive paste. During processing, the countertop is moistened with water.
Most of the work has already been done, but the real table is still far enough away. It was shown how to fill the countertop with your own hands, and now it should be equipped with legs. There are several options for implementing ideas for the basement.
- Table top on a stand. A frame is welded from a corner or profile. It has a large support area. It stands on a rectangular base. The table top is fixed with screws. It is not recommended to carry such a table behind the lid. The frame can withstand heavy loads. Similar tables can be used anywhere.
- Table with four legs. The legs can be made of wooden beams. By simple manipulations, a carved product is obtained. Each leg is screwed to the table top with corners. In the upper part, joints should be installed between the legs for rigidity. If it is not possible to carve beautiful wooden legs, then they are purchased in a furniture workshop. Forged products are also suitable.
- Table on two racks. Two racks are cut out of chipboard. To make the racks look more attractive, they are cut out using a jigsaw. The ends of the racks are closed with a decorative edge and look presentable. A stretch is definitely needed between the two racks. The lower it is installed, the more stable the structure will be.
- Table on one counter. One leg or stand is suitable for a small table for magazines. The design is not very strong, so it is not recommended to lean on the countertop. The rack is made of forged metal. At the bottom, it has sufficient support so that the table remains stable.
Before self-manufacturing furniture made of epoxy resin, it is advisable to watch an instructive video tutorial. A number of issues will be immediately removed from the agenda. From the video, you can find out which resin experienced craftsmen prefer to use, how many layers are applied in the manufacture of countertops, what color they use. If there is an opportunity to comprehend all the subtleties independently, then we have provided enough initial information.