Easy Resin Project: How to Coat a Table Top with Resin

Follow this easy guide to create a glossy resin coated surface on tables or countertops.

Setup:  Find a well-ventilated, dust free area to set up your project.  The temperature should also be mild (in the 70s or 80s) for best results.  Place a drop cloth underneath the table and verify that the table is level.  Wipe the table top off with a damp rag and allow it to dry completely.  It is recommended to seal porous surfaces such as wood with a thin coating of resin using a squeegee or foam brush prior to doing the main pour.  Let the seal coat cure for at least 6 hours.  If your surface is not porous or has been sealed, you can skip this step. 

Create a barrier of masking, painters, or sheathing tape around the edges of the table top if the top doesn't have a raised rim of its own.  Press the tape in place around the entire table top with the tape sticking up at least half an inch.  

Optional: Place any objects you wish to trap in the resin on the table top surface.  Keep in mind that pouring the resin may move objects so you should affix light objects like photos with a glue stick.  While the glue is wet, use a roller or a smooth round bottle to get air bubbles out from underneath the print.  A glue gun can be used for other objects such as coins and bottle caps.

Before you start mixing you should also have gloves, protective eyewear, paper towels, mixing sticks (wood and plastic work well), plastic cups for mixing, measuring cups (optional), and a foam brush.

You will need to figure out roughly how much resin you will need for your ENTIRE project including.  Keep in mind; it’s always better to have a little extra resin left over than it is to have to mix up another batch of it mid project. 

Mix enough resin to create a thin 1/16" thick coating (use the chart below as a guide). Pour equal volumes resin and hardener into two cups and then pour those two cups into a third mixing cup.  It is extremely important that you mix thoroughly in this cup, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the cup as you stir.  Mix for 3 to 5 minutes until there are no “streaks” left in the resin.

You can either pour this resin as is for a clear finish or you can mix in any color or glow pigments at this time.  If you are using more than one color, pour the clear resin from the mixing cup into new cups, one for each color, and then stir in your pigments.

After sanding, wipe down the surface with a solvent such as denatured alcohol or acetone. Note: Larger pours may require mixing for 5-6 minutes and it is recommended to not mix more than 1 gallon at a time.  Pour a thin layer of the resin mixture onto the top, pouring it slowly in a thin stream onto the center of the top.  Fill any indents or flaws in the table’s surface with the mixture by using a foam brush to guide the resin into these indentations.  Continue pouring until the entire table top is coated.  After a few minutes air bubbles may rise to the surface, use an artist's torch (on low flame) to blow the bubbles out.  Hold the torch approximately 8 inches from surface and use a gentle sweeping motion across the surface until the bubbles are gone.  The torch should never be held in one place for too long as this can permanently damage the surface and coating.  Do not use a torch on surfaces that might be flammable (i.e. paper, plastic, etc.)

Second and subsequent pours:

Allow the first coat to cure for 6 hours before making a second pour.  Remove the tape rim from the perimeter of the table top and create a fresh masking tape rim around the table top.  Mix a fresh batch of resin, making a slightly larger batch than before.  Pour the resin mixture slowly onto the table top until the entire top is coated.  Apply additional coats as desired, allowing adequate curing time between coats and using a fresh rim of tape each time.  After applying the final coat, allow the table to cure for 24 hours.  You can spray your cured epoxy table with a UV resistant acrylic for added protection against the outdoor elements though all epoxy resin will eventually yellow after prolonged UV exposure.  We recommended you allow the table top to cure and harden for 5 days before placing objects on it. 

If you need to pour several layers for additional thickness, wait for each layer to cure for 6 hours prior to pouring the next coat.  Subsequent coats beyond 48 hours require a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. 

Coverage (for coating applications):
- 16 oz coats approximately 3 sq. feet @ 1/16” thick
- 32 oz coats approximately 6 sq. feet @ 1/16” thick
- 64 oz coats approximately 12 sq. feet @ 1/16” thick
- 1 gallon coats approximately 24 sq feet @ 1/16” thick
- 2 gallon coats approximately 48 sq. feet @ 1/16” thick