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I have always wanted to try and build a live edge wood table. I wanted the kind with little cracks and wells in them so I could fill it with colored resin. Through a lot of trial and error, I did it! And I learned a lot in the process for the next live edge resin table. (Yes, next!)
The one I chose was a teak “starfish” imported from Indonesia. It was 3″ thick and 36″ wide at its widest point and weighed 50lbs.
Here’s a video talking about what I planned to do for this project:
1.) Purchasing Resin and Color Pigment
I ended up choosing Art Resin which you can buy on Amazon. It comes in these 8oz bottles, which I initially bought, but it was not quite enough. (this will only be enough for a few small holes) The second time I ended up getting the half gallon jugs since I knew I wanted to do more of these projects. I also got the color pigment on Amazon.
2.) Mixing and Pouring the Resin
As you’ll see in the video below, you mix 2 equal parts of resin and hardener. (You actually don’t need a third container, you can mix one into the other.)
Once mixed, it kinda takes on a light, pearly white color as it’s mixing together. I suggest doing smaller pours to start.
You will need to use a blow torch after each pour to “melt away” the air bubbles. I found one at my local hardware store where the torch just screws in to the can and it has a starter.
Once you are ready to mix in the pigment, you only need a tiny amount. If it’s a deep pool, you may consider not mixing in pigment for the first pour as it won’t be seen anyways. Also consider how much resin and hardener you’re mixing and the amount of pigment for each pour. The pigment is very powerful and the slightest bit more or less will make each color pour look slightly different. I personally like the “swirly” look but be aware of this if you want it to look perfectly uniform.
I also decided to fill in some of the cracks that go across the top and the sides. I used flash tape, but duct tape or painters tape also work, but you have to use a lot. I used one piece of duct tape on the exit hole on the bottom of my wood, and the resin leaked out. So be sure to use lots of tape!
Also for this, you may have to tape the side of the crack and fill from the top, let it dry and then turn the wood on its side and fill the side of the crack some more. Trial and error! This process is slow as you don’t want to “weigh down” your tape and cause leaks.
It looks very messy when they are all filled as you should overpour so that you can sand it back down.
3.) Sand, Sand and Sand Some More.
The sanding process takes a long time! Start with a heavy grit like a 40 or 60 to get the excess resin off.
Don’t worry, it looks terrible before it looks good!
Once you’ve gotten the resin mostly back level with the table, it’s time to get those heavy scratches out! This accomplished through lots more sanding. You want to start with a heavier grit (after the 40 or 60) like a 120 and the incrementally work your way up 200-400 grit each time all the way up to 2000.
With each level of finer grit, your resin will go back to being crystal clear!
4.) Polishing the resin
I found that this 3 step polish worked best, (start with #3) but there are other boat and car waxes that can work well, and you can even add a buffer to your drill. I found this Novus 3 step cleaning polish on Amazon.
5.) Attach the legs.
Hopefully you’ve read all the way to here before rushing out to buy your wood, because it’s very important to buy a piece of wood with a level underside. It makes attaching the legs a million times easier. Otherwise you have to route holes to make your table not wobble.
I decided on these 2.5″ steel flat bar trapezoid legs, but hairpin legs would look nice as well! You can find these types of legs on Etsy.
6.) Add the wood protective finishes.
First I used 2 coats of tung oil, which really brought out the wood grain!
Next I added 2-3 coats of clear lacquer. Both these items are at the hardware store where the interior stains are located (paint section).
The results are absolutely amazing! Check out my current selection of vintage, upcycled furniture available now in my shop!