For those new to epoxy resin, making your own slabs can be intimidating. In this tutorial, Rob with Upstart Epoxy is back to show you how to structure an epoxy resin river table with floating slabs! The tutorial is full of DIY pro-tips, best practices for epoxy calculations, and much more. Stay tuned to see how this turns out!
Skill Level: Intermediate/Expert
Estimated Working Time: 3-5 Days
What You’ll Need:
- Upstart Epoxy Deep Pour Resin
- Upstart Epoxy Table Top Resin
- Upstart Epoxy Powdered Pigments Set
- Large Plywood Piece
- Wood Slab
- Silicone Caulk
- Tyvek Tape
- Heat Gun
- Legs For Table
- Clamps (Optional)
Create a form using plywood.
To kick this off, we took our plywood and cut it into a custom size form. We want to use these slabs for an epoxy resin table, so we cut it to 42x90 inches, then took a sheet of ¾-inch plywood and made it about ½-inch wider on all dimensions, making the plywood about 43.5x91.5, but still allowing for extra space.
This step also allows extra room for the pour, which tends to spread out further than intended. As long as the table winds up being 42x90 inches when we trim it, we’re good to go! Now, let’s move on to building and sealing the walls of the form.
Build the walls of the form and start to cut the slabs.
We used a silicone caulk as an adhesive, and made sure the entire form was sealed. After going around the form with tape to prevent leaks, we sanded and cut our wood slabs to fit into the form. Take your time with this- don’t be afraid to double check your calculations!
Pour an initial seal coat.
We mixed up a fresh batch of deep pour epoxy and added Silver Black (Y401) from the powdered pigments set. Once it was thoroughly mixed, we added it as a seal coat to the wood slabs, and let it cure until it was tacky- usually about 6-12 hours.
Secure the slabs to the form.
You don’t want the slabs to go swimming in the epoxy once you start to pour! To prevent this, you can use clamps to make them more sturdy. This step is optional, but it’ll prevent mistakes and allow the bar top to cure properly.
Carefully measure and mix your epoxy resin.
Next, it was time to mix up our deep pour resin. According to our calculations, we needed to have 1,185 cubic ounces of deep pour for this project. Deep pour is sold in gallons, so we converted the cubic ounces and got 7.7 gallons. This epoxy resin has a 2:1 ratio- technically, there’s three parts- so we divided our total by three, and got 160 ounces for Part A, and 80 ounces for Part B per gallon.
We mixed up all 7.7 gallons, making sure to mix carefully and thoroughly. Be sure to take your time with this! Doing so makes your pour cleaner and helps the project cure properly. For more details on how to get the right numbers, check out our Youtube video linked above!
Add powdered pigment shades to your mixed epoxy.
After the epoxy was properly mixed, we added Black (BK2) from our powdered pigments set into each batch, mixing carefully and building a perfect consistency. Now you’re ready to pour!
Pour the colored epoxy resin onto your form.
It’s time for the final pour. Be sure to use the provided mixer that came with your resin and paint on the sides, making sure each part of your bar top is covered with epoxy and all gaps are filled in. After about 20 minutes, come back to the project and hit any visible air bubbles with a heat gun or blowtorch. Let the project cure for 12-24 hours.
Finish off your work for a clean finish.
Once the table has cured, you’re ready to pop it out of its form and start to finish it off. We carefully sanded the slabs off, and then mixed up a batch of table top epoxy resin. We measured them to see that we’d need about 1 ounce of epoxy per square foot, and measured the table to be about 28 square feet.
Conduct your final pour.
We mixed up 14 ounces of Part A and 14 ounces of Part B, poured it on to the table, and allowed it to cure overnight again. Once it had completed the final cure, we did one final sanding to make sure the finish was clean and crisp. We added legs on the bottom to make it a functioning dinner table, and we were all done!