Saturday, March 14, 2020

Art Project: Painted Tabletop with Poured Resin Coating

A while back my wife did a project putting a painted "marble" top on an old cabinet and then coating it with resin.  I really liked the way it turned out and was thinking of doing something myself I decided to upgrade my beat-up old craft table by sanding it down, painting a big graphic art piece on it, then sealing it with resin to protect the painting.  Deciding on what design and colors took a while, but I finally got it done.  Then came the scary part.  If you mess up while painting you can paint over it-- but if you mess up a resin pour you're done. About that time my local craft store had a going out of business sale so I was able to get some resin kits for a reasonable price.

But first a set of images showing the painting from bare table and sketches to finished piece:

1. Assemble everything you'll need: resin kits, mixing buckets, mixing cups, plastic sheeting, blow torch, and stirring stick.

2. Also get a fire extinguisher handy if the whole blowtorch thing goes sideways.   I watched several videos on YouTube and many suggested warming up the resin bottles in not-too-hot water to make them pour a bit better.

2. And here are some views of the final result:

I still have to paint the metal frame under it, but that's just some basic paint work.

Lessons Learned:

  • Making and pouring resin is actually pretty easy.
  • Make sure your work area is VERY WELL VENTILATED. The fumes from the mixed resin don't seem too bad at first.  But even with both windows and the door open I got very light headed part way through and had to get out and get some air to recover.
  • Make sure you have a bit more resin in your pour than the bare minimum.  The top came out well coated but the edges are a bit thin and not as smooth. I used three kits, the bare minimum, but should have used four.
  • For a wide area a smaller blowtorch is better. I bought a larger one with the idea that I had a larger area to cover and didn't want it to run out mid-project.  However, in trying to reach the middle areas I had to tilt it too far over (the flame needs to be about 2-3"/50-75cm from the surface). The blowtorch needed to be upright and flamed out when tilted over where I needed it.
  • You can actually use your breath as a source of CO2 rather than a flame, but be careful about breathing in those fumes!
  • Keep and eye on the drips off the underside of the edges. I wiped the undersides three times with about a half hour wait between each wiping. Some videos suggested taping, etc. but I found wiping a couple times worked just fine.

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