Mix & Pour

Set up your mixing tool in the drill. This thing can mix the epoxy way better than you could by hand. It may cost a few bucks but it can help better guarantee a well-cured result. Undermixed epoxy may form soft spots that are irreversible.

Prepare your first coat, called the seal coat. I prepped up a one-quart batch of epoxy by mixing at a slow speed with the drill for two minutes (time it!), then scraped down the sides and bottom of the container with a disposable mixing stick. Throw the stick away after, as it has undermixed epoxy on it. Then I mixed again with the drill on a slow speed for another three minutes.

Set the mixing tool to the side on the plastic, and allow epoxy on it to harden. You can break it off before mixing up another batch later.

Pour the epoxy slowly into holes and cracks first, then around the whole surface, allowing it to drip over the sides. The main purpose of this coat is to soak into the wood, so you really want to get it everywhere and it doesn't have to be smooth. Use a foam brush to push it around.

Curing epoxy is a going through an exothermic chemical reaction (generating heat), and it will cure more quickly in a small container than when spread thin across a surface. Use caution when filling large holes or cracks, as the greater volume of epoxy will shrink as it cures quickly and trap bubbles. Visit these sites frequently with a heat gun to pop accumulated bubbles.

Epoxy busted through my adhesive seal and slowly oozed from the under side of the table, draining the epoxy-filled cracks up top. As long as its a slow drip that doesn't completely drain, you're good to go; you can fill the holes the remainder of the way on the next coat.

 

Use that foam brush to paint and smush the epoxy into all the cracks on the bark. Don't worry about drips on the underside, you can sand them of after the epoxy is cured.

You can already see the grain-enhancing effect the epoxy has on the wood, nice! Use the heat gun to gently wave over the epoxy and pop all the bubbles.

Close up your dust tent and let the epoxy cure for six hours (four hours miniumum, 10 hours maximum) before applying the second coat of epoxy. If you wait longer than 10 hours, you'll have to sand the surface with 220-300 grit sandpaper and then wipe it down with acetone or rubbing alchol before applying another coat of epoxy.

I applied an intermediate seal coat to fill the leaky holes and get into the bark more, but it's not mandatory. If you had any leaks that disn't get sealed by the previous coat, you can use a hot glue gun to plug them shut before the next coat.

The last coat is the "flood" coat, and it's thicker, so mix up about three times more epoxy than you did for the seal coat. Slowly pour it in a zigzagging motion over the top surface of the table, allowing it to genrously flow over the edge. The epoxy will self level at about 1/8 inch thickness, but you can push it around a little first to encourage it into all the bark.

Use a heat gun again to get out the bubbles. Check it again every minute for the next five minutes to zap any new bubbles.

Close up the dust tent and allow the table to cure for 72 hours. Check that the temperature stays above 75 degrees the whole time!

Last updated on May 04, 2015 Published on Nov 04, 2014