See How To Make A Resin Table Step-By-Step

You may think that one can have too many tables, and one or two would generally suffice, but that’s probably because you’ve never been introduced to one of these – Introducing: epoxy resin river tables. The name may be a mouthful, but these are AKA live-edge tables, dining tables, coffee tables, high-quality countertops.

Table made of epoxy resin and wood

This crafting project is pleasing to the eyes and adaptable and is perfect for decorating a living room or any other space. There’s no limit to the things that you can experiment with when making a resin table. If you want to know all the reasons to invest in resins, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for a detailed guide on making a DIY resin table! 

The materials that you’ll need

Now that you’ve set your mind to creating a style statement table, it’s time to show off your DIY skills. Here’s a list of what you need: 

  1. Wood: We recommend leaving your frugality at the door for this one because the better your base, the more professional and sturdy your wooden table will turn out. There are three criteria for this material: hard, dry, and as flat as possible. 
  2. Jigsaw, Circular Saw, Chisel, and Planer: These tools will come in handy if you’re preparing the wood yourself
  3. Orbital Sander and Sandpaper: They will work well for sanding down the piece of wood.
  4. MDF boards: These will be used to build a formwork or mould.
  5. Silicone or Caulk: To seal the edges of the river table.
  6. A release agent: It will be required when removing it from the mould. Liquid release wax or adhesive tape are good options.
  7. Epoxy resin kit: The amount will depend on the size of the wood you’re working with.
  8. Crystal clear epoxy resin: It will be used for the primary coat or if you are looking for a glossy finish.
  9. Polishing paste or polishing oil: For a sleek, matte look.
  10. Liquid epoxy dye or powder epoxy dye: This will depend on your preference.
  11. Table legs: These can be purchased online or custom made.Table made of red resin

Preparation and planning

Before you can get to the cool part that everyone loves, you need to start with something else. 

Your wood should be at least 4 cm thick. An unrefined, natural appearance of tree bark will elevate the look. You can get the perfect wood structure in two ways. One, you can buy a piece of unprocessed wood and process it yourself. This would include cutting the wood down to the particular dimensions you’re looking for. A planer and circular saw are suitable for this and would make for a good day of work in the shed. 

Alternatively, you can buy the wood in the dimensions you need or have them cut professionally by woodworkers to your liking. It all depends on how you roll. The wood would be split in half where the epoxy resin river would run. 

“The place the art is created must be as good as the art” is a quote I just made up, but it applies really well here. Epoxy casting resin may be all the hype, but this kind of DIY project requires planning beforehand to create the ideal conditions for the solution to dry. 20°C is the optimum temperature for the table to cure. Remember that temperature spikes can affect the quality of your project. Make sure your working space has the perfect temperature consistently, and hey, an extra hand from a fan never hurt anyone!

Onto the step-by-step guide!

Epoxy resin river wood table tutorial step-by-step

Step 1

First, we must perfect the base. This means removing any protruding or leftover bark on the wood pieces. You will need a chisel to go over the surface of the wood, creating an optimal foundation for material bonding.

An orbital sander will make your work easier and less time-consuming as you sand the main surfaces of the wood top. Set the machine to 80 grit and steadily increase the abrasive for a smooth finish. Then, you can go over the sides and edges with sandpaper. Remember to clean the wood surface thoroughly, so no dust residue is left on it.

Man polishing epoxy table

Step 2

Next, it’s time to take care of any splits, unevenness, cracks, or gaps on the wood surface. The method is simple; fill the holes with crystal clear resin. First, seal the gaps with strong tape to avoid any resin running over. Carefully pour until it is slightly above the top. Allow it to cure for a minimum of 5 hours, and sand the surface down until it is smooth and even

Step 3 

To build your mould that will hold your tabletop and keep everything in place, lay an MDF sheet that is bigger than your wood pieces under the latter. Then, measure the total width of your wood table by laying the wood pieces next to each other with space in the middle for the river resin. Cut your MDF sheet to the length and width of the tabletop and align the sheets with all 4 sides. Join the ends of the sheets with screws or a hot glue gun, and your mould is ready. Test to ensure it is waterproof, and finally apply a releasing agent to the entire mould, so the tabletop can easily be taken from the mould.

Step 4

Fit the wood pieces into the mould and align them perfectly along all sides. It’s advisable to use parallel clamps to hold the wood in place, so the resin pour does not tip it over or move it.

Liquid epoxy is poured into a mold with wooden blanks

Step 5

Grab your gloves, safety goggles, other safety equipment and resin kit; it’s time to live out your scientist dreams. Mix the liquid resin and hardener according to the product instructions to form the epoxy resin. You can use a paint and epoxy mixer for this. The resin pour occurs over two or more pours, so it’s ideal to only mix the first coat to start with. Check beforehand to see that the bucket you’re mixing in is wide and can hold your mix.

Step 6

Next up, your inner child can have some fun. You have creative freedom in choosing the colours for your river resin. The traditional blue river look comes from mixing the liquid or powder pigment in your epoxy resin divided into two separate containers. One would be a lighter blue and one with a darker aqua tint. You can always switch it up with different colours or metallic pigments to imitate your own unique style.

Step 7

It’s smart to add a base layer of clear epoxy resin in the river gap between your wooden pieces. After it cures to the point that it’s not completely dry and sticky, pour your resin. Slowly add your colours, which you can either lay on top of each other or pour from opposite ends at once. To add personalised details, you can swirl a wooden stick in the mix or even add small pebbles or shells to elevate the look! Once the gap is filled to the brim, allow it to dry for seven days

Step 8

After it is completely dried and cured, you can remove the finished table from the mould. Remove the clamps and unscrew the sheets from the sides, pulling out the resin river table. Use an orbital sander, building up from 80 to 400 grit, to ground the surface, so it is completely flat and smooth. Clean the surface of any sand or dust.

Man waxing epoxy table

Finishing Touches And Polishing

Once your DIY resin table is cured and ready, it might be tempting to call it a day and move it into your living space. Not too fast, because this project needs to last. To protect the surface of your tabletop, multiple types of polish can be used. A polishing machine like a compact orbital polishing kit and polisher can achieve a pure, natural-looking matte finish. Apply the coats as instructed by the kit, and admire the smooth matte look you’ve created. On the other hand, a simple, singular application alternative is polishing oil, like Danish oil or linseed oil. 

If your crafting spirit is still not satiated and wants to take on this task in a different way, we’ve got a third option for you. You can use crystal clear resin as a finish for your table. The result will be a sleek, glossy surface. Apply thick adhesive tape to the sides of the tabletop and flip it over. First, add a coat of the mixed crystal clear resin to the surface and even it out with a brush or spatula. Blow a hairdryer over any air bubbles you see. After the first layer has been set, apply another final layer. Repeat the process after flipping, so the river is on top. Finally, remove the tape and apply the layers of epoxy resin to the sides. Now attach the table legs you have selected. 

Viola, you have successfully created the stylish resin river table of your dreams! Throw your matchy handmade resin coasters, a nice indoor plant and you are done!

Table made of black epoxy resin and wood

A resin table is a statement piece of furniture that compliments and elevates the appearance of the living space. The DIY road for this stylish furniture piece is too much work for most but a perfect task for those of you who can rise to a challenge. This in-depth tutorial to creating your own table details everything you’ll need and how to materialise this vision.

Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend