An epoxy resin table is made by filling empty space in wood to create a smooth piece of furniture. Epoxy resin tables come in several main styles, depending on the exact look you’re trying to achieve.
For example, an epoxy resin table can have one gap in a single piece of wood, or several pieces of wood joined together. Similarly, the epoxy may be transparent or opaque and come in a variety of colors.
Epoxy tables tend to be unique, regardless of their design, so they can make for an interesting piece of furniture in almost any environment.
What Is Epoxy?
Epoxies are a kind of polymer, which are large chains of chemicals that have repeating subunits. Other polymers include things like protein, starch, rubber, and plastic.
Epoxy is an ideal component for tables because it’s durable enough to withstand heavy items and temperature-resistant enough to hold up against heat (hot food bowls, for example). Epoxy is also ideal for joining materials together because it acts like glue and holds fast to most common materials.
Epoxy resin tables are best known for being made with wood, but it’s also possible to use metal, bricks, or even ceramic if you want to get particularly creative.
Types of Epoxy Resin Tables
Here are some of the most common types of epoxy tables you might see or create.
Epoxy River Tables
River tables are easily the most common type of epoxy table. These usually feature two pieces of wood with a gap in the middle where you can pour epoxy to connect the pieces. Tables made from larger pieces of wood may have an opening carved out in the middle instead, rather than being two pieces linked together.
River tables can have opaque epoxy on top, but many people prefer having translucent resin instead. This shows off the edges of the wood and any other artistic additions to the resin.
Radial tables go by many names but generally consist of at least three pieces of wood that either circle the outside of the table or connect near the middle. They’re distinguished from river tables in that they don’t have a mostly-straight line of resin, breaking it up into more sections.
Radial tables are somewhat more common among people who want round tables rather than the rectangular format common to river tables.
One-side tables have a long piece of wood on one end and resin on the other. These are especially common for artistic designs, such as making tables that look like a beach.
Layered Epoxy Tables
It’s possible to do layering with most other types of epoxy tables. The premise is simply putting several layers of epoxy atop each other, one at a time, and allowing it to dry and cure between each layer. This can create a more complex effect, such as darker water deep in a river table but a lighter, clearer surface.
Types of Epoxy
There are several types of epoxy that furniture creators may use when creating an epoxy resin table.
Solid Color Epoxy
Solid color epoxy is opaque and always a single color. If something has multiple colors, it’s usually done as a swirl or layered effect, possibly with translucent elements.
Solid color tables hide the edges of the wood, so they don’t show off as much as other options. Solar colors aren’t as popular as other options, but you can still get them on request.
Swirl epoxy is a two-component type of resin that creates a distinctively swirled appearance after mixing. This can be anything from simple ripples to a more intricate and complex design. Swirl epoxy is popular in resin tables because it can complement the wood's grain by creating an organic look.
Swirling takes some practice, but online guides can teach you how to swirl to help you avoid wasting materials.
Translucent epoxy is either entirely clear or only slightly colored. Most epoxies use mica powder, which makes the resin moderately sparkly without coloring it too much.
Like swirl epoxy, translucent epoxy is relatively popular in resin tables. It’s excellent for showing off the edges of live wood, so this is the option for people who want to look into the table.
How Long Does it Take to Make an Epoxy Resin Table?
Most epoxy resin tables take at least three days to make, and that’s if you’re fully prepared. Here’s how things go.
The first step is getting supplies, including selecting the resin you want to use and finding the wood. Most people prefer artistic tables, so it may take you some time to find good live-edge pieces for the table.
You may need to process your wood by drying, flattening, cutting, sanding, or otherwise preparing it. Processing the wood can take up to several days, although a supplier may be able to do it for you and have it ready when you want to pick it up.
Once your wood is ready, the first step in creation is creating a mold. This usually involves putting wood around the slabs to form an outside and something solid like plastic underneath to create a flat surface.
Professionals usually caulk the mold along the ends, bottom, and top of the wood to help keep the resin from flowing elsewhere. You should also clamp the wood to keep it in place once you finish caulking.
After the wood is ready, it’s time to mix and pour the resin. Experts often do a test coat first, which gives you time to look for any problems.
If the rest comes out okay, it’s time to add the rest of the resin, which is usually up to 15 gallons depending on table size. The epoxy should dry for about three days, which is most of the time required.
Finally, once it’s ready, you can finish the table by flattening it again, sanding it, and otherwise preparing it for use. Finishing typically takes a few hours.
Most resin tables need three to four days, but depending on designs and material choices it can potentially take weeks.