Bar tops and tabletops can be finished with a thick, clear coating of epoxy resin to give them with a shiny, durable surface. The process of mixing and applying epoxy is time-consuming and complicated to avoid flaws in the coating.
A clear, epoxy finish is produced by mixing together two ingredients: a resin base and a hardener, also known as a curing agent. Achieve the best results by using a 1-to-1 ratio. When the two materials are mixed together they create a heat-generating, or exothermic, chemical reaction. The liquid is poured on the tabletop or bar top in varying thicknesses to produce a 1/4- to 1-inch thick layer of the resin.
The epoxy resin can be poured onto plain wood or surfaces in which decorative objects such as tiles, bottle caps, coins or paper items have been arranged for display. Work quickly to cover the surface with the epoxy mixture using a brush or roller and maintain a stable temperature in the area to achieve a successful curing of the surface. Minimize the air flow in the room to avoid airborne particles attaching themselves to the wet liquid. The surface hardens in a matter of hours, but needs to "cure" for a week before anything touches it.
After the epoxy resin coating becomes its final hard, plastic surface, it must be maintained properly. It must not be exposed to direct sunlight or it can turn cloudy. Nothing hotter than a cup of coffee -- 125 degrees Fahrenheit -- can be placed on its surface or it can cause a dent. A latex or urethane topcoat can be applied over the thick, clear epoxy surface to protect it.
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