Epoxy resin is a kind of substance that dries hard and will eventually attach the individual pieces of materials (like wood) together.
Besides its structural and engineering adhesive uses, the resin is also popularly used in building DIY tables like a flowing river which looks beautiful and unique.
However, to get the best appealing overall results, it’s important to use the right type of materials in the right quantity.
This means, that for a river table you will require wooden planks with natural edges, which then need to be poured with the proper quantity of epoxy resin (clear or colored) in between.
Depending on your table gap size, most likely you’ll need between 1-4 gallons of epoxy resin to coat your river table.
However, it really pays to know the exact measurements in advance because epoxy is not cheap and you will not love to get tons of it that will otherwise go wasted.
How To Calculate How Much Epoxy You Need?
To get an idea of the precise amount of epoxy needed, there are tabletop epoxy resin calculators (like this) available online that can help.
But if you want to calculate the epoxy you will require manually for the specific size table or countertop you want to create, it’s not very tough.
Below are a few easy steps you can follow…
Step 1 – Measure Width
The very first step when making a homemade epoxy table is to take the width measurement
For bigger sizes, wooden planks do it down the whole length of your river table every 6 inches.
Or if you are using a smaller piece, you can do the measurements every 4 inches.
As you work and record down the measurements make sure you follow the twists and turns of the natural edges.
In case you have a very sloped slab, it’s good to take the measurements from the top and bottom.
This might look a bit weird to some, but IMO, you will not go wrong if you do it this way.
Once you have all the measurements, add them all together and get the average width.
Step 2 – Measure the Length
Once you have noted down the average width, it’s time to find the total length.
This might seem very simple but because you have to measure around the river’s twists and turns, it may become complicated and you will need to be careful there while doing the measurements.
After measuring the length of the table, do the same for the height.
Step 3 – Find the Volume
Now that you have length, width and height use an old school formula you have learned: Volume = L×W×H.
Keep in mind to convert to liters, if the units are in inches. Use 1 cubic inch = 0.0163871 liters.
Well, if you want to get a bit of professional and detailed advice, here I have found a complete video tutorial that might prove helpful while calculating epoxy volume.
How Hard is it to Make an Epoxy Wooden Table?
Is it really difficult to build a river table? I would say yes and no.
Making a DIY epoxy river table can be very tough if you are not passionate about it and you don’t know what you are doing.
In that case, I would rather recommend you to buy one instead of making one on your own.
On the flip side, if you are really impassioned about DIY projects and love to make a river table on your own, the process may seem to be fairly simple.
There are a few basic steps you will need to follow which include:
- Preparing and sanding the wood
- Sealing the wood and building the mold
- Measuring and mixing the resin & hardener together
- Pouring the mixed resin onto your tabletop mold and then letting it dry
- Demolding, light sanding, buffing, and polishing
For getting things right, always use the right tools and make sure to apply an even amount of resin.
You can carefully follow all the instructions on how to make an epoxy river table which are included in the video below.
These tips will hopefully help you make a beautifully finished epoxy resin table that will last for many years.
Not doing it carefully can result in uneven lines along the edges with noticeable bubbles and other related problems throughout.
These can be hard to fix later.
The best way to avoid various problems from occurring is by properly preparing your tabletop before coating.
What Kind of Epoxy to Use for Making the River Table?
The type of epoxy for the river table is important because you need something that is both food-safe and heat-resistant.
Especially if you use it for a dining table or in a kitchen as a counter table, we recommend using ArtResin, which is a two-part epoxy that is specifically designed for use with food.
It is also heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so you don’t have to worry about hot pans or plates damaging the table.
For smaller projects like coffee tables or end tables, you could also use Envirotex Lite, which is a cheaper alternative to ArtResin.
It is heat resistant up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s not as durable as ArtResin, but it is still a good option for smaller projects.
A few other alternatives you can use to pour epoxy table, also include TotalBoat Epoxy and ECR Epoxy.
Before picking the one check the reviews and what other users have to say about the product.
How Much Will It Cost to Buy or Make an Epoxy Table at Home?
Buying a resin table can cost you around $300-$700 for the smaller ones.
For the larger ones (like live edge river dining tables and conference room tables) the prices will usually start at $1,850 and can go as high as $4,800.
Compared to the prices in the market, the cost of materials being used to construct them is pretty low.
Depending on the size and quality of materials you use, you can end up making one in the range of $50-$250.
And if you are really skilled, and passionate nothing is as great as making a homemade table for your personal use or even for reselling purposes.
The Bottom Line
Making your own epoxy river table at home is typically a cheaper alternative than purchasing one from a store.
Plus, it’s a fun project that you can easily complete with the help of friends or family!
When building one, just make sure you follow the right steps, use premium products/tools, and pour the correct amount of resin to get the project done without any potential problems.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.