Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Update A Table Top

Many moons ago I showed you how I went about weatherproofing our balcony furniture.  One of the primary reasons for even doing that in the first place was because I've had redoing the top of the table on my to do list pretty much since we moved out here over a year ago.  The Husband and I knew that we wanted to cover the table with either bottle caps or coasters as he has amassed quite a collection of both and we didn't really have room to store them.  I was stuck between the two but Facebook, ever ready to lend an opinion, came through and with an almost unanimous decision coasters it was.  Even while using coasters I followed this Instructables directions almost to the letter which was an immense help!  So how do we go from a drab Goodwill table to something like this?

These are the supplies I started with
Laying out all of our coasters and combining the common ones.
I started by placing the varying coasters we had that were similar as a base layer which would later allow the unique ones to be more visible.
I did not use any glue until I was sure that I had each coaster where I wanted it which allowed me flexibility to play with sizes, shapes, and colors.  Once I had the layout I liked I took each layer off placing them on the floor in the same pattern.  From there I placed a dab of glue in each corner of each coaster and placed them on the table. 
Once all of the coasters were on I placed cookie sheets on top to help keep them flat and let the glue completely dry.  (And yes, those are pretzel shapes on my cookie sheets, if anyone has an idea as to how to get the marks out I would appreciate it!)
While the glue was drying I created sheets out of aluminum foil cut in half and added duct tape to the bottom.  I also took the painters tape and spread that around the edge of the table where I wanted the resin to stop.
I then carefully lined up the bottom of the strip of aluminum foil with the top of the painters tape.  The combination of the duct tape and painters tape would prevent the resin from dripping down the sides of the table.  I did attempt to take pictures of this process but it proved very difficult without an extra set of hands.
This is after one layer of resin had been put on.  You can see along the edges where the resin doesn't quite reach such that the coasters changed slightly in color as they would if they were wet.  
Once the resin has completely dried all that's left to do is pull off the aluminum foil which should come off pretty easily.  I had little bits of aluminum and tape stuck around the bottom edge but nothing a box cutter or x-acto knife wasn't able to remedy.  As you can see we ended up with a very thick layer of resin around the edges since the edge of our table was rounded, there was also a pretty substantial edge around the top which we were able to shave down through the use of The Husband's pocket knife. 
And the finished product!  Despite the thick layer of resin there are a few coasters which stick up.  They are all covered in resin so I'm not worried about the weather and we've been able to stick plates and cups on the table without issue but it's not perfectly level.  
  All told we are absolutely thrilled with how this project turned out!  Yes, it ended up being fairly more expensive than we had originally intended for it to be, but we love the look and feel of it.

Tips & Tricks:

  • If you choose to do coasters as we did I would suggest doing only one layer as you will save significant time and money.  I think if I were to do it over again I would cut the coasters so it was still a solid top but without the added dimensions.
  • Pay attention to how thick of a coat of resin you will need and be able to get out of the bottle!  I cannot emphasize this enough.  We ended up having to buy it on three separate occasions as I kept thinking that surely what I had just used would be enough.  I think that this would have been significantly less of an issue had we used one layer of coasters or done bottle caps instead.
  • I used Environmental Technology Pour On Resin  It was very easy to use and may be available at your local art supply store (NOT Joann's and most likely not at Michaels).
  • As I previously mentioned, the resin I used was self leveling so I had to resist moving it around too much as it was naturally going to be pulled to the lowest part of the project.
  • You will see bubbles appear as the resin is poured onto the surface.  I found that simply blowing through a straw got rid of almost all of them.
  • I don't know why we ended up with a ridge around the top edge.  I think it may have to do with how thick a layer of resin there is there.  If you decide to give this a shot and end up without that issue I'd love to hear what you did differently!
Thanks for reading and happy crafting!

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