I have just recently started working with epoxy resin. And I really love working with the stuff. I have done some pour paintings with epoxy resin and I have done the streams through pieces of wood.
I used tree stumps for the projects I have done so far. Putting in the epoxy rivers in the tree stumps were awesome and I love doing them, but I really wanted to do the ocean scene with a large tabletop.
How I did my table was to first start with a batch of epoxy resin clear and I mixed it together. You will want to mix your 2 parts together very well.
I didn’t mix mine quite well enough on one of my first attempts and it would never dry. It just stayed really sticky!
So you definitely want to mix the 2 parts together very well before you attempt to pour it anywhere.
I then added blue paint to my mixture. It was a dark blue that I had left over. I had also used a very dark stain color on the wood of my coffee table before I ever poured any epoxy on it.
I left the very end of the table with just the clear epoxy to achieve a super dark look. And then started pouring my dark blue right next to it.
I then used a squeegee to get it all spread out to where I wanted it to go. (You will want to remember to put tape up along your sides to try and prevent your epoxy from going over your sides onto the floor)
And I would suggest even then having some buckets or bowls ready and a big sheet of plastic ready under the entire project. Because when it starts leaking it will become a big sticky mess for you. Especially once it hardens. It then becomes really hard to get up.
I found all of this out the hard way! So take my advice on this when working with epoxy. Make sure you wear gloves, have plastic laid out under your project, tie your hair back, if you have longer hair, and have some alcohol ready to help get the sticky epoxy off things it may get on as you go.
And when you mix the epoxy in something, you will want to mix it in something that you can just throw away afterwards. Because once it hardens, it will be next to impossible to get it out of whatever it hardens in.
So once you get everything ready you just pour your epoxy onto your table and then you will want to pour different colors of it as you go with your ocean scenery.
Now you can use food coloring or paint to achieve these colors. I know there are other things you can use but these are the things I used to achieve my colors. So I know they worked well for me.
So I just added some green to my water scene to make it appear like real water. And actually for the green I used one of the packets you can buy in the laundry isles at Walmart. It is for dying your clothes different colors. And it actually made it a very pretty green color. The more I added, the darker the green would get. The less I added the lighter the green would be with the clear look.
Here is a picture of a project I am working on now where I am using the clothes dye for the coloring.
So I then used a lighter blue color as I went to get the depth effect for the ocean water. Then I started using some white paint once I hit the shore area. And I used a blow dryer to push the paints around to the look that I wanted. We then used some light brown stain to achieve the look of the shore. The light brown did make it appear as if it is sand at the edge.
And then ended it with a dark stain once again. There are many things that you can use in epoxy I have found out through trying them myself. I have used stain, spray paint, paint, and food coloring.
And everyone of them has worked for getting the colors I was wanting. And that was without effecting the epoxy. It still cured and hardened just fine.
The only times I really had any problems with the way it cured was when I didn’t mix equal parts to my mixture, or when I didn’t mix the 2 parts together well enough.
That is where you will come into some major problems with your epoxy curing properly. You will always want to be sure that you are mixing the exact same amount of your part 1 and part 2 together. And once they are together in your mixing bowl, you will want to be sure they are stirred and mixed very well before you go to pour it on anything.
As long as you do those 2 things every time then you should have no problems with your epoxy curing properly. No matter what you use for your coloring, and no matter what you pour it on. You should always end up with your epoxy curing to a very hard top on anything you put it on.
Another word of wisdom is that the less of the mixture you mix together, the faster it is going to start hardening.
So if you are only mixing together a small amount to do something,I would suggest to try and hurry and get it where you are wanting it. Otherwise it will start hardening on you and making it very hard to work with.
I had a small amount harden all the way in my cup I had mixed it in one time. Because I took too long to get it poured out. I got sidetracked on something for just a few minutes and when I looked in my cup the epoxy I was going to pour was hard as a rock.
So you do not want to play around once it is mixed. Now when you have a bigger amount of the mixture, then it takes it a lot longer before it starts to thicken up any.
But even with a big mixture you don’t want to fool around. Because it does start to thicken and harden pretty fast compared to most things you will probably work with in your life.
So I will also point out that you can use a torch or a blow dryer on your epoxy to get your bubbles out of it. I didn’t realize at first that you could actually put a flame right on it. I thought I would catch the whole scene on fire. But after my boyfriend showed me that a torch took the bubbles out very fast and didn’t catch it all on fire I was ecstatic.
Though I prefer still to use a blow dryer when I am trying to move the epoxy into corners or to move it with the other colors to blend all of it. It just makes it blend and move easily. That’s just my opinion of using the blow dryer and torch on it.
You can try different ways to find out what works best for you and whatever it is that your trying to do with it.
When you have a thicker type pour you will want to let your epoxy cure for many hours before messing with it. Maybe even up to a day of drying time if it is 1/2” or more on thickness.
If it’s pretty thin, then you will want to let it dry for 3-4 hours at least. And you can test it out with just a fingertip pushing against it. If your fingertip comes back a little sticky, then you know you have some time to go. If it’s hitting hard surface, then you are good.
So I hope some of this posting has helped a little with someone. I know I am not the greatest at explaining things in posts. But I will try to at least get some of my experiences out there so that it may help someone else who is trying the same thing, and just might be stumped on the same problem as I was.
So happy projecting, and I hope that maybe someone will be inspired to try something new out just like I have done.
Yours doesn’t have to be the best, just as long as it is making you happy, then don’t worry about the rest!