Epoxy resin is a unique material that allows you to create amazingly beautiful, durable and practical countertops, tables and work surfaces in the kitchen. This material has many advantages and provides many opportunities for the realization of design ideas. Let’s take a look at what epoxy resin countertops can look like. Of course, a video about the creation of such surfaces will be published at the end of the article.
According to Wikipedia, epoxy resins are oligomers that contain epoxy groups. Under the action of hardeners, for example, polyamines, epoxy resin is able to form cross-linked polymers. The most common variant of epoxy resins are polycondensation products of epichlorohydrin with bisphenol A. Such resins in our country are called epoxy-dian resins (ED-20). They are most often used to create countertops.
For those who do not understand chemistry, it is important to know one thing – epoxy resin is not used in its pure form! Only together with a hardener, which allows you to get perfectly smooth, beautiful surfaces. Epoxy covers any surface evenly, most often a transparent composition is used, which allows you to preserve the appearance of the initial layer, the base of the tabletop.
Pros and cons
Epoxy countertops have the following advantages:
- There is no shrinkage during drying, the surface is perfectly flat. The composition fills well, for example, cracks in wood, protecting it from damage, literally sealing and leveling any base.
- The surface is quite strong and can withstand shocks and cuts.
- Moisture resistance is excellent.
- Do not be afraid of ultraviolet rays.
- You can update the old worktop, give it a more aesthetic look and extend its service life.
- No need for expensive chemical cleaning agents, easy to care for.
- Beautiful, original appearance, you can create unique designer surfaces.
There is also a minus, but it is easy to avoid when creating a tabletop:
- If the tabletop is heated, toxins may be released. An additional protective layer of transparent varnish helps to avoid this.
There are three options for creating countertops from epoxy resin:
- Completely made of epoxy. That is, there is no supporting surface, the resin with the hardener is poured into the mold, the material gets the given dimensions. In this case, a resin with the addition of dyes is usually used, for example, epoxy coloring pastes Etal. You can make a tabletop of almost any color, opaque, with divisions, the space for realizing the designer’s idea is very wide.
- Based on wood, stone, chipboard, other materials. That is, the tabletop made of the selected material is completely filled with epoxy resin with a hardener. In this case, a transparent composition is most often used, which allows you to preserve the original appearance of the tabletop, the beauty of wood, for example. In addition, before pouring, such countertops are often decorated with, for example, decoupage technique, painting, mosaic, coins, pebbles, flowers, pebbles, shells, literally anything.
- Combined. For example, an uneven cut of a tree is taken, and a strip of epoxy resin goes along the edge or in the middle. Or only cracks, depressions, if any, are filled with the composition.
How to do
Some tips that are important to know before making an epoxy countertop:
- It is important to observe the exact proportion, follow the instructions for mixing the resin with the hardener.
- When working with epoxy resin, which is still liquid, it is necessary to observe precautionary measures, wear a mask and a respirator.
- If the temperature drops sharply during pouring, then white flakes may appear in the depth, that is, the appearance will be spoiled. Warming the tabletop to 50 degrees will help to cope with the problem.
- Before starting to pour resin on wood, it must be prepared. Thoroughly clean of dirt and dust, and then prime it so that the composition is absorbed less into the pores of the wood and air bubbles do not form.
Importantly! If you make the tabletop yourself, then use only cold-hardening compounds. Hot curing of the resin is used only in industrial, special conditions.
The composition should have a low viscosity and harden gradually so that it is convenient to work with it. The consistency of epoxy should be similar to honey, then in the process of solidification it will become like rubber, and after that it will completely harden.
To begin with, of course, you need to buy the epoxy resin itself, for example, the most popular variant ED20. It costs from 350 hryvnias per liter, so if you pour the entire tabletop from epoxy, without a base, it will be quite expensive, because a lot of material is needed. In addition, a hardener is required, which is mixed with the resin in strict proportions in any container that is suitable in size. It is necessary to mix very carefully.
- It is very important to work at room temperature, avoiding sudden cooling of the surface.
- First, a thin layer of the composition is poured, making sure that bubbles do not appear – they can be removed while the epoxy is still liquid.
- Then you can pour the resin into the mold, having previously greased it with a wax separator so that it does not stick.
- If the resin is poured in layers, you should not overdo the composition, otherwise the separation will be visible. A little hardened, to the state of jelly, pour the next layer.
- Drying and hardening will take about two days.
- While the tabletop hardens, cover it with something to prevent dust from settling.
- After hardening, the tabletop is sanded, and for reliability, the top is covered with varnish, for example, yacht varnish.
In general, there are no special difficulties when working with epoxy resin, the main thing is to follow the instructions. After practicing on a small surface, for example, an old coffee table, you can move on to more complex decor.