Introduction: Coin Resin Countertop

Picture of Coin Resin Countertop

I was looking for a easy DIY countertop... I came across this so decided to try it.

Step 1: Preparation

Picture of Preparation

Firstly I cleaned the old surface , it was tiled so had to remove the glue with a wood chisel.

Placed the new *supawood top.

(Note the fridge in the background, it's and old white appliance my wife and I painted red with a high gloss enamel , then I placed a vinyl sticker on the front. As you can see it makes quite a difference.... Mini instructable , within an instructable :) )

Step 2:

Picture of

Here I added the wooden edge and cut the hole for the hob.

remember to keep about a 5mm lip above the board so that the resin doesn't spill over.

the hole for the hob is also boxed in with some old wood i'll remove later.

use silicone sealer underneath to stop the resin from leaking out.

Step 3:

Picture of

paint the counter any colour , I chose black

pack the coins, I used South African 5c pieces

Step 4: Mix Resin

Picture of Mix Resin

I got some professional advise from the guys at ABE , for instance mixing the resin and hardner in the can THEN pouring it over into a bucket for further mixing. This eliminates any unmixed material that might stick to the inside of the can.

Step 5: Not Done Yet

Picture of Not Done Yet

Once the resin is set I'm going to use a belt sander to bevel the edges to the level of the resin and then stain the wood a dark colour.

The kitchen is still a work in progress , please excuse all the clutter on the counters. :)


hippiechk made it! (author)2015-12-23

I made a small rinse sink basically the same way. Very nice counter, how is it holding up? I poured a tabletop in the 70s & it ended up outside where the wood rotted before the resin died! Very nice looking!!

RedRock (author)2015-12-10

Can you give any tips on avoiding bubbles etc?

I want to cast some 1m cubed Resin blocks & wonder what 'issues' I'm going to encounter in doing so.

RedRock (author)2015-12-10

Lekker one Boet! I thought those coins looked familiar ;)

frikkie (author)2015-06-30

Are you staying in South Africa? Reason I ask I want to know where I can buy resin.

valkyriesavage (author)2015-05-14

nice work! hoping to make something similar; do you know if the epoxy you used (or epoxies in general) are food-grade? I want to put a bit of seal on a cutting board I lasered a design into. the laser design went a bit deeper than I had hoped, and I need to seal some parts to avoid food getting stuck.

Hi there , thank you .
I'm not sure if it is food grade , I wasn't too concerned as I'm not placing food directly onto the counter.

joemaintenance (author)2015-03-04

its called defacing american currency and it is not allowed

First, he didn't use US currency. Second, it is NOT illegal to deface US currency at all. It's illegal to deface it (cut it in pieces, alter the apparent worth, etc) and then use it as currency. You can burn all the 100 dollar bills you want, you just can't burn part of them and then try to buy something with the remainder.

Meantime, that countertop is stunning! I'm looking for directions on how to do something similar, I hope mine comes out this good looking.

yay021 (author)joemaintenance2015-03-19

quote:I used South African 5c pieces

alecvanwyk37 (author)yay0212015-03-19

Lol I didn't know South Africa and America shared currency

phead13 (author)2015-03-29

Great Job and awesome look! I love to get ideas from ideas! ?? thanks!

alecvanwyk37 (author)2014-12-15


WUVIE (author)2014-12-15

I love this! I've been threatening to do something similar, but haven't reached the point beyond saving pennies. Great job!

Old McGrama (author)2014-07-19

Hate to have to say this but, isn't this kind of use of currency illegal? Something to know.

opticalfx (author)Old McGrama2014-08-06

it is not illegal. It is only illegal if you are trying to make more money out of it.

dmeneo (author)2014-06-25

Great job! I did my bar with colored fish tank stones. What resin did you use, what was the cure time before you could use the top?



WildWhippetWoman (author)2014-06-23

Been wanting to cover my old island w/ something pretty and I love this! Can you also do coins as a backsplash and if so, HOW? I'd love to do that too! Great post. Wild Whippet Woman

Thank you and yes you can do a splashback, you would have to do it flat and then install it afterwards.

gmorales7 (author)2014-06-22

Have been trying to figure out what to do w/ the night stands in the bedroom. I think I'll give this one a shot. Thanks for the instructable alecvanwyk37

f.3 (author)2014-06-18

You have a good looking final product here and though what I'm about to convey might seem critical I have to say that I love the overall idea of this and feel like you did a great job with your final product. Given that though I still feel that your instructible is a bit brief. The coins that were used are interesting but you didn't mention how many fit into a square foot or how many it took to cover your surface. It might help people to decide whether or not such a project would be appropriate for them if they had a reference as to size versus the cost of a project. This instructible would be perfect if variables like the type of coin you used (in which you gave) it's size and the overall size of your countertop along with what kind of edging material and resin you used and what the end cost was, with an excellent example of a product as sharp looking as yours. Also food safe surfacing on countertop surfaces is not only important for just little chips becoming dislodged. Some food especially when being prepared has liquids that are acidic and can manipulate the surface of the counter and allows the possibility of an unwanted chemical to be introduced into your food. A non food safe counter surface can also allow food stains to happen like the infamous tomato sauce stains you can find on formica countertops in older homes. Just something to think about. I did this type of project once before. I covered a bathroom floor with pennies as a part of a whole room remodel in a house I used to live in. Some of the pennies I soaked/washed in a water/CLR solution to bring them back to a "like brand new" finish. The rest were just washed with normal dish soap and water to eliminate any contaminates that may effect the resin surface but not take away the rustic/aged look of them. It took something like $230.00 (two hundred thirty dollars, U.S. currency) worth of pennies to do the entire floor. I am thinking about doing it again in the bathroom of my Motor Home on the vanity countertop. Only this time I am thinking about using Quarters so I can incorporate each of the States from the "tails" side on the coins and the idea of travel into the room. Though I have not yet fully decided.

azharbass (author)2014-06-18

I like like it! What an ingenious way to use up all that pesky change. I do have to say that the 5c is still legal tender here and you know how iffy we get on small little issues... But thumbs up! :D

Ps. Need more pics of final product, looks too awesome.

alecvanwyk37 (author)azharbass2014-06-18

You'll notice that the shops are rounding to the nearest 10 now so you will no longer get 5c change, So it is being phased out in this manner....

azharbass (author)alecvanwyk372014-06-18

I know Pick n Pay (still) rounds down by 5c. But the store that I work in rounds to nearest 50c. My point is kind of like how we don't use (and make) 1c and 2c anymore, yet you can still use it to buy stuff legally. But anyways, really cool tabletop :D

Istarian (author)azharbass2014-06-18

You could always try to acquire some american currency, like pennies for instance. You'd want the lincoln ones before the new (and I might add, stupid) new look. I almost thought that this was done in pennies since they have that copper look to them too (largely due to having been mostly copper prior to the 1980s). I guess you guys are ahead of the US since we still use 1 cent and 5 cent coins. I mean, I like the variety, but there isn't much use for them unless you pay in cash and they give you change.

azharbass (author)Istarian2014-06-18

Maybe even you could have a currency-of-the world theme and have a mismatch of all sorts of coins or even try to make the landmasses from the respective countries' coins. And you are right, the only way to source enough change is to physically change it out purposefully like alecvanwyk37 has done. Practically, the 5c is our "penny" but it is being phased out and being replaced with some NASTY looking bronze 10c. It looks horrible (the new coin)!

mefromliny (author)2014-06-11

Nicely done! How do you make sure that you don't get any air bubbles trapped in it? Thanks! Ken

ac-dc (author)mefromliny2014-06-17

1) Mix the epoxy slowly and carefully.

2) Pour it slowly and carefully.

3) Try to use embedded objects without sharp edges or deep crevices.

4) Keep the work space warm so the epoxy is thinner (but it will also set faster).

5) Pop bubbles. A toothpick will work but ideally something a little thinner and smoother. You could sand the toothpick smooth.

mcr2582 (author)ac-dc2014-06-18

I emphasize ac-dc's point on mixing. Read the instructions on your resin and follow them exactly. If it says to mix for 4 minutes, be sure you do. And be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bucket. Ideally, you should mix half the time in one bucket, then pour into a fresh bucket to mix for the remaining time and don't scrape the sides of the second bucket when pouring it onto your table. This will minimize the chances of unmixed resin making it to your final surface.

alecvanwyk37 (author)mefromliny2014-06-11

You will always get tiny bubbles but not many, The counter top was approx 1,5m X 1.2m and I only had to pop about 20 bubbles with a tooth pick.
Every time I walked passed it I would pop a few.

watahyahknow (author)2014-06-17

nice job . will have to see how it holds up against scratches , good thing is you can allways sand it down again and poish it like new

you have to measure just right to to prevent having to cut pennies to fit to surface

mcr2582 (author)watahyahknow2014-06-18

The cool thing is, a new layer of resin over a sanded surface will become clear again. The only side effect is without a complete new coat, it's nearly impossible to get a perfect blend around the edges of the new material. Still, it will only show in certain light angles.

ac-dc (author)watahyahknow2014-06-17

Generally speaking, clear epoxy resin does not become hard enough that it can be refinished to a clear surface by sanding and polishing. Perhaps that would work if you made it very cold, but otherwise once you try to refinish it would need waxed to become clear again.

alecvanwyk37 (author)ac-dc2014-06-17

I will follow up with a re finishing tutorial at a later stage.
I might just do it anyway to put minds at ease

Yes I did that but the coins are very forgiving as far as spaces are concerned

DavidM45 (author)2014-06-17

does the epoxy have time to self level? In photo 1 the surface looks very smooth did you have to sand and polish

mcr2582 (author)DavidM452014-06-18

The system3 and Famowood brand resins I've used have about 45min of working time before they really start to thicken up. So leveling isn't really an issue. We spread it around to be sure it gets everywhere. It's less about self leveling and more about overcoming the surface tension of the surfaces to be coated. Once it is "wet" with resin, it levels out nicely, but it doesn't always want to spread to dry surfaces by itself.

alecvanwyk37 (author)DavidM452014-06-17

Yes the epoxy is very thin at first so it levels itself easily, I did however use the back of a spoon to drag the resin to the edges

stoole (author)2014-06-17

There is a very easy way to pop the bubbles without having a toothpick. I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet but if you pass a flame from a lighter or a torch near the curing resin the bubbles will pop automatically. You can do it a few times to make sure you have gotten ones that may not have risen to the top the first time. If you try this method, you'll kick yourself for spending time with the toothpick.

alecvanwyk37 (author)stoole2014-06-18

This does work for smaller areas but when it comes to bigger areas , NEVER use a flame it causes swirls in the finish.

mcr2582 (author)alecvanwyk372014-06-18

It depends on the resin, but I've used several resins to do this in the US and it specifically recommends a torch in the instructions. You don't want the flame to contact the resin, but you pass it over the surface to pop the bubbles. I believe the heat causes the bubbles to expand and float to the surface. We've used a heat gun too, but the danger there is it can blow dust into the wet resin.

AliN1313 (author)alecvanwyk372014-06-18

I have blown through a straw to pop the bubbles. The heat from your breath is warm enough to pop the bubbles but not hot enough to change the finish. I have never done something as large as a counter, but it has worked on smaller pieces about 12"x12" in size.

stoole (author)alecvanwyk372014-06-18

That may be....I use this for jewelry application on pieces up to 3" and it's saved a tremendous amount of time and creates a flawless finish. It's too bad it won't work on something larger! Have you tried this method in sections or does the manufacturer specifically mention it? Larger pieces may cure differently. Love your countertop though.

dougison (author)2014-06-18

We have done this sea shells on old cable spools by burning the wood the put on the shells and cover with resin ... very cool affect

JOKERFIRE (author)2014-06-15

Oh yeah!! I want to do something like this, but with bottles cap

alecvanwyk37 (author)JOKERFIRE2014-06-16

You will need to flatten the caps or fill each cap with resin first . Once thst has hardened you can pack them otherwise the air trapped under the cap will be too much

cyberpigue (author)alecvanwyk372014-06-17

Actually, I think e could get away with pouring on layer of resin to cover the caps about halfway, let it set up, and then pour a second layer. Just follow the directions for second layers from the manufacturer.

ac-dc (author)cyberpigue2014-06-17

It is still likely that all the serrations around the edges of the caps would cause air bubbles, but this is true whether they were filled first or not.

cyberpigue (author)ac-dc2014-06-18

Or flattened unless perfectly flat. Jokerfire, I'd encourage you to experiment on small 12" by 12" boards with your bottle caps to get the technique down. Look for ways to make your ideas work and keep your imagination creating! :)

Momable (author)alecvanwyk372014-06-17

Rather than using expensive resin, perhaps plaster of paris could work as a filler. I did a penny table a couple years ago. here's a link to the pic:

anitacurnutt (author)2014-06-13

Will the resin hold up if a hot pan is placed on the surface?

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