Penny Countertop Functional Art


Introduction: Penny Countertop Functional Art

Flat pack style counter top with furniture grade particle board with a support apron on the underside for leg support. The legs are made using plumbing pipe and toilet flange attached to the floor. Besides the paint used on the pennies I also used liver of sulfur to darken the newness of the pennies in some areas. Then finally sealed with mod podge dishwasher safe glue. Yes, one can do what ever upgrade to the finish they like. This design is for the basic knowledge of a functional art piece that can be used in the home. Functional art is not always "child safe" and is to be considered on an individual basis... I am no wizard so you will have to decide for yourself what level of art is good for your home environment.

Gluing the pennies was easy with a tiny dab of gorilla glue... to much will ooze out from under the penny and make a mess. I glued each penny into place and tried to make sure it did not raise up by checking them before they are dry and pushing back down if needed.

Next, I laid out electrical tape to get a better idea of where I wanted the paint to go and how much detail I wanted to give it. hint... once enamels are on the surface it's not likely to come off very easily if a mistake is made... and you want to try and avoid chemical strippers at this point of the project. This particular functional art will require some painting skills if you plan to use enamel paints or give this style a go if your brave enough to try something new. This project was very tempting to leave unpainted and seal it all nice and shiny... but as you can see we got what we are free sharing here on Instructable.

Once all the pennies are glued in place (some will need to be cut and sanded to avoid bending them around the sharp corner of the furniture grade particle board... if you do use new pennies to bend you will notice that they tend to crack and split because of the 2 types of metal they are made with. You can bend them if you like but old arthritic hands don't do as well with that activity.... so you choose. Once all the pennies were tight to the surface I proceeded with the painting. I used an eye dropper and cotton swabs to apply the paint on each penny. Some pennies got many coats of paint and some only got a seal coating of clear at the end when the coloring and drying was complete.
I also used the glass enamel paints in place of regular grout as well for color depth and variation in background. Once the paint is dry just seal it with the mod podge.

This may not be a beginners project but could be fun if you like to experiment.



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    11 Discussions

    Thanks! Excited to try in an outdoor bar area. Where do you get liver of sulfate? And any tips on cutting the pennies?

    You actually provided really good details as to what you used and like they say " a picture is worth.... two birds in the hand.... with a glass house.... " ;-) I will definitely keep an eye out for any more of your instructables. I am crazy passionate about earthen built structures so you had me at COB!

    This is so beautiful. When I first saw it, the lighter spots looked like pools of water. You are very creative. I especially like the rounded edges. I want to do this now!!!

    3 replies

    Your comment alone is making me want to take the rest of the week off to do the entire instructional. I don't type well so it takes extra time... BUT I will promise to work on it this week more... Nice comments like yours are incentive to do more for sure. Thanks!

    After doing something this beautiful you deserve to take the week off! And if I get more details on this gorgeous piece of art then it's a win/win! :-) I'm saving all my pennies from now on - this is my newest obsession. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    I did some updating to the description but didn't take a bunch of process photos as I went along.... I really didn't think of putting it out to teach anything at the time... but the next one will be more photos and more details as it goes. Thank you for the encouragement! Cob Project Campus is willing to free share much of what we will be doing this year... so keep an eye open towards the end of the warm season.

    Updated with more info.... this is my first functional art piece to share with the world community.

    This is a super creative way to do a penny counter top :D

    It would be really great to see the complete instructions!

    1 reply

    Your the first and I am thrilled... didn't think anyone would need instructions but I am happy to free share if that keeps growing... Running a campus takes a lot of time but art is important too. :)