Step 5: Step 4: Applying Polyurethane

Step 4:
-Now that your table is nice and stained, and dried, it’s time to lightly sand again.  This time you are going to use the very fine grit, 320 sandpaper.  This step is optional but I wanted a glass-like finish when I was done, so I made sure my table was smooth.  Using this grit will not take off the finish as long as you have a couple of layers and do it very lightly to get the bubbles/dust particles out.
-You will notice a huge difference by doing this light sanding.  After you are done, brush the dust off, vacuum, and use a VERY LITTLE BIT of mineral spirits on a paper towel again.  If you use too much mineral spirit, it will take the stain off the wood. 
-Now time for the polyurethane coatings.  This takes a lot of time, the longest part of your project by far.
-I started to use a spray on polyurethane coating, and quickly found out it did not look good at all.  It was not thick and did not achieve that perfect, glass-like finish I wanted.  So I re-sanded again, and bought Minwax brush on.  This works a million times better.  Take your time with this, you want it to look good.  Use a natural brush and put on light, even coats of polyurethane.  Let each layer dry before the next, about 2-4 hours.  I liked to lightly sand between the first and second layer, just to ensure the bubbles were all gone.  On the third layer, take your time and you should have a lovely finish. 
-Keep in mind, the polyurethane makes a very shiny finish.  There are different brands of polyurethane which have gloss, semi-gloss, and satin finishes.  It’s your preference. 
-Let the table dry completely before gluing the pennies on
<p>I did a similar idea on a new, boring glass top table, with vintage soda bottles and epoxy dots, do I would not ruin the design of the caps with scratches. But yours looks definitely more &quot;finished&quot; than mine! And it is so apropos for an antique table what you did. Beautiful!</p>
Table looks nice. I have been wanting to do this with beer caps to make some outdoor tables and have a variety of different craft beer caps I enjoy all lined up in rows. I just wasn't sure of what epoxy coating but your instructable helped me know what to ask/shop for!
<p>modsquad, if you look at my ideas, I did something similar, with vintage soda bottle caps. So go for it.</p>
I have this exact idea, except with the primer side of an expended pistol casing or rifle casing just cut down to a uniform length. Thanks for the post it gave me a lot of ideas on what to do for my project when i get to it. quick question tough, did you fill the table to the top lip or just enough to cover the pennies and a little over to smooth it? it looks like you just put it a little over the pennies but i cant tell for sure.
Thanks for the comment. That sounds like a great idea using the primers of various casings. As far as the epoxy goes, I only used enough to cover the top of the pennies. You could fill it up to the lip of the table, but that seemed excessive to me. It is pretty strong stuff and you will have no problems simply filling it up to just cover the primers. Hopefully you can post a finished product someday - that would be neat to see.
hopefully i can get it made soon, i just need to collect the brass and cut it down them pick/make the table. i have to wait till i get back to the states though to begin on it. 5 more months <br>
Is it called bar top epoxy all over the world? i would like to do this only the epoxy i know is not liquid...it's like a paste and is used to glue glass, metal and so on.
I'm not sure what other countries would call it. I did use a liquid type epoxy which I had two mix two separate components; a resin, and a hardener. Here is he website to the epoxy I used: <br> <br>http://glazecoat.com/GlazeCoat.htm <br> <br>Thank you for the comment and good luck!
Was it really necessary to glue all the coins down first? They'd be well and truly stuck down with the epoxy.
This eliminates the chance of them getting moved when pouring on the epoxy, It's a pretty viscous liquid and can move them around quite a bit.
Thanks for the comment. Yes, and also without gluing the pennies down, they may have a tendency to float to the top of the epoxy before it hardens completely. Thank you reedz.

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