How to Finish a Live Edge Slab




Introduction: How to Finish a Live Edge Slab

About: Former NFL Offensive lineman turned Furniture maker. I am self taught and sharing my experiences with the world!

How To Finish A Live Edge Slab

Live edge slab furniture is all the rave right now, even though it has been around for a long long time. Finishing it can be a bit trick. I wanted to share some of my tips on how I get it done. I use three simple steps to cruise through my Live Edge Slab Projects Check out the blog article HERE.

Recommended Products for this technique

Step 1: Fill Voids

  1. Start out by taping off the top of your slab. Yes, the top. I prefer to back fill the voids in order to save time flattening as well as save cost on the amount of epoxy needed to fill the void.
  2. Mix up a 2 part Slow Setting epoxy. I use West Systems 2 part, I tinted mine for this application with Black Noir . Once tinted You want to pour into the top voids on the bottom of the slab. Slowly allow for the epoxy to seep into the void. Bubbles will rise. Use a MAP Gas or Propane Torch to pop the bubbles.
  3. Sand the hardened finish with 80 grit. This will show any bubbles on the surface. Use a tinted FAST Setting epoxy to fill these holes.

Step 2: Sanding & Surface Prep

  1. Once the epoxy is flattened continue with your aggressive sander. I recommend a Festool Rotex 125 or 150 for this application. A belt sander works as well. Sand the whole surface with 80 grit, continuing to 120 on the aggressive setting. Then sand the sap wood (live edge) with a smaller headed sander to bring out the color and remove any bark or dirt.
  2. Once the surface is prepped to 120 grit with the aggressive sander, Move onto a random orbit finishing sander. Mark the whole surface with a pencil and slowly remove the pencil with 120 grit.
  3. After Sanding to MAX 120 grit. Remove all the dirt from the surface with a Tack Cloth.

Step 3: Apply Finish

  1. Once the surface is prepared to 120 grit, you can apply your Monocoat Finish. I have been using this awesome product, Rubio Monocoat. It has saved me tons of time and gives an amazing finish.
  2. Finish the table in halves. Start on one side, then rub out the finish with a dry cloth. Continue this process over the whole top and apply to the edges with a rag.
  3. Thank you so much for checking out my Finish A Live Edge Slab Tutorial. If you want to check out some more of my furniture project check some of these below!

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    2 years ago

    Thanks for the great article!!
    What router bit did you use to flatter your table top


    Question 3 years ago on Introduction

    I have just finished sanding a maple live edge table to 240grit. When I apply wipe-on-poly, it raises the grain in certain areas.
    What should I do?


    Question 4 years ago

    This was a nice, straightforward description about how to prepare the surfaces. I was wondering if you could elaborate more on what you did with the live edge portion.


    Question 4 years ago on Step 3

    I am also in the proces of making dining table - i could not find one wide enough so i used two slabs and glue them together. I am wondering how to finish the table to prevent bending? One week ago i saw a table which was 100cm wide and bend 3cm from the centre.
    Could you give me some tips?

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    4 years ago

    I like the dark epoxy. Looks good with the wood and raw edge :)