In this Instructable, I show you how to make wood resin beach art that converts to a DIY folding wall desk.
Supplies:Pro Marine Table Top Epoxy Resin
Step 1: Create Resin Mold Bottom
Ultimately, many options exist for creating a resin mold.
I'll show you the method I used for this resin beach art project. Particle board, plywood, or any other flat surface works well for the bottom of a resin mold. Next, cover the resin mold with packing tape.
Also, be sure to overlap the tape by 1/4" and smooth it out after each piece.
I find packing tape works very well and it is much cheaper than Tyvek tape. Essentially, furniture wax and vaseline serve as resin mold release agents. If applied correctly, my wood resin beach art should release easily once the resin completely cures.
Step 2: Resin Mold Perimeter
First, I placed a leftover 1.5" thick piece of cypress on the resin mold.
Next, I used 1x2's to form a 3 sided box around it. I secured the 1x2s with 1" brad nails.
Then, I removed the live edge cypress wood from the mold. I did not secure the resin mold perimeter to the wood just yet.
Step 3: Sand Wood to Remove Loose Debris
I rough sanded the top of the cypress wood during a previous project. So, I only needed to sand the live edge to remove the loose debris.
Essentially, I used 220 grit sandpaper along with my Festool RO125 rotex sander.
Step 4: Seal Resin Mold
First, I used silicone caulk to seal on the inside and outside of the resin mold.
Then, I used a scrap 2x4 along with a straight edge and 2 clamps to secure the cypress wood to the resin mold.
Step 5: Mix Epoxy Resin
First, I gathered a measuring bucket and epoxy resin (Part A & Part B).
I measured 16 ounces of Part A and 16 ounces of Part B for a total of 32 ounces.
Next, I mixed the resin and split the resin into 3 different containers.
I had 16 ounces in one container and 8 ounces in each of the other ones.
Step 6: Add Resin Pigment Powder & Alcohol Ink
I poured Cobalt Blue pigment powder in the 16 ounce bucket.
Somehow, I dropped the pigment powder and I thought the Genie from Aladdin was about to appear.
After cleaning up the mess I made, I poured a lighter blue pigment powder into the second container.
I put roughly 10 drops or white alcohol ink in the third container.
Alcohol ink is a resin dispersion agent, so it creates cool resin effects when added to resin.
Step 7: First Resin Pour
I mixed each bucket thoroughly and started pouring.
Also, I knew this amount of resin would be 1/4" thick and would not be enough resin to reach the top of the wood. Essentially, this layer would be covered up with additional layers.
In any resin art project, the magic happens when the resin is moved around either with a heat gun or by tilting the resin mold.
There is no right or wrong way to do this - I simply moved the resin around until I liked the look.
Step 8: Resin Waves
After moving the resin with my heat gun, I decided to add alcohol ink directly to the wood resin ocean art.
In case you don't know, alcohol is a resin dispersion agent and used quite often to create ocean waves and cool effects such as resin lacing and cells. Alcohol ink can be added directly to resin or pre-mixed with clear resin before pouring. Ultimately, Each option produces a different type of look.
The picture in the previous step depicts alcohol ink mixed with clear resin.
Conversely, this picture shows alcohol ink dropped directly on the resin beach art.
Ultimately, I learned alcohol ink applied directly to resin works best in transparent resin to create depth.
Alcohol ink mixed with resin before pouring works best for creating uniform lines or tinting colors. Finally, I moved the resin and alcohol ink with a heat gun.
Step 9: Second Resin Pour
For the second layer, I repeated the process for the first layer with the same amount of resin for this ocean resin wall art.
First, I mixed blue and a small amount of green pigment powder.
Next, I added alcohol ink to a small amount of resin.
Then, I poured blue/green pigment powder over the first resin layer.
Step 10: Transparent Blue Resin
I decided to use transparent blue dye near the front to simulate shallow water and to create depth.
In addition, alcohol Ink added to transparent blue resin creates a 3D wave effect. It is sort of similar to the white foam below the surface of the water after a wave crashes.
Additionally, I meant to add the alcohol ink directly to the transparent resin instead of mixing it in clear resin before pouring, but I didn't.
So, I poured the alcohol ink and resin mix on top of the transparent blue resin.
Thankfully, it still turned out ok.
Finally, I used my heat gun to create resin beach art ocean waves.
Step 11: Final Resin Pour
I repeated the same process as the second layer.
Ultimately, I had a good idea of how to achieve the look I was after. First, I poured blue resin in the deep resin ocean. I added light blue in the middle and moved the 2 shades of blue resin around. Next, I poured transparent resin near the live edge cypress.
Then, I poured resin mixed with alcohol ink on top of the transparent resin.
Finally, I used my heat gun to move things around.
Step 12: Resin Effects & Ocean Waves
In this article, I talked a lot about transparent resin, alcohol ink, and ocean waves.
The pictures below show a close-up of how alcohol ink blends with transparent resin for a 3D depth effect.
Step 13: Remove Resin Mold
First, I lifted the DIY folding wall table from the resin mold bottom. The packing tape and furniture wax really makes the resin easy to release from the mold.
Next, I realized I completely forgot to cover the resin mold perimeter with packing tape.
In turn, I used my rubber mallet to knock each of the 3 sides away from the resin.
Luckily, this worked! I only had a small amount of wood stuck to the front of the wood resin beach art.
Step 14: Sanding Epoxy Resin
After many sanders and different techniques, I've finally found a sander and technique that works best for me.
I outlined my sanding technique in many of my previous projects such as my epoxy bar top project.
Be sure to check out this project for more detail.
First, my festool RO125 rotex sander improved my projects dramatically.
This sander is expensive, but it is worth every penny.
Furthermore, my MFT3 work table helps to secure the DIY folding wall desk while sanding.
The grit sequence I use with my normal sanding pad is 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, and 220 grit.
Also, I use a soft sanding pad with 320 grit sandpaper. The festool ro125 makes it easy to change sanding pads for higher grit sandpaper.
Step 15: Polishing Compound
I don't care for the glossy finish look for my wood and resin projects.
Instead, I prefer a matte finish while keeping the resin colors vibrant. So, I decided to use a polishing compound for epoxy resin. Festool has a wide array of polishing compounds along with matching polishing pads. I chose the medium compound with the matching pad (Orange to Orange).
First, I attached my soft sanding pad directly to the polishing pad.
Next, I put a line of compound across the table and wiped it with the pad before turning on my sander. Ultimately, this prevents the compound from squirting everywhere. Once the compound was spread, I turned on my sander in rotary mode and sanded the entire wood resin beach art.
Then, I used my sheepskin polishing pad to remove the excess compound. This also attaches to my soft sanding pad.
Step 16: Folding Hinges
Although this wood resin beach art looks fine on the wall alone, I decided to make it a DIY folding wall desk below my white board.
Multi-purpose furniture reduces clutter and simply makes things more efficient. First, I used folding wall desk or table hinges for the DIY folding wall desk. I determined the ideal height and made a mental note.
Step 17: Locate Wall Studs
To locate the wall studs, I used a magnet. I find this more efficient than a stud finder.
Studs are normally 16" apart. So, this should be fine for this DIY folding wall desk which is 48" wide. I own a cheap stud finder, but I don't like using it. It is inaccurate and I always lose it. In order to find the studs, I use a neodymium magnet with a center hole. Essentially, this magnet locates the sheetrock screws which hold the sheetrock to the wall.
Step 18: Secure Desk to Hinges
I mounted the left bracket to the stud using 1.75" screws and a level to keep the hinge vertical.
I placed a large level on top of the left hinge to ensure the right hinge was level. Then, I installed the right folding hinge.
After I mounted each hinge for the DIY folding wall desk, I extended them and centered the wood resin beach art on top.
Instead of drilling into the resin, I located 2 screw holes on each hinge which were under the wood.
The DIY folding wall desk worked perfectly.