I had used Epoxy and wood to create pieces of furniture, but I had not tried making any art pieces yet. Using a piece of live edge maple and epoxy resin, I made a piece of wall art. Follow along to see how it was done.
Step 1: Wood Prep
I picked up some live edge maple from a local saw mill that had a very interesting edge shape. I thought it would be perfect for my first run at making a piece of wall art. First step was to break down the piece using my miter saw. The piece was approximately 32" long, so I just cut it in half to make a piece that would be 16" wide.
Step 2: Building a Mold
After the piece of wood was cut to size it was time to build the mold. I like to use melamine for my resin molds. I cut a base and two side wall to size with my miter saw. Then I used a Kreg jig and Kreg screws to assemble the mold. I only had two side walls instead of 4 because the two pieces of maple would be my stop block for the epoxy on the other two sides.
Step 3: Prepping for Pour
In order to make sure the epoxy would not leak out of the mold or stick to the mold, I applied silicone caulk around the edges to keep the resin from leaking out and essentially create a liquid barrier. I then appliedfurniture paste wax to keep the resin from sticking to the melamine. Before applying the paste wax you do need to allow the silicone caulk to dry fully, just follow the instructions on the tube. Other makers use a variety of different tape on the inside of the mold to create the waterproofing and non-stick factor. For me, this is the quickest, and most effective way to prep the mold. After the mold was fully prepped, then I took some measurements to figure out the volume of resin that I would need to fill the void between the two pieces of maple wood.
Step 4: Mixing Epoxy Resin
Once the volume was calculated, I divided it by two, I wanted to use two different colors for the resin work. For this project I used the Ecopoxy 2:1 Liquid Plastic resin. It mixes up really nice, is non-toxic and plant based. I also used some of the Ecopoxy blue color tint and "Avacado" metallic pigment to get both blue and green to give a sea affect. You do not need to mix in much of either to get the desired color. Especially if you do plan to have any lighting behind it that you want to show through the resin, then the less the better for the color. I did not intend to have light shine through so I added quite a few drops for the blue color tint and about 1/4 of a teaspoon of the "Avacado" green metallic pigment.
Step 5: Pouring Resin
Once all mixed up, then its time to pour. I poured both colors at the same time on opposite ends of the space, so they would meet in the middle and more naturally blend. I then did a little pour of the metallic pigment into the blue tinted resin to create more of a pattern as it cured. I used a heat gun and gas torch to remove the bubbles. Then I let it sit and cure. This resin takes 72 hours to fully cure, which seems like a long time, but in the end its worth it because the lengthy cure time allows pretty much all of the air to escape, that's what allows you to do huge pours all at once with this resin.
Step 6: De-molding
After the 72 hour cure time, it was time to de-mold. For this, I just had to remove the Kreg screws, and then gently use a screw driver and hammer to peel each piece of the mold off.
Step 7: Sanding
With the piece of art removed from the mold, I then began finishing. I started with a small belt sander and finished it off with my random orbital sander. I worked from 60 grit up to 320 grit, sanding both wood and resin. I did all of the sanding inside my spray shelter with fan and filter to reduce the amount of dust I had to deal with.
Step 8: Finishings
Once everything was sanded, I applied Danish Oil for the finish, following the directions on the can. I topped the Danish Oil finish with Howards Feed 'n' Wax. This gave the piece a nice, natural finish. I attached a wire on the back for it to be easily hung on the wall, and vwolla, a piece of wood and resin wall art.
Step 9: Finale
I made three of these pieces at one time. Check out the video for the full process.