General Question

Jude's avatar

How would I go about doing up this coffee table?

Asked by Jude (31977 points ) July 18th, 2010

My girlfriend and I were at our favorite coffee shop today and I mentioned to her that I’d love to be able to put together a coffee table like the ones that they had at the shop. The coffee tables were older/ a bit warn – but, aesthetically pleasing (nice style), and there were vintage photos placed randomly on top, which was then covered with some clear substance. I can’t remember the name of the stuff that they used on the top of the coffee table. Does anyone know? I’m pretty sure that they used a pourable epoxy resin. There was no glass on top of the table.

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12 Answers

MaryW's avatar

Polyurethane brushes on and leaves a glass like finish. I would advise gluing the photos on and using several thin coats of water based polyurethane to cover them and build the finish. It is like decoupage that uses mod-podge.
You might want to make copies of your pictures first and use good brushes to apply the finish.

janbb's avatar

The technique is called “decoupage.” I’m sure if you look up that term onlin, itwill tell yo what kind of varnish or polyurethene to use.

Jude's avatar

The fellow at the shop said that whatever the substance was, they poured it on top and didn’t need to smooth it out (with brushes or anything else).

knitfroggy's avatar

You could maybe use Mod Podge In your home you probably wouldn’t need the top of the table to be as tough as the ones in a coffee shop.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I can’t remember the name of the stuff either, but it’s an epoxy and comes in two parts. You mix it together and pour (not brush) it over the surface. It’s self-leveling and hardens to a glass-like surface. It says on the cans how many square feet it will cover; it’s crucial that you don’t use too much or it won’t dry properly.

The other way to do this is have a piece of beveled safety glass cut to cover the table. That way you can change the pictures underneath (what I do).

YARNLADY's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land You beat me to it. I suggest a glass top, and what ever decorations you want with the option to change them for special occasions or when you get tired and want a change.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@YARNLADY and @stranger_in_a_strange_land…..I was also going to suggest glass…good answer!

However…what they used was probably Epoxy resin (which is a two part adhesive) another glaze that is not as tough, one step and works well with paper is Diamond Glaze. Diamond Glaze is pourable, but I would find out if it works okay on wood, I am not sure.

What I would do is experiment with a scrap piece of lumber or another table top…maybe from a charity shop or a flea market find. That way, you can figure out what is best before you glaze the table for keeps.

Good luck….sounds like a super project.

rooeytoo's avatar

Resin come in 2 parts, you mix equal amounts of both and pour it on. You can make it thicker than polyurethane, that would be the only reason I can see for using it because it is definitely more of a pain. But if you wanted to embed objects, not just printed materials, then it is the way to go.

And you can make jewelry with the left over resin.

Jude's avatar

For those of you on Facebook, here is where I’m going to get my photos.

knitfroggy's avatar

Those pictures are cool. I would love to see the finished table!

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Joe’s Crab Shack has those kind of tables, too. They even went so far as to dremel out shapes in the wood table top and fill them with colored gravel and stuff. The clear coat on top is really thick and durable.

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