A thick clear coat


I am working on a coffee table. I am putting some wrapping paper on the table and plan on putting a clear coating over the paper. I want it to dry thick and want it to dry as smooth as possible. I do not want drips over the edges though. I don't know what to use.
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I've seen what I describe below done on butcher-block type countertops that ended up lasting quite a few years... I'm sure someone else will have a better idea, but no harm in throwing in my 2 cents.
Tack/tape cardboard to the sides of the top to create a 1/4" lip all the way around the edges, then POUR a buttload of poly (catalyzed?) onto the table top. While it's wet, you can use the poly as a level and shim the lowpoints of the table unitl the thickness is uniform. A dust free environment would be nice.
I remember we took off the cardboard, sanded (down to superfine grit) the edges then painted the edges with more of the same poly.
Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure it was catalyzed because it dried in about a day to a rock-hard 3/16" finish. The only place that ever did crack was where dear old mom set the elecric frier about 4 times a week (gotta love southern cookin'). I'm sure you could pour as thick a layer as needed to cover the paper, then just blend in the edges after it cures.

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Sounds like a job for epoxy to me. But I've never done what you want to do. I would suspect that putting some temp. edges just above the table top, line with wax paper (??), and pour away. You should probably see what else comes along here as this is pure conjecture! Cheers, cc
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EPOXY!!!
Yeah that was it. I help pops do this when I was about 14. That was back in '82, so pardon me for forgetting.

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D-Rick_Bush wrote:

You need a "bar top" epoxy (polyester is possible too, epoxy is better). It is poured on...you keep it from dripping over the edges by taping them with clear packaging tape - epoxy won't stick to it - with the top edge of the tape above the pour depth. Some edge sanding will probably still be necessary.
Instructions and material... http://www.uscomposites.com/kk121.html
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Envirotex lite.......takes about 4 hours to tack up.You can buy the stuff at most hobby stores or order online. Go to a animal feed store and buy yourself two large syringes used to give livestock shots. Draw up an equal amount of part A in one syringe and part B in the other syringe. Mix these two parts in a disposable plastic container of some kind. Mix thoroughly making your you stir the edges and get all the bottom too. Stir for several minutes and try not to create too many bubbles. The stuff sets up slowly so you don't have to panic while mixing..you have at least 20 minutes before it starts to get too thick. Pour the stuff on and any bubbles you see you can get rid of with a propane torch...quickly pass the torch over the bubbles. If the coating isn't t thick enough do it again. You can sand out any imperfections between coats if you want to...the next coat will look perfectly clear over the top. It really is amazing stuff, water clear and tough as nails.
Good luck.
II
dadiOH wrote:

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On 20 Jul 2006 10:18:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I agree that Envirotex is the best choice (Aristocrat is a similar product if you can't find Envirotex Lite), but an easier way to get rid of the bubbles is a fine mist sprayer (try a craft store or beauty supply shop - the ones in the wal-mart travel section tend to be splatter rather than mist) and fill it with 91% isopropyl alcohol. Very lightly mist it for up to half an hour after you pour to pop the bubbles, taking care not to soak it or create puddles of alcohol on the surface. Use a pin to pop difficult bubbles, scoop them out, or move them to a spot on the surface where they're less noticeable, if you absolutely can't get rid of it.
Also, you absolutely MUST seal the wood with a primer coat of either envirotex or regular epoxy (spread on as thin as possible with a razor blade). Small defects will dissapear into the final coat, you just don't want big lumps of epoxy around. Otherwise the wood will keep outgassing and bubbling long after the epoxy has gotten too firm to let the bubbles rise to the top. Keep any un-used mix around and use a toothpick or tongue depressor to drip it onto any spots that look uneven. You can mess with it for about an hour after mixing - after that it tends to be too firm, though it will self-level for about three hours.
If you don't want it to drip over the edges, first make sure the table is level, then when you pour, spread it out close to the edge. Wait for it to set up just a little, so the surface tension is stronger, then use a flat spreader (I collect blank gift cards, which don't have raised numbers like credit cards), slowly pull it out and then 'clean off' the spreader right against the edge. As long as you don't have too much epoxy on the table, it won't go over the edge. If it does go over, use a rag soaked in isopropyl alcohol to clean it off. I would still mask it with clear packing tape, just in case. If you could not find Envirotex or Aristocrat and had to get Famowood from Home Depot, keep in mind that it tends to be a lot thinner, and won't produce as heavy a coat, and is more likely to fall over the edges due to low surface tension.
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