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How to Bring Your Dull Epoxy River Table to a Shiny Finish: A Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Resin river table charcuterie serving tray with shells, beach pebbles and seaweed

Are you looking to bring some shine and beauty back to your dull epoxy resin table? Follow these simple steps to achieve a shiny finish that will make your table look brand new.

Step 1: Clean the Edges

Before sanding the edges of your table, clean them thoroughly using rubbing alcohol spray and a cloth. This will remove any dirt or debris from the edges and help you see the imperfections more clearly.

Step 2: Sand the Edges

Using a rotary sander, start sanding the edges of the table, being careful not to damage the surface of the river table. Use a coarse grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots, and then switch to a finer grit sandpaper for a smoother finish. When sanding the edges, be sure to go slow and steady, checking frequently to make sure the shape is to your liking.

Step 3: Clean the Table

After sanding the edges, clean the table thoroughly using a damp cloth to remove any dust, debris, or other particles that may have accumulated on the surface. Make sure the surface is completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Sand the River Table's Surface

Cleaning the river table between layers with alcohol spray and wipes

Using an electric sander, start sanding the surface of the river table with wet/dry sandpaper and spray the table with water or rubbing alcohol as you go. This will keep the epoxy cool while sanding and prevent it from melting.

Start with a coarse grit sandpaper (around 600 grit) to remove any rough spots, and then switch to a finer grit sandpaper for a smoother finish. Wet/dry sandpaper is recommended as it will prevent the sandpaper from clogging up with debris and prolong the life of the sandpaper.

When sanding, be sure to avoid pressing too hard on the sander, as this can melt the epoxy resin and prevent it from achieving the desired translucence. Check the surface frequently to ensure that you are sanding evenly and consistently.

Step 5: Clean the Table Again

Once you have finished sanding, clean the table again using a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris that may have accumulated on the surface.

Step 6: Polish the Surface

To bring out the shine of your river table, apply a small amount of mineral oil to the surface and use a clean cloth to buff the surface until it shines. Mineral oil is a great polish for epoxy resin projects as it will not damage the surface or change its appearance.

Step 7: Apply a Protective Coating

The final layer of a seaweed river table

To protect the surface and preserve the shine of your newly polished river table, apply a clear, high-quality polyurethane coating. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application, and allow the coating to dry completely before using the table.

Sanding takes more time than creating, but it is definitely worth every effort once it's all done. By using wet/dry sandpaper and spraying the table with water or rubbing alcohol, you can prevent the epoxy from melting and achieve the perfect shine. Happy sanding!

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