View Full Version : Epoxy Flood Coat

11-10-2013, 01:17 PM
I am building an undersink cabinet for our remodeled bathroom from 1-ply bamboo sheets. For the counter top I wanted to try an epoxy flood coat for the "wet" looks. About 1/8" thick and I am quite happy with the result. It really looks like a large water puddle.

Does anybody here have experience how durable such an epoxy coating is? I am a bit concerned about scratches, chips and dulling.


Brian Harnett
11-10-2013, 03:24 PM
We have a kitchen counter my wife did 18 years ago it has held up it gets use every day and still looks great.

The epoxy used was west system, she applied it with a roller.

11-23-2013, 07:45 PM
Thanks Brian, sounds promising. I did notice however that I must put sliders under a ceramic dish or it will cause scratches when moved.

In the meantime I finished and hung the piece. Apologies to the professional cabinet builders here who may laugh but this is my first self designed and CNC machined cabinet and I am kind of proud of it. The drawers took me a while and I am happy that I did that for myself. I could never charge anybody the time it took. At $9 per board foot the Bamboo isn't cheap as well.

I cut the drawer "slides" directly into the wood and filled the channel on each side with ten 1/2" steel balls. The channels are curved to allow self-closing drawers. Well, that is the theory. You should count it rather in the gadget category because the surface friction of the balls on the wood is quite high. But it works well enough for practical use.




11-23-2013, 08:00 PM
Beautiful work, Like the bathroom- so much easier to mop and no wet kickboards. Used similar set-ups for all my wheelchair roll under sinks and wish I'd done it for all of them. NICE. Looks like you're getting a lot of use out of that ball-end plunge cutter.:)

11-23-2013, 10:40 PM
Hey Guy, forget the professional cabinetmakers (A group of which I am a member). You built a very neat piece of furniture and it does deserve kudos. Nice job.

11-24-2013, 12:22 PM
I'll pile on with Dave-
I am a pro, and this is well worth a congratulations. Most of the time, us pro's are so busy building the same way to assure predictability and profitability, we are left craving to do something more adventurous as you have. Beautiful work.


Bob Eustace
11-24-2013, 06:11 PM
You really think outside the square. Magnificent imaginative work!

11-25-2013, 02:04 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the nice words, I am honored!

Nevertheless I admire the folks who not only make nice things but also make a living doing that. I have the privilege of doing this as a hobby and if I fail with a project there is not much consequence.

But then, I can do what I really like only after work and on the weekend. Bummer.

11-25-2013, 12:18 PM
The curved drawer tops are so cool and functional. That is a great idea. I imagine it really makes the piece feel organic!

Job well done!

Brian Harnett
11-25-2013, 02:47 PM
Thats a piece to be proud of, and I am stealing the drawer slide idea.

11-25-2013, 03:43 PM
Please feel free to use the idea. After all that is the reason for sharing it here.

However, some things that I learned and that may help you..
- if you cut the ball channels directly into the wood it must be hard and internally void free.
- what I did not show in the pics, the channel in the opposite wall of the cabinet is adjustable. I cut an about 2" wide and 3/8" deep recess into the wall and made a plywood inset to fit that has the actual ball channel. I can adjust the pre-load of the slides with 1/4" grub screws. The threads for the grub screws are tapped directly into the bamboo wall because it is hard enough for that. I am not sure if that adjustment is strictly necessary but I was not sure if I could assemble the box with the required precision.
- the balls are 1/2" diameter and I cut the channels 0.225" deep. That results in a theoretical 0.05" gap between the drawers and the wall. If I had to do it again I would leave a little more space.
- you can get the steel balls cheap at VXB (http://www.vxb.com/page/bearings/PROD/LooseCarbonSteelBalls/Kit16351)
- the channel of the drawers goes along the entire length. The channel in the wall starts at the front but can (and should) be shorter (half the drawer motion plus the length of the balls in a row)

11-26-2013, 11:45 AM
Brian, we did an epoxy tratment to a cedar slab in our old house in our kid's bathroom. The finish held extremely well, the only thing I didn't like was that it took forever to off-gas. On hot summer days the bathroom had a bit of a plasticky odor to it. We use West System two part slow cure.
BTW, outstanding work! - Boyd http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=19405&stc=1&d=1385480692

11-26-2013, 11:48 AM
Sorry Brian, I'm sure you do great work too but I should have addressed my previous post to G. Burkhardt. - Boyd

12-16-2013, 12:41 AM
Hello Boyd,
sorry I missed your reply but it looks like that is holding up quite well. I used the Kleer Koat bar and table top Epoxy (http://www.uscomposites.com/kk121.html) from US-Composites and, once it was set it did not smell at all.

In the meantime I managed to get the other storage cabinet built and framed the mirror with some remnants from the cabinet build. I cut a bunch of holes into the frame and pounded clear glass marbles in for lighting as a vanity mirror (there is an LED strip behind the glass balls). However, I did not realize that the spheres will focus the light that much. At full intensity the LED will burn your eyes out but miss illuminating the face when close up. I will need some additional diffusor between the LED and the marbles.

The mirror picture is a cheat. What you see is not the backlight LED but the cat-eye affect of the flash.



03-11-2014, 11:09 PM
So far I was quite satisfied with my results but after a few weeks of use it shows that I used the wrong finish. Not at all for the counter top epoxy flood coat (which was the reason for posting here) but the lacquer that I used for the sides and fronts.

I thought this is just light internal use and a simple spray lacquer should suffice but I forgot humidity. Especially in the morning when everything is a bit cold some surfaces get dripping wet with condensation from the shower steam. The cheap nitro lacquer does not like it and actually begins to flake. Bummer.

I am ready to take the cabinets off, sand back to the wood and finish with something else. Any recommendation, like poly or marine spar varnish? Preferably something obtainable....and ideally if it does not stink for weeks.


03-16-2014, 07:26 AM
Epoxy? Why not?

03-16-2014, 09:47 AM
You shouldn't need to strip to wood but do need to get all of the lacquer off. A good quality spar varnish would be OK, as would a 2-part urethane such as Magna-max. If you really wanted it bullet-proof you can use a clear linear poly-urethane such as Awlgrip Foxfire.
Whatever you use you want to make sure it has a good UV inhibiter in it, as even indoors, raw epoxy will break down from UV exposure from windows. That's why you don't want to use raw epoxy only.
I understand a couple outfits have come out with Epoxy top coats with UV blocker in them, but I have no experience with that. Perhaps someone who does can chime in on their results over time.

03-16-2014, 07:05 PM
I used epoxy on a concrete counter top the problem I saw was the piece was in direct sunlight it was a light colored turned yellow .I stay away from epoxy I know there is some will not agree .

I use to think the thick the coats and the more plastic the better it would stand up better .After being in these climate remember I have sideways rain here .
All your doing is trapping the moister between the wood and the finish you can't stop the processes it has to do with temperature hot and cold simple condensation .The same as driving late at night with the air conditioning on you'l see water on the inside of the windshield

What you have to remember is let the wood breath that's why latex clear coat shine it lets the wood breath

I've also seen in aircraft that's 12 coats polyester moister in between the finish in high humidity when we where working in the summer

03-16-2014, 07:12 PM
THis post has been interesting.
I have been commissioned to design and construct a table for a local firehouse.
They wanted an epoxy top coat to stand up to abuse of heavy fire gear and other abuse,
I have never used an epoxy finish before.
Is this the best solution for a super durable table ?

03-16-2014, 07:27 PM
Erminio epoxy does scratch I have piece of concrete in the showroom out of the sunlight there are scratches from very soft use
You could try 5 mil safety glass could break but it would take a hard blow or use stone .I don't think there isn't a true bullet proof finish I know there are claims but in the field is the true test

03-16-2014, 07:52 PM
I went the other way way on my baths and just used a "Teak oil" finish that is no longer available from west marine, but has lasted 18 yrs so far and can be touched up as needed. Used teak , cherry, and red birch flame in baths. smells beautifull and holds up to anything except pure bleach and peroxide. It's only a soft gloss finish but works well.

03-16-2014, 09:08 PM
Epoxy was a thought, because I need to inlay several fire dept patches and company logo into top.
It is not just a wood top.
Another thought is layering poly to a thicker finish.

03-17-2014, 02:01 PM
On that one I would shoot Magna-Max and self-seal. Although conversion varnish is harder, repairing it later when damaged is hell. Nice thing abouth the Max is you can sand it and re-topcoat when it looks bad, and is still a very hard finish and resistant to all the usual food stains like ketchup, mustard, etc.
Poly, like ICA is also a good choice but pricier and more demanding to use. I will use that for high-gloss on a table.

03-17-2014, 02:41 PM
Epoxy was a thought, because I need to inlay several fire dept patches and company logo into top.
It is not just a wood top.
Another thought is layering poly to a thicker finish.

The epoxy top coat (I used KlearKote tabletop resin from USA-Composites (http://www.uscomposites.com/kk121.html)) can be poured up to 1/8"-1/4" thick if need be and is water clear and self-leveling. It is mostly used for bar countertops and can stand quite a bit of abuse like barflies slamming a glass on the table. It is not recommended for outdoor use but I guess it has enough UV inhibitor to not yellow indoors.

But I agree with the previous post that it scratches. You can buff it out with car polish but it will develop a kind of scratch patina over time.

Another interesting idea would be clear 2-part polyurethane doming resin (like that (http://www.domingwarehouse.com/product-p/z-8200-4.05a-z-8200b-2.5gb.htm)). That has a soft feel and kind of "self-heals" scratches. You can get it for outdoor use but I have never seen it on furniture. We use it at the company I work for poured over thin Lexan to make scratch and shatter-proof instrument lenses.

Thanks for all the tips to address my lacquer problem. Now I need to find out what I can get in smaller quantities.

03-17-2014, 05:56 PM
Here is a product for a table top it will flow out nice but its easier to work with than exopy {for a bar I would use exopy because of constant spills the chemical would kill a water based finish}

Its amazing can be polished no hardeners

03-19-2014, 12:05 PM
thanks all for your input