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Here at LivnFresh, we know that you can brighten up any Michigan home with the right DIY furniture. Right now, live-edge resin river tables are some of the most sought after furniture pieces out there. And today we will teach you how to make one on your own!

With careful planning and delicate execution, experienced woodworkers and DIY’ers will surely be able to make a lovely new resin-filled table. This guide covers the basics of making your own live-edge resin-filled table to give you an idea of how it usually goes.

Gather Your Tools and Materials

You will need a few materials for this project, namely: wood, translucent tinting pigments, tape, polypropylene sheet, polishing compound, and of course, some clear epoxy resin. Of course, you will also need some more tools and safety equipment to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Before you get to work, make sure the environment you are in is a dry, heated space all throughout the process. The resin also needs to be at room temperature. If it’s delivered cold or it’s been in the garage for some time, you will have to raise the temperature to 20°C before use. Damp or cold conditions may affect the end result.

Prepare the Wood

When choosing your wood, you need to make sure that the wood is seasoned, dry, and as flat as possible. The style and type depend on your personal preference—you can get creative here. But waney-edges work best for this type of project. Pro tip: you can ask your supplier to cut the wood down to the correct size and depth or cut it in half if you want to do a central river channel.

Chisel out the bark and then remove any loose material with abrasive paper. Next, check for cracks and gaps on the top and bottom of the pieces of wood. Seal them in by filling them with resin. Use tape to seal the cracks and gaps to prevent the resin from running out. Check on it every now and then and top up the resin if some were absorbed by the wood.

When the resin is fully cured, use abrasives to level off the surface, removing any high spots. You want to leave a keyed surface so a coarse abrasive is ideal.

Create a Container

Position your slabs of wood so you can make a container around the whole table slab—it will support the resin whilst pouring and curing the river. Begin with a flat sheet, which will make a baseboard to work upon.

Use the polypropylene sheet to create a base and side barriers to create a container around the wood. Make the base 8cm larger than the table to allow for side barriers. Then use a hot-melt glue gun and run a bead of glue all around the base and side barrier to making sure the container is water-tight.

If you need to test if it is watertight, just make sure you dry the container thoroughly afterward.

Add the Resin!

Whether you color the resin or not depends on your personal taste. Lots of DIY’ers use glow powders, metallic pigments, solid colors, etc. Try experimenting on a small amount of resin with any effect you want to achieve before applying it to your table. You can also leave it clear, and the resin will look good too. Use a blue translucent tinting pigment if you want to emphasize that watery effect for your river table.

Once you’ve chosen the right style, carefully pour the resin into the container. Then add the correct amount of hardener and mix thoroughly. Make sure the resin completely covers the whole base area. Aim to slightly overfill the river channel, then leave the resin to fully cure.

Place the wood planks back into the correct position on top of the resin. Use a brush to seal the edge and top surface with the resin including all the knots, splits, and cracks. Use a heat gun or hairdryer on medium heat to remove any bubbles.

Finishing Touches

To finish off the table you will need to add the legs and seal the wood.

It is important that you do this prior to polishing the resin river as the polishing compound may mark the wood if it’s not protected. To polish the resin you will need a hand-held polisher and a high-quality polishing compound. This will help you achieve a high gloss finish.

Here at LivnFresh, we love DIY projects as much as we love Michigan. Be sure to visit us at LivnFresh.com for some great Michigan-inspired apparel.