Epoxy Resin for Desk Panel Top

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Forum topic by ErylFlynn posted 10-31-2017 04:51 AM 838 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1184 days

10-31-2017 04:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resin question finishing

I am currently planning out a new desk to build for myself and will of course need to make the top out of multiple lengths of wood. I was thinking of coating when done with Epoxy Resin, like a bar top coat. My concern is wood movement. I know that if you put a bread board end on, that you only glue the center to allow wood to move.

But what about the coating? Would a resin top just break as well? Are their versions that give a bit more than others?

8 replies so far

View MJCD's profile


605 posts in 3177 days

#1 posted 10-31-2017 11:22 AM

The simple answer is… it depends…

First on the wood – which wood, as they expand and contract at different rates; and can you process and finish the wood at approximately the same humidity as where it will be located?

Second, the epoxy. Epoxies are of different chemical composition, and you would need to get one that has a sufficient elasticity to handle the movement – this is not usually a problem; but you need to check. West Systems makes excellent products, and is happy to discuss these issues. Other, more informed members – please chime-in here.


View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12216 posts in 4234 days

#2 posted 10-31-2017 12:21 PM

Monte Pittman hangs out on the Stumpy Nubs thread. He’s done multiple desks and table tops in resin. Some huge ones. He’d be a great resource. Charles Neil would also have some informed insight.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View OSU55's profile


2651 posts in 2795 days

#3 posted 10-31-2017 12:23 PM

You might consider a full glass top or a piece of glass or mat where writing will be done and a standard wood clear finish – could be many different looks, ie film thickness and sheen.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30560 posts in 3143 days

#4 posted 10-31-2017 01:18 PM

Epoxy will break with wood movement. However, it does make a difference with The type of wood, size of top,etc. Joined boards do better than slabs for me. The drier, the better. But make sure you seal the underside as well.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2501 posts in 4676 days

#5 posted 10-31-2017 02:03 PM

Good advice … Monte and All.

View ErylFlynn's profile


4 posts in 1184 days

#6 posted 10-31-2017 02:23 PM

So what woods do well? Being of less experience in wood working, I was thinking starting with inexpensive wood to start. A pine or poplar for example, and years later if I decide I would rather it be a hard wood build it then.

The top will be a 6’ by 3’ panel shooting for maybe 1 3/4 or so thickness and likely will be doing bread board ends.

Glass won’t work, I plan to drill a hole for keyboard/mouse cables and holes in the back for monitor arm mounting.

If epoxy is a bad idea for this, should I move to a conversion varnish or just something else?

View tomsteve's profile


1044 posts in 2024 days

#7 posted 10-31-2017 02:36 PM

if the top was completely sealed in the resin-top,sides,and bottom- would that make a difference with wood movement?

View richardchaos's profile


583 posts in 1185 days

#8 posted 10-31-2017 03:18 PM

I would think if the top was sealed all the way around. Top Sides Bottom there would be zero change of and cracking from explanation and contraction.

The perfect solution sould of been a veneer of whatever ward wood on some MDF them go from there.

I was friends with in artist in Dallas that did a huge number of TABLE TYPE TOPS. He always coated them with 2 part epoxy. He always used MDF for any painted project and veneers for wood. He was a master. ME made huge table tops and counter tops out of MDF then FAUX PAINTED them to look like Granite or Marble or what ever THEN poured on the EXPOXY. MAN its looked just like ROCK!.

He also got into do two coats them buffing and polishing out the final second coat it looked so much like the real thing no one could tell.

I plan on doing this for some bathroom countertops FAUX GRANITE.

I looked over a bunch of real granite at a shop in carbondale, IL that sets outside their shop HUGE slabs of the stuff out front of their shop.! I have gone by and looked at to all very closely. I think in the first coat of the epoxy in my case I would mix in some very fine sparkles.

-- β€œIn a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

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