Hello DIY family! It’s been a rainy week and honestly I can’t complain because I absolutely love rain!

January flew by ssso fast. Seriously though!

For our project this week we ended up making a DIY wood resin tray! If you’re not familiar with the river table trend you should check it out on pinterest. The idea behind this DIY is to have what looks like a river flowing between two pieces of wood.  This is made using resin and it’s what inspired me to make this tray. Although making the center blue was an option I really wanted to make it white for a more neutral look. (Thank you for helping my pick Inta fam! PS. You can follow me on Instagram here – https://www.instagram.com/lilyardor/)

Time Needed

A LOT! I’m not going to lie this project took me way longer than I anticipated. I usually hope to get my DIYs posted on fridays and this one took a few days longer to make than expected. Rolling into my second week. Keep in mind this is with the effort of getting the post and video up.  It’s not a super hard DIY. The resin just takes time to set in between layers.

Total Cost

About $40 – $70.  Sounds a bit much right? Honestly it can be cheaper. It really depends what you already have.  If you want to recycle an old piece of wood that will knock the price down. I also used some cheaper resin then I usually do. Best part is it’s also food safe. ( once fully cured and no colorants are added)  If you choose to add hardware the tray will cost you a bit more.

* This post contains affiliate links

Supplies

  • Resin – Here’s the one I used –https://amzn.to/37Nxjhp
  • Wood
  • Hammer + Flat head screw Driver
  • wood stain
  • resin tint – Here’s the tint I used – https://amzn.to/3aXBLw6
  • clear tape
  • two 5 inch pieces of wood ( for mold )
  • silicone ( for the mold)
  • sand paper ( I used 220 and 600 grit )
  • blow torch or heat gun ( to pop bubbles ) ( here’s a similar heat gun to mine – https://amzn.to/2OjwKEx )

Optional

  • handles

Tools

  • skill saw (here’s the saw i used – https://amzn.to/2OiXWmF )
  • drill
  • flat ,smooth, level  surface
  • da sander
  • mask

My Apologies

Taking photos while working with resin isn’t easy. I apologize in advance. We did the best we could. I should also mention half of the footage got deleted due to an sd card malfunction. Apparently if an sd card is older it can delete your footage without you knowing🙈. Thankfully we were recording from two angles so all the footage from one angle got saved! JEeesh that was a close one.  I would hate to loose all the footage..

Prepping the wood for your Resin Tray !

Okay let’s do this! ( sorry the photo with all the supplies got deleted ) We started by cutting our wood board in half. I got my wood at hobby lobby. It measured about 14″ by 10″ inches. Than I used my hammer and screw driver to remove all the bark.  I also stained my wood. For my stain color I mixed the two minwax stains “special walnut” and “dark walnut”.

Prepping Your Surface!

Next we prepped our surface.  You’ll need a flat level and smooth surface. I used an old piece of mdf board we had. Than I applied clear tape in rows to cover the section where the wood will be positioned for pouring resin. I also applied tape to the inside of the 5 inch wood pieces that were used to create the mold. (You can see more on how we made the mold in the video here – https://youtu.be/x6A-uzGatZs )  Basically anything the resin comes into contact with that you don’t want it to stick to should have tape on it. 

Positioning the wood!

Next we applied silicone to the bottom of the wood. Only one strip of silicone to the inner pieces of the wood to create a barrier wall. This will seal in any holes and avoid the whole bottom from getting soaked in resin.  We lay the wood pieces making sure the live edges were on the inside facing each other. Than I used my level to make sure it was level.  We also lay the 5 inch wood pieces on both sides of the gap and siliconed it.

Mixing Resin !

CAUTION : Please wear a respirator, gloves and work in a well ventilated area. ( we opening our door and window while working on this)

If you’re not familiar with resin it’s super easy to work with. It will usually come with two liquids the resin liquid and the hardener. You’ll usually need to combine equal amounts or whatever the manufacturer instructs. To measure out equal amounts you can use a measuring cup. I like to add my liquid into liquid cups and transfer to a big cup. I keep count of the amount of little cups of each liquid added to keep track of equal amounts. Than simply stir for a total of three minutes scraping the sides and bottom. Add any colors you’d like. This can be acrylic paints, resin tint, glitter.  Whatever you add be sure to keep the ratio 1/10. So 10% paint and 90% resin. I usually just add a drop at a time.  Keep in mind resin hates water! Avoid getting any water in it.

Some resins will set really quick and some may take longer to set.  In any case you’ll need to let the resin sit for a few minutes before pouring to let all the bubbles come to the top of the cup.  After you have combined the two liquids your resin should fully set in 48 hours. It should be dry to touch after 24 hours. Keep in mind you’ll only have a working time of about 10-40 minutes before the resin starts to harden. This will depend on the brand of resin used. The resin I used had about a 15 minute working time and than it would become very tacky and hard to work with. So don’t wait too long to pour.

Sealing in Loose Dirt !

Even though I removed my bark I was worried some loose dirt from the live edges might float up once the resin started setting.  So I decided to seal in all the dirt by applying a layer of resin to the edges of the wood inside.  I let this first coat of resin set for about 3 hours before pouring my white resin.

Pouring Your Resin Tray!

After three hours the first coat of resin was pretty tacky and stiff. I mixed another batch of resin and filled the center of my tray with white resin.  I added a few drops of white resin tint while stirring my resin.  ( You can check out the video here for more info – https://youtu.be/x6A-uzGatZs )  I used about a total of 1.5 cups of resin to fill the center completely. ( this will also depend on the size of your tray )

This Resin Doesn’t like heat!!

We filled the center with resin so it overflowed a little. This is actually because we ran into and issue with the resin setting too fast and patchy causing us to have to fill the center with resin a bit over.  Our issue was that once the bubbles started coming up to the top in most cases you can use a blow torch to pop them. We used a blow torch and over heated our resin causing it to set to fast in some areas. This might also have something to do with me laying a lid over it not letting the heat to evaporated. The resin pretty much cooked itself in about 20 minutes. The plan was to just pour the resin level with the wood. Then when we would pour clear resin over the top it would even out the surface if we would have tiny surface imperfections.  Anywho, lesson learned. Avoid over heating the resin and don’t lay a lid on it too soon. ( lid was to keep dust from landing on it)

Removing the mold!

We used a metal spatula to gently pry the tray away from the mdf. I would recommend using cheap silicone. We used really nice silicone which made this step kind of tough. I assuming the more expensive the silicone the stronger it is.  It still came off fairly easy after we pried it a bit.  ( photo below shows the bottom of the tray) We removed the silicone and sanded the resin down. You can use really rough sand paper and work your way to something finer. That’s what I did. It was pretty quick and only took me about 20 minutes per side.  I started with 40 grit sand paper and worked my way up to 240 grit. Now the tray was ready for a clear resin pour.

Also that little ryobi vacuum is a life saver!! I use it with all my projects to keep the area clean. Best of all there’s no cord attached to it. Just a rechargeable battery! OH YAH😉!! Here’s an affiliate link if you want to check it out – https://amzn.to/2OhqpJG As you can see most of the stain was removed around the center of the tray. Would of been so much easier if we wouldn’t have poured too much resin in the center. EHH stuff happens. Next time we’ll know not to over heat resin. 

Touching up the stain!

Because so much of the stain was sanded off in the process I used a paint brush and gently went over the edge of the resin line. Be careful because wood stain will definitely stain your white resin. ( you can lightly sand it if you accidentally get some on the resin)

Adding A Clear Finish!

I mixed an additional 4 oz of resin to pour on top of the tray. In the beginning I had originally planned on leaving it without a topcoat but, I was afraid the white resin would stain easily. Adding a clear coat of resin also made it food safe which would make this resin tray a super cute charcuterie board 😍! If I was to make this board again I would totally pour the white resin level with the wood, not over heat the resin so I don’t have to overfill it LOL😩😅 ! And pour clear on top to level the whole surface. That’s it you can choose to add hardware to it. I got my handles at homedepot. You can watch the video to see how I installed them 🙂

 

diy wood resin tray Okay so I was really iffy about the amount of shine on this tray. In fact I went through the hassle of sanding it down a bit to see if I can get it to look more satin. It was all pointless effort this stuff is hard to matte down. I ended up leaving it glossy and I LOVE IT! ( ps. If you’re wondering what I was drinking in the glass..🙈 it’s actually pedialyte 😂 . Truth is were always out of juice! This is the only colored thing I could find to fill my glass with)

diy wood resin tray

That’s all for now! Thanks for joining me. I hope this inspires DIY Wood Resin Tray inspire you to create your own and gives you some insight on what to expect. 🙂

xo,

Lily