Any pretreatment for a bartop before epoxy?

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Forum topic by bhacksaw posted 06-22-2016 03:01 PM 667 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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163 posts in 2063 days

06-22-2016 03:01 PM

I have two black walnut slabs i’ve butt-jointed. planed, sanded and scraped. I wiped the dust off. Is there anything i can do to ensure the best looking color and grain (there’s a few curly maple butterfly keys) before putting down the mirror coat epoxy?

4 replies so far

View pontic's profile


663 posts in 847 days

#1 posted 09-30-2016 06:24 PM

What you see is what you get with epoxy coats. Do a test piece first. Remember to have a heat gun handy when you apply it to chase out the bubbles.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View JayT's profile


6008 posts in 2450 days

#2 posted 09-30-2016 07:23 PM

If it was me, I’d hit it with some kind of finish first to darken the walnut, the epoxy may not do that. Danish oil or Tung oil would do a good job with color for the walnut, but will take a while to dry. De-waxed shellac, either from flakes or something like Zinsser Sealcoat, might be a good choice, too.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Andre's profile


2367 posts in 2045 days

#3 posted 09-30-2016 08:44 PM

Make sure that it is REAL DRY! and warm! Any moisture and it could go cloudy happened on my Bar top using West Epoxy.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Kelly's profile


2187 posts in 3183 days

#4 posted 09-30-2016 09:08 PM

I used to buy my fifty-fifty mix in two five gallon cans at a time. Said another way, I’ve poured quite a bit of epoxy.

Early on, I learned to seal the surface before I poured. Otherwise, heating the pour would remove the bubbles, but would also draw more air out of the wood.

When I was doing plaques with photos or clippings, I used white glue to adhere the item to the wood, then brushed a coat or two over the clipping or photo. For news clippings, this stopped the print on the other side from bleeding through, like always did if I used oil based poly or just poured over them.

For burls and such, I just thinned poly and slopped it on, generously. After it dried, I went for it.

Oddly, I’ve never really taken the time to do a side by test using hardening oil [to get the “pop” of the grain] then covering it with poly, then just putting the poly on without the oil. As such, I cannot say whether there is a notable difference. Of course, switching to waterborne poly would be a game changer. One not for the better, I suspect.

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