Sea Glass & Resin Countertop
One day while watching a TV show on all the new home products for the year, I saw a resin counter with embedded stones. I was immediately in love and started researching where I could find one for my new house.
With a price tag of $350/sq ft, I thought I would never be the owner of such a countertop. That’s when my “McGyver” inspired attitude kicked in and I figured, ” I’ll just build my own!” I searched everywhere looking for anyone that had attempted a resin countertop with embedded objects-I found nothing except resin poured over the top of items!
I found several websites (with good reviews) that offered easy two-part resin which dried clear so I immediately ordered enough to get started with some trial sizes. I decided to start small and made several paper weights with imbedded objects. No problem. I upped my game to stepping stone sizes with embedded items, again no problems. My mother-in-law offered her large collection of beach glass and so with the help of my husband, we were ready to tackle making the counter top mold. We thought if we inverted the mold it would give us more of a smooth surface, making the final finishing process easier. He built the form from melamine coated plywood, and used plumbers putty all over the seams and coated the cut outs with cooking spray to make extraction easier and I was off to the races.
I poured each layer approximately 1/8” thick, allowed them to set up enough so that the beach glass didn’t sink into the resin. By the time the beach glass was down, the resin layer was set to the proper ‘tacky’ stage and perfect for the next layer. I believe that there are 11 layers in total. I did it outside, wearing a mask as the fumes are awful, and used a regular blow dryer to gently rid the surface of bubbles.
Once completely dry/cured (I let it set for 48 hours just to be safe), we unscrewed the mold, flipped it over and started sanding. After a bit of frustration with sanding, I found the wet/dry 800-1800 grit sand paper and polishing compound from the local automotive paint store. That was the ticket, the surface buffed up beautifully. Finally, because we didn’t want to see all the plumbing work from the sink, I decided to spray paint the underside of the counter a soft green. With our wonderful antique surgery ship light (another gift from my mother in law) shining down onto the countertop it makes the sea glass glow. It’s truly a unique, one of a kind piece and we love it. Total cost was probably less than $100
If I ever decide to make another one, there are a few things I would probably do differently. First, I would pre dip each piece of glass (because it is an uneven object) prior to laying in down which would eliminate the air bubbles. Secondly, if the countertop was designed to sit on an open style sink base (allowing you to see items through it), I would probably attach it to a solid surface like aluminum or zinc so that it adds some reflection to the glass, or add a color to the first layer of resin, instead of using spray paint.