Bar Top Epoxy Love: Sailboat Table Redo With Regional Map Encased in Bar Top Epoxy.

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Bar top epoxy map table laminated sail boat

I am kind of obsessed with all the creative options of using Bar Top Epoxy. the latest project being theSailboat convertible table covered in dark brown laminate faux wood.. EW!  Yet again, burdened by the nasty faux wood laminate.. I had to cover it! (see related post on the galley counter makeover)

Enter;  a huge Puget sound map, epoxy, patience and willingness to try 3 times!

ok just so you know.. things do not always work the first time, or second.. GRRR. it took me 3 tries to finally get this table to turn out.. read on to learn what NOT to do when working with epoxy and what TO do…so you can be a winner the first try out 😉

Attempt 1: Used mod podge to glue map down on table and cover map, thinking if I sealed it then the epoxy wouldn’t saturate it and make the paper partially translucent.. Good idea in theory, but BAD because here’s what happened:

  • forgot that mod podge makes paper “wrinkle” a bit (note to self, learning how to mod podge without wrinkles is on my list of todo’s).
  • I poked the holes out of areas of the map that had big wrinkles.. BAD idea. left areas that epoxy could seep into and make “wetspots”

wet spots paper bar table top epoxy mod podge spray adhesive

Attempt 2: Idea: Let the epoxy just make the paper all darker.. wetter looking, but if it’s all the same it should look fine. so I sanded a bit to make the first layer all even. then covered it with some contact paper to even out corners/spots then put the map over the top of the old layer.

  • BAD idea.#1. I then used clear sealant to seal the edges around the map, thinking that nothing would “seep” under the map and it should not get to “wet”.. ummm well not only did that not work. all the areas with the clear caulk.. did not absorb the epoxy. so it looked BAD!
  • YIKES! the map started showing through to teh below layers.. CRAP! I had to think fast and used the squeegee to squeegee off the epoxy and remove the map.. to figure out yet another attempt….

bar top expoxy wet transparent see through

3rd and final attempt!

FINALLY it worked! here’s what I did so you don’t have to do all the crap above 🙂

I used a laminated version of the map. put the map down on the table via spray glue. then poured the epoxy over that. Vuwala.. no seepage in the paper, no wet spots and no translucent spots.

  1. If you are using paper, GET IT LAMINATED! it seels in the paper so that the epoxy doesn’t make it partially transluscent. (alternatively if you want it partially translucent, make sure the layer underneath is all the same)
  2. use spray glue to adhere it to where you want it.. so it doesn’t move during the epoxy pour and spread.
  3. use a heat gun or hair dryer over the epoxy after you pour it so that it gets rid of the epoxy bubbles.
  4. let it dry fo 72 hours before using normally..

bar top epoxy table laminated Map

I LOVE this table.. I have to say, every time I look at it though, I see all 3 attempts 🙂 it was such a project, I was at the point at one time where I wanted to just burn the whole thing and get a new table made.. SOOO frustrating!

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20 thoughts on “Bar Top Epoxy Love: Sailboat Table Redo With Regional Map Encased in Bar Top Epoxy.

  1. I’m trying to do the same with a large map and pictures alongside. How do you laminate such a large map? This is currently on a fabric covered 1/8 fiber board. When I hang it, will the flex in the board cause a problem with the epoxy cracking. Thanks///

    1. I bought the map already laminated, but you could use mod podge to seal the map on the table before putting the epoxy down. make sure to let the mod podge/adhesive dry completely on the bottom side before putting mod podge on the top or it can wrinkle the paper. once dry, you can pour the epoxy. My thickness is about a 1/4 of an inch of epoxy. Not sure what you mean by fabric covered in 1/8 fiber board? 1/8 is super thin, I would think you’d want at least 1/4 or thicker.

      1. I’m a newbie at this. Thanks for the advice as I will gladly accept your reccomendation. Your project looks great.

  2. I love this! Did you apply the UV coat to the table, like you did for your countertop? Does the UV coat make it less shiny? Thanks!

    1. I didn’t apply the uv coat. With the galley not getting much sun, I haven’t seen any yellowing. We have. A few spots we accidentally put hot pans on … This spots browned because of our own error… Otherwise they are just as good as the day I installed them… The shiny sheen seems to mellow out after a while too

  3. Lindsey; thank you so much for posting this project. I want to do the same thing. I’m familiar with laminate from military years. we laminated maps at local college so we could write on them. would you tell me how to apply the epoxy and what you used? Specifically how you secured the table edge so epoxy wouldn’t drip/run?

    Many Thanks
    Brian

  4. This is great and I can’t wait to do it on my boat! Thank you! Did you apply the same map to both sides of the table? So it is visible when in the upright position as well as when folded down? Or is your table set up in a different way? (i.e. folds down and pivots or comes off the bulkhead).

  5. I really appreciate your posting this – including your “what not to do ” parts. Sorry for your troubles, but I know I would have been in the same situation with you and trial and error. I am excited to try this on my camper table.

  6. Do you have a Catalina 30?? Your interior looks almost identical to ours. Did you do the dining table yourself? We have the pedestal style and I absolutely hate it. Wondered if you had any tips on making the wall stored table. 🙂

    1. We do have a 1984 Catalina 30! I epoxied over the existing dining table.. and it’s super annoying to set it up and take it down.. haven’t figured out any tricks to that part yet, unfortunately..

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear!