How to DIY Resin Serving Board

serving trays made of olive wood and resin

On one of our recent trips to Greece, one of the local souvenirs that I fell in love with was this beautiful woodwork using the iconic olive wood which grows all over Greece, and a combination of resin to make beautiful trays and wall clocks. I became obsessed with them. They were on average about $100-$175 each. I was so in love with them that Dan asked me why I didn’t try to make my own once we got home. I accepted the challenge, and after a lot of research and trial (and error of course) we decided to put this video together for you so that you may get creative and try it yourself.

olive wood clock

Materials you’ll need for your DIY resin board:

We tried a few different products and the ones below made our top list. One of the things we noticed was that not all epoxy is created equal. We tried a few brands, one was awful and we ended up trashing it. We like the one listed below because it dried quickly and with the least amount of bubbles.

Lubricant Agent for Epoxy Resin Molds
Clear Epoxy Resin Kit
Resin Silicone Mold
Resin Mixer Attachment for Drill
Epoxy Resin Color Pigment
A piece or two of live edge wood or any other kind of wood you want to use. Whatever wood you use must be dry. We purchased some from Lowes but you can also find it online, Facebook Marketplace, etc.
Cutting board oil and wood wax if you are planning on leaving your wood as a butcher block and uncovered.
Denatured alcohol
Sanding block or sand paper

Materials you may want to rent, borrow, or skip all together:
Wood Planer
Router with appropriate size router bit.
Miter Saw
Wood Jointer

Mixing and Pouring the Resin

Prepare your materials before starting and prepare your work space. Choose a well ventilated area so that you are not breathing in any toxic fumes. We used a garage and we used a mask.

Protect your surfaces! Place any drop cloths or wax paper down on your surface for easy cleanup in case anything spills.

Make sure all of your materials are ready to go as the epoxy resin sets very quickly. Your Resin Silicone Mold should be clean and your wood should be free of any loose debris. Use a sanding block and denatured alcohol if you need to remove any extra debris from the wood.

Spray a generous amount of Lubricant Agent on your silicone mold. This will help to release the board when it’s all dry.

Important: This will vary depending on the brand of resin you use! We used a Clear Epoxy Resin Kit that is 1:1 ratio, but depending on the brand you use, you will have to read the instructions on how much of each mixture to use and how long to mix it for.

Use a Resin Mixer Attachment for Drill to make the mixing easier and faster. Make sure you mix until there are no more white streaks or cloudiness in the mixture.

Add a small amount of the Epoxy Resin Color Pigment powder to the resin mixture and mix again until the powder is well incorporated.

When the resin is fully mixed, use immediately.

Process making of a craft resin and wood table. Liquid epoxy is poured into a mold with wooden blanks. closeup

Pour the resin in the resin mold. If you want to add streaks, wait a few minutes (depending on the brand, sometimes hours) to streak it using a tooth pick or other sharp object.

Resin Troubleshooting

Floating wood: If your wood is too light it may rise to the surface after a few minutes, You will likely have to weight it down with a weight, we used a dumbbell over a piece of wax paper. (Don’t worry if the wax paper sticks to the wood, we will run it through a planer and remove that top layer anyway)

Bubbles: If you have bubbles forming on the surface of the resin you will need to use a heat gun or blow torch to remove them. If you use a blowtorch be careful not to burn the wood. Don’t put it too close to the surface.

Resin is Dry: Unmolding it

After the resin is completely hard and set (will vary based on the brand you use, always read the manufacturer instructions), take the tray off the mold. If you sprayed it with enough lubricant spray, this step is very easy. If you didn’t add enough lubricant then you may need to pry the tray out of the mold. Don’t worry, all the edges will get cut and sanded so don’t worry about damaging the wood. Try not to pry at the resin edge. Pick a wood edge to pry it out.

Finishing the edges and surface

Using a planer, run the board through it as many times as you need to get a completely level surface on both sides. If you don’t have access to a planer, we recommend renting one or asking a local wood worker if he will help you with the next few steps. If you really want to purchase one, we used a Dewalt Planer.

run the board through the planer multiple times

Cut any edges that need to be trimmed off with a miter saw and/or a wood jointer. If you want rounded edges, use a router with the appropriate size router bit attached.

use a router to make rounded edges on your board

Using a coarse sanding block or sand paper, sand the entire wood surface and edges for a smooth finish. You don’t want a super fine sander because you need the wood to be porous enough to soak in the butcher block oil/ or to adhere to the second clear coat of epoxy resin.

If you want to leave it as a charcuterie board with raw wood, apply Cutting board oil and wood wax. Use a gloved hand to apply the oil. Once the oil dries, add some butcher block wax. You are now finished!

If you want to add a clear coat of epoxy, follow the same steps for mixing epoxy resin, but this time leave it clear and make sure your prop your board up on a few pieces of wood so that the excess epoxy resin can drip down all 4 sides.

Add your own embellishments

You can add any embellishments to the epoxy resin before it dries, just make sure they are not live plants (dried flowers are ok) or any items that contain any moisture. We added gold leaf under the epoxy and over it. We love the crinkly texture it gives the board.

You can also add handles to the board if you want to make it look like a serving tray. The possibilities are endless.

Wondering how to clean epoxy resin tools?

We tried to use as many disposable items as possible because the resin is very sticky and leaves a residue on anything it touches, however, some items we just couldn’t throw away. The key is to clean the tools immediately after use because once the epoxy resin dries, you can no longer clean them. Denatured alcohol is the only way we could thoroughly clan our tools. You can buy it at your local hardware store. We tried the dawn soap method and it did absolutely nothing.

Well there you have it, our Greek souvenir obsession was a fun project that we want to continue playing around with, even the kids got into it and want to try different colors and different embellishments such as their legos!

We hope to have inspired you to make your own gorgeous souvenirs.

Happy DIYing!

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