Hello everyone, I need some help with finishing my table. My first ever and I’ve made some mistakes and tried fixing them. Now I’m to a point where I can’t seem to finish it successfully. Here is what’s gone wrong and what I’ve done to “fix” it.
I wanted the table finished with ¼” thick epoxy. Table is 8ft by 3ft. Before I poured the epoxy, I attached the trim around the border of the table creating a ¼” lip for the epoxy to sit in. I grossly underestimated how much epoxy it would take to fill this. I used 1 gallon, then another gallon, to fill the table, but it had valleys and general unevenness. So I used another quart on top to fill in the valleys, assuming it would blend in with the previous two pours. This did not happen as it left ridges where the new pour and old pour met. Then, I attempted to sand the epoxy flat to get rid of the ridges. This worked, but it still left some valleys and imperfections. Now that it was seemingly flat enough and sanded as fine as I could get it, I applied a coat of polyurethane to bring the gloss back. This simply accentuated the imperfections of the epoxy below and made all dust nibs stand out. I’ve done the normal between coat sanding to knock down dust nibs and apply more layers of poly, but I cannot get it to look good. With the unevenness, I decided to use an orbital sander (220 grit) to sand the poly layers to be perfectly flat then apply one last layer to finish. This didn’t work, now I have a final coat of poly covered in dust nibs, still with unevenness, on top of a layer of poly that has swirl marks from the orbital sander.
I have hundreds of dollars worth of materials in this piece and I really don’t want to scrap it. I knew epoxy was expensive, but I thought I knew exactly how much I needed. Lesson learned.
I’m having trouble getting a good picture of the underlying swirl marks. Attached is the best one I could get.
Can anyone give me advice on how I can fix this? It would be very appreciated from a novice and discouraged woodworker!
Swirl Marks: https://imgur.com/Dp3CZpP