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In this DIY tutorial, I show you how to build a DIY walnut epoxy dining table from start to finish.

Also, I use these woodworking and epoxy techniques to build and sell furniture and art pieces for thousands of dollars.

So, let’s dive right in with a list of tools and material I used for this project.

Tools and Material

Chill Epoxy
Epoxy Drill Mixing Paddle
Pigment Powder for Epoxy
Epoxy Glow Powder
5 Gallon White Buckets
Odie’s Oil
Rubio Monocoat
Burn In Stick
Card Scraper
HEPA Vacuum
Rotex Sander
40 grit Sandpaper
60 grit Sandpaper
80 grit Sandpaper
120 grit Sandpaper
150 grit Sandpaper
180 grit Sandpaper
220 grit Sandpaper
320 grit Sandpaper
Polishing Pad
Scotch Brite Pad
Festool Domino
Wood Slab Router Flattening Bit
Tuck Tape
Track Saw
MFT3 Table
Bandsaw Blade
Block Plane
Saw Horses
Pocket Sander
Threaded Inserts
Furniture Glides
Drill Bit for Threaded Inserts
Large Speed Square
Parallel Clamps
F Clamps

Video Tutorial

There are several things which are difficult to fully explain with words and images, so be sure to check out the video tutorial above/below!

Epoxy River Table DIY Plans

First, I’m working on DIY plans for this project including 3D drawings, cut list, and much more.

The plans will cost $10.00 and will teach you how to build an awesome table – pretty sweet deal…

You can signup to be notified when I’m complete by completing the form at the end of this post to get 25% off.

diy walnut slab epoxy dining table sketchup

Project Overview

This epoxy table project was a BIG one.

I used many techniques, made mistakes, and learned a lot. In turn, I want to share the entire process with you.

Moreover, this is the first time I documented one of my larger projects to share with you.

As a result, I decided to provide a high-level overview of the walnut epoxy dining table project in this article.

Essentially, I plan to write a detailed article for each topic in the table of contents above.

Don’t worry, I’ll include a link to the detailed article from this article as soon as I publish it.

So, I designed and built this custom black walnut slab dining table and matching bench seat for a customer in Virginia.

The walnut dining table has 2 bookmatched live edge rustic walnut slabs with a blue epoxy river in the middle.

In addition to the table top, I built a black walnut bench seat and farmhouse trestle bottom.

Dining Table Bench design
Trestle Table Bottom Design

The table bottom and bench disassemble to make it easier to ship and move from room to room or house to house.

Lastly, the table top is 7 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 1.75 inches thick.

Rough Sanding

In order to get a closer look at the wood grain, I sanded the live edge slab with 40 grit sandpaper with my rotex 125 sander in rotary mode on the highest speed setting.

I need to flatten the slab in a later step with my router, so this may seem like a wasted step.

However, I feel this step helps me visualize the final look of the table.

Plus, it doesn’t take long with my Festool Rotex Sander – maybe 15 minutes total for both pieces.

Rough Sanding Live Edge Walnut Slab

Remove Bark from Live Edge

The outer bark was removed from the live edge walnut slab by my hardwood dealer.

So, I only needed to clean the inner bark and loose debris.

First, I used my soft sanding pad on my rotex sander with 320 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the loose debris.

The soft sanding pad prevents aggressive sanding, which would change the shape of the live edge.

how to sand live edge wood slab

Flatten Wood Slab with Router

I used a router, flattening bit, and homemade router jig to flatten the underside of each walnut wood slab.

Also, I have 2 wood slab flattening jigs (small and large) and chose to use the smaller one for this task.

My smaller wood slab flattening jig consists of 2 90 degree aluminum rails with a 2 blocks of wood on each side.

The blocks of wood are about 1/4″ wider than the width of my router, which allows it to move freely across the jig.

how to flatten wood slab with router

The walnut wood slabs needed about 1/4″ taken off.

As a result, I made multiple light passes of roughly 1/16″ to 1/32″ per pass.

flattening large wood slabs

Once I flattened the underside of each slab, I flipped them over, positioned them, and traced the perimeter with a pencil to mark the location.

Live Edge walnut slab prep

Next, I covered a 4×8 sheet of MDF with tuck tape (any sheathing tape works for epoxy molds).

The pencil marks remain visible under the Tuck Tape, so no worries there.

Filling Voids in Wood Slab with Epoxy

These rustic black walnut wood slabs had a few wood knots and voids. In turn, I filled the wood voids with epoxy.

I used deep pour epoxy because it penetrates the wood better than quick set epoxy.

Essentially, it soaks into the wood fibers because it is thinner.

In turn, it fills the voids and soaks into the wood.

filling voids in wood slab with epoxy
filling voids in wood slab with epoxy

While the epoxy cured, I sealed the wood slabs with silicone around the entire perimeter.

Measure and Mix Deep Pour Epoxy

I used Chill deep pour epoxy for this walnut slab epoxy dining table.

Also, I wrote an article about the best epoxy for wood projects, so be sure to check that out if you have any questions.

First, I used 3 buckets to measure and mix the epoxy resin.

Chill deep pour epoxy requires a 2:1 mixing ratio: 2 parts A to 1 part B.

I find it easier to accurately measure and mix epoxy with a bucket for part A, part B, and one bucket for mixing both parts.

In addition, I use the small containers to measure the epoxy before pouring it into the large bucket.

I could simply draw a dark line on the white bucket to mark the location, but a dark line isn’t accurate.

chill deep pour epoxy mixing

Next, I measured 2 parts A using the small containers and poured it into the large bucket.

Then, I measured 1 part B using the small container and poured it into the large bucket.

chill deep pour epoxy mixing

I poured part A and part B into the mixing bucket.

chill deep pour epoxy mixing
chill deep pour epoxy mixing

Once I poured part A and part B in the same bucket, I used a mixing paddle to mix the epoxy until it turned clear.

mix epoxy with drill paddle

Add Pigment Powder and Glow Powder

After the epoxy turned clear, I added 2 shades of blue pigment powder.

I used Caribbean Blue and Blue Green pigment colors.

To get the proper color, I add a small amount of pigment powder, mix thoroughly, and repeat if needed.

add pigment powder to epoxy
add pigment powder to epoxy
add pigment powder to epoxy
mix pigment powder with epoxy
mix pigment powder with epoxy

Next, I added blue glow powder and mixed thoroughly.

epoxy glow powder
mix glow powder with epoxy

First Epoxy Pour

First, I created a resin calculator to accurately determine the amount needed for any project.

Complete the form below and I’ll email you a link to download it.

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    The first epoxy pour filled 1″ of the wood slab epoxy dining table.

    My customer requested the live edge remain visible.

    So, 1 colored pour followed by a clear pour satisfied this requirement.

    chill epoxy deep pour
    chill epoxy deep pour

    Second Epoxy Pour

    Once the bottom layer partially cured, I mixed and poured a clear epoxy top layer.

    Also, I use the thumbprint test to determine when to pour a second layer of epoxy.

    The epoxy is partially cured and ready for the second layer if I can leave a thumbprint without the epoxy sticking to my finger.

    epoxy deep pour second layer
    epoxy deep pour second layer
    epoxy deep pour second layer

    Next, I used a mini torch to remove the bubbles.

    remove epoxy air bubbles with mini torch

    The glow powder in the walnut slab epoxy dining table charged from my shop lights and illuminated when I turned off the lights.

    epoxy glow table

    Remove Epoxy Table Top from Mould

    Once the epoxy fully cured over a period of 7 days, I removed the epoxy mould.

    remove epoxy mold tuck tape

    Flatten Epoxy Wood Table with Router

    First, I like to keep the top layer of epoxy just below the top edge of the table top.

    Essentially, this allows me to only flatten a small amount of wood & epoxy to get a flat table top.

    So, I used my large wood slab flattening jig with my router to flatten the epoxy dining table top as I normally do.

    I used the same process to flatten epoxy wood tables with my router as I covered in the previous section.

    flatten wood slab epoxy table
    flatten wood slab epoxy table

    However, I noticed epoxy leaked on the underside of the table when I flipped it over.

    In turn, I had to use my router to remove the epoxy from the underside which I did not want to do.

    Obviously, it is not fun to sand or plane down cured epoxy.

    flatten wood slab epoxy table

    After the first pass, I used my dremel tool to sharpen my router bit.

    sharpen router bit with dremel

    I made 3 more light passes to remove the epoxy from the underside of the table.

    flatten wood slab epoxy table

    Sand Epoxy Dining Table

    After I flattened the walnut slab epoxy dining table, I started sanding.

    As a first step, I find it easier to sand the wood from 40 grit up to 220 grit while avoiding the epoxy.

    After sanding the wood, I sand the epoxy with 120 grit and finish at 320 grit.

    I developed a technique for sanding epoxy wood tables that prevents swirl marks and pigtails from forming.

    epoxy resin sanding technique

    First, I set my rotex sander on the highest speed setting in rotary mode.

    Then, I make one light pass (forward and back) and use my air compressor to clean the resin from the sandpaper.

    I repeat this process for the entire table.

    epoxy resin sanding technique
    epoxy resin sanding technique

    I wiped the table with a damp towel to remove the dust.

    epoxy resin sanding

    While this process takes time, I don’t have to deal with burn marks, swirls, or pigtails in the epoxy.

    Square Ends of Walnut Epoxy Dining Table

    After I completely sanded the table, I used my track saw and track to square both ends of the table.

    use track saw to square ends of table

    Fill Tiny Holes Burn In Stick

    Once I wiped the table with a damp rag, I noticed there were tiny holes in a few knots from air bubbles.

    Instead of mixing and pouring epoxy for these tiny holes, I used a burn-in stick (walnut color) to fill the holes.

    fill holes with burn in stick

    Next, I used my card scraper to remove the excess.

    card scraper on wood table

    Apply Odie’s Oil to Table Underside

    I normally don’t finish the underside of my table tops. However, I decided to use Odie’s Oil on the underside of this table.

    Odie’s Oil is a great epoxy wood table finish that gets better with age.

    First, I stirred the jar and placed a small amount on the walnut slab epoxy table.

    Next, I used my rotex sander in rotary mode, polishing pad, and sheepskin pad to apply the finish.

    epoxy wood table finish odies oil
    epoxy wood table finish odies oil

    Then, I allowed it to sit for 45 minutes and removed the excess with a terry towel.

    Apply Rubio Monocoat to Epoxy Dining Table

    I chose to apply Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2c on this epoxy wood table top.

    First, I mixed rubio monocoat oil plus 2c and poured it on the wood slab dining table.

    Next, I used a plastic spreader to spread the material from the middle of the table out towards the sides and edges.

    apply rubio monocoat on epoxy wood table

    Then, I used a towel to wipe the excess.

    apply rubio monocoat on epoxy wood slab table

    I used my rotex sander in rotary mode with a soft pad to buff off the remaining material.

    apply rubio monocoat on epoxy wood slab table

    2nd Coat – Rubio Monocoat Finish

    Surprisingly, this table required a second coat of rubio monocoat.

    I’ve used rubio on many tables in the past, but this is the first time I needed to apply a second coat.

    So, I used a red scotch brite pad (800 grit equivalent) to scuff the surface very lightly.

    apply rubio monocoat on epoxy wood slab table

    Then, I repeated the process on the first coat.

    apply rubio monocoat on epoxy wood slab table

    I’m glad I applied a second coat because the table looked the way I envisioned afterwards.

    diy walnut slab epoxy dining table

    Finally, I branded the underside of the walnut epoxy dining table as I do on all my custom furniture.

    custom wood branding iron
    custom wood branding iron

    Walnut Dining Table Bench

    In addition to the table top, my client requested I design and build a dining table bench to match the walnut epoxy dining table.

    I designed the bench in sketchup using simple half lap joints and dominos to join the bench seat.

    walnut dining table bench seat diy plans

    First, I used my track saw to get straight sides on the black walnut wood.

    cut walnut wood with festool TS75
    cut walnut wood with festool TS75

    Next, I used my MFT3 table and squared off each end.

    square ends festool mft3 and ts75